“Do I look fat?” For 7 out of 10 women, that question bounces around in their head three times a day according to a recent survey. The survey, which was conducted by hotel chain Travelodge, also found that 80% of women feel depressed about the way they look. Although Travelodge may not be the most reputable source for this kind of information, the survey echoes countless other studies that reveal the vast majority of women have daily negative thoughts about their bodies.
Why do women have such a negative perspective of their bodies? This is not to say that men don’t suffer from body image issues as well –– research has shown that the number of men with anorexia and bulimia is increasing –– yet the number of women with these same disorders far outweighs the men's. The above mentioned survey found that it was Cameron Diaz’s legs, Kim Kardashian’s derriere and Gisele Bündchen’s abs that women envied most; likely causes for so many women's feelings of inferiority. But who’s really responsible? Should we blame the stars for their genetic blessings and the media’s constant appraisal of these celebrities’ best physical attributes? Or is the fault of the women who fail to live up these impossibly high standards of beauty and perfection?
The problem of women disliking their appearance is nothing new; women have been struggling with body image for ages. However, continuous finger pointing and blind accusations of who's to blame isn’t helping anyone. What would help is finding a solution to stop this worsening problem and maybe that solution starts with us. We need to be the ones who promote healthiness over hotness. Maybe then we can change “I feel fat” to “I feel healthy and fabulous.”
There will always be "the attractive," and the media will continue to show them off. However, what we can do is redefine what we call beautiful. A sense of humor can be just as hot as a killer pair of legs and a great smile can be just as alluring as a perky behind. The media will never stop highlighting beautiful people, but at least we can say what makes them so.
Kate Upton loves her body, curves and all, so why can’t we do the same?