Two-Faced Media: Weight Loss vs. Body Positivity

Written by: Sakshi Kaur – Grade 11

It’s definitely no secret that the idea of having a “perfect beach body” has become a highly popular fad over the past years that many people are looking to achieve. Correspondingly, advertisement in the weight loss business has grown quite broadly alongside the population’s interest, as they continue to this day to aim to find endless methods that appeal to consumers’ growing wish of getting that flat, toned belly.

However, with rising awareness of the insecurities and pressure building mainly amongst the younger generations, the concept of “body positivity” isn’t that far behind in the race of influencing people on their choices about their body. Defined as “a radical redefinition and reclamation of the body” by The Ellipses Project, the idea of body positivity intends to make everyone with bodies of any size, color and gender see themselves in a new, positive light.

But when you see the subheads “Sexy Has No Size Limit” and “Drop Two Sizes in Two Weeks!” on the same women’s magazine cover only inches apart from each other, it can be inevitable to feel internally conflicted.marissa-miller-shape-magazine-cover

Over time, you could find yourself wanting to start doing squats just because those leggings looked so much nicer on that one model’s mile-long legs, and that’s okay! It’s neither wrong nor self-destructive to feel as though your body could use some fine-tuning. On the other hand, if you begin to feel that same uncomfortable emotion every time you look in the mirror or try on a new garment, the longing for a leaner physique can become overpowering. It can no longer become a fleeting wish, but rather immensely detrimental to your general self-esteem.

In the meantime, you could also come across an article in a fashion magazine with an inspiring story about how an overweight lady in her twenties found ways to love her body and throw away all her shape wear. Once again, it’s totally fine if you find yourself looking more into it to try to do the same thing! Forming a firm mindset and undefeatable confidence could just maybe be what you needed. Although if you find yourself mentally exhausted and constantly considering giving up by trying to build that much needed certainty and positivity, you’re on a path to a much longer trip to self-improvement than you expected ― one that you may never finish.

With media constantly promoting both these trends with full power from all directions, it’s hard to remain indifferent on the topic. But sometimes we tend to forget that it’s okay to make a change if we feel as though we should. What needs to be understood isn’t that you should live by society’s expectations, but rather that it isn’t wrong if you feel like you need a push, any type of push, towards what makes you happier to pose in front of that mirror in all your favorite clothes! We’re given endless pictures of what perfection looks like but we tend to forget that there is no proof on what a perfect body truly is, and if there ever will be one. We need to remind ourselves that perfection is what we make it to be; it’s however we choose to see it.

So how do you decide whether you want to lose weight or learn to love your body?  Simple, it’s whatever makes you happier in the long run.

If you feel as though you’ll never have a peaceful mind until you target those “trouble spots”, then work towards it! It doesn’t make you a slave to trends, but rather someone who knows what they want and reach for it.

If you feel as though you can train your mind and heart to block out your insecurities and embrace your true beauty, then you definitely can! It doesn’t make you lazy or incapable, but rather someone with an unbeatable mentality and deep understanding of themselves.

If you feel as though you can remain indifferent towards it all, then keep going. In the end, all that matters is youand only you, not how you look in those jeans. All that matters is your happiness and how you feel in that one beautiful body you have.

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