I’ve had a love-hate relationship with stepping on the scales throughout my life. When I was younger and comfort food was how I got my kicks, weighing myself just wasn’t something I did. I didn’t want to see the number slowly rising on the scales screen as I stood in the cold bathroom, shifting my weight from one foot to the other hoping that I could hide a few pounds. Fool the scale and fool myself. I didn’t want the feeling of sadness I’d get from seeing a figure 3 digits higher than the last time I’d checked. So I just didn’t do it. I avoided scales at all costs.

As you grow older, weight becomes something which you’re constantly encouraged to care about. The idea that we should care about that number which appears on the scales is drip fed to us and forced into our minds from every direction. The same celebrities who appear in your favourite relatable television shows and top the charts with their catchy songs about being strong and different also appear in your favourite trashy magazines, excited to death at the fact that they’ve lost a stone by eating only soup for a week (“and you can too for one payment of £75.00!!”).

Even when it doesn’t seem like we’re being told how to think - we usually are. Almost every single media outlet is contributing to this whether they mean to or not. It took me a long time to realise this. To discover that even my favourite magazines and my favourite celebrities were encouraging this diet culture which is nothing but damaging. Some of us can probably look at this as no big deal. I’m sure the celebrities themselves who do this probably see it as no big deal too. An easy way to make money. But when Vanessa Hudgens, who has a fanbase of predominantly young, impressionable, female fans, posts a harmless photo of herself on Instagram, smiling, stomach on show, holding up a box of ‘flat tummy teas’ and promising that they ‘definitely do work!!!’ - the whole charade becomes a little less harmless.

It doesn’t end here either. Noticing it can be difficult, but the more you open your eyes to it, the more you become aware of the fact that everywhere you look, the ideal body type is being fed to us. We have become a nation which associates thin with healthy. It’s black and white to us. There is no in between. And this association is almost entirely down to the media and the way it shoves this idea down our throats continuously.

The Daily Mail with it’s side bar of shame, carelessly circling bits of out of place skin on reality TV stars who dare to show off their figures which don’t resemble plastic barbie dolls. The Hollywood movies which only cast one build of male and one build of female in every film, unless that actor or actress is playing ‘the token fat kid’. The trashy magazines which have the audacity to promote self-love in one article, only to be followed by an advert for diet pills on the following page.

And it doesn't stop with their treatment of 'overweight' individuals. While slim is being promoted as the ideal body shape, it's at the same time being shunned and told to do better. You should be slim, but your bum should be big. Your waist should be narrow, but your hips should be wide. Your thighs should be small, but your boobs should be huge. The media contradicts itself constantly in a way that ensures that none of us will ever be happy with our bodies. Slim isn't good enough. Curvy isn't good enough. They want you to constantly feel like you're not enough. That you need them. This isn't an issue which is only affecting one body type.

These outlets are doing it wrong. They’re posing as your friendly big sister. They’ll teach you what makeup to use to make your eyes pop, which clothes to wear to suit your fruit shaped figure and which shoes will 'make your feet look 25% smaller!'. They want you to look a certain way. These publications claim to be feminist. They put slogans on their covers about starting your own girl gang, but inside their pages they still promote the ‘girls should be seen and not heard’ ideology. They want to shrink you. To make you so small that you become nothing but a docile consumer. But you are not here to be shrunk.

So, what I’m really trying to say is that I’ll be no part of this anymore. I'm scrapping trashy media which tries to tell me what healthy is. What I should look like and the exact number that should appear on the scale when I step on. The reality is that everybody is different. Slim, fat, curvy, thick, thin. These body types are all completely different and deserve to be looked at individually. No single one of these shapes equates to healthy and we need to stop acting like they do. In reality, as long as you’re happy and healthy in your own body, no matter what you look like or what shape you are, you’re absolutely, unbelievably beautiful. And no trashy media outlet can take that away from you.

Viewing your weight in a different way can be difficult and no single blog post is going to be able to change the ideologies which the media has pumped into all of us. I still struggle to remember that the numbers on the scale are literally just that: a number. Your body and your mind are the greatest gifts you’ve ever been given. It’s a miracle that you’re here, breathing, living, thinking such unique and beautiful thoughts. Your body deserves better treatment than those trashy magazines try to offer it. Whatever your shape, your size or your weight - you are a whole, complete individual. Growing your mind is so much more important than shrinking your body. Take up space.

1 comment :

  1. I love this post. Its so important to highlight the fact we're all being brainwashed into striving for this ideology of what the 'perfect' body is. I've completely stopped weighing myself now as I found that I has such a bad relationship with the scales, it would literally effect my mood for the entire day.

    Amy x