According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 80 percent of all 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. But in a world where fashion models and celebrities define and create the social norms, what is “fat” anyway?
Recently, the press berated Lady Gaga for weight gain, and Lady Gaga fired back. On Sept. 25, Lady Gaga launched Body Revolution 2013 on her site Little Monsters, hoping to inspire bravery. Lady Gaga posted a picture of herself in just a bra and underwear on her site with the caption, “Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15.”
Gaga is encouraging her fans to do the same and join the Body Revolution by posting photos of themselves that celebrate their triumphs over their insecurities. Gaga’s father even joined the revolution, with a picture of his belly posted on the site. It is about time that a celebrity, or just anyone for that matter, said something about body image.
Lady Gaga is nothing near fat. In fact, she is the opposite of fat. In videos, dancing scantily clad, Lady Gaga looks too thin to me. So, when did it become okay to nit-pick someone’s appearance publicly?
Of course, Lady Gaga is not the only celebrity who has come under the microscope of the media. Several other stars have endured the same criticism, but Lady Gaga is taking a stand. By firing back at the media and encouraging her fans to embrace their bodies, Lady Gaga is sending a positive message to her fans.
The average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds; a typical model is 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 110 pounds. Paging through a magazine or watching television implants this vision of perfection at unrealistic standards. So, if this definition of beauty is so thin, how does one change him or herself to fit it?
Looking at magazines, or even just watching television, it is extremely hard to find a celebrity with a body similar to mine. The pressures celebrities face to be thin is transferred to the fans they have and the people that see the articles calling 130-pound celebrities fat. I personally feel pretty bad when I’m reading a magazine and see a person who looks healthy called “fat,” and I can’t be the only one.
I get that having a model’s body is never going to happen for me. But when all I see in movies, on television and in print are models or model-thin actresses, how am I supposed to feel about my body? The media paints a picture of this one type and size of perfection that is airbrushed and, for the average 5-foot-4-inch American woman, unattainable.
Gaga’s response to the media was admirable. Eating disorders are too common in the present day and age. Today, 13 million people binge eat and 10 million women are battling anorexia or bulimia, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. In a world where eating disorders are so prevalent, any message that seeks to spark a body revolution is a good one.
Gaga’s reach extends to such a large group of people that this Body Revolution could do some good. The champions of all things different and beautiful alike, Gaga’s Little Monsters are a varied group. Not everyone is going to want to post a provocative picture of him or herself online in an outward display of bodily pride, but hopefully Lady Gaga’s revolution isn’t just about baring all online.
This revolution is about self-confidence and self-loving because the change in body and self image comes from within. Lady Gaga’s empowerment is just the first step.
Elizabeth Jacobson ’16 is from Duluth, Minn. She majors in social work.