We’re always being bombarded with images of beautiful women. But it’s no secret that the images we see are almost impossible to recreate in daily life. With endless airbrushing the way some people end up looking becomes unattainable, even for them! The obsession with weight and size and shape in the media is something that spills into the consciousness of us all.
The ‘circle of shame’ is popular in glossy magazines and used to point out the flaws of other women. A ‘red circle’ drawing attention to the imperfections of celebs may be mildly entertaining. But all it does is point out that a woman isn’t thin, pretty or perfect enough. Although who is perfect enough to really to judge them?
If the glamorous Hollywood belles can fall victim to the infamous ‘circle’ what hope do we ordinary girls have? Looking at someone else’s flaws may make you feel momentarily better about your own. But judging other women will do nothing for your own self-esteem. The media’s obsession with perfection is both unavoidable and unattainable.
So there is only one answer girls – we need to become role models for one another and start seeing the beauty in ourselves and those around us.
When people go on diets it’s usually more about losing weight than being healthy. Who can blame us though, when most of the so called ‘beautiful’ bodies we see in magazines and on TV are a size 6. So often you hear girls bragging about how many pounds they’ve lost in 1 week. And saying that someone has lost weight is usually taken as a compliment.
If you're unhealthy it can be a long a process to getting your health back on track. All the celebs seem to be able to get in shape really quickly, but remember that they have a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a whole load of other people whose job it is to keep them looking good, and time is on their side.
Whilst we hate to sound a bit boring the fact of life is that just about everything is fine in moderation. Being happy isn't about how you look; it's about how you feel about yourself.
We do need to add that there are times when being 'plus-size' in normal terms can be unhealthy or lead to poor health in later life, no matter how happy you may be in your mind. So a bit of moderation isn't a bad thing. More of that elsewhere in this week's issue.
However show everyone that you love your healthy body and you'll soon be getting compliments about how well you look. Accepting the way that you are will make you feel great, be proud and be confident. (Cue inspirational music and cheering crowds.)
February saw the first ‘Plus-Size’ London Fashion Weekend. You may think it’s great, fashion embracing the larger lady. Shockingly though, the ‘plus-sized’ models were from size 12 and up. The event is great in challenging the conventional catwalk sizes but the fact still stands that it has to be called ‘plus-size’ even though it’s a long way from normal reality.
The average (so presumably ‘normal’) size of women in Britain is between 14 and 16. From Doctor Wellgood’s point of view that would make a ‘plus-size’ start at 18. The fact that models over a 12 are deemed ‘plus-sized’ says a lot about the fashion industry. Being considered ‘plus-sized’ would damage any girl’s confidence and make her feel like she needs to change.
In health terms it means that many people who are the actually the typical 14-16 size for a British woman stress about losing weight. The influence of the media over our view of the ‘normal’ sized woman is damaging the view we take on our own bodies. Striving to be thinner than we are does not lead to a happier life. A healthy body is more attractive than trying to be thin; it will also make you feel a lot happier.
Even though we know the facts, it’s hard to escape the pressure to be thin. Whether it’s the January push to lose the Christmas pounds, or the hysterical pre-summer bikini body diets.
Being too thin can have negative effects on your health. In our society thinness is portrayed as being the same as beauty. Idealising thinness can lead to you becoming too concerned with your size and in the worst case can lead to eating disorders.
Obviously there are ways to lose weight in a safe and healthy way if you need to. But what about those fad diets you hear about? The one that your friends mum, or Aunty’s colleague, has lost loads of weight by doing?
The reason that fad diets often ‘work’ is because they dramatically cut down your calorie intake. Although this will work in the short term it isn’t really doable in the long term. If you suddenly go back to your old habits after coming off the diet you’re going to be right back where you started.
You don’t need a scientist to tell you that surviving on an apple a day or a spoonful of maple syrup isn’t going to do anything good for your general long term health or short term wellbeing. To improve your overall health and lose a few pounds in the process you need to make a proper change to your lifestyle.
It isn’t easy to make changes – as they say no pain, no gain. You will need to put in some effort. Your body is used to your eating ‘habits’ and any habits are hard to kick. But just imagine the feeling when you do. It’s simply about eating the right things in the right amount. We know what they are, but it’s sometimes just easier or too tempting not to. Kate Moss famously said that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Most of us would think she’s never had the right sort of warm chocolate fudge cake!