Healthy is NOT the New Skinny

We live in a society plagued by body image problems.

I am the first to confirm that I love and appreciate all the effort that is put into countering the culture of body shaming, I’ve been on the receiving end much of my life and career (see this video I did on this topic: Why Are You so Skinny). But, I have to speak up because I think that in many ways so much of the ‘anti-body shaming’ actions, slogans and movements are actually adding to the current body image problem.

Messages with the intention to promote women accepting who they are’, and ‘embracing the body they’ve been given’ are plastered everywhere, and while I don’t doubt the original motives started with positive intentions, we need to re-think the messages we are giving and sending.

The statement: Healthy is the New Skinny (HNS) was brought to my attention by a fellow blogger/writer named Anastasia, and her point hit a chord, and got me thinking, so much that I figured it was time to speak up myself.

The term ‘Healthy is the New Skinny’ polarizes ‘skinny’ as being the exact opposite of healthy, rather it implies skinny is mutually exclusive from ‘healthy’.

This is simply not true, there are many small, thin and skinny women who are strong and healthy, and by making this statement we are directly putting skinny outside the realm of healthy.

This is no different than the statement I’m also not a fan of:  ‘Real Women have curves’.

Are small, thin or skinny women not real women? Statements like these encourage negative attention and body shaming

Real women are large,

small, curvy, lean, and

everything in between.

       We must embrace the uniqueness of all body shapes and sizes, rather than promote what is ‘in’ vs out.

This brings me to my next point: The statement: ‘Healthy is the NEW Skinny’ implies that ‘healthy’ is a trend that is ‘IN’ while being ‘skinny’ is ‘out’.

I’m sorry, but health should not be dictated as a trend – we should all strive to be healthy given the parameters of our God-given bodies and abilities, not because it’s a ‘trend’.

Statements should not be made to encourage us to judge what ‘healthy’ should look like

You can be big and be healthy, you can be small and be healthy, just as you can also be any size and be unhealthy.

How dare we decide what is ‘in’ when it comes to body type.

The important thing is that we strive every day do be better people, to take care of the bodies we are given through proper movement, mindfulness and nourishment.

Rather than spending time and energy talking about what is ‘acceptable’ or ‘in’, use your energy to focus on improving your own life and those around you.

I believe giving women the tools to take their health into their own hands through exercise, builds confidence far beyond any aesthetics. So next time you see a ‘activist statement’ take a second to think about it and the impact it has.

Don’t be afraid to question the ‘trend’, and challenge anything you feel is not right. But, I want to hear from you, what are your thoughts on this statement, and the whole topic? Leave your comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.

Love,

Amanda

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