DISCLAIMER: MYP 4 students have submitted their Op-Eds to the St. Francis Post, below is one of the four chosen pieces that will be published. None of the opinions shared below reflect the beliefs of this newspaper and all articles have been edited for length and clarity.
Body image. The following two words have recently become common in all of the social media platforms, whether they are used negatively or positively. Do they convey love and security, or impose desire to alter oneself and shame? Often, you’ll find a picture guide comparing a woman’s body shape to fruits or objects on either social media or magazines. How do we allow ourselves to be compared to fruits?! This “guide’s” purpose is usually to once again enforce the notion that certain body shapes are more desirable than others. Women are receiving so much pressure from all directions, whether it is from people around them, Instagram, sports and countless other places.
We are in 2019, feminism started decades ago, and how come can body representativity still be an issue that directly impacts the lives of almost all women? The movement of body representativity is part of a bigger movement which is a plea for more diversity. After decades of a culture based on stereotypes (white, slim, blonde hair, young women) we are moving now into a much more open mindset acknowledging the beauty in diversity. However, there is still a lot of pressure regarding our image on social media. There are more and more role models who promote different kinds of beauty and they are slowly changing the way we look at beauty. Rihanna and Beyonce have played a critical role here. Interesting to see how Barbie dolls have evolved!
However, body diversity is still a big issue we have to fight against. Lots of progress has been made yet lots still has to be made. Some of the things that have changed reproduce the same logic, so we need to be careful that promoting diversity doesn’t end in imposing other models. For instance “I’m bringing booty back. Go ahead and tell them, skinny bitches, that,” said Meghan Trainor. These songs and artists were praised for their unique celebrations of “more realistically proportioned” women. Accepting larger people who don’t fit into the slim standards of pop-culture beauty is not at all a bad thing. Yet most artists criticize one body type (skinniness) to show their size acceptance, which presents a problem. What is important is to let women being free, without any pressure about how their body is or should look like.
There is nothing wrong in wanting to be more attractive or in the desire to feel better with oneself. We live in a society where the image is everything, feeling and looking good is important. The question that we should ask ourselves is: how far am I willing to go to change myself to become ‘perfect’ according to the standards of society? Before considering something as drastic as cosmetic surgery, we should make sure that we are happy to be who we are, I mean inside because the outside can change at any moment. Plastic surgery is an ultimate manifestation of the objectification of women.
You are born with your face, nose, eyes, lips, body shape for a reason. To be unique. How boring would it be to live in a world where everyone was just like you? Women in particular usually comprise the majority of this crowd. I’m not saying that men aren’t discriminated, and not all women are insecure about their bodies.
Something most of us already know which research confirms is that for women the main reason for dissatisfaction when looking in the mirror is the shape and size of their bodies. Women, of any age, from anywhere, should know not to compare our body types to others. You should not change your body to please someone. Don’t ever, EVER allow someone to tell you how you should look like or even judge the way you look. “I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me” said Serena Williams a role model for so many girls around the world.
Because by doing that, you’ll not be only changing the way you think or feel about yourself, you’ll be losing yourself and be just a fruit! I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to be a banana…