Sunday, February 26, 2012

Media Moment, "My Fat, Beautiful Body"

I wish there were more articles like this in the media, about loving your body and being comfortable with something you, most times, cannot inevitably “fix.” And this doesn’t have to resound with just females- it can also extend to guys. “Body image,” as the author writes, “isn't really about the image of bodies. It's about the holistic relationships we have with our bodies. It's about how bodies look, how they move, what they feel like, and how we treat them.” There are plenty of girls who either try hard to lose weight or gain weight to fit the “normative” standards of beauty but when they look at themselves in a mirror, all they see is an ugly duckling still far from pretty.
We are taken with her into the ballet class she attends and witness her most edited thoughts and reactions to her own body as well as the bodies of her classmates. Her struggle is unquestionable as we see through the lens of her own eyes. She’s been pressured about her weight since she was 8. The people she held important to her, namely her Dad, assisted in weakening her confidence– he told her at 16 that he would buy her a car only if she lost weight, after numerous tries of her dieting from young, with no success. Its sad that many don’t get the help they need from the most influential people in their lives.
Although she is extremely self-conscious throughout the ballet class, which is probably one of the most vulnerable experiences in her day, she reassures herself that she is beautiful, her body is her own and that in itself makes her a winner.

How would one accepting themselves as a “fat” girl/guy? How can they balance that and make sure their health is up to par? 


  1. Joanna you bring up some really fascinating points about unrealistic social expectations that are imposed on our self-image today. To answer your question, I think that in order for one to accept their identity and image, it is important to divorce themselves from a title of being inferior, of being "fat" or imperfect. I think that this all leads to major factors that we discuss during class of ideologies formed by the media. One step towards self-acceptance is breaking down the perfected, unrealistic images of beauty that we see portrayed on television, magazines, etc. Of course, this is extremely difficult to accomplish because majority of the population is highly influenced by these ideologies also, and treat others in accordance to the framework setup by the advertisement industry. All in all, I don't think that there is a direct or easy solution to accepting one's body, but I do think that understanding the line between truth and packed beauty is the first step to recovery.

  2. As someone who has struggled with body-image issues relating from weight, I can tell you in my experience that it is a life long struggle. It is all well and good to say things like "learn to love yourself" and other self-help mantras, but the reality is that I live in a world where I am told that because I am a larger-than-average man that I am somehow less-than. Now I have come to certain personal realizations over the years as I have always been a bear sized man, and a large one (pun intended) like Viktorsha said is really understanding the truth behind the social manipulation of what beauty is, and how the package being sold is an unrealistic that it causes you to consume in an effort to conform. One you accept that you will never be perfect you can begin to learn to accept yourself for who you are, if not love yourself completely.

  3. Many Americans are dissatisfied with their bodies because their weight does not reflect the prevailing ideal of thinness in our society as promoted by the media. Delusional aspirations are implanted in our conscious only when we compare our bodies to others. There’s a lot of emphasis on body weight and the overall appearance of our physicality. Being healthy means more than just wearing the right size. To be healthy is to have the full use of one’s body and mind. Eating sensibly is a start but also building up one’s self-esteems is crucial. Is important to compose a personal body ideal that harbor our own particular shape and features. Focus on what makes us feel happy and groovy.