Being A Size 0 Does NOT Make You Beautiful.

Here is another insightful piece by Alisha Thomas, her first post The Swan Who Thinks Like an Ugly Duckling is one of my favorites.  You can read more of her articles on her blog.

So, last night, amidst dealing with my poopy schmoopy lack-o-Christmas spirit attitude, this Fruit of the Loom commercial comes on and my mind is thrown in an entirely new direction. I found myself focused more on society and our poor opinion of what it takes to be beautiful.

Before I talk about that, though, there are a few other things I need to say: let me start by mentioning that I’ve been noticing a plethora of comments on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Facebook and Twitter as of late. Comments which mostly touch on how beautiful all of the girls looked, which is perfectly fine–they are beautiful women, hence the reason people hired them to become V.S. Angels. What’s bothersome to me is the fact that every single one of them looked the same…and no one pays attention to that creepy detail. Okay, maybe they weren’t wearing the same outfits and their hair/skin-tones/ethnicities differed, but in regards to their shape? All. The. Same. Newsflash: In the real world, most people do not look the same. There are countless shapes and sizes…all of which are beautiful in their own way.

(The woman at the end of the video even admits that “ordinary women can’t fit into these clothes -surely she counters her statement by saying that the show is stunning and blah blah blah, out when a superstar admits the same thing you’re thinking, you know something’s up!)

That being said, when the new Fruit of the Loom commercial came on last night, displaying women of EVERY body type, I was incredibly pleased. I wish I could find the commercial so I could share it on here, but it hasn’t been posted yet. Let me just say that it was fabulous. It started out with a girl who looked like your typical model, then moved onto a woman with a more realistic body-type (a few more curves), continued on with another curvier body type, and ended with a wonderfully plump and confident gal. It showed every body type and it made each of those women look that much more beautiful! Good job Fruit of the Loom, good job.

So my question is: what’s the big deal with society thinking that everyone has to be a size 00 to be beautiful? Do you have any idea what those Victoria’s Secret girls do to keep in shape? Have you any idea how many times a day they probably go through with hearing that they need to stay on top of their weight in order to remain in the business? I am in no way shape or form a V.S. model, but as someone who has had some experience with modeling, I can tell you firsthand that I have been told the very same thing. “Your hips are getting a little big, so you might want to join a gym”–those are the exact words I heard and I’ll never forget them. This isn’t exactly something I’ve ever really said to anyone outside of my family but in order for this post to really take it’s toll, I find it’s necessary to share. It literally makes me cringe when I think back to that day. I had an amazing shoot and I was feeling more confident than I ever remember feeling throughout much of my life, and then BAM. Hearing those 15 words was all it took for me to lose all self-confidence and lapse into feeling absolutely horrible about myself for quite some time. I didn’t show it…but inside I was heartbroken. I started putting serious thought behind my 6′ size 9 body and I felt like a cow. I knew it was stupid because I’m tall and I probably wouldn’t look right if I was 120lbs and wearing a size 3, but that didn’t matter. All I knew was I was closer to being a plus-size model than anything else. Or, at least, that’s how I felt. So, for something as minuscule as a 15-word comment directed toward an innocent girl who had little-to-no modeling experience…I can’t even imagine what the professionals are forced to hear. It’s sad.

So, ladies, STOP believing that you need to be a size 00 in order to be beautiful because you are absolutely wrong. I will admit that there was a time when I did believe that (hence my believing that wearing a size 9 made me a plus-size model). I had somehow convinced myself that if I was able to get skinny enough I would become beautiful. However, with a little self-assurance and confidence, I was able to accept that I am beautiful just the way I am. Curves and all! When I took a step-back and looked at my body I came to find that, thanks to a little weight gain, I was actually comfortable with my appearance. I’m no longer a flat and twig-like figure (seriously, I was referred to as “Tree” in high school) filled with low self-esteem and negative thoughts toward how I look. Now I’m a slightly curvacious and boobified gal who is learning that it’s okay to proud of that! YOU should feel the same way about yourself: regardless of whether you’re a size 20 or a size 2, it’s important to remember that the only time you’re ever going to feel truly beautiful is when you stop feeling like you need to look like someone else and you start to feel comfortable in your own skin.

About isabelrasmussen

Three generations of women in my family raised me until first grade, amongst them I was taught how wonderful it was to be a girl. In my tween years I was confronted with many of the social challenges other girls face and my self confidence dwindled. I think it was going from being so proud of being a girl to struggling so much as a girl and reading of all the struggles that women faced that motivated me throughout my life. I received her undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies at UW and then worked in domestic violence and as a community organizer in San Francisco. At 26 I took the opportunity to live in Guatemala for a year and West Africa for a summer. I returned to the US and in 2008 obtained a Green MBA at Dominican University in San Rafael.
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