• The Light Staff

Body Image Positivity


by SIDNEY TRIGGS '20


It’s now that time of year again when we look to our pocketbooks to solve our ‘problems’ of discomfort with our bodies and sign up for another gym membership. This year it will be different. This year we will get it done and have the summer body we’ve been dreaming up. The question isn’t why our body doesn’t fit into another girl’s outfit, but why are we so incapable of accepting our bodies the way the are right now. Hint, hint...you are self-body shaming!

Many public personalities have given their take on positive body image and the mentality needed to shut down comments not only from others, but also from our biggest critic, ourselves.

Music artist Lizzo is known as one of the most body-positive performers, though it took her time to love her body for all that it is. After working harder and harder to be thin, she realized that her beauty was not what others could see, but the talent that she possessed within herself.

The Late Night Show’s James Corden also shut down fat-shaming and the misconception that people of larger stature are lazy or unaware of their size. He goes on to show how fat-shaming is yet another form of bullying and is not helpful or motivating. He recently responded to a video in which Bill Maher argued that this issue was no longer prevalent in our society and needed to make a reappearance in order to see true change. Corden counteracts this message by reiterating that body image has always been a recurring topic and that teasing only leads to “shame, depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior.” As another public figure who considers himself overweight, James Corden serves as yet another example of people using their platform to encourage body diversity.

As you consider what “healthy” looks like, here are a few statistics to keep in mind for the upcoming year:

  • The average American male weighs 197 pounds while the average American woman weighs 170 pounds.

  • The average size for a woman is 14, though most stores consider this plus size and only sell up to a size 12.

  • 82.1 million people spend about $28.6 billion on gym memberships and about 6.3% never end up using them.

  • 56% of Americans say they are in good or excellent health.

  • 63% of Americans are overweight.

These are real people who more accurately represent our current standards of health than the Instagram body-builders or the diet fads. Healthy looks like getting enough sleep, having a positive circle, drinking enough water, and getting enough proteins and greens. Nowhere in this definition includes a scale or measuring tape.

So, since we are beginning a new decade, let’s be different. Your body is unique! Appreciate it and love as it is and look past the stigma against being larger than a size two.

#health

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