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In today’s world (and honestly, throughout history), women’s bodies have been treated like fashion trends. One second, you’re praised if you're stick thin, and the next you’re shamed for not being curvy enough. In the ’90s, the women sought out a body type that was incredibly thin (known as “heroin chic”) and were quite literally intended to look sickly. Now, years later, we’ve come to glorify another vastly different and widely unattainable body type. The ideal body for women has changed extensively from decade to decade, and even year to year, with the “perfect” figure now being so specific that many times it can only be achieved through cosmetic surgery and unhealthy habits.  


When will we stop viewing women as objects that go in and out of fashion? Society seems to have an incredibly narrow view of what constitutes “beauty,” and many adolescent girls feel the need to fight against their bodies to fit into this absurdly specific mold. However, what we should be teaching girls (and boys) is to focus on being healthy. It is such a simple yet important idea that gets completely lost in the pursuit of aesthetic perfection, which is often antithetical to health itself. The truth is, our standards for girls’ bodies are completely out of touch with reality and social media has only made this worse with its influencers, skinny teas, and quick fixes (often for things that aren’t problems in the first place).


There will always be something that society deems unacceptable. It is the mission of the beauty industry to capitalize off of girls’ insecurities, convincing them to spend hundreds of dollars on products from weight loss pills to anti-aging serums. In order to stop this cycle, we must first realize that there is nothing wrong with natural bodies. From the moment girls hit puberty, they are convinced by these companies that they need to do everything in their power to stay young looking, not gain weight, shave their legs, etc. The truth is - aging is natural and so are the changes our bodies go through! The people who want you to believe differently are the people profiting off of girls’ insecurities. 


One media influencer who I believe is a great example for girls and guys of all ages is Brittani Lancaster. Brittani is a TikTok creator who has overcome two eating disorders and now promotes balance, health, intuitive eating, and body acceptance. I think that anyone looking for positive vibes or body positive content should check her out! I truly hope that content like Brittani’s becomes more prevalent on social media, as I really think it could change how young girls view their health and their bodies. Especially in the turbulent time of adolescence, it’s so important to put health above everything else and prioritize nutrition, exercise, and just feeling confident in oneself. As a society, we need to start looking beyond physical aesthetics and start placing more emphasis on wellbeing (both physical and mental).

Connecticut girl currently residing in Vermont as a senior at Saint Michael's College. English major with a love for writing, running, skiing, and all things Broadway. 
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