Strong is the New Skinny

I am going to preface this post by saying, it’s a bit more on the psychological and emotional side than other posts.  Honestly, I’m not too sure how it will turn out, so please bare with me.  Between my various classes, I’ve been learning a great deal about happiness, social comparison, and body image.  There are countless posts out there about body image, how we view ourselves, and what to do.  But it’s often easier said than done.  I have fought against the media and society’s expectations for a number of years.  It’s tough to live in Southern California where you are valued by your looks, magazines flaunt the girls with 00 waists on their covers and titles like “drop 10 before summer” or “how to become thinner and happier.”  I found myself surrounded by a number of these girls at Stagecoach; everyone from the “pretty people crowd” looking to see and be seen.

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We compare ourselves upward to those who have “more.”  This may be material goods, a “better body,” a better social life, etc.  But what we have to realize is it’s all subjective.  It all comes down to is what you value as important.  I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to understand what is normal, what is right, and what I should be doing.  Wrong.  I should be focused on what makes me comfortable and happy, finding the individuals that enjoy similar things.  Sure, it’s a give and take and trial and error process, but we will only learn by trying.

Around middle school I started to clue into how media and society was trying to influence young girls.  Only those who are trendy, skinny, and cute will find success.  False.  I have found that those who work out more, have more confidence in themselves and this will only help them later in life.

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You know, I’d rather be one of those girls who can compete in athletics, can run a half marathon (or even a few miles).  Yes, I may not have the smallest of thighs, but it’s muscle.  I pride myself on my athletic capabilities, even if they aren’t at the standards of Brandi Chastain, Chrissie Wellington, or the likings.  And we must each define success in our own minds, not how media or society defines them.  Take a deep breath and persevere.

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I want to be healthy and happy and if I want to eat a cookie as a treat, I will.  No pressure to conform.  What I’m trying to say, is that there are struggles in life and we all encounter them, but stay strong.  You are worth it, we are all worth it.  Start to live the way you want to and not by everyone else’s definition.

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Had to end with a little humor.  🙂 Recycled but classic.

“You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.” – The Help

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14 thoughts on “Strong is the New Skinny

  1. Love this. I love that we can run for miles without getting too tired to take a break. That’s those leg muscles powering through. I love that I can eat a cookie and be okay with it. They taste good. That’s enough of a reason to me. Strong IS better than being skinny although I’m with you- I grew up fighting that my whole life when all of the stick thin dancers ruled the school growing up and I was just not one of them, no matter what I did. Body image is a tricky one and it’s really fascinating to really look deep at what the messages are, because really, it’s kind of ridiculous to see some of the things that are taught to young girls.

    • Thank you! It’s tough to get past all the media junk but possible! I love reading everyone’s impressions and thoughts on the matter. It certainly helps me push through all the drama and issues.

  2. Hallelujah! I love this post because its something near and dear to my heart. I was stupid enough to conform to the pressure, dropping down to less than 100 pounds and being told that if I lose even 1/2 pound I would be sent to the hospital. Scary! I totally agree with this whole post ❤

    • Ah thanks girl. You are one tough cookie and I’m glad you realized what makes you happy and are able to live to the fullest! Stay strong ❤

  3. Haha I love that you ended with that quote. For some unknown reason, that’s been in my head for the past few weeks or so. Kind of strange but I roll with it! On a more serious note, I really like this post. You’re right, we don’t need to be a certain size and we are all worth it. The thing is, someone who may have an awesome body probably has something else they are dealing with it. We’ve all got something we’d like to change but I totally agree- strong is the new fit! 😀

    • Haha, thanks 🙂 Thanks for the support. It’s usually on my mind and I felt the urge to talk about it. I’m appreciative that I have the support from you guys to express such thoughts! We will just power on!

  4. Pingback: Senior Fun and Weekend Ahead! | California Endless Summer

  5. “Yes, I may not have the smallest of thighs, but it’s muscle.” I love this!!! I will always feel much prouder to have thighs that are capable of carrying my body many miles than tiny little chicken legs. This was such a beautiful post Kaitlin, many props to you!

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