All bodies are beautiful: the stereotypes of beauty

All bodies are beautiful

FAT.

A three letter word. An adjective that can hold so much power over an individual.

SKINNY.

A five letter word. An adjective that can hold so much power over an individual.

In our society, if we ask which adjective would be considered positive, many would respond with “skinny.” People would think being skinny is a blessing, that falling under a specific weight category is a goal to aspire to. But it can also be a huge struggle. You might think being skinny comes with an endless shower of compliments, but this idealization is often the complete opposite. Many do not realize that “skinny” can be derogatory, and there are many people who fall victim to thin shaming.

As a teenage girl, I am aware of how critical weight can be for an individual.

I have friends who are all different sizes, all of whom are beautiful ladies. We all have our own unique way of expressing our beauty and we are all relatively satisfied with who we are.

There are days when we complain about the bones that jut out or that we can’t wrap our hands around our waists. But being part of an accepting group, sharing a friendship where we can express our dissatisfaction about ourselves and receive positivity in return has made me a little bit sheltered. Due to this, I have always been accepting of my body. I look at myself with satisfaction most of the time, and because of that I am comfortable with who I am.

It was not until recently that I really let criticism impact me. As a girl entering my first year of high school, I was and still am a little insecure about myself, especially being exposed to the eyes of over 1000 teenagers a day. This vulnerability left me as victim to many insults. Normally, I would not let this affect me, but being asked consistently “Do you even eat?” or “Holy, I can see your bones!” can be hurtful and degrading.

Some people cannot control being skinny.

No matter how much they eat, no matter how much they adore food, they barely gain a pound. I adore food. I also work out regularly and try to be healthy. But at times like this I question whether those efforts are taking effect because no matter how hard I try, I am seen as the complete opposite — malnourished and unhealthy.

Those who are victim to thin shaming can be accused of being bulimic or anorexic. Not only is it hurtful to accuse someone of having a serious medical condition, it is inconsiderate to the those suffering from these conditions, people who struggle with their body image every day only to have the severity of their situation tossed around like some insult.

In a culture so fixated on the superficial image of “real” beauty, it becomes harder and harder to face yourself in the mirror and accept the reality of yourself.

Beauty is defined as “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind.”

If I am satisfied with the way I look, am I beautiful?

We are not Barbie dolls; we do not all have the skinny waist and busty breasts, but if we can look at ourselves in a mirror and be comfortable with what we see, who is anybody else to judge?

This is my stand against thin shaming, my stand against the stereotypical claims of beauty; a superficial comprehension that in turn degrades the value of a person’s self-love.

Not all skinny people are counting calories, not all overweight people are insecure.

Some of us are just born the way we are, and some of us love the way we are no matter what size.

Don’t just think that our weight is a circumstance of our negligence, or one side of the spectrum has it better than the other, because really there is no spectrum and beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Regardless of a person’s size, face shape, or the style they wear, we are all unique and nothing should hinder us from expressing that individuality.