Why a Size Zero?

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January 13, 2012 • Bridget Conway, Journalism Student  
Filed under Opinion

The new year is upon us and our country is abuzz with resolutions. As always, the resolution on most people’s list is to loose weight. But I wonder, what is this obsession with being skinny, a size zero?

Is this obsession a result of relentless media pressure; a vision of what is supposedly “perfect” – one that is nearly impossible to achieve without Photoshop? Child Now Magazine, executed a study in which two out of three girls said they wanted to “look like a character on TV” – a look that is “unrealistic and unattainable” without pounds of make-up and professional help. However, the vision of this “look” is one that is forced into our nation’s mind daily.

We see the stars of Hollywood with their riches and fame, in beautiful gowns and the latest fashions and instead of relating these successes to their talents, we relate it to their looks. Therefore, we strive to be like them, to look like them, to achieve that amount of success, to chase a dream that is one in a million.

But look closer. It is not uncommon for Hollywood stars to check into rehab for eating disorders. I could list five off the top of my head: Demi Lovato went to rehab for bulimia, Nicole Richie for anorexia, Mary Kate Olsen for anorexia, Hilary Duff for anorexia, and Justine Bateman for anorexia. Notice a trend? These people, even with the levels of triumph they have achieved, are hurting themselves; they are not happy – and they certainly are not perfect. They are humans with flaws, just like the rest of us.

Although not all of us are a size zero like Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston, it doesn’t mean we are not beautiful or good enough. Being skinny does not automatically bring happiness or success. Simply being happy with one’s self and what one looks like matters more.

If you are going to make loosing weight your priority for 2012, do it for yourself – not for the pressure the media puts on you. Being skinny isn’t everything, but being happy is.

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