READ THIS LINK, READ THIS READ THIS. Please.
some key excerpts:
For the record: Teenage girls are so goddamn moody because they are always fucking hungry.I guarantee you that every teenage girl’s angst is amplified ~300% because she is 1) miserable because she’s on a diet and hungry 2) miserable because she’s “on a diet” but just ate a cake and feels really guilty and is considering regurgitating it 3) miserable because she’s given up on dieting and resigned herself to being “fat”. And why do we do this to ourselves?
Because we want to be thin and beautiful.
… The time when I was my skinniest and most photographically beautiful (i.e. I looked magazine-cover-skinny) was also the time when I was at my weakest, in all senses of the word. I was constantly asking the guys downstairs to opens jars for me, and if they weren’t home, well then I was shit out of luck (and pasta sauce). Trying to carry my own suitcases while traveling between Seattle and Montreal was (pathetically) a nightmare. Even carrying pitchers of beer at the bar I was working at was a struggle for my skeletal arms. I was sleeping 12 hours a day and constantly tired. I’m sure that my brain wasn’t functioning all too well either.
Now I wonder how my life would have been different if people had encouraged girls (me) to be strong instead of skinny.
I think back to high school, when I put myself on a 1200 daily calorie limit, even though I was running 3-5 miles daily. I attended a reputably rigorous high school with a 5 AP course load, woke up at 6:30 am, went to school, did extracurriculars, worked part-time, and often went to bed at 2-3am. I was counting calories, denying myself food, guilt-ing myself when I did eat, and even though I was never more that 120 lbs., I never stopped pinching my “fat” every time I looked in a mirror. I was hungry, angry, tired, and depressed all the time. And I was a teenager. Let’s not forget that part. Teenagers are hellions.
…My goal has changed from “be a size zero” to do a motherfucking pull up. I have gained far more self-esteem from being able to pick up heavy shit that I ever have from being able to zip up a skin-tight designer dress. I became a more capable, energetic, independent, and mentally focused person once my focus shifted from what my body looks like to what my body can do
But it’s just tragic - no sarcasm here- really really tragic how a large majority of young girls in America spend their time obsessing over their weight, devoting time, energy, emotions, and effort into being skinny.
It’s tragic because you have to the think of all of the potential that is lost when a whole generation of girls care more about fitting into minuscule pants instead of… oh I don’t know… running for student council, pursing a passion, studying, volunteering, playing sports, working, furthering woman’s rights… the list could go on and on. My main point is, girls waste so much time on being skinny – because we are taught that is is important if we want to be successful- when we could be devoting their efforts to becoming so much more powerful than simply skinny.
Dear Society: Please assist me in convincing young girls that “strong is the new skinny”.
Encourage them to eat. Don’t let them diet. Discourage the idolization of anorexic and bulimic celebrities. Make them exercise instead. Teach them that “exercise” means running, jumping, sweating, grunting, working hard, and kicking ass- it doesn’t mean flapping their arms around in some trendy, overpriced Trogalaties course, or running on the elliptical until they pass out. Help them realize their own strength. All of these things will help girls realize their full potential, both physically and mentally. It will help girls become self-confident, capable, and literally and figuratively strong. A girl who is encouraged to be strong instead of skinny will have higher self-esteem, respect, ambitions, and worth. She will never be a victim. She will be healthy. She will be a leader. She will be confident. She will be kick-ass.