Jessica Biddulph, a senior at Ursuline High School

By JESSICA BIDDULPH
URSULINE HIGH SCHOOL, SENIOR

I have always lived my life with minimal concern about what the mass media suggest is appropriate or “good,” but I do see the unreasonable goals they establish for people.
Girls living in this century constantly are bombarded with images of stick-thin girls who look skeletal. This image has become one that we look up to and want to accomplish. According to USA today, girls exposed to the most fashion magazines were more likely to suffer from poor body images.
I am the type of person who believes in being healthy, not skinny or fat, just healthy. I know some girls are naturally very thin, but showing the world this out-of-the-ordinary body type as being desirable puts pressure on those who are not naturally that skinny.
And, to add pressure, images of very sexy women are circulated through our society like wildfire. According to USA Today, these ideals even cause some girls to not participate in sports because they’re afraid they’ll bulk up.
Trying to live up to these ideals causes girls to limit their options just because they are trying to fit into this paradigm. I believe all people should have goals and try to reach them, and I find it sad that someone could let another’s opinion influence them so much to where they no longer do what pleases them.
This image of the sexy, thin woman can cause young girls to try and emulate this look at a young age, which can lead to promiscuity, eating disorders and insecurities about their looks. I believe there is worth in every person and failure to recognize one’s own worth is a horrible thing.
In our society, we focus more on women who look good than on women who do good. This practice is very backward and sets up the young women and girls of this society to focus upon shallow ideas rather than important things that could benefit our culture. We need to end our focus upon the shallow unimportant issues in the world and begin to focus upon things of substance, things that are good and just. Focusing on such things leads to contentment, and contentment with oneself allows one to move forward and to begin to help others.
A few months ago, I was watching “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on which “plus-size” models were being interviewed. Through this show I learned that a “plus-size” model is someone who is size 6 and up. I couldn’t believe it. How could anyone live like this? Well, as the show progressed, some of the models admitted they had had an eating disorder while they were “normal” models before they started plus-size modeling.
I felt bad someone would have to physically harm themselves just to fit into a mold that they weren’t meant for. However, these “plus-size” models got great reactions, and people were really inspired by them.
I can only hope that our society begins to recognize inner beauty more than outer beauty and that we can learn to live healthy lifestyles. Not a lifestyle that promotes eating disorders or obesity, but one that promotes health and fitness, for all shapes and sizes.