Every year around this time, girls start flocking to the gym to run, lift weights, do the Stairmaster, and eat nothing but vegetables and protein. There are even fitness programs called "Bikini Body Guide" which are meant to showcase how women should look in bikinis. We've all heard of fast cleanses that are supposed to make you lose 30 pounds in a month or skinny teas that will make your stomach flat in a week. All of these should be banned, and we should refocus on our health in the long term. These fads can be devastating to young girls, especially those with body issues.
The whole stigma about being as skinny as possible is unhealthy and is leading to an increase in anxiety levels, depression, etc. Social media makes it really easy for us to compare our bodies with others, and it's a dangerous trap if we let ourselves fall into it. It can also affect our mental health. Phrases like "I'll be happy when I lose 5 pounds" or "I'll be happy when I'm a size 2" are dangerous. Not everyone is built the same and meant to be a size 2. What we should be focusing on is being as healthy as possible and making sure that we're feeding our bodies with lots of nutrient-dense foods.
Additionally, someone who's a size 2 might be 5', while a girl who's a size 8 might be 5'8". So many things play into our body composition — genetics, diet, exercise, activities, etc. — that trying to compare ourselves to others is, in many cases, deadly. We need to shift the stigma from trying to be as skinny as possible to trying to be as healthy as possible, whatever that looks like for each individual.
Girls should be more focused on eating healthy, working out, sleeping, and making sure that they are balancing school and their social lives. Girls should NOT be worried about the opinion of Chad in a random fraternity or what others think about her body. Self-confidence, especially for girls, is hard to attain, and I truly believe that if we, as a community of women, changed the stereotype from being skinny to being healthy and happy that we could make many strides in combating eating disorders and many of the other unhealthy mindsets that come with comparing ourselves to others.
Whether you're going to the beach or to your house for spring break, have a great break and enjoy the time off from school!