Weight obsession: unhealthy bodies and minds

Please don’t mention the “W” word around me. If another size five girl says “I need to lose weight” or “my hips are too big” I will probably scream. And in fact if anyone else mentions it I will lose the last ounce of tolerance I have.
Maybe it is just Miami with the half-dressed ladies and size zero abundance, but lately every other girl I know has been obsessive about her weight. I know I would prefer that everyone is concerned about her health, but there is a boundary that crosses over to that of obsession and even desperation.
I have noticed with some of the girls who do complain, those insecurities come from the people they hang out with who are seemingly the “perfect” size, yet the irony is that even those friends complain about not being the right size either. Therefore, an awful domino effect occurs in which you have a good majority of the population concerned about body shape and size. And of course, as usual the media and society only blow oxygen onto the already out-of-control inferno.
I admit having some insecurities about myself, particularly my hips, but I also know that extra width is not going anywhere and will only expand as I get older. And I have accepted this-they are part of my genes and the only thing I could probably do is saw them off. I only wish that some other females would accept the fact that their thighs will always rub together and never look like many of the emaciated models lining the runways.
I know that I would love it to be the ideal world, but I have to ask-is it that serious? Yes and unfortunately, the problem is much bigger than we want to accept. Last year I encountered a girl who was bulimic and as I have talked to other people and found that there are many others. With weight jokes teasing, and discrimination still being tossed around campus and within society, it is evident that many people are still unable to see past the exterior of someone. It is bad enough to have your innate insecurities, but to have additional ones added by inconsiderate words from others only adds to the problem.
I am moved to see more people taking charge of their weight, but there are still many out there who fall into the turbulent arms of depression, eating disorders and suicide.
It’s about time that all of us get off our lazy butts and exercise our power by addressing the issue.

Marquita Bell is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and political science. She can be reached at m_bell01@hotmail.com.

April 25, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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