It all started with Gilmore Girls for me. I watched two young women who had little to no body weight on them eat whatever they wanted in amounts that would kill a grown man while maintaining slim figures without working out. It gave me the idea that there was something wrong with my body if I “had to” eat healthy.
Since then, I’ve noticed a trend of female characters who are attractive, slim, fit into whatever they want and also eat whatever they want. The characters are often sitting across from a counterpart who is struggling to eat that kale salad while the main character is having her donut or burger with fries that she devours without a care. It was utterly frustrating as a kid and teenager and grown woman wishing I could be one of those “genetically skinny” people.
You want to know the crazy part? If you research the actresses in some of these shows, including Gilmore Girls, you will often find articles in which they describe their interest in putting only healthy, whole ingredients in their bodies. You will read that they do Pilates, lift weights, go running 6 days a week. These people are not the sedentary pizza guzzling creatures, swaning through episode after episode without any interest in the gym the show writers have created.
I know there are people who are genetically more slender, have longer, leaner body types, but goodness. The more I research, the more I find that it’s more likely than not that my 15 year old self was jealous of someone who worked hard to achieve what I coveted, what I spent my years wishing I had.
Now. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying at all that we should look like each other, that we should all have the same figure or same body type. My only point is that we have created this idea that women should be thin and should be so nonchalant about their figures that they eat junk all the time and act like “one of the guys” in terms of our eating habits. And by the way, this also applies to male figures which is a whole other tangent.
In my 30s, I have finally come to the conclusion that we should quit portraying people as only being attractive if they don’t have to focus on fitness and health but are fit and healthy. We should also quit acting like strict diets are only for people who have had kids and who struggle with weight and who want to fit into bikinis for the summer. We should celebrate just being here, being alive, being healthy and happy in the bodies we have. We should focus on putting whole, beautiful, fresh foods into our bodies on being active to support joint health, longevity, and mental health. And leave at that.