Are you friends or enemies?
With whom, you ask? With yourself. With your body. Male or female, how does what you see in the mirror affect the way you interact with yourself and others?
For women, there is a serious body image crisis. Unrealistic expectations. Self-value determined by clothing size or numbers on a scale. Millions of women suffering silently from eating disorders. The conflation of one’s identity with one’s figure. Soaring numbers of body dissatisfaction among young girls ages 12-14, and even as young as 8. It’s ridiculous and needs to be addressed, remedied, and prevented.
Concurrent with that crisis is an obesity and overweight epidemic often times fueled by another epidemic–sloth and gluttony. I fully support efforts geared towards helping people realize their beauty and loving themselves. I also support efforts to get people healthy. I do not support the acceptance of a new, unhealthy standard simply because so many people choose to be overweight and obese. Diet industry figures ($33 billion dollar industry) indicate that there are millions of people who do want to lose weight. Often times, the approach taken is one-sided–diet only, short-lived, or both. Sure, let’s end the fat talk, but let’s replace it with a vocabulary centered on health and self-love. To completely remove any conversation about the body that centers on losing weight and simply replace it with “you’re perfect the way you are” is a surface solution; with 66.7% of Americans being overweight and obese, a lot of people do need to lose weight. The dialogue should be about health.
We all shine in our own way. There is a light inside of us and it’s our responsibility to make it shine at the highest wattage possible. Let’s support the mission of Operation Beautiful and deal with with this body image crisis by supporting one another in our efforts to love ourselves, love our bodies, and regain and maintain our health.
– Tom Venuto, author, coach, personal trainer