No Size Fits All


Gulliver Prep Art Department

Student artwork depicting the many shapes and sizes in which people naturally are. It is important that everyone can feel included and represented in the media, regardless of their “body type.”

“I only enjoy looking at skinny girls.”

“Models are supposed to be skinny. The ones who are plus-size should not be in a magazine.”

“Teens who are not skinny are unhealthy and ugly.”

It’s 2021: the supposed modern day, when people are expected to be more accepting of others, promote inclusivity and positive change, and go about their day-to-day lives without feeling judged, unsafe, bad, or guilty for being the person they are. But why is it, when someone tries to stand up, fight back, or encourage body positivity, they are still blown back with comments like these? It is unacceptable that teenagers growing up still feel that they have to change themselves to fit in with a “beauty standard” or to please someone else. Not only is this standard unreachable, but it has a detrimental effect on teenagers’ body images and self-confidence.

This pressure to fit in and look a certain way can create a problem over time to the growing mind of a teen. These feelings can cause mental health issues, including body dysmorphia. According to the Mayo Clinic, “body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance.” This can cause someone to constantly check and doubt their appearance.

Teens should not have to feel this constant worry or pressure, and should be able to feel good and proud of the way they look and who they are. No one’s words should get in the way of this. In line with this belief, body positivity is an idea that is spreading throughout the media. According to the website VeryWellMind, “Body positivity refers to the assertion that all people deserve to have a positive body image, regardless of how society and popular culture view ideal shape, size, and appearance.” In other words, the movement encourages people to wear the clothes that make them feel happy, don’t let the words of others bring them down, and feel that their body is right and perfect for them no matter the size.

Several companies are now using models with different body shapes. Teens growing up should be able to look in a store, website, or magazine and see diverse types of bodies, rather than impossible-to-reach standards. However, body positivity also goes the other way as just because someone is skinny does not mean that they need to eat more. It is important to recognize that everyone’s body works in a different way and is built just for them.

The next time you look in a mirror and are not happy with what you see, remember that there is only one you and you are amazing no matter how you look. There is no one body type that everyone must follow. Be whatever size that makes you happy and healthy. Don’t forget that health should always come first and not someone else’s words. If you feel that you are struggling with body image, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Embrace who you are and the next time someone makes a comment, fight back and be happy with yourself!