The Scale Shape Our Minds
“Mirror, Mirror on the wall am I the skinniest of them all?” Beauty in our society has many different ways to be measured, one being a person weight. Each and everyday people step on the scale and slowly become overwhelmed by the weight that is reflected on the screen. People want to fit in, look right, and not be placed into the category of overweight or obese. It’s hard to ignore the constant reminder that being overweight takes years of your life, developing heart disease, diabetes, and slowly those concerns put panic into people minds. Creating the right platform and changing people’s mindset of weight slowly shapes our minds. People create different aspirations for their lives. If someone tells you that being pretty hurt would you believe them? We become consumed with the notion of fitting in, having the scale determine our self-worth we become lost. Derryl Roberts’s (2011) the director who is also featured in America the Beauty 2: The Thin Commandments, a documentary of the world of dieting, measuring your imperfection with society’s view on weight. The overarching questions are you happy with your self even with all these diets programs, constant approval of acceptance while watching your BMI. Are you living? Or are you simply creating a monster of an addiction, a disorder, a limitation of living because your worried about every bite you consume would add up.
The scale can be a person’s worst enemy if they let it. The determination of fitting in and being fit takes a back seat when people just want to attain a certain look. The goals shifts to looking right, slowly overshadows the purpose of being fit. The scale transforms our look of perfection. We slowly believe being a certain weight, within our body mass index (BMI), should be a goal for people to obtain. Roberts (2011) stated that Federal Trade Commission had the BMI lowered. “In 1994-1998 the overweight threshold BMI=28, then in 1999-current the BMI went to 25. So over night 25 million American became overweight.” The logic behind lowering the BMI makes it impossible to maintain a cautious level of control when any moment the government can change all the rules. Janiszewski, Ph.D. (2012) states in his article “I have heard countless time how one buff celebrity or another (e.g. Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Rock etc.) would be classified as overweight or obese according to their BMI due to their excess amount of muscle. Yes, that absolutely true. BMI is a measure of relative weight: fat mass and muscle mass are not distinguished.” Yet people are still trying to obtain this ideology BMI that does not exist. Instead people restrict their intake of food, claiming a life style, change but slowly we trying to reach an unrealistic goal. Roberts (2011) states that “on any given day, almost half of the women in the U.S. are on a diet, while one in four men are on a diet.” Like many people they have a love hate relationship with the scale because they want to know after all their hard work how much they weigh, does it reflect on the scale? But at most times they slowly become angry with themselves because of the lack of progression shown. Revaluating where they fail in training, “was it what I ate, maybe I need to try something new or train harder.” Janiszewski, Ph.D. (2012) states it so well when he says “ this lack of change in BMI or body weight is all too often interpreted as failure, resulting in the disappointed individual resuming inactive lifestyle and unhealthy eating patterns.” Slowly I had to revaluate my relationship with the scale and this so called BMI system, because every time I visit the doctor they automatically assume because of my weight I might have diabetes, high cholesterol, or other problems. I am then urged to get tests done which always come back normal. I work out even if the scale does not reflect the status quo desire to be thin. People might think that unless the number on the scale reflects society’s notion of perfection they are not worthy.
People need to start being comfortable in their own skin. We live in a shallow world where people gain happiness by making other people feel weak. Roberts (2011) states that “four out of five American woman say they’re dissatisfied with the way they look.” Its not only that people are not happy with how they look even children feel the effect of lacking self love. Roberts (2011) continues to state, “fifty percent of 9 and 10 yr. old girls say that being on a diet makes them feel better about themselves.” When will these standards of beauty change? Roberts (2011) also states “more than one out of three “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. One fourth of those will go on to suffer from partial or full syndrome eating disorder.” When will society realize that making people feel unattractive, unsatisfied in their skin will only create more problems? Beverly Johnson (2011) states, “ In our world the thinner you get the more fabulous you get.” People should aim to be healthy not thin.
A person’s aspiration in life should be to achieve happiness, not worry about the scale. The simplest word, the kindest gesture can slowly change the way people target fitness. Having a thin body should never be the value of someone’s life. Being pretty should not hurt instead being pretty should be rewarding. No body should be dying to be thin. Roberts (2011) states, “ almost half of American children between first- third grade say they want to be thinner.” Michelle Obama launched her campaign to make children live a healthy lifestyle. Her campaign is focus around “Let’s Move” was launched February 9, 2010. It’s important that if you’re going to have a healthy lifestyle you have to change your lifestyle to become healthy. The overall goal for everyone should be to become healthy not thin.
A level of self-love needs to be established. When you find a path of happiness its not about losing weight its about developing self-acceptance. Develop a healthy life style that does not make you create a level of addiction with the scale. Instead of developing disillusion with food, develop a level of moderation without dieting. Don’t deprive your body of food that you loves instead don’t over indulge in unhealthy habits. It’s not impossible to gain to level of acceptance, but people need to develop a level of self-love that acknowledge, that scale should not shape our minds of society’s acceptance.
Janiszewski, P Ph.D. (2012,February10). Why the Body Mass Index (BMI) is a Poor Measure of Your Health. Retrieved from http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2012/02/10/why-the-body-mass-index-bmi-is-a-poor-measure-of-your-health/
Roberts, D. (Director) &(Producer) (2011). America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments. United States: Harley Boy Entertainment