Better Body Image

By ASHLEY BANKS

Staff Writer 

Weight and body image issues have been prevalent in the media in recent years. 

More often than not, the media focuses its attention on the overweight. 

From shows like “The Biggest Loser” to news stories on the obesity epidemic, you might get the impression that overweight people are the only ones who have problems with their bodies. 

This is far from being accurate. 

I recently came across a blog called “This Is Thin Privilege,” which is basically an outlet for people to talk about how much easier skinny people have it. 

I’ve also seen countless posts online about how “real women have curves.” 

Some people might not realize that just because someone is skinny doesn’t mean that they can’t have issues with their body image. 

It is just as hard, if not harder in some ways, to be underweight as it is to be overweight. 

Trying to find age-appropriate clothing is incredibly difficult when even the extra smalls in the junior’s section are too big. 

I think in some ways trying to gain weight can be even harder than trying to lose it. 

There are countless diet and exercise plans to assist people in losing weight, yet there are none that exist to help people gain it.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had people tell me that I’m “too skinny” or that I “need to eat a cheeseburger” to gain weight. 

I’m willing to bet that those same people would never tell someone that was considered to be overweight to either lose weight or eat a salad. 

Being really skinny or even underweight can give you just as much mental grief as being overweight.

I’ve seen and heard so many remarks along the lines of “real women have curves.” 

Attacking people for being skinny to make yourself feel better is just as bad as attacking someone overweight to make yourself feel better. 

There is no definition of a “real woman.” 

Women come in all shapes and sizes, whether it be a 00 or a 12.

I’m not saying that discrimination against the overweight doesn’t exist. 

I’m saying that there is a double standard. 

Cliche or not, we all need to work on accepting ourselves and others at more than just face value.