Skinny = happy?

The majority of women across the globe care about their appearance. Some may disagree, but how else could we explain the success of fashion magazines and all? We know that looking 'pretty' and slender makes life a little bit easier so we strive to look our best. I know that there are many ladies that don't, and I admire those women whole-heartedