Big IS Beautiful | Teen Ink

Big IS Beautiful

December 17, 2009
By Alix Nestel BRONZE, Manchester, Missouri
Alix Nestel BRONZE, Manchester, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Size 14 is the average of women across the country, so why is it impossible for me as a size 14 to go throughout the day without getting some kind of disparaging remark about my weight? I have been called every “fat” name in the book: blimp, whale, tubby, Michelin man, fatty, butter ball… need I go on? I get dirty looks persistently, and I have been denied service at many clothing stores. No woman of any size should go through that type of humiliation. I haven’t said anything about overweight men because, "Overweight women are twice as vulnerable as men, and discrimination strikes much earlier in their lives," according to Geoffrey Bennett’s article about over weight people in America.

The media say being overweight is ugly. What gives them the right to say that? I’m not saying it’s all right to be seven hundred pounds and the only way of getting out of your home is by knocking down a wall and craning you out, but why is it wrong to be a healthy, yet more voluptuous, woman? Every commercial and television show displays girls that are no bigger than a size 2 and then they have one bigger girl on the show that hates the world and, of course, she’s extremely unpopular.

It’s not realistic. In my reality, I’m big. I get made fun of all of the time, but I don’t hate the world, and I definitely don’t consider myself unpopular. The only truth to these shows is that the skinny girl gets the boy. Bottom line, fat isn’t hot to guys but is it the fat itself or the excessive lack of confidence these girls have that’s the turn off? I would go with the second answer. Fluffy girls don’t feel confident because there’s not enough effort being put out to change their minds. The only shows that these girls watch are ridiculous ones such as More to Love. This show is basically telling every full-figured girl that only a full-figured boy could love her. What kind of message is that to girls who already have no confidence?

The Dove Foundation is feuding against every other company to prove to girls that flaws are fabulous. They even have a song in a commercial that says, “Do your eyes sit wide. Does your nose go to the side? Does your elbow have a crinkle? Do your knees sort of wrinkle. Does your chest tend to Frankel? Do your ears sorta wiggle? Does your hair make it giggle? Does your neck crow long? Do your hips sing a song? Do your ears hang low” and I love it because being overweight isn’t the only flaw that causes women to hide from their reflection. Dove is allowing women to relate to one another in saying that we all have flaws that make us different, not ugly and I respect them for that.

Very few women these days are famous and overweight because the number on the scale overshadows their talent. Take Adele for example, she is an incredible singer and instead of people applauding her for her aptitude for singing, she is laughed at and criticized for being a big girl. Then there’s Jessica Simpson. She was a symbol of perfection to everyone while I was growing up but recently she put on weight and all hell breaks lose. Every tabloid is screaming, “FATTY!” while majority of them probably are married to women that are twice Jessica’s size. In my eyes, she’s a perfect example of a girl that hasn’t lost her beauty just because she’s gained some extra body.

My question is when did being overweight make you ugly? In the Victorian era, large women were treasured and their nude bodies were painted in collages everywhere. In African tribes, the bigger a female is the better. African men believe that larger women are more beautiful then thin women. Joan from Mad Men is adored by everyone and she’s not skinny. So when did the explosion of “thin popularity” begin? I don’t think anyone can say exactly when it began but I do know one thing: It needs to stop! We need to take a stand against discrimination. Not just discrimination against the more curvaceous of our kind but against sex, race, and social standings. I hear it said that today’s society is more accepting to everything but from where I stand, the paucity of acceptance is becoming more and more obvious and harder to ignore.

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This article has 45 comments.

on May. 7 2014 at 1:20 pm
writinggurl SILVER, Easley, South Carolina
8 articles 0 photos 14 comments
I can relate to this article because my birth mom was 16 whenshe has me and she has a weight problem and had low self esteem when i was five she killed herself because of her weight. In my opinion if you have your weight under control you are eating right and you have no health problems than you go gurl. Its your body and your life. Beauty isnt a defination. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

on Apr. 17 2014 at 10:50 pm
This is true. And not just for girls, either. Everyone critizes people who are overweight at my school.

