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by Julie Tran
May 2, 2012 2:57 pm
Tags: body image, body positivity, Fizzy Logic, girls, Julie Tran, models, sexuality, Valeria Lukyanova, women
Julie Tran is a Spartan Daily staff writer. Her column "Fizzy Logic" appears every other Thursday.
Ladies and gents, it’s that one time that we’ve all been dreading ever since the weather started warming up — swimsuit season.
As a woman, I loathe the idea of swimsuit shopping because I feel I am exposing my flaws to the world, especially with hot supermodels prancing around in their skivvies.
Although I have a small frame, I get extremely self-conscious of my stomach, thighs and arms in a swimsuit because it’s not fit or toned like a celebrity’s body.
According to a recent news story from ABC News, a 21-year-old Ukrainian woman named Valeria Lukyanova who modified her appearance to look like a Barbie doll.
With her voluptuous chest, tiny waist and full lips, Lukyanova’s body looks as plastic as the infamous dolls lining toy shelves across the nation — but why did she do it?
Sure, it could just be a horrible Photoshop botch but the image holds a more subliminal message to women everywhere.
On a daily basis, there are advertisements on television that tell women to become skinnier, prettier or to buy a certain product to feel better about their appearance.
In a 2009 statistic from the University of Washington, 40 percent of girls ages nine to 10 years old tried to lose weight and by age 13, 53 percent of girls feel dissatisfied with their bodies.
It also doesn’t help that 56 percent of commercials targeted at women use beauty as a tool to persuade them to buy a product as oppose to three percent of these commercials targeted at men, according to a Kaiser Foundation study.
With this type of subliminal messaging presented in both broadcast and print media, people may succumb to low self-esteem and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating.
In a journal article from Academic Psychiatry, eating disorders are on the rise due to the media's portrayal of beauty with younger girls and even men are being admitted to treatment facilities for these issues.
Words such as “fat” or “chubby” are thrown around as insults to people in a degrading manner, which forms self-loathing within the individual.
From personal experience, I have heard several nasty comments from my older relatives about how people deemed as “fat” aren’t even human.
During Thanksgiving a few years ago, my family didn’t dine on the traditional American fare such as mashed potatoes, roast turkey or pumpkin pie in fear of getting big like the majority of the American population.
While eating baked fish with salad and rice noodles, one of my aunts exclaimed, “I’m so glad the Vietnamese diet is so much better than the American diet! If any of our family members were fat, I would totally disown them!”
On another occasion, my mother had watched an episode of Travel Channel’s “Man v.s. Food” and she felt disgusted upon looking at the host.
“Why does he always have to eat so much?” my mom asked. “I’m surprised that he’s not dead yet because he is so fat.”
I’ve been made fun of from my family members about eating a bit too much during family reunions or ostracized for not exercising as much as I used to. It kind of hurts, not going to lie.
On the other end, some of my peers gripe about me for being too thin and it feels as if I can never satisfy anyone.
Why the constant criticism about a person’s body size? A person should be judged based on the individual’s character rather than the number on the clothing tag.
So if anyone ever makes you feel ostracized for your body shape, forget them and strut your style for the world to see.
+1 Vote up Vote down Ted Rudow III, MA · 1 minute ago
MOST OF ALL SEEK THAT INDEFINABLE THING CALLED PERSONALITY, that sparkle, that thing we used to call "it" back in the '20s.--Seek not only the vivaciousness of the flesh, but the liveliness of the spirit, the fascination of the mind, the irresistibility of her heart and its genuine unselfish love, and the greatness, and magnanimity of her soul, that spiritual part of her--her whole composite personality make up--which, in turn, can only be satisfied by the spiritual in you, and the absorbing interest of your mind, and the warmness of your heart, and the thrill of your soul! The things of this earth can satisfy your body, but God has made you so that your soul or heart or spirit can only be satisfied by the things which are spiritual and the things of the spirit.
Ted Rudow III,MA
Class of 1996