I have a friend from high school who was always on the heavier side. She wasn't extremely overweight, but she wasn't a skinny-minny either. For the past year, she's been working really hard, eating healthier, and getting in shape, and she's lost a lot of weight.
Last weekend we went to a mutual high school friend's engagement party, and when we got there, all I could hear was, "Oh you lost weight—you look so good." Of course, it made her feel ecstatic to have all those compliments and attention, but it really pissed me off.
Want to know why? Then
I know my friends meant well, but what kind of message is that? Losing weight and being thin equals looking good? So does that mean if you gain weight or you're overweight, then you don't look good? Why does there have to be so much emphasis on how we look and on being thin?
We all know keeping your weight down and exercising makes us healthy, but for most of us, that's not the main reason we diet and work our butts off. As women, we are bombarded with magazines, movies, and what we see on TV that tells us "thin equals beautiful," and we are so brainwashed that we even send that message to our fellow female friends.
Women need to support each other, and recognize the beauty that comes from within. We need to make an effort to send out a more positive message. Instead of focusing on weight and appearance, we can say things like, "You lost weight—you look really strong," or "You lost weight—you must have so much energy now." I agree that it's important to acknowledge the hard work a woman has done to get fit, but we need to encourage that kind of healthy lifestyle for the right reasons, and not just because it makes us look good.