ART BY ANNA MACIAS
By CHARIS QI
Sit down, flip through any modern fashion magazine and there you see it: a picture of that flawless model, with a stunning figure and perfect proportions.
In recent years, body image and its connection to society’s expectation have been a popular yet controversial topic. While magazine writers and photographers continue to pump out photos of picture-perfect and maybe even photoshopped models, many people, especially women, have taken a stance against these pictures. Going hand in hand with the rising feminism movement, #loveyourself and many other similar slogans have become a trend on social media.
It is easy to boast self-love and acceptance through a phone screen. However, to what extent have people’s mindsets about their insecurities really changed?
Although some people may have slightly altered their views on their own body, statements of “I’m too fat” or “I’m too skinny” are still floating around fitting rooms of clothing stores. Many people can say without a doubt that, when they look in the mirror, they can still point out a thousand flaws on their bodies.
Perhaps, it is time to change all our perception of body images. After all, forced acceptance does not seem to be going far. If people really cannot accept their body figure, then maybe a different change is needed.
In other words: instead of forcing yourself to be happy with your physique, change it. Sometimes, it may be easier to change your appearance than to lie about being satisfied with your appearance. The most important factor though, is to use a healthy and beneficial process to change your body.
In most cases, change directly pertains to losing weight. If done through means of exercising and eating healthier, losing excess weight comes with many health benefits, such as decreased risk of diabetes, decreased risk of heart disease, and lowered heart pressure. In addition, losing excess weight can help you be more happy with your body, thus improving your mental and emotional health.
Nevertheless, changing your figure does not mean damaging it. Sometimes, your ideal body type may not be “ideal” if it is not healthy. Similarly, it is not healthy to be obsessive with your ideal body or the numbers on the scale. Having an “acceptable” body should not be a number one priority, and if you are too obsessed with losing weight, your physical and even emotional health will be at stake.
This is why changing your body should be a positive process—not one in which you constantly push yourself to eat less, wear tighter clothes or give up your recreational activities. An optimistic process means one that is not morally or physically degrading.
Ultimately, this confident change is good. It is a compromise between what you want and what you have. Currently, females are pressured to fit in and accept her own body. Nonetheless, losing excess weight can be a compromise between what society wants these women to feel and what they really feel. In this way, women and girls are not longer torn between relenting to society’s expectations of having a fit body or relenting to society’s expectation of breaking free of the norm and being content with their bodies.
Now, gone is the frustration of having a flawless body, and coming up next is the happy, healthy body you deserve to have.