Fri. Mar 22nd, 2024

Dying to be thin

By Caterina Magnoni Feb 9, 2024
Fuu J/Unsplash

Despite living in a society that theoretically celebrates diversity and self-acceptance, being thin is still the ultimate goal for far too many people. A goal they are willing to achieve, no matter the costs or the consequences.

While we hear some of our favourite celebrities talking about how they have learned to love their bodies, no matter their weight or shape, there is still a voice in our heads that tells us that if we were skinnier, we would be better looking and more deserving of love.

Maybe it is Kate Moss’s voice reciting her mantra, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, or it’s just the consequence of seeing idealised body types in almost every form of media we consume or magazine we land our eyes on.

Yes, because despite plus-size model Paloma Elsesser winning “Model of the Year” in 2023, and proving that you do not have to be thin to be beautiful, she still had to wear a custom-made Miu Miu mini skirt for her cover of i-D. Why? Because the original wasn’t available in her size.

The truth is, we still live in a world that constantly celebrates thinner and smaller bodies, and most of us, if not all, have internalised this form of fatphobia too.

“I am ready for my life to finally begin,” said 20-year-old Morgan Maria Ribeiro from south London on her TikTok account, just days before boarding a plane to Turkey to undergo a gastric sleeve operation. The idea was to lose the weight that had always held her back “from doing so much”. On January 13, Ribeiro died of septic shock in a hospital in Serbia.

Data from a 2022 survey conducted among readers of the UK’s most popular women’s magazines showed that 17% of female readers would be willing to shave a year or more off their lives in exchange for their ideal body.

On TikTok, user @jordytings shared a video saying that her Roman Empire – something she thinks about on a regular basis – is being skinnier. Liked by almost 300k people, most of the comments are daunting: “Same, even when I was smaller, I was obsessed. It’s never good enough”, “I have never been obsessed with anything more, I think about it non-stop”, “literally me every single day, multiple times a day for the past 25 years”.

In the supposed era of body acceptance, we are still far from accepting the way we look. Perfection is what we want to achieve and for many, it is synonymous with fitting in a pair of jeans a size smaller than usual. However, viewing yourself merely as a body is a terrible limitation and we should all be full of life rather than starving ourselves to reach impossible beauty standards.

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