1271257102_britney-spears-290Okay, so I’m not saying that Britney Spears is a glowing example of health, but I have to give credit to celebrities who release pre-airbrush photos of themselves. In the photo on the left, she’s been made to look noticeably slimmer and cellulite-free.

Let’s face it: whether you work in Hollywood or finance or education or healthcare, there is serious pressure on women to look “perfect”—or at least look a “certain way.”

I’ve heard a lot of talk from my fellow dietetics students about a similar pressure to look fit and healthy and glamorous at all times. I’ll admit, almost every event I’ve gone to lately has featured well-heeled, meticulously put-together ladies with great hair. Stick-thin, of course.

For me, it’s a fashion thing. Right now, my schedule does not allow high heels or sexy pencil skirts, what with all the time I spend on my feet or going to and from class, work, and the like. I am very prone to wardrobe envy. Other students say they feel the need to lose weight. I know that as spokeswomen for health, it’s important for us to be healthy, but if you don’t have much experience tuning out the noise, it has the potential to be damaging.

While I know that weight loss would benefit, oh, two-thirds of our country, I hesitate to hop on the Slim-Down bandwagon. I am more in favor of promoting good health and lifestyle changes that can contribute to a healthy weight loss and/or maintenance. However, I have to acknowledge that “skinny” is a word that gets people’s attention. While I’d like to think that there are lots of folks interested in their overall health, there are probably more who are interested in just being thin.

And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. In fact, the weight loss industry is only expected to grow. This would all be great if people were losing weight and adopting healthier lifestyles (and if eating disorders became less common), but that is very much not the case. Sure, obesity rates may have plateaued, but that doesn’t say much about the deep imbalance that has as yet to be approached, much less corrected.

My apologies for the long post. Clearly, this is a topic that gets my blood boiling. Cheers to Britney for shedding some light on the issue.

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