Yes, the ideal body type expected of a woman is skinny, but is that all to the picture? Our society loves seeing a skinny woman - not too skinny, however, with fat distributed in the 'right places'. We're talking about an hourglass body - a flat stomach, big breasts, and butt.
Fortunately or not, Kim Kardashian is the perfect example for this 'Slim Thick' figure that's seemingly the current body trend. I'm sure you're used to seeing hashtags and influencers with the 'perfect' body on your Instagram feed, which probably engraved this hourglass silhouette when you think of an ideal body. So, the question is, how is this body trend especially detrimental to petite women?
Skinny-shaming. In simple terms, it is defined as criticizing someone on how thin they look. Here's the thing. When I ask you about body shaming, you'll probably think of a person that's overweight as there are countless influencers promoting body positivity, showing curvy women showing and being proud of their bodies. That's awesome to see, of course. However, what about the flipside?
Little do people realize that some are actually shamed for being naturally skinny, especially in places where curves equal femininity, sexiness and attractiveness. If you're thin, I reckon you'll come across seemingly 'harmless' remarks such as 'you're nothing but skin and bones', 'do you even eat food?' or describing thinness with words like 'skeletal', 'bony'.
People who are lean fall victim to being the center of jokes. Just as some people find the word 'fat' or 'obese' insulting or triggering, people who are thin may find the word 'skinny' offensive. The thing is, people roll their eyes if a skinny person says they are so sick of their body. To be frank, no one really is aware that 'skinny-shaming' is a thing and fails to realize that they do not have a free pass to make obnoxious comments about someone's body. We might even think that it's okay to judge them for not 'supporting' the body positive movement, as others may desire a skinny body.
The never-ending pursuit for the ideal body type.
Having to receive comments about your body on a daily basis, it's not hard to imagine that there would be a lot of self-doubt and self-loathing. You won't want to look in the mirror. You won't be wearing shirts that show your arms. You won't be confident in yourself. In mild cases, some may dress in an oversized manner to hide the fact that they aren't curvy.
However, some may even fall into the rabbit hole — sowing the seeds of different obsessions, including overusing or relying on weight boosters, changing their eating habits into an overeating lifestyle, and obsessing over cosmetic surgery. Body trends are especially hard for people who are naturally skinny as they may very much desire to have a 'bubblebutt' or a curvaceous body.
It is mentally and physically taxing in the long run.
Research shows that body shaming, no matter skinny or fat shaming can heighten issues with problem eating. Fat shaming may lead to someone to eat more and actually put on additional weight. On the other side of the coin, when one is told that they're too skinny, they may eat less due to stress or anxiousness of people scrutinizing them even more when they do gain weight, sometimes without them even realizing.
Not only can one develop eating disorders, skinny shaming — constantly criticized about their weight and appearance can take a toll on one's mental well-being, if not resulting in mental disorders. And when you're skinny, people assume that you control your weight with crazy dieting, they assume that you must be stuck-up and vain when being shamed. They assume that when overweight people must hate their bodies they are insecure and needy while skinny people aren't.
It can tear down and break people, shatter their self esteem, and feel that they are always not enough, and not content.
Can we put an end to women's constant suffering from societal pressures to look a certain way, dress a certain way, or even speak a certain way? We are certainly not a mannequin displayed at a shop that is entitled to be rated. Yes, but it would be hard. and require every one of us to change and contribute. Be it the way we talk, we perceive someone, or perceive ourselves. It's either one day or day one. You decide.
And if you need to some inspiration, at designerfriday we want you to use these as reminders,
- Let's ditch the body trends may it be naturally skinny, ‘bubblebutt’ or a curvaceous body.
- Let’s stop this never-ending pursuit for the ideal body type, and self doubt and self loathing.
- Try positive talk every morning, and embrace the traits that makes you YOU.
- It matters the way we perceive someone, or perceive ourselves, so stop chasing the long list of traits that you are told makes you beautiful instead, embrace your uniqueness and beauty around you.
- Finally remember we are not a mannequin displayed at a shop that is entitled to be rated!