Skinny Syndrome

January 17, 2011
There is a word that is feared by every single girl in our society. It’s a word that is thrown around more than any other word and has devastating consequences. I’ll give you a hint. It starts with an “F” and ends with a “T”. Give up? I thought so. The dreaded word is “Fat”. The word alone has been known to make girls break down and cry, to change eating habits, and change lives. Now, I’m not just talking about being called fat by a peer, but also the internal thought of being this dreaded word.

In our society there is an influx in the number of overweight and obese adults. Teenagers and even children are steadily on the incline for obesity. We’ve all heard that. It’s in the news, magazines, books, movies, and pretty much anywhere else you can turn your head. But what’s more tragic than the weight problem, is the cultural shift in how to deal with such problems and role models for young boys and girls.

Our culture used to be that curves were the sexiest look. If you were curvy, you were sexy. Just look at Marilyn Monroe, she was curvaceous and considered to be one of the greatest sex symbols of the twentieth century. Now with role models like Kristen Stewart, who weighs about as much as a twig, Demi Lovato, who checked into rehab for body image issues as well as emotional distress, and Nicole Richie, who deserves no explanation, naming just a few, are shaping our country’s views on beauty. And what an ugly view it is.

With the media slapping the youth with images of size zero actresses and singers, girls think that THAT is beautiful. With commercials for diet pills, secret fat burning work outs, food, and diet plans, we are bombarded with monsters that are attacking our minds. Skinny girls are told to gain weight, but, what if she does then won’t she just end up overweight and dying to lose it? It’s better to be skinny than fat, right? No, and Girl’s with a little bit of meat on their bones get called fat and then run into serious problems as they try to lose it.

Image issues can lead to depression, suicide, bulimia, anorexia, among a plethora of other serious health concerns. The pressure to be thin is staggering to impressionable teens and they want way to deal with the greatest enemy; food. Girl’s pick at their food at school with the feeble excuse that they ate a big breakfast or that they are saving room for later. Some eat at lunch as they want, then slip into the bathrooms and induce vomiting so they can “purge” themselves of the evil lot. Is that what we’ve come to, thinking that the best way to battle against weight is to harm our bodies? How does that make sense?

Thin doesn’t mean healthy, being overly thin is just as dangerous as being overly heavy. And you cannot stay skinny by purging yourself, or skipping all together. Around 10% to 15% of girls die from anorexia’s complications. 50% of anorexics will have bone thinning, which can lead to osteoporosis. And it isn’t just a physical disease; a main component to anorexia is the mental aspect. When anorexics look in the mirror they don’t see their skeletal body, they see fat. Is it any surprise? Our culture is throwing everything at them saying, “You must be skinny!”

Male’s are often times over looked for having Anorexia. In a society where beauty for women is in their waist size, it isn’t the same for men. Generally, men can be heavier and no one tells them they’re fat. Bigger bodies help in sports, even if said person doesn’t play sports , it is an assumption. Skinny guys are just called scrawny. They mature physically slower than women so people attribute that to a lack of a decisive growth spurt. We can’t ignore this disease from either gender it is too dangerous and inconceivable that we would.

I know from experience what it feels like to hate my body and wish more than anything that I was that size zero. I look to the media and see images of beautiful girls I can never look like. But I realized something, not only is it physically impossible for me to be a size zero, and I don’t want to. I have hips and curves and I’m prouder of them than I’ve ever been in my life. Embrace your body shape girls and boys as well! You don’t have to look like a Kristen Stewart, look at Jennifer Love Hewitt, she has a beautiful curvaceous figure, and she is healthy! Not everyone’s body type is “skinny”. Don’t shoot for looking skinny, shoot for looking healthy. Stop purging, stop the meal skipping, eat right and get active and it will all fall into place. If you want to get healthier then eat more fruits and vegetables, stay away from processed foods, and exercise a few days a week. Don’t go overboard with it. If you’re happy the way you are, don’t let someone change you. You’re beautiful, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.





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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

Love.Hate.Passion. said...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm
I absolutely enjoyed reading your opinion essay. I would have liked more facts , rather than the lot of opinion you put into it. However , you captivated me by the passion you put into writing it. It had a good message throughout , and it was well-written.
 
Weepingwllow said...
Feb. 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm

That was very awesome, and well written.

 

Plz check out my work!:)

 
WithPenAndScript replied...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Thanks so much!

I'll be glad too!

What's one of your articles?

 
Markus This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm
I felt this was a solid, if brief, overview of the roots of anorexia. If I were to change a few things, I'd list death last when describing symptoms of anorexia and I'd explore further the idea of boys having eating disorders, but that's just me. 
 
WithPenAndScript replied...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Thank you for your sugestions. I didnt want to go too deep into describing, hoping people would be seek further information on the subject. I think I'm going to rewrite the boys section  though and give a better and more descriptive explaination. 

Thanks for reading! <3

 
Timekeeper This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm

This was a very well written piece! I suggest sending it in to your local newspapers and seeing if they'll publish it in the op/ed section!

These are serious issues that plague America's youth now more than ever before, and I am glad someone is speaking up about it.

On an unrelated note, I laughed at the idea of Kristen Stewart being a role model, plenty of guys find her simply unattractive and her publicized drug use leaves much to be desired.

 
WithPenAndScript replied...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm

THnaks for reading! I'm planning on submitting it in a couple of days. Let's hope they publish it!

I'll never understand the hollywood starlets, who are like a stick, can be considered beauty lol

 
leafy said...
Jan. 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm
i loved this essay, it was very well written. another thing about people who try to go anorexic is that sometimes they get so hungry from starving themselves that they eat a ton of food. then they feel bad for eating so much and either go back to starving themselves or make them throw up (bulimia). if they don't make themselves throw up, it can even cause them to get fatter instead of skinnier, which is their goal. but i'm not saying that making yourself throw up is good, for it can cause many h... (more »)
 
WithPenAndScript replied...
Jan. 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Thank you so much for reading this and commenting! It means a lot to me :)

Anorexia and Bulimia has so many sad facets to the disease i wish i could list all of them.  Thanks for adding that. If anyone reads this and has anorexia/bulimia I hope they realize how awful it is for their body.

 
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