Sunday, 4 April 2010

What is beautiful?

Something which has changed so much over the years, beauty is something which virtually every girl in the world in the history of the world has striven for. The ideal 16th Century woman would have had a pear shape; flat chest, tiny waste, larger lower half emphasised further by enormous hooped skirts and what has since been referred to as a 'bum roll'. The Victorians adored a full-figure on a woman, denoting good health and more importantly, the ability to bear healthy boys. The rest of the 19th Century saw women faint regularly after being poured into whale-bone corsets in order to achieve the standard 'beautiful' wasp shaped waist and hips at the same time as a generous looking bosom. In the twenties, girls would sport bound material around their breasts and drop waisted dresses with high hopes of appearing androgynous and being considered an attractive 'flapper'. Bras didn't really become popular until around the 1940's, and when they did the main idea was for them to lift and enhance the breasts, as opposed to the support and hiding-place for which bras are more frequently used today. The 1950's saw what some still refer to as the sexiest woman in history; Marilyn Monroe. She was not peach, but quite the contrary. With a healthy BMI of 20, today Good Ol' Marilyn would have been considered a 'big girl'. And then we retreated again to the waif-like skinny malinky body sported by the likes of Twiggy in the 60's, Kate Moss in the 90's and most models today.

But what is beautiful? What is the 'perfect body'?

There are those who will insist (because they are uncomfortable in their own skin, or quite simply, fat) that a thin girl is unattractive, child-like or just plain gross. They might say, 'Urgh, she's just skin and bones' about a gorgeous girl who would still feature in the healthy BMI group.
There are those who will look at a size 16 and say 'Oh thank God I'm not there yet'.

How about those who are healthy AND happy? They are few and far between.

But ideally, this is how we should all be. BMI stands for Body Mass Index; a calculation which determined whether a person has a healthy weight measurement for their height. A healthy BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9 and I have a BMI of around 23. A little too far into the 'healthy' category, but healthy none the less. Am I happy? In general, yes. With my body, no.

And I'm not the only one.

Why might this be? They say it's the fault of the media, you know, the eating disorder epidemic which appears to have overtaken the young female population. But I think we need to be more specific. Can the fashion industry be fairly blamed for the fact that teenage girls are eating nothing but two pots of baby-food a day? Or for the eleven-year-old swallowing one too many laxatives? Perhaps not, however, the fashion industry as it stood before questions of body image arose did not help the situation.

Whether or not 'clothes look better on a skinnier model' is true, the fact of the matter remains that if these companies limited their products solely to tiny sizes, then the majority of their profits would vanish, because the majority of women AREN'T a size zero. In fact, the most common dress size in the UK is a well-rounded 14. Surely these companies owe us, the majority, enough respect to allow a fair representation on the runway. We don't want to hear that the clothes we are buying would hang better on us if we were size zeros!!!

Don't get me wrong, I know that some people are naturally thin. Fast metabolisms and what not. And if this applies to you, then congratulations; you have what thousands of women would die for. And do. And that is what I am against.

What with all the pressures of teenage life today, school, friends, parents, the last thing we need are health conditions. From depression to fertility problems later in life plus everything in between, those who fall prey to such a condition, such an addiction should have nothing more than their homework and getting out of that dinner with your parents uncool friends.
Healthy should be key. And following much media attention various fashion houses and magazines are beginning to consider what are now referred to as 'full-figured' or 'plus-sized' thanks especially in my honest opinion to the appearance of the confident and inspirational 'big, black, beautiful and LOVING IT' Toccara Jones on prime-time television show popular amongst most young ladies, America's Next Top Model.

Obviously this is a great step, however, it does lead me to wonder, what about the in-betweenies? Those of us who wouldn't be considered waif-like, or plus-sized. Our strong presence is yet to be seen in the fashion industry, but it is on its way.

So can I suggest that everyone who hates their body as much as I do, goes and finds their BMI? Most of you will fall into the 'healthy' BMI category as did I. And if you do, then that is great! If not, then don't worry. We are all different right? Don't go about dieting in order to get down to a size. Do it healthily to get down to a healthy BMI. Small changes in the life of those with a BMI of '24.9 plus' such as cutting out fizzy drinks and walking for twenty minutes a day present a great start.

We all know that we shouldn't eat burgers, or pizzas, or ice-cream. We shouldn't drink alcohol and coffee and fizzy drinks. We shouldn't spend hours sitting in front of the TV, playing video games or ahem, blogging. But you know what my mom always told me when I was shoving my face with Easter eggs earlier on today, 'Everything in moderation, Sweet'.

So, what is the point of this Blog post? The point is, that I think that your healthy body is beautiful. It is natural and it is you and honestly, you are never going to be able to change it that drastically, especially not over a short amount of time. So kiss your skin! It keeps everything that makes you quintessentially you inside.

And I promise I'll kiss mine too.


No comments:

Post a Comment