Have you ever thought about how we arrived at this point in history? I mean, how we got to the ‘ideal’ body that we see pretty much everywhere - peachy bum, tiny waist, perfectly perky boobs? Body standards, just like fashion trends, change every couple of years. If being beautiful is something we're 'supposed' to focus on as women - how are we ever supposed to keep up?
There's an amazing video on CNN Health that puts this into perspective. It shows how the ‘ideal’ female body has changed, starting before the 1900s, until this current moment in time. The accompanying article talks about how these changes in ‘ideal’ body have affected women's body image and relationship with food.
I'm sharing this because we've found ourselves, as a society, at a point where women's bodies have been turned into commodities measures of sexual attractiveness, and a currency for value in the world. And that's messed up how a lot of us relate with our bodies, and subsequently, how we relate with food.
Because of this pressure to keep up with body standard/image trends, many women over the years have resorted to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as eating disorders (like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa), substance abuse and taking detox teas, weight-loss pills with questionable side-effects, not to mention body modification surgeries which can be life threatening.
It breaks my heart to think that so many women and young girls are carrying this burden, every day of their lives, about how they aren't enough and ‘fixing’ their bodies is the solution.
The point of the video is to show that body standards are fickle - they're ever-changing, pretty much just like fashion trends. It's dangerous for us to try to keep up, because that's when we end with unhealthy relationships with food and our bodies, and a completely broken sense of self.
What are your thoughts on how unrealistic body standards affect women? I'd love to hear from you - leave a comment below or DM me on Insta @iamtshepangpooe.
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