DLY1912 BRONZE said...
on Feb. 6 2014 at 9:04 pm
DLY1912 BRONZE, Birmingham, Alabama
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

That was amazing and so true. I am a very curvy girl but my fiance is a healthy weight and loves me just the way I am. I love my curves and my hips and my weight. Just because I'm not the standard beautiful doesn't mean I'm not still beautiful. You go girl! Curvy is the new sexy!

on Jan. 8 2014 at 11:07 pm
Caitlin_Marie SILVER, Antioch, Illinois
7 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Doing nothing is for the dead.

This was great. The writing was nice, and it was true. A lot of models are so thin their not healty. This needs to change

on Nov. 30 2013 at 3:52 pm
deafening-fan GOLD, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
10 articles 1 photo 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Big since kindergarten, overconscious since third grade, never a chance for a boy friend. I always wanted to be a hero from the books I read. I always wanted to be the beautiful princess or cowgirl. It was ok in primary grades, but when i moved, it all changed. I saw the pretty girls who could use their wheight to their advantage, the popular thin girls, the athletic muscular girls, even the sickly but prettier girls. I was stuck with my large thighs, potbelly, flabby arms, and round face. I am not even strong. I am always laughed at or feel awkward around my skinny friends. I felt so much better when I read this article! Thank you so much!

on Jul. 14 2013 at 1:01 am
justkiddinguniversity BRONZE, Palmdale, California
1 article 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Its not what it is, its what it can become."
-The Once-Ler

i read this to my mom and she said "beautifully said". REALLY good story. Im big too and i totally know where youre coming from. 

marz said...
on Oct. 23 2012 at 6:44 pm

bagley777 GOLD said...
on Oct. 1 2012 at 9:55 pm
bagley777 GOLD, Tucson, Arizona
11 articles 3 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love is a two way street. If you find yourself on a one-way road, it's time to take the next turn off.

There was a picture going around on facebook about "Dove models" vs. "Victoria's secret models" and everybody commented that the Dove models were obese and were going to die young. This really upset me. Thinking skinny girls are prettier is one thing (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..that could just be personal opinion!) But to say that an average healthy sized girl is obese when there's 700 pound people out there just makes me sick. Especially in today's world, where more and more people are on the heavier side. It's the Victoria's secret models that are unhealthy. Anyway, just thought this would be a good place to express myself.(;

on Sep. 9 2012 at 11:05 pm
FreelanceGirl BRONZE, Gresham, Oregon
4 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
-Jim Elliot

This was awesome! I've never really been subject to that horrible of bullying about my weight, but as a size 12 girl, I still get all the hits from the media about being fat. Very well written - you definetly said it like you meant it!!!

on Sep. 9 2012 at 7:26 pm
pandagirl312 GOLD, Leawood, Kansas
19 articles 1 photo 91 comments
Wow. Usually, opinion articles of this length repeat themselves and don't have enough content to deserve the length they take. Yours is perfect. You have a lot to say about this topic, and you really did a nice job putting it all together. Great work! :)

Boota BRONZE said...
on Sep. 9 2012 at 5:56 pm
Boota BRONZE, N/A, South Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
Bowties are cool!

i loved this article, not only is it SO true, it's also well written.

Boj95 SILVER said...
on Sep. 9 2012 at 12:36 pm
Boj95 SILVER, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
8 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"She doesn't even go here!"
-Damion from Mean Girls

First of all, this is really well written. Second I totally agree that society can be shallow with the amount of emphasis it places, not just on weight, but on physical appearance in general. Not only do TV shows only ffeature thin women, but also only women with perfect hair, skin, etc. Way to be a voice for the perfection of imperfection!

on Jul. 27 2012 at 8:54 pm
MckennaS PLATINUM, Port St Lucie, Florida
21 articles 0 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
Well, I’m well.
Well, I mean I’m in hell.
Well, I still have my health
At least that’s what they tell me
If wellness is this, what in hell’s name is sickness?"

