“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” This phrase is actually common to hear nowadays, and it epitomizes society’s view on body image in recent years: the thinner the better. Women are always looking to society and others for what the ideal body should be, but if they don't fit into the resulting stereotypical skinny look, they begin to feel like they’re considered ugly or undesirable.
Ladies, do not look to others to see what you should be; all that matters is how you feel about your own body and yourself as a whole person, not just the outside. If you are unsatisfied with your body then by all means, do what you need to do, but if you're unsatisfied only because others say you should be then don't you change a thing.
I understand the frustration; it is so hard to grow up in this type of mindset where every girl should be a size zero, and a size six is considered plus size. It’s not right. The only important opinion that someone has about your body should be your own. We’ve all had that time where we’ve absolutely hated some of our physical qualities and just wanted to change our appearance, but the ideal body is one that is unique to you and that radiates confidence.
At least, that’s what I would call the perfect body type. I wanted to know what other women were thinking so I spent a day in the quad chatting. Here are ten BC girls and their own personal views on body image, in society and at BC:
“Body image is a very important thing that a lot of girls, especially at BC, are concerned about. There definitely is that BC look that a lot of girls, and guys, think they have to subscribe to. As long as you are comfortable in your body, then that's the only important thing. Personally, it took me a little while to get comfortable in my body, but now that I am, I really wouldn't want to change myself. To be happy is the biggest part in being comfortable in your body.”
- Katie Sullivan, 2017
“Everybody has a different body, there isn't one perfect body. Everyone is built differently, so its hard to judge what the ideal body is. Not just for women, for both men and women, but as long as you know the limits of your body and you have your own expectations, and you're comfortable and confident with yourself then your body is the perfect one for you. A lot of people are insecure about their body image and tend to look to Victoria’s Secret models for inspiration. Those are unrealistic goals, because not everyone has that type of body. However, people are starting to be more aware of the differing sizes. Celebrities are now promoting awareness of all these different body types an its had an impact on people; they are accepting their bodies for what they are.”
- Sophie Yahn, 2018
“I think that the popular opinion of body image is terrible. As a culture and as a community we think of ourselves in a negative light and I do it personally. I have trouble talking about it and saying that we should look at body image a certain way, because I personally see myself in the mirror and say I’m not really happy with what I look like. I think that because society is not happy with what my body looks like. It is not fair to be looked down on for something that you may constantly be working on and are never feeling better about. To tear yourself down again and again because other people say you should is just shitty.”
- Rachel Hess, 2015
“This is my sixth year at Boston College. As time wore on, I found myself dressing similar to other students. Before I came here I didn't really pay attention to my body, but when I got to BC, I saw all these girls working out at the Plex and going to the salad bar only. Meanwhile, I would like a steak and cheese, but all I saw were these girls eating salads; and after some time I conformed to that kind of life style. I even cut certain things out of my diet because I felt I had to look a certain way. Many women feel there's a certain amount of pressure at BC to look a certain way. Especially those who would be considered heavyset; they do have a hard time here. There definitely is a negative stereotype on what it means to be a beautiful woman. Beauty isn't being a double zero.”
-Cindy Ramkissoon, 2013
“A lot of girls at BC are more concerned with health than necessarily how they look. Girls here are all beautiful inside and out, but compared with with society as a whole, girls here are more worried about how they're doing academically, physically, spiritually and emotionally, in addition to how they look. The girls are a lot more well rounded here. At the same time, however, society does influence the way girls look at themselves. Especially as young girls; seeing pictures of the women in magazines and on TV. Its important that we're educating ourselves about the true meaning of beauty and other ways to improve as people, not just through what we wear and how skinny we are.”
- Stephanie Nekoroski, 2018
“I definitely have evolved my perception of the ‘BC Plex girl’ over the years. As a freshman there’s a lot of pressure to fit into the eating healthy, working out every day routine. Now, as a senior, I care less about what other people think of me, because I have established my friends. As a freshman, it can be very hard, just because you don’t have that group of friends. So you are worried about how people view you, and your body image becomes your priority because they don’t know your personality yet. The more you spend time at BC, the more people will get to know you as a person. It will become easier to have a more positive body image.”
- Lea Oriol, 2015
“The most important thing is to be healthy. The most important thing is that you feel really good about not only your body but also your energy, your health. A lot of people focus on eating right and working out in terms of dieting and being thin, but I think the most important part is to nourish your body and to treat it kindly and treat yourself kindly.”
- Anna Ringheiser, 2018
“I personally don’t like the word fat, because there is no such thing as fat. Everyone has their own opinion of fat, I might see something as being fat but someone else could see it in a completely different way. I personally feel like everyone should strive to be healthy, but don’t change your body or don’t change yourself based on what someone else says. I feel like if you're comfortable in your own skin, no matter what you look like, then you're fine. I strive to be healthy. I’m not always successful but I am comfortable in my own skin, that’s the most important thing. I like seeing girls walking around confident, a lot of people don’t do that. They walk around with their head down; no, smile.”
- Faith Rapley, 2018 (below, left)
“Body image should be positive and it is different for each person. What you feel comfortable with about your own body. You shouldn't care about what other people feel about your body, because it’s your body and whatever you're comfortable with is what matters. You shouldn't go to extraneous measures just to fit a certain body image that BC has or that the media has, you should base it off of yourself.”
- Priscilla Nyarko, 2018 (above, right)
“People should be comfortable regardless of whether they're curvy or not, if they're thick or not. I don’t think you have to work out every day, but for health reasons I would recommend it. Just to keep yourself healthy and strong, so you can live a long life. To reduce the risk of getting diabetes, high cholesterol or any type of heart problems. In general, if you work out a few times a week its good. With society nowadays and the media, people portray body image a certain way; as skinny and really lanky. Regardless of whatever body you have, it’s fine because everyone is beautiful.”
- Alexandra Paz, 2015
“A lot of people, such as Jennifer Lawrence, don’t like to use the word fat, but I don’t think thats necessarily the way to go. By saying you don’t want to use the word fat makes fat a bad thing, and it’s not. The intentions are good, but it’s ultimately fat shaming at the same time. I think it’s important to be inclusive of all body types and a lot of times people will say ‘It’s important to be healthy,’ but its a mask for still doing the same body shaming that we did before. Someone can be healthy and not have the shape you think healthy is. It is just using the word healthy to cover it up this body shaming.”
- Laura Johnson, 2017
As you can see, everyone has differing opinions on body image and the way that it is portrayed in society today. Everyone is different and that is a good thing. How boring would the world be if everyone looked the same? Our imperfections are what make us unique and allow us to stand out. Don’t let anyone try and change you, the only thing that matters is that you love yourself. Variety is good; you do you and don’t allow anyone to try and tell you otherwise.