Thursday, December 3, 2015

Let's Talk About the 'F' Word {guest post}

Guest Post, Body Image, Feminism

I'm excited to bring you another guest post this week! My sister, Katherine, has graciously offered to share her thoughts and feelings on a topic that has been discussed in her women's studies class-- feminism and body image. 

This is maybe a touchy subject for some of you. All I ask is that you keep an open mind, be kind in the comments, and realize that everyone has a different perspective.

Here's a bit about Katherine!

Katherine is a junior at Penn State studying Hospitality Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. After graduation she dreams of becoming an event planner for either a non profit organization or a conference center, and ultimately hopes to receive her Certified Meeting Professional. Her hobbies include country concerts, bowling, anything dog related, spending quality time with her friends and family, and of course, planning events. You can find her at the dining hall probably eating a grilled chicken sandwich while people watching or running from one meeting/class to the next.

Let's talk about the 'F' word, and not the one that you're thinking. I'm referring to the word fat.

Why is it that women are told by society that they have to be tall and thin, with a good build, or else they are considered fat and unhealthy? Essentially they are severely judged under these conditions. At the same time, if they are too thin or too muscular then they are also considered unhealthy or even manly. Where do we draw the line? 

It seems to be that there is no middle ground for women's appearance. They must fit into one specific mold or else they are deemed an unattractive woman, or even worse, a pig. I agree that health is one thing to be concerned about, but do we go too far at times? Every person is different-- some of which may have health issues hindering their super model status. 

The difference lies in overall health, not solely weight. Society pressures women into believing that they have to be the perfect '10'. Am I the only one who has an issue with this?

On the other hand, if a man is fat or slightly overweight, it's more normal or even sometimes considered attractive. Just think about the 'dad bod' trend that has been popular of late. Health doesn't seem to be the first priority to society when it comes to a man's appearance. Yet, if a man is super fit with a six pack, then that is looked at as ideal and the epitome of men and women everywhere. Everyone seems to care more about a woman's health than they do about a man's health. Where is the fairness and equality in this?

Now let's talk about the other 'F' word: feminism. Many people stereotypically think feminists are these man hating lesbians, who want to have complete control over everything that man touch. This is far from true. Feminists fight for equality among genders, not at the expense of a man's reputation. women should be using the feminist model to argue against the molds that they are forced into when it comes to their appearance. After all, we want equality don't we? We want to be treated in the same manner that any human would be, including men. When women are subjected to the kind of double standard that society has pushed us into, this does nothing but hurt us.

So I ask you-- what can you personally do to help this initiative of changing society's standards of women's looks? Will you see things different next time you are at the beach and look around at all of the different people, all of the different bodies?

"Let's challenge society's thoughts on feminism & body image! #healthy #guestpost #holidaysweat"

Whew. That was intense. Thanks Katherine for sharing your thoughts on such a difficult topic. Strength and passion-- two of the best things that college teaches us. I love that we are thrown into classes with individuals who have completely different backgrounds and thoughts. You get the opportunity to learn and grown. 

Your turn! How do you feel about the stereotypical female body image? Will you challenge yourself to view others through a different lens?