(I like this article a lot. I forget to say thanks for sharing)

on Jul. 27 2012 at 8:53 pm
MckennaS PLATINUM, Port St Lucie, Florida
21 articles 0 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
Well, I’m well.
Well, I mean I’m in hell.
Well, I still have my health
At least that’s what they tell me
If wellness is this, what in hell’s name is sickness?"

More voluptuous women were put on a pedastal in the old ages because everyone knew they weren't going to be the first to die when sickness came about. They had fat to PROTECT them and that made them desirable and earned them praise. It's not always just the looks.

on Jul. 27 2012 at 2:49 pm
thelogicoflove SILVER, Camden, South Carolina
7 articles 0 photos 15 comments
I really quite enjoyed this article! You are entirely correct.

I am a strong advocate of body positivity, regardless of size, gender, race, whatever. I believe that every body is beautiful in its own way; I may not find every person physically appealing, but that doesn’t mean they are inherently unattractive. Kate Harding once said that the world isn’t made of ‘Attractive’ People and ‘Unattractive’ People, it is full of people who are attractive to some and not others, and I could not agree more. Every person deserves to feel loved and accepted. Having extra weight doesn’t automatically void your feelings.

When it becomes a question of health, I remain the stance that my personal health is no one else’s business but my own. If I want to eat a monstrous bacon cheeseburger for dinner tonight while sitting on my fat, size fourteen bum, that’s fine. My body is mine, and no one else should tell me what to do with it.

R. said...
on Jul. 27 2012 at 9:12 am
Good job in writing this, I agree with how on pretty much EVERY commercial dealing with "beauty" products, there are only petite woman! I wish society would change its message about women. The Movie "Shallow Hal" is funny and has a good message!

Watson, GOLD said...
on Jul. 27 2012 at 12:26 am
Watson, GOLD, Billings, Montana
18 articles 4 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

-Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

I don't think it's necessarily an issue of not accepting who you are, or embracing the fact that you are bigger than some others, but rather an issue of the way other people look at you. Not everyone sees bigger women as beutiful, and although society as a whole is slowly starting to accept them, people in your average city still can't see past size. I hear people get made fun of relentlessly because of size. Imagine if this was happening to you. Not even the most secure person would be okay with people talking about how "ugly" they are behind their back, or, in some cases, right in front of them. Like I said before, perception is slowly beginning to change. However, in the majority of the country bigger women are ridiculed for their size. And that's not okay. People wouldn't tease a person of a different ethnicity or a person with a disability. No one deserves to be treated as less than human by other people.

AriaC said...
on Jul. 5 2012 at 9:58 pm
Wow, you make some fantastic points here. I am a size 4-8 (pant sizes vary so much!), but I still feel the pull to be as skinny as possible!  I have suffered from anorexia because I gave in to the world's call for thinness, but I am so happy to be recovered and healthy. Don't ever be ashamed for your size.  I think that plus-sized women are very beautiful, no matter what the magazines say.

on Jul. 5 2012 at 3:55 pm
I can kind of relate to what your saying about clothing and fighting with clerks. The problems is I'm skinny but I have some weight on my woman curves so when I try to tell the clerk why I can't wear juniors or a small tee shirt they don't always understand. I do believe it's ok to be few pounds overweight and you can still look good. Not that I'm saying Americans shouldn't try to eat healthy and get in shape but that doesn't mean you still can't look good if your a few pounds overweight.

on Jun. 26 2012 at 4:27 pm
originalityisdeadd, Upton, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A bird does not lay awake at night and wonder if it is a good bird; A bird just flies."

Thank you for writing this article. It really helped me. I deal with an eating disorder and in 4 months I've gone from a size 9 to size 3. This sheds a new light and is helping me with my recovery by a new mindset. Thank you so much .