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So, is this news to anybody?

I don't think it is. Girls feeling horrible about their bodies is nothing new, at least not in America, land of "You're not hot unless I can count your ribs" and "Hey kids, let's have dinner at McDonald's tonight!" We live in a world of contradictions. We are expected to be thin, but expected to eat unhealthy food. We look for the miracle of weight loss drugs, but profess the importance of exersize. There is no perfect weight, no perfect image, nothing is good enough.

What is the perfect size for a girl, or even a guy to be? Must women be stick thin to be considered beautiful? When does a woman become too fat? I know that *I* am overweight, I know that I am fat, but I look at some of my friends who say they would DIE to be thin, and I would DIE to look like them. THey have the natural curvy body of a woman. Isn't that atractive anymore?

They (and just who is this infamous they anyway?) say that around 60% of american adults are overweight/obese. But at the same time we keep pushing and pushing everybody to look like the skinny models. We see them on TV, we see them in magazines, in movies, everywhere, but we DON'T see them in real life. Why? Because they are FAKE FAKE FAKE. They have been airbrushed and edited to look that way. Legs lengthened, waist shrunk, ribs shadowed. I have to ask the guys out there who sometime read my journal, Do you honestly think this is attractive? Or is it kinda like "This is a fantasy, but not what I REALLY want" type thing? Kinda like "sure she might be hot, but I don't really want her"? Please let me know.

And what about guys? I personally am not attracted to super skinny boys. I like my guys with a bit of meat on them (mainly because I have this fear that I will break anybody smaller than myself). This does not, however, mean I like them muscle bound with rippling pectoral muscles. Women out there, how do you feel about male models? Are they too skinny, too built, are they unrealistic to the actual men in our lives? Are we guilty of lusting after fake men as men are with the women in ads?

So here's my hypothesis on why we as a nation are considered overweight. It has a couple of parts.
First off: I think a lot of americans have given up hope of achieving the "perfect" image, and have surrendered to a life of guilt free eating and lazy life style. They may die an early death due to obesity-related causes, but at least they get to die knowing they didn't have to restrict anything.
Secondly: We, as a nation, refuse to take personal responsibility for anything. This includes what we eat. We wouldn't be having a problem with diet obsessed prepubesent girls if we simply taught how to have more healthy life styles. How to eat nutrious, healthy meals at an early age. Learn to listen to our bodies when they tell us they are hungry or full. Create healthy eating habits. Instead, we take the easy way out, blame everything on images. Images DO have A LOT to do with body image, BUT I think that they are not fully to blame.

Now I understand that this does not apply to everybody. For some it is a deep psycological battle that they are going through. However, I think for a majority, it does fall into the two reasons I gave. Now is this the pot calling the kettle black? Hell, I know I need to lose weight, I know I need to eat more healthy and nutrious meals, and find a way to find a healthy LIFE STYLE. Notice I didn't say DIET. Eating should not be something that controls us, it should be a part of how we survive in a healthy manner. I am still searching for that way.
I dislike extremely muscular men. Bleh. But stick-thin's not my schtick, either. Somewhere in between. Lean, semi-muscular, whatever. I'm not THAT picky. But I don't like extremes.

There is a quote from Wasted that your entry reminds me of. I wish I had the book on me so I could include the quote or at least share it with you at Uncommon Grounds tonight. But alas the book is buried beneath a pile of untouched homework assignments on my bedroom floor, so I'll dig that out later and post it for you.

This is a very interesting and insightful entry. I look forward to discussing it perhaps this evening.
It's utterly discusting(sp?). It also saddens me. The nation needs a wake-up call. Depressingly I think articles like these are getting too common to do any good though.
That makes me absolutely sick. SICK SICK SICK. And you know what? Articles that MSN publishes on Health and Fitness just perpetuate these myths, talking about how women should have this amount of calories at each meal, tricks to lose weight, etc. You seem to have a pretty good attitude toward all of this, something I am working on myself. I might have told you a little about this, but, I spent 3 months in counseling last year because I got so obsessive and was basically in the downward spiral toward anorexia (luckily I realized that some of the shit I was doing to myself was really fucked up and some of my friends basically forced me to get help before it became a medical condition). Right now, my eating patterns are pretty normal and I'm very aware of what I eat (although I still have trouble not comparing what's on my plate to other people's and trying to eat less, and I still deny myself foods because of caloric content occasionally, two things I'm working on), but I really worry about these type of things now when I see other people doing them. I'm just doing my best to remember that as long as I keep up with working out (although I admit, sometimes I am a little too obsessive about my daily hour runs) and I eat healthy (and let myself eat junk when I crave it), I'll be healthy.

Oh, and the really sick thing? Since my weight never really got TOO low (i.e. I was never medically underweight) people COMPLIMENTED me on my weight loss, which was basically from self-starvation, which of course, just fueled the disorder more. Messed up, huh?

Shit, since I've said all this, I better remain anonymous, but it's only fair that you know who I am (and know that I am not some random wacko), I will give you clues...well, I'm out of the country now, but we did geet a chance to hang out a little this summer back in CA.
That is really sad. I personally choose to just live my life and eat when I need to eat. It might not always be the healthiest thing, but at least I am not starving myself. As far as guys are concerned, I am attracted to skinny white boys, but being with them is just scary because I am afraid I will break them. They are more of a fantasy than anything else really. There is something about a guy big enough to overpower me that just makes me more comfoartable, but I don't want them too big either...
Before I forget, a healthy eating routine basically consists of six (yes, six) small meals a day and make sure their "nutritious." This keeps the metabolism burning more steadily and consistly. My source for this type of info is a very intelligent and health concious friend/gym teacher. As an aside, a friend just told me to tell you that in ancient times, larger women were preferable. Also, if you begin losing weight, two pounds a week is a healthy average.
P.S. I will tell you all I know about healthy weight loss when next we meet or, if you have msn messenger: speedy2686@hotmail.com; aol: speed2686 (although, I'm rarely on that one).
Agreed. Eating shouldn't control us.

I can't say that I haven't given an attractive model more than a second glance, but I can say it's merely surface level and the body isn't generally what gets the second or third glances. There is so much to what makes up an attractive woman that weight barely plays a role.

Confidence is a big issue. It's the confident women, the ones who are confident in themselves and what they look like, who find what they want. Beauty is all in the mind, whether you believe it or not. Once you begin to believe that, it begins to take shape.

I can't say that women are the only ones with this problem. I definitely feel inadequate when I go to pools or I have to remove my shirt somewhere else in public. I regret feeling like that, but at least I know I'm not ultra-skinny. I eat, and I do weigh more than I look. But it's not bad knowing that your belly is the only place people look when they say you have sexual appeal. So embrace your assets, ignore your flaws, and all will right itself out on that front.