Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beauty vs. Health

I think most of us can probably agree that society has a pretty skewed idea of beauty in relation to healthy weight.  Take a look below at a "normal" model's body compared to that of a "plus size" model.  It is my opinion that Nicole's body does not look like the body of a "normal" woman.  She is a beautiful girl and what I saw on America's Next Top Model made her seem like a sweetheart.  However, I think more woman can relate to Whitney's body type which allows her to fill out clothing more femininely and realistically.
Whitney Thompson
Cycle 10 Winner
America's Next Top Model
"Plus Size" Model
Nicole Fox
Cycle 13 Winner
America's Next Top Model
"Normal" Model

I have long found myself frustrated by media coverage of celebrities, scrutinizing them for weight gain or weight loss.  If we treasure these people so much for their ability to sing, act, direct, or write, why should their weight be so important? 

Maybe a cause of weight gain/loss is the stress of the limelight. Maybe these celebrities privately have health conditions or prescription medications that cause the weight gain/loss. Maybe they are human and shouldn't be required to fit into someone else's idea of perfection.

Most recently, I have seen numerous articles and pictures of LeAnn Rimes in which she is being attacked for being thin, but she doesn't look unhealthy to me.  She looks thin, yes, but muscular also.  She looks like she's been working out.  But, most importantly, she looks happy.  At least, she looks like she would be happy if everyone would back off.
LeAnn Rimes - June 2007
Celebrated for her abs.
LeAnn Rimes - May 2011
Called "Scary Skinny"
Probably only a 5-10 pound difference.

I feel that I should clarify that I'm not coming to LeAnn's defense because I'm her "biggest fan."  In all honesty, I can only name two songs of hers that I like.  (LeAnn, if you ever read this, it's not your music.  I'm just not a fan of country music.)  So, the issue isn't that people are picking on my favorite, it's that people need to have something better to do in life than harass others about their weight - or about anything else for that matter.

Our culture puts so much emphasis on being thin that girls (and boys) develop eating disorders and addictions to exercising in order to please their peers and find self worth.  According to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, half of 11- to 13-year-old girls consider themselves to be overweight and eight of ten thirteen-year-olds have tried to lose weight. In a survey reported by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, the majority (91%) of women on a college campus had dieted in an attempt to control or lose weight.
An anorexic model on the runway.
How someone with anorexia views
the reflection in the mirror.
"The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females." (www.anad.org)

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