In today's world, the media and fashion industry are essentially telling us what is beautiful, and for some reason, we are listening. Teenage girls and women all over the world are striving to be thinner and thinner, all the while hating their bodies. The psychological effects that are caused by obsessing over appearance and body image are detrimental.
I am included in this group of people that believe the number that reads back to them after they step on the scale is a major part of their identity. When we step on the scale, we aren't thinking logically that muscle weighs more than fat, or that your body retains water which can make your weight fluctuate up to five pounds.
All we see is that we gained two pounds and our entire day is ruined. A number on a scale should not hold enough power to lead us into a state of depression for the day and in some cases their entire lives.
Magazine articles are partly to blame for the obsession to be below a certain weight as their publications always include articles telling their viewers how to lose weight, new exercises to do, new diets to try, etc. By being constantly exposed to weight loss articles, commercials, advertisements, etc, girls and women are extremely susceptible to fall victim to this thin-ideal.
The problem with the thin-ideal is that it is being internalized by millions. Women see this singular portrayal of what they should look like, and this look is obviously one sporting a body weight and BMI on the lower side of the spectrum. This often leads to increased body dissatisfaction in women, which has a high chance of turning into a dangerous eating disorder.
Women then take this thin-ideal and idea that they need to be a certain weight and begin to mentally destroy themselves trying to obtain that image that the media is throwing in their face. This type of mentality destroys mental health. They begin telling themselves, and convincing themselves, that they are unworthy, not beautiful, even disgusting. This thought process often spirals and just becomes worse and worse the more attention it is given. Eventually, the woman is left with little-to-no self-confidence and an unhealthy body and mind.
The fact of the matter is, not all bodies are genetically designed to weigh less than 110 pounds. Some aren't designed to weight less than 150 pounds. On the opposite side of that, some aren't designed to weigh more than 110 pounds, but far too often girls are driving their bodies below their bodies desired weight which puts their health at risk.
The media and fashion industry need to portray a more diverse, healthier type of body image that women and girls can aim for. After that, we can slowly work towards changing the way women, and the world, view the female body and our definition of what makes it beautiful.