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Weighing In

This Hussy has embarked on a strict diet and fitness regime. I generally like to keep fit but with a long winter and a very rainy spring … it’s safe to say that I have let thing slide a bit. With a bucketful of resentment I Googled a low calorie diet and started said diet which pretty much entirely removes any joy from eating and joined a gym.

In addition to my usual running I decided to take a Body Combat class. I mistakenly thought this was an aerobic style class. I was wrong, really wrong. It’s a martial arts class set to my music, high aerobic and high intensity! After a hard day’s work it seemed daunting but I was too busy thinking about a washboard stomach to care.  As the girls all started to line up, I looked in the mirror and noticed that these women were all different shapes and sizes, athletic, strong and muscular. Some were bigger, some were smaller but every one of them looked awesome.  Something dawned on me; I looked small, weak and scrawny. It made me think: When did skinny become the only type of beautiful?

I have decided to weigh in on this never ending discussion. Yes they are naturally slim women out there but there are other women of all shapes and sizes who cannot accept that their body shape is beautiful and they fight to change their shape. In the late 1980s and early 90s, super models were Amazonian Goddesses, yes they were still genetically beautiful freaks of nature but they had hips, boobs and shapely legs.  Think Jerry Hall, Elle McPherson, Cyndi Crawford, Linda Evangalista, Christine Brinkley, Naomi Campbell. Then Heroin Chic happened, Kate Moss became the most popular model in the world and we were bombarded with increasingly thinner and frailer girls strutting down the catwalk. Gone were boobs and bums and in were ribs, flat chests and hip bones.

As a teenager I have been bombarded with the message: Thinner is better. Models no longer grace the covers of magazines but the celebrities who do are size zero or not far from it. Kate Moss told the world her personal motto was: Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Even when there have been a couple exceptions to the rule and we have seen successful plus size models (Sophie Dahl and L’Wren Scott), they have eventually lost masses of weight and became as thin if not thinner than their counterparts.

Designers choose to have extremely thin models as clothes hang nicely on extremely slim people but I think people have to be aware that this is an illusion and fantasy. In 2006 many of the major fashion houses said that they would ban models with a BMI less than 18.5 but they quickly reneged on this, Victoria Beckham has even came out and defended the use of size zero models.  It seems that the trend of extremely thin models and celebrities is set to continue. I myself have nothing against the fashion industry, I like looking at extremely beautiful people wearing incredibly beautiful things that I will probably never afford. Yet, not everyone seems to take this attitude, every week there are stories in the media about girls who are dying from anorexia and it is the media obsession with thin which is being blamed.

It seems that many women (this Hussy included) want to be this version of beautiful that is presented to us. I really have struggled with my body type I have done everything I can to change it. I have starved, I have done extreme exercising and I have been overweight and not looked after my body too.  I did not want or hips, boobs or bums or any kind of fat on my body. I always wanted to be as small as possible and fit into clothes which would be suitable for children. I truly believed that one of my proudest days was being compared to Nicole Ritchie when she was at her very smallest.

But not any more, I think you should do what makes you happy as long as you’re healthy. But, I also think that we should accept women are beautiful at all sizes. We don’t need to aspire to be size zero, we don’t have to only look at models and celebrities and think that is the best way to look! Why shouldn’t we have curves and look like women? We should want to be the happiest, healthiest version of ourselves! How many times a week do you hear your friends calling themselves fat when you think they look great?  Why can’t we be easier on ourselves, take a look around and see that we are beautiful in all our shapes and sizes.

In case you are wondering, I will be sticking to my diet and continuing my workouts with the incredibly fit girls at the gym but not because I want to be size zero, I want to be fit and strong. I am stealing my mantra from fitness queen Jennifer Nicole Lee:  Strong is the New Skinny… well it is for this week anyway!