Where Is Perfection?


Elisha Langevin, Senior Editor

If you look up the word “weight” the first thing that pops up are ads related to fitness and weight loss. Images on weight have changed over time as well. According to ABC News and recent research, today most runway models’ BMI, or body mass index, meet the criteria for anorexia. Twenty years ago a fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman, but in today’s society they weigh 23% less. A decade ago the models considered to be “plus-sized” were an average size of 12 to 18. However, today a majority of “plus-sized” models have been reported to be between size 6 to 14.

I have been in the BMI range for anorexia, and it wasn’t an easy experience. I was judged, stared at, and ridiculed for something that was out of my control. Due to my genetics, height, and inability to eat dairy, I was very skinny and frail. However, by societal standards, I was viewed as the “perfect” weight. I was weighing 23% less than the average woman, just like today’s fashion models.

It was obvious to those who knew me that I had lost weight. A woman once nastily assumed I was anorexic. I wasn’t, I was just struggling because of factors I had no control over. I was seeing a nutritionist and being monitored closely. Therefore, it’s wrong to assume things and judge people you’re simply passing by; you have no clue what they’re going through or struggling with. I know I’m all skin and bones, but you don’t have to point it out to your shopping accomplice right in front of me. I came to the grocery store, not a fashion runway, and I want to be treated like any other person. In fact, it seems today being overweight is “disgusting” and being underweight is as well, there is no “perfect weight.”

The truth is everyone is beautiful on the outside, but what really matters is on the inside. I wasn’t alone in my struggle with weight, but I’m writing this to tell those in this situation to never give up. Whether you’re fighting to gain weight or lose weight it’s never easy, or if you’re happy and healthy and want to just love yourself than don’t be afraid to. The opinions of others don’t matter. I now realize that even though there were a lot of bad factors with being underweight, there was one good outcome. The outcome for me is this situation helped me realize what I wanted to do in life; I want to help others with what they’re struggling with.

Sometimes, strangers would nastily eye me up and down and scoff. Is it not okay for me to dress in a tank top and shorts on a hot, Summer day? I would wonder, but then I would shrug it off because I wasn’t going to hide myself from the world. I embraced myself and told others they were not alone. Many people struggle with weight and I want to let people know that one day you will reach your goal and to never give up because I eventually did reach my goal. I’m doing much better now than I was and beating that issue was one of my biggest accomplishments.

Being underweight came with many setbacks and issues; I got tired easily, nauseous and dizzy if I didn’t eat, and clothes shopping was the worst and I still absolutely hate it. The biggest setback was the restriction set by my doctor, “no physical activity,” I had to give up one of my favorite hobbies, tennis. Plus the weighing yourself everyday can cause a different view on your body image.

I got stared at a lot and it was often highly uncomfortable for me; I believe we should stop judging people because we have no clue what they may be dealing with. Stop viewing people as walking pieces of art, they are not things to be judged, they are human just like you.

For more information on statistics from this article visit: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/most-models-meet-criteria-for-anorexia-size-6-is-plus-size-magazine/