Recently, I feel like all I’ve been hearing from my friends and everyone else around me is that everyone just wants to be skinny. No one seems to feel good about themselves right now, which honestly makes me really sad. I’ve struggled with body image for quite some time now, but to see all of my friends getting so down on themselves for not looking a certain way is so disheartening. At Ascension, I feel like everyone is just relatively attractive. I really don’t know how we did it, but there is just no one at this school who I would consider to be ugly or unattractive. So for people to be running around here, thinking that they are, is such a shame. On the other side, however, I can understand where they come from. It’s understandable that at a school with so many pretty people everywhere, all you can really do is compare yourself to everyone else. It feels like everyone is prettier or skinnier or better than you in some way.
So, here’s where the title of this article comes into play. A few weeks ago, I was with 8th grader Ephraim Sorrell, and freshman Winnie McClymont. We were at the new Great American/Marble Slab down the street from school, and I was struggling with the idea of eating so much sugar. I really wanted two different cookies, but I thought that if I had more than one, I’d be seen as “fat” for eating lots of sugar. To which Ephraim responded, “Get both. Be skinny.” As you can imagine, my initial reaction was strictly confusion. How could eating two cookies make me skinny? So, I asked him what he was talking about, and he explained it to me like this.
Skinny is simply a mindset. Everyone is always so worried about being skinny because they think it’ll make them look better or that it’s what people expect them to be. The idea of being skinny is literally just a mindset based on body positivity. If you see yourself as skinny, you feel better about yourself. So many people my age equate being “skinny” with being happy or feeling good about yourself. Therefore, skinny is a mindset representative of how you truly feel about yourself. If you’re doing things that make you happy, you’re being skinny.
The whole idea isn’t that you’re changing your body or losing weight in order to physically become skinny, but that you can do whatever will make you happy. Being “skinny” in this sense is just about understanding that you don’t have to look a certain way in order to be happy or loved by other people, you just have to do things that you enjoy. Being skinny doesn’t have to be about how much you weigh or what size your clothes are. If you are doing what you love and being unapologetic about it, you’re skinny. We need to start destigmatizing bigger bodies and girls who don’t look like everyone else. Being different is a good thing, and we should embrace it.
Have all the cookies you want and don’t regret any of it! Because there is no perfect way to look, and you are the key to your own happiness. Make skinny a good thing, something that just means you’re happy. Because if being “skinny” is your goal to love yourself, you can make that definition whatever you’d like.