Let’s Talk: Body Diversity

Genevieve Soto, Staff Writer

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As a person who is very interested in the fashion world, I’ve been seeing the issues of body diversity. Something that has sparked this thought deeper in my mind was the Fashion Show event here at Bullard.

When I attended, I saw that the students modeling these clothes given to them were all within the thin region. I did, in fact, get upset by this because the fashion industry is more than thin, fit models walking down the runway.

In this society, we have set this ideal image of what we should look like. This image of having the perfect body which contains the hourglass figure for women, or toned abs and a built structure for men. And the problem is that not everyone has the body type to get that look.

Taking an outside view of the world, we have many different body shapes, but plus-sized fashion is trying to fight for their way in the industry. There’s a lot of back lash on plus-sized models nowadays saying that they glorify obesity. In reality, the plus-sized category of people just want to show what they got and be more confident for once.

As someone who is also more on the thicker side, these images in society do have a huge effect. Not only does it have an effect on plus-sized people, but children and teens. I see these images of the so called “perfect body” and it takes over my mind, it makes me ashamed of the way I look.

It plants the idea in my mind that I will not be good enough or likeable until I look “perfect.” The constant criticism I give myself over this silly image did lead to something even more negative.

In the 7th grade, I began to binge eat, which is when you consume a ton of food then try to throw up afterwards. My body didn’t allow me to really throw up, so I turned to starvation. As of today, being in 9th grade, I still continue to struggle with my eating habits.

I can go days of starving and not caring of how weak I feel since I have that ideal goal in my brain. But once I touch that little piece of food, I eat again and feel ashamed.

It got so bad that I had begun to obsess over my calories. One day, I cried over eating just 10 calories. But I’m not the only one who experiences these thoughts that lead to eating disorders; there are many other people today who struggle with the same issue.

Struggling with so much negativity that either I gave to myself or people gave to me based on my weight, I had to learn to just do me– to learn how to love myself, and that I don’t need anyone’s input on MY body just to feel valid.

Our society has slightly opened up to more body types due to body activists, but we still have a lot to put out there. One body activist in particular, Ashley Graham, has really been pushing the confidence on different body types out to social media. Ashley is a plus-size model who has ran many campaigns based on showing all body figures.

She really emphasizes and embraces the idea that all body types are beautiful and that you don’t need to have a specific body to feel valued, pretty, sexy, or any compliment that people wish to be.

One campaign that Ashley was in was the #PlusIsEqual. This campaign was created to represent all body types and to push out the idea that plus-sized people are a priority in the fashion industry. The models claimed that they do in fact know there is much more progress to be made.

Though 67% of women range from size 14-24, the media still fails to represent them. The inequality still exists.

I wish that one day, society will learn to accept themselves and that this “perfect picture” isn’t relevant anymore because in reality, not everyone looks like what everyone wants to be. Even if you do have the body, people will pick on you more based on your other features. So, if you have the body, you don’t have the “perfect face.” If you have a pretty face, you still don’t have the right body. That’s how ridiculous it has become over these silly labels.

There will always be flaws on everyone whether it’s cellulite, stretch marks, crooked teeth, scars, etc. All we see is what is put on magazines which are, in fact, photoshopped. Instead of tiring ourselves out, why don’t we just give some love to ourselves for once? If you’re insecure about yourself, it will take time to get to that point, but it sure will be worth it. Flaunt what you’ve got and just do you!

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