As I sat at my desk flipping through the October issue of Teen Ink, “Numbers on a Scale” by Jenny N. caught my eye. “Numbers on a Scale” shares the story of the narrator, who had visited her relative’s house for a week and had to deal with her aunt’s extreme “concern” for her weight. She had been called “overweight” by her own blood relative and was even forced into a strict 1,500 calorie diet. The narrator received a different meal- meals that were close to bland leftovers that had been sitting in the refrigerator- compared to the other guests. Because she was deemed “unhealthy” by her aunt, the narrator had received a different level of treatment. Jenny N. portrays the idea of beauty standards in a sense that I can easily understand and relate to.
Beauty standards can vary depending on the country or region people belong to. Different places have different expectations and preferred looks. Some people can obsess over health. Being “skinny is not the new healthy. A good diet is based on nutritional value, not just the amount of calories one consumes.” At an age where our bodies are still growing, we cannot afford to starve ourselves. Health comes first; preferred body goals comes in second. People like the narrator’s aunt believe that what a person’s body looks like determines the type of person they are. As an adult, the aunt should care about how the narrator is doing in life and not how heavy she is. Jenny Nguyen captures how human beings narrow in on looks and bodily features too often. Our weight should not make us less confident because after all, they are just “numbers on a scale.”