By Mareesa Miles
Lily Allen, “Hard out Here”
Lily Allen says it all in her new single, Hard out Here, which talks about the struggles of being a women in modern society. Sure things are changing, but women are still subject to impossible ideals. I don’t know about you, but when I wait too long to eat, or don’t eat enough, I get cranky. Stomp my feet and tell everyone to go away cranky. Believe me when I say, no one wants to be around me. Beyond that, not eating leaves me tired and dragging my feet throughout the day. And yet, almost 90% of girls feel pressure to be thin; they reach that goal by choosing not to eat. Photo shopped images that we all see as we slug through grocery store lines or look at clothing catalogs in search of the perfect outfits for the season reinforce this. With clothing being created for size zero girls, it is easy to assume that is the best way to be. NEDA claims that 70 percent of girls create ideals for themselves based on the magazines they pass on Grocery Store shelves, and the actresses they see in the movies. Rather than promote health they are promoting perfectionism. The very false ideal of beauty is set at THIN, too thin. It isn’t natural and it has sent females down a dangerous path towards the unachievable and the feeling of inadequacy.
Jennifer Lawrence, a 5’10’ beauty, is nowhere near overweight by any health standards, and yet she is call a “fat actress” in many of the tabloids. She is praised for refusing to lose weight for any roles, or to change herself to meet the criteria of ideal beauty. She never had any weight to lose, she should be praised for standing up for health. She has chosen the historically and scientifically the evolutionary ideal of beauty. But like girls looking at magazines and thinking that is how they should look, Lawrence was hurt by people telling her she had to lose weight; she had to be strong and stand up for her own beliefs, she had to remember that heath was key to happiness. She had to understand that she was at her best when her body was treated well. As humans we are naturally attracted to health, we want to see rosy red cheeks and bright eyes. Our hardwiring is not towards bones, bones and more bones. Don’t get me wrong, natural thinness has a look of health, it is incredibly different from forced thinness.
It is easy to fixate on an ideal image or body shape, but all bodies, all bone structures are different sizes. You could weigh exactly the same as the star you emulate and you will never look just like her. So why not choose to focus on keeping your body healthy and trying to have the most natural shape for your body type. So go to the gym, lift weights, go for a walk with your friends, eat what you want, but try to exhibit moderation. Stay away from the scale, don’t fixate on a size you think you ought to be, and just be who you are. Let your personality and heart guide you, not the way that you look. Take some time to look at what you love about yourself, or at least, what you should. Make a point of finding five things a day that you do like, or that you are proud of. Look in the mirror each morning and smile, tell yourself you are beautiful; you will start to believe it. Beauty is in confidence more than anything else. As Jennifer Lawrence put it in an interview on Nov. 12, “you look how you look and you just have to get past it. What are you going to do? Be hungry every day to make people happy? That is just dumb." The goal is to make yourself happy just the way you are.
- Make a list of 5 things to love about you.
- Focus on the features that make you feel good.
- Look in the mirror and smile, say to yourself, “I am beautiful.”
- Don’t compare yourself to others, but appreciate the unique person that you are inside and out.
- When you feel negative, stop and try to turn the thought into something positive.
- Set healthy goals for yourself with results you can look forward to.
- Breathe. Smile. And treat your mind and body with kindness.