True beauty in eye of beholder

True beauty in eye of beholder

by Kate Anderson

Weight is a sensitive issue for many of us. It’s an issue so sensitive that candid speech is nearly impossible when talking to each other about weight, body size and eating habits. It’s an extreme paradox to how casually we can joke and criticize people for their weight though.

It apparently needs to be talked about openly and seriously since one of ten college women have reported significant eating disorders. Think of how many women suffer in private then.

There is an omnipresent reminder of media’s preference to thin people. Next time you’re waiting in line at a store and are scanning the beautiful images on the covers of magazines for women, try to find one that doesn’t advertise a miracle diet paired up with a hard bodied chick on the cover.

That’s another thing-why do stores only advertise women’s magazines like “Glamour” and “Family Circle” at the checkout lines? They must be stuck in the days when women did all the grocery shopping. But that’s another topic.

It’s a cruel place when a Mc Donald’s can be spotted every five minutes and yet we have to live with the media’s ridiculous expectation of us all to fit in Jennifer Aniston or Lara Flynn Boyle’s microscopic jeans.

We torture ourselves by feeling disappointed when we gain a little bit of weight or go off our diet. Most of us hold ourselves to the expectations that media images hold for us, which are very unrealistic for most active and healthy women.

Most high profile people make a career out of their appearance and often have to go to extreme lengths to reach that Audrey Hepburn look. What people don’t realize is that Hepburn starved as a child after the war, not by choice. It’s simply not realistic to be that thin.

Britney Murphy is hardly recognizable from her 1995 appearance in “Clueless.” Since then she has shed twenty pounds from her frame and ironically her career has taken off. Many people like Calista Flockhart and Courtney Cox Arquette contest that they’ve always been naturally thin. Flockhart has since admitted that she used to be bulimic when she was younger but that she’s completely natural now. Cristina Ricci has been more open about her battle against anorexia and says she was motivated by watching interviews with stars like Flockhart and Traci Gold to become incredibly thin. And these are the measures that we are held to!

We can convince ourselves that we don’t have to buy into the pressure of being thin and preferred by society. We’ll save ourselves a lot of disappointment by realizing what our own limits and capabilities are. We can lose weight safely and within reason. If limits aren’t set, weight loss can become dangerous and even fatal.

Not enough of us see how beautiful we are already. It’s too easy to look in the mirror and find fault. What we don’t realize is that we can improve our bodies, but we should find the things we love about ourselves, too. When we chase an image of desire too much, we forget that someone else might think we’re perfect already. When will we seem perfect to ourselves?