Wait what? Half a stone – in a week? no that’s not good. Not in any way or by any measure. That’s an unsafe and unsustainable weight loss.
Hang on – you’re 13? What the….
The Keep it Real Campaign estimate that just over half of all 13 year olds have weight concerns and have dabbled with diets. This concern with image is found in children as young as 6!
It’s not just girls but boys tend to be under different pressures: to bulk up, to be beefier, to add muscle.
Where does a child of 13 get the idea that diets and half stone weight losses are positive from? Adults? Parents? The media? Our whole society is rubbing women out. Slimming us down, thinning us out. A nip here, a tuck there. A mouse click to remove inches, to shape, to tone…
We’ve all seen the like. Poor Britney here carved up on a computer screen and, effectively, rubbed out to take up less space in the world.
Then there’s the current preoccupation with Snapchat filters and the Barbie look. These filters use evolutionary psychology principles to create more ‘appealing’ images. They increase eye size, smooth out complexions, widen foreheads and thin down necks. All of these are synonymous with the idea of retaining juvenile features in an adult face. Known as neotenous features, these are intended to increase attractiveness and suggest vulnerability. Tell me again how these are ‘fun?’ Why are they mostly targeted at women? And by whom?
These trends are insidious. They are misogynistic and they are damaging. Think about it. Why are we not ok as we are?
The next time you are tempted to fake your appearance ask yourself this. Would I want a 13 year old to feel pressure to look this way? If the answer is no? You’d probably be better giving them a positive, empowered and naturally beautiful role model to emulate. Just as you are.
You are enough.