How about promoting a healthy lifestyle?
This week Jamelia found herself at the end of some very harsh criticism following some comments she made during her recent appearance on Loose Women. On the programme she was discussing obesity and she put forward her opinion that high street popular stores should not stock clothes for obese teenagers. I think that this is a little harsh; I don’t think anyone should be excluded from doing or wearing what they like. But, I also really do think she should have considered what she was saying before she made the comment. However, at the other end of the spectrum I genuinely think that the backlash she is getting from this is somewhat unfair and I certainly don’t agree with the #WeAreTheThey campaign that has come to fruition following her interview.
Before I go any further I would like to assure everyone that I am not against a woman embracing her figure, whatever that may be, and being comfortable in her own skin is absolutely the most important thing for any woman (or man for that matter). Nobody is perfect, and in my opinion the definition of conventional beauty standards is absolutely ridiculous. We all have curves, we all have cellulite and we all have arms and thighs that wobble that little bit too much! However, in saying that I also do not agree with clearly obese people positioning themselves as role models…they are not!
Over the years there have been many discussions about the unhealthy anorexic figures of young models and women used in the public eye used for advertising and marketing purposes. The amount of time and money that has been put into campaigning for these models to be removed from their jobs or smaller size mannequins replaced with fuller figures ones is massive. I agree with this completely, but why? Why do I agree? Well because these skeletal women are promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, promoting a body image that will ultimately lead young people aspiring to look like this with health issues that could, ultimately lead to death. These campaigns continue to pour money into helping people to have a positive body image and living a healthy lifestyle. Dove is one brand that springs to mind that does this brilliantly and I think every one of the women they use is an absolutely stunning representation of real beauty.
Why then, it is ok for us to look at ‘too skinny’ people and condemn them for their unhealthy life choices meanwhile not being allowed to say one bad word against those on the other end of the spectrum. I’m afraid to use these two words in conjunction with each other but here it goes, ‘too fat’ people are given a free pass to celebrate their unhealthy choices and their health problems as being a role model for young people. This I am not ok with.
If I ever have a daughter I would absolutely not want her to look at the models in glossy magazines or the skeletal forms walking on a catwalk and aspire to this as a beauty ideal, but at the same time I would not want her to look at a severely overweight person, clinically classed as obese with masses of health problems as being ok either. There is a healthy balance that needs to be considered here. People need to begin to realise there is such a thing as ‘too fat’ and it’s dangerous for your health. We need to stop being afraid of saying this, just as we are not afraid to say someone is ‘too skinny’, by all means embrace your curves or perhaps lack of, love your differences, stand our from the crowd and be happy with what you have. The focus needs to be on a healthy lifestyle whatever shape or size you come in.