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Fatty: A Teen Girl's Perspective

“Fat”. It’s the one word teenage girls love to say but hate to hear. It’s no secret that we host an unhealthy addiction to obsession over weight. You’ve surely heard, or even experienced, the horror stories concerning the measures some girls go to in order to shed those unsightly pounds. Vomiting, starvation, or some bizarre combination of the two are only the tip of the iceberg.


Advertisers tempt us with guarantees of magical pills and 2-week diets that will give us the flat tummy we hunger for. We’re even lured into buying shoes that supposedly give us “better legs and a better butt” (thanks a lot, Reebok). The media joins this frenzy by shamelessly showcasing celebrities with bodies most of us would kill for. I can’t watch a TV show without thinking, even if ever so briefly, 'I wish I was as skinny as her.'


Being a “chunky” girl myself, I am not immune to the false promises shoved into my face each day. I love playing sports, but I also love to eat. Where I live, there are no opportunities to participate in sport teams outside of school. Once the season is over, you’re stuck. Sure, there’s a gym, but once the schoolwork starts piling up, that isn’t such a great option anymore. So what do I do? Fall back on those ridiculous media-generated scams, of course.


Needless to say, that was not a success.


Nowadays, even technology has cleverly taken advantage of teenage girl’s and society’s all-consuming mania over weight loss. Indeed, what I refer to is the monotonic WiiFit. Not only does WiiFit prove useless for its alleged purpose of “exercise”, but it also labels it users in no uncertain terms. I tried it for the first time at a house with a group of my friends. At first, I took it as a lighthearted joke. I eagerly jumped onto the scale and waited impatiently as it ‘measured’ me. Immediately following this, I was told that I was in grave danger of being overweight.


Nonetheless, I kept my cheery smile on. As the WiiFit blubbered on about its tendency to disregard the fact some people have sturdier builds, I told myself that all of it was a bunch of hooey. Besides, I wasn’t that much heavier than one of my friends, at least, so we would both be able to laugh about our “danger” soon enough.


Guess what? One by one, my friends climbed onto the WiiFit scale, and one by one they were proclaimed to have a perfectly healthy weight. I couldn’t believe it. Naturally, I cheered and laughed with them, but I also began to feel even more self-conscious than I ever had. It didn’t help that they also let the WiiFit weigh them, and...well, let’s just say that I was a good deal chubbier than the heaviest one.


I didn’t forget to take into account the inaccuracy of the WiiFit, yet a pit formed in my stomach that never quite went away. I found myself asking why I cared so much about being thin, and the answer was obvious. All I wanted was to be like the women in the weight loss ads, the glamorous celebrities on the red carpet, or merely my own friends. What I didn’t want to be was myself, and that was absolutely wrong.



Today’s beauty is thin, alluring, and proudly wears a skimpy bikini; how many of us can say the same about ourselves? No one is completely happy with their body. Skinny girls yearn to have curves; plump ones desire a slimmer figure. Tall girls want to shrink, while short girls wish they would shoot up like weeds. Blondes change to brunettes in a snap, and brunettes turn blonde just as fast. It’s disgusting how the media and seemingly harmless games can make us feel so bad about ourselves in a matter of seconds. I wonder if there will ever be a day when “fat” is just another word that isn’t so important in life; a word way behind “family,” “friends,” “love”....and “food.”



Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

jaymishae said...
Jul. 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm
I love this article and how it expresses what so many people feel. I am mostly comfortable with my body, but at my friends house, I used the wiifit and it said I was overweight, even though I weigh the same as my "healthy weight" friend and I'm 3 inches taller. It made me extremely self-concious. I really loved your article and hope that it could get attention to change how women and teens view themselves.
 
tikapeek97 said...
Jun. 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm

It is a great article. One thing everyone thinks is that people who are overweight eat all the time. That is not always the case.

I loved your article, good job.

 
Aderes18 said...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm
I agree! Personally, I like my body but sometimes I feel like a little chubby. Also, I am a petite girl and a lot of people make fun of my height. The thing that I feel uncomfortable about is my face. There are many days where I don't like my face. I have my wiifit and I like to play on it. The wiifit does make me feel conscious about my body. Mine's always says that I'm overweight. I hate how the media portrays girls. The girls that we see on TV aren't like girls in real life.  
 
Steph_423 said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 8:45 am

I think its horrible the way media images of girls and women impact our self-esteem. FAT is not a dirty word - think about this: if you had no fat on your body, you would be dead. seriously!

Girl Scouts is trying to stand up to the unhealthy media images of girls and women! The organizations supports a bill called the Healthy Media for Youth Act (H.R. 4925)!

It's a great bill that does three things:

1. supports media literacy programs for youth that would help us learn ho... (more »)

 
Hay_Wire This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm
love your style, and the topic. great job. gonna go check out more of your work...
 
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