by Matt Weik
I’m already shaking my head at the amount of hate I’m going to get for this article, but I’m ok with that because I think we need to start looking at the bigger picture of things and stop looking through dirty glasses and only picking and choosing what we see and decide to complain about. We all know we have an obesity epidemic on our hands here in the United States—if you are denying that fact, this article is surely going to make your head explode. For those of you open-minded individuals who like to hear other people’s thoughts, opinions, and point of view, you might just see my side of the story and believe it’s accurate.
This all began when I read an article online from a female on Facebook who is a counselor and she was complaining about how many young women she sees who have body image issues and therefore skip meals, vomit, etc. in order to lose weight. They feel like they have no self-worth if they aren’t skinny. She herself (the woman on Facebook) said it’s unrealistic to look like models today because of all the photo editing they are having done to make them look perfect. While I agree with the statement of the photo editing, for the most part the models are pretty similar in real life though. It’s not like they are taking women who are 300 pounds and putting them on the cover of a magazine looking 100 pounds. That’s not the case. She then went on to show everyone pictures of her wearing pants in a size 5, 6, 8, and 12. Her complaint was that each pair of pants, regardless of size, fit her exactly the same—no difference. She then stated that the size of pants worn does not determine the beauty of a woman. I completely agree with this. But, it now seems like her beef isn’t with models and the perception of beauty, but rather clothing companies changing their sizes where a size 5 is now a size 12. So again, the wheels in my brain started to turn and I began to wonder what all of this was really about. Does she have a beef with models, or with the changes apparel companies are making to their sizes?
Why we have an issue with models
These days it seems like both men and women have issues with models. Sure, there are some photo editing being done for magazines and such as I mentioned earlier, but for the most part, many of the models we see today look pretty similar to what you see in magazines. Women seem to be particularly hard on themselves about their weight and their appearance. Why is that? I’m not saying a size 0 is more attractive than a size 18 or vice versa, but the fact of the matter is, if we travel back in time and watch how we evolved, we have gotten larger with every passing year. While body fat is needed for survival, having 35%+ body fat is not exactly the epitome of health. I think we can all at least agree on that?
The standard of physiques is constantly evolving. What we all looked like a century ago is not what we look like today. Our eating habits have changed as have our physical activity levels—both have gotten worse. We eat too much processed junk and sugar and sit on the couch when we should be eating lean proteins and green leafy vegetables after going out for a jog or after hitting the weights. Sigh. I digress.
With the change of technology also comes cosmetic procedures. While I feel everyone has their own beauty, many women (and men) are self-conscious about something about their appearance and can generally have a procedure done to change just about any aspect they want altered. I mean heck, we have women becoming men and men becoming women—that’s how far we have come technologically that we can change parts on a gender.
For women, enhancing their breasts is extremely common, as are lip injections and Botox. Men these days are even getting Botox. There is no gender-bias when it comes to cosmetic surgery—especially if you live out in LA. So, because the trend is to get your boobs done, does that mean you need to? No. Remember when your mom said, “if Billy jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?” Same principle. You don’t need to hang amongst the sheep, be your own individual and separate from the herd.
Not everyone is going to look like a model, and therefore we need to stop comparing ourselves to them. Likewise, not everyone is going to be an athlete. Sure, I personally look at them and think I want to be as talented as them. However, I’m a 5’ 9” white boy with muscles and the vertical of a 6-year-old (but don’t get it twisted, I can shoot the lights out if no one is guarding me). This realization is reality. I’ve gotten over the fact that I will never play in the NBA. Stop comparing yourself to other people and be comfortable in your own skin.
Why are we so judgmental these days? She’s too skinny. She’s too fat. He’s not a good basketball player (yet he’s in the NBA and you’re working a job that you hate and watch him on television every night there’s a game). Who cares? Worry about yourself. Be the best YOU can be. Let everyone else worry about themselves. I will say this though, you need to take control of your habits and behaviors. And don’t think I’m saying this because you might be overweight. You’re reading this and I’ve never seen you and I might not even know you. However, you need to take your health, fitness, and nutrition seriously for your longevity. Your quality of life will depend on the actions you take this very day. Do you want to be bed-ridden? Do you want someone to need to take care of you every day? Do you want to get sick with a disease such as cancer because of your lifestyle choices and poor habits? I don’t think anyone wants that. So, make it a priority before it’s too late.
Clothing sizes seem to be changing as the year’s pass
I have been noticing this trend for years, yet not many people speak about it. For some, you’re not getting fatter, it’s simply the clothing you are wearing is changing. That large shirt that fellas have been wearing is now super tight and they need an extra-large. Yet, their weight has not fluctuated. Weird. And ladies, while that firm round tush isn’t getting bigger, you might be noticing those jeans off the rack are all of a sudden, a little snugger to the point where you need to do a little dance to squeeze them on now. No worries, you might not have gotten a little bigger possibly, or it could just be the sizes changed.
Let’s not forget the fact that there is not a set size for one individual. Being that we come in all shapes and sizes, we need to be conscious of the fact that each one of our body’s is unique. I wear a size large for my shirts. Is this the perfect fit for me? Nope. If I could take a medium shirt for around my waist and a large or even extra-large for my upper body, that would be ideal. Unless you get your clothing tailored, nothing is going to fit PERFECT. I either have to squeeze into a medium where at any moment the buttons across my chest are going to burst and take out someone’s eye, or I put on a large that’s still a little snug in the chest but now makes my midsection look wide when untucked. You can’t win. You just need to deal with it and make the best of it.
So really, what are apparel companies trying to tell us subconsciously? Are they telling us that we are getting bigger or that we need to slim down by fooling us with abnormally large sizes now? Maybe. But honestly, who cares? When you walk around do your pants have a huge visible tag showing everyone that you’re wearing a size 12 pants? No. Ladies who walk around in a size 0, see any tags that everyone knows the size she’s wearing? No. Enough already. Stop worrying about what size or number you wear and focus on what FITS.
Why do we need to blame everything and everyone for our perceived size and weight? Other than the health risks with being overweight, there are plenty of things out there that we can all wear to make us look amazing. Not everything is going to be flattering on you. That’s a fact. If you put something on that doesn’t fit right and you feel you look too big or it extenuates areas of your body you aren’t comfortable with, then try something else on. Why are you blaming models and photo editing for the way you look? You can change the way you look if you’re that unhappy. And you can do it in a healthy way unlike what the lady on Facebook was talking about. I think when it comes to children, we need to teach them about health as well as the reality that not everyone is created equal. Not everyone has blonde hair and blue eyes (if that’s what you’re into). The choices we make in life will affect us all individually. We need to take ownership in that. If you eat McDonald’s every day and don’t exercise, I don’t care to hear you complain about your weight or that you don’t like models. Zip it. You’re an adult and you made your own choices. No one forced that burger down your throat. Your car didn’t magically appear at McDonald’s. You turned into the fast food joint and placed an order.
I’m not here to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but geez people, stop putting blame everywhere except on yourself. If you’re overweight, there were choices made that got you to that point. You didn’t all of a sudden wake up that way one morning. Just like with models, they made choices to exercise regularly and eat a healthy nutritious diet. You could do that too, but you chose not to. And that’s fine, but don’t complain about it. If you want help then ask for it. Contact me, I’ll help you. Reach out to your local trainer at the gym down the street. Schedule an appointment with a dietitian in your area. Make the choice to take control of your life and your behaviors/habits. You’ll feel so much better about yourself, I guarantee it.