The Beach Body Obsession

The line at the Rec Center was longer than I had ever seen it. It was the first week of January, and people were flooding the gym as if Blink 182 was inside. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Mark, Tom, nor Travis driving the students into the gym, it was the student’s New Years resolutions. The resolution everyone makes on December 31: to go to the gym every day. As I shoved my way through the crowded ladies' locker room, I watched as young women lined themselves up behind the scale, waiting to see the numbers they define themselves by. As I was tempted to do the same, I stopped myself when I realized how degrading and pointless that would be to my sanity and my health.

This time of year, magazines are filled with articles telling young women how to get the “beach body” they desire, or how to look more like Miranda Kerr and Candice Swanpoel. Pressure to look a certain way in a bikini surrounds us from all angles, and frankly, I’ve grown more and more tired of it. An unrealistic New Years resolution to acquire the beach body society tells us is attractive can only lead us to feel frustrated.

Ladies, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to go to the gym. I’m saying the reason we go to the gym is bad. Going to the Rec Center should be about becoming stronger or more flexible, not about losing 10 pounds so we can look like an emaciated super-model. The pressure to look like skin and bones is not right, and should be ignored. Curves look good in bikinis, trust me!

So next time you go to the Rec Center, don’t do it for the itsy-bitsy bikini you’re trying to force yourself into for spring break. Instead, go to strengthen yourself.

This post was contributed by Rachel Hughes.