It is January and the spirit of change is in the air. Suddenly, nothing is quite good enough anymore. Be it our eating habits or exercise regimes, we are surrounded by urgent calls to improve ourselves, which tends to amount to one thing: being slimmer.
Unimaginative magazine covers call upon readers to seize the chance for reinvention. Dull diet tips and fitness features stuff the pages, interspersed with the token “how to get a promotion in 2013” article.
Then there are the adverts, adverts disguised as wellbeing campaigns. It is tricky to communicate the insidious nature of such marketing stunts without resorting to a tirade of expletives, with the phrase “utter bullshit” cropping up repeatedly. With regards to the question “what will you gain when you lose?” there is only one answer: an unhealthy fixation with a cruddy breakfast cereal.
There is widespread assumption that all women are unhappy with their bodies. This assumed discontent is a lucrative business opportunity, especially when coupled with the emotive language of self-improvement. This assumption is so ingrained in society that it has become self-perpetuating – wanting to change our bodies is expected and considered the norm. A woman who is vocally satisfied with her body is considered a curious novelty at best or downright arrogant at worst.
In the spirit of change, why not break this cycle? Let the change you make be one to be happy with your body just the way it is. And then, tell people about it, tell everyone! Shout it from the rooftops! Accepting and liking our bodies should be the rule not the exception. Together we can drown out these messages of self-loathing cunningly disguised as empowerment.
Image via X-Ray Delta One's Flickr