I think that a lot of women want to maintain a thin image because that’s what seems to be attractive to most people. Women don’t want to get “fat” because they will be treated differently. I hear a lot of girls I know, teens and early twenties, that talk about their fear of getting fat. They don’t want to go out and eat because they’re going to gain weight. If they go up a size in jeans they want to stop eating and start exercising.
I think the point people miss is that they need to be healthy. There are a lot of “skinny” girls that are not even close to healthy, and there are a lot of “fat” girls that are healthier than most people. Everyone’s body is built differently. The media and society constantly reinforce this idea of the beautiful image and the way all women should look, and it is completely unrealistic for all women to actually achieve this look. The fear of being fat leads young girls to eating disorders, self harm if they don’t like their body, and isolation from their peers.
A lot of people don’t realize how seriously teenage girls take this. They want to fit in and they want to be beautiful, but society only gives one image of beautiful. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that there are so many different kinds of beautiful, and it’s not all just about looks. Bodies are beautiful, big or small, but no one ever pays attention to intellect. There are so many things that make people beautiful and society needs to let this be known so young girls won’t have to harm themselves in order to fit in to this image that can’t even be achieved. Girls need to have confidence in their bodies, even if it isn’t society’s idea of “skinny”. The media is so influential, and they should use it to be body positive.