The obsession with beauty has become a debilitating disorder. Eating disorders are strictly a Western mental illness. How fortunate we are to have so much. How sad it has become that we have people who are mentally ill because of our plenty. There are cultures in the world who cannot understand our fascination- no, obsession- with being skinny.
I’ve seen increasingly more brave women on social media post vulnerable pictures of their capable bodies: their bodies in intense yoga poses, lifting heavy weights and moving. These bodies are not “perfect” and they are not covered up. While this is very exciting for the world, I’m still concerned that we aren’t really fixing the problem at hand. When women are bold enough to post their bodies and comment, “I know I have cellulite and my stomach isn’t flat, but I see myself as beautiful” that is absolutely something to rejoice. However, the emphasis is still on beauty. We are still focused on being physically attractive, being appealing to someone, even if it’s ourselves. To these confident women who are posting their physical imperfections, I applaud you. You are seeing yourself in a different light than most women can imagine.
My concern, however, is that this is not going to be a lasting change.
We aren’t going to change society’s definition of beautiful by embracing every body. We are going to shape society’s definition of beautiful by taking its importance away. Let’s try “strong” and “disciplined” and “hard working” instead of “beautiful”. Let’s put emphasis on actions. How much more complimentary is it to say, “You have come such a long way! Keep up the good work!” rather than “You look beautiful”. Let’s place our value on determination and drive.
If the rest of the world does not follow suit, so be it. But women with a fitness focus should not be concerned with beauty as much as she is concerned with health and hard work.