The Skinny On Lauren Conrad And Using 'Skinny'
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Health and Wellness

The Skinny On Lauren Conrad And Using 'Skinny'

What does this bold move mean for the world of body positivity and what does it mean for us?

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The Skinny On Lauren Conrad And Using 'Skinny'
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This past week, Lauren Conrad and her editing team banned words like “skinny," “slim," and “thin" from her blog, explaining, “We want to make sure that the focus is on being fit as opposed to a number on the scale. Every body is created differently." This is a big step in the right direction for Conrad, because she and her editors have shoved a very important idea into the faces of many people: body shaming is not cool.

I'm proud of Lauren Conrad. For years, she's been an icon of fashion and television, influencing countless women. It makes sense that, in the light of so many movements in the world of body image, Conrad is adding her voice to this issue. So many people, especially women, have stepped up, trying to change how society views bodies. Tess Holliday started the #effyourbeautystandards movement on Twitter, encouraging women to love their own bodies. Laci Green recently posted a fantastic video on her YouTube channel “MTV Braless" about the twisted history of the “bikini body." So many new stores, like Torrid and Lane Bryant, are popping up, selling amazing clothing to women of ALL sizes, not just the sizes that society likes.

So for a woman as influential and well known as Conrad to join the positive body image campaign is a good step in the right direction. And it's an important step. Conrad's emphasis on removing words like “skinny" from her blog gets at the next layer of body positivity. Sure, everyone knows that telling a person “Wow you're fat" or “You should really lose some weight" is body shaming. But words that have been around for a long time are hard to recognize as detrimental. While the word "skinny" has had many different meanings over the centuries, the earliest recorded meaning that we might relate to is from 1939. That's older than some people's grandparents! These kinds of words can hurt almost as much as a blatant insult. As one woman wrote on Twitter, even “people loudly complaining how fat they are when they are the same size or smaller than you" can be a heavy blow. And stuff like that happens all the time!

So how are we supposed to move past using this kind of language? It's not going to be easy, but I think that Conrad is setting a good example, inviting people to focus on health, not size. Conrad emphasizes this in her newsletter, telling her readers that words like “fit," “toned," and “healthy" would be taking the place of body shaming terms. Conrad and her team are blatantly telling the world that a person's size isn't what matters; the only thing that really matters is health.

No matter what size you might be, it's important to eat well and be active. Anyone can have health problems, not just “fat" people. Time Magazine even published an article titled “The Hidden Dangers of 'Skinny Fat'" warning readers that it's not only weight that leads to problems like heart diseases and diabetes. Even “skinny" people can develop diseases commonly associated with having excess weight. The article explains that “a person may not have a lot of fat stored up overall, but what they do have is the most dangerous kind." Ouch. So no matter what size you may be, you could still be at risk for awful diseases. How can we avoid this looming threat?

We need to get our minds out of the “Am I fat?" mindset and into the “Am I healthy?" mindset. Instead of focusing on the size of a body, we should really try to focus more on the health of a body. Things as simple as eating fruits and vegetables, paired with daily exercise, can lower a person's risk for many diseases, including diabetes. We also need to be more cognizant about the words that we use and how these words might affect others. Conrad's shift from words like “skinny" towards more body positive words really sets the stage for even greater change.

So, next time you see that person on the street who “needs to be skinnier to fit into those pants" just think: What would Lauren Conrad say?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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