“I’m so fat!” is an overly common exclamation heard from teens everywhere. But of course, it’s no wonder we hear this when ridiculously addictive teen magazines and TV shows idolize rawboned youth.
Relentlessly, they showcase beautiful, glowing, bronze-skinned, and malnourished celebrities to the world. Even children waiting in line with their parents at the local supermarket are exposed to a constant volley of perfect bodies, skin, hair, eyes and teeth. The highly sought, underground world of entertainment has cast a spell of inadequacy upon those of us who are not a size one or less.
Sadly, many teens fall for the appealing photos and headlines that tend to set an example of what we, as people, should look like. After spending a couple years faithfully trudging through the thick, glossy inches of Glamour, Seventeen, Cosmo and Self magazines, I began to discern a pattern. The summer issue, the fall issue, the December issue, the flirty spring issue! They are all infallibly designed to enlighten and cater to your rotating, seasonally diverse fashion needs and musts. But what of the whole weight issue?
Magazines try to help when it comes to being healthy, providing tips on exercise, eating, mind-set, organization and planning skills and ways to avoid gaining weight in the first place. Maybe the enrapturing close-ups of make-up and clothing models are meant to inspire those who envy them, generations of pliable minds and bodies to be thin, and become immortalized in the rapidly turned pages of Vogue.
Very rarely do they tell the readers that the road to modeling success is usually littered with unhappiness, family crisis and eating disorders.
So rather than posing half nude with a candy bar, or something outlandishly similar, models should be posing on the track, on the field, in the game or involved in helping others reach their goals. Since they are such an important attribute to society, they should be positive “role” models in every way, and not because they fit exquisitely into skin tight jeans.
Due to the above circumstances, many teens have been physically and psychologically hindered in blooming into healthy adulthood. Not measuring up, and being labeled as “fat” by society’s skimpy guidelines, does nothing to improve their health and positive self image.
Ultimately, the best way to look and feel as beautiful as an upfront celebrity or model is to make up your mind to do something about your body.
It’s common knowledge that exercising is good. It’s also common knowledge that smoking is bad. Why is it then, that people tend to do the opposite of what is proven to be good for them? It would seem that we are not searching for answers, just someone to do it for us.
It would be great for someone else to run a mile, so you can lose the weight. Or great if artists painted our insides to be as beautiful as our outsides, but it’s just not possible. It’s all about motivation, finding some positive inspiration and channeling it into self-improvement. The recurring theme here seems to be “self” and for good reason.
How can you better others, when you cannot even find the strength to better yourself?
I once read that, “Health is measured by how you feel, not by how much you weigh.”
And ever since I ran across that sentence of truth and inspiration, I’ve tried to live my life by it. After all, if you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.
Self-appreciation doesn’t just blossom overnight. Only by sifting through the outer layers of vanity and, possibly, carefully applied, publicly magnified make-up, can you learn to like and appreciate yourself. In reality, no hyped-up, meticulously edited fashion magazine is ever going to love you back. It happens to be one of those do-it-yourself things.
Sophia Taeschner is a sophomore at Skyview High School.
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