Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some Reflections...

So, I was watching TLC this morning and was about to do some chores when I saw that the premiere episode of their new show, "Big Sexy" was going to be playing next. I decided I would watch it. After all, the commercials had peaked my interest and I really didn't feel like doing dishes anyway...

Let me begin, for those who don't know me, by saying that I am "plus-sized" or "big." I don't particularly like to label myself by my size, but it gets the point across for now. While I admire these women for their perseverance in the fashion industry and their desire to provide positive role models for young girls, I had a few issues with the show very early on.

One of the very first scenes was a woman putting on two layers of shapewear on just her lower half. While doing this, she's talking about how beautiful she is and proud of her size. I'm wondering, if you are so proud of your size and feel so confident in your beauty, why do you need two layers of Spanx?

The next scene is of all the ladies going to a fashion show during fashion week. The models in the show are typical models who are very thin. One of the ladies began to make negative comments about how one of the models was too skinny and "all bones." Later, the ladies were joking around in such a way that sounded to me like they were teasing that model in the same way that many mean kids teased them in high school.

During the fashion show itself, the one lady who talked about the very thin model also said that while those models could go all day without eating, she couldn't. She went on to say that she could eat a whole chicken. Specifically, one of those rotisserie kind with all the drippings. In the same breath that she commented on how unhealthy the thin model was, she spoke of some very unhealthy eating habits on the other end of the spectrum.

Another scene that they showed was particularly disturbing to me. At a BBW party (a party for Big Beautiful Women and the men who love them), they had a "Thunder Thigh Contest." During this time, women got up and danced around to show off how large their thighs were. It was at this point that I was really turned off from this show and a few minutes later turned it off.

I strongly believe in loving yourself and your body no matter what your pant size. This is something that most, if not all, women struggle with from time to time, and something that I have had many battles with. However, there seems to be a trend towards no longer recognizing the unhealthy nature of such large physiques. Yes, you should love your body no matter what it looks like, but part of loving your body should be to take the best care of it possible.

While I am glad that many media outlets are trying to stray away from the uber skinny model of beauty, I think we also need to be careful that we do not overly glamorize the other end of the spectrum. Just as it is unhealthy to be too underweight, it is also unhealthy to be too overweight. I just worry that we could be sending just as unhealthy a message to our young people with shows like this as we do with shows that encourage girls to starve themselves.

Final word: Love yourself no matter what you look like, but just as you should always be striving to be a better friend, wife, daughter, etc. strive to be healthier too whatever that may look like for you.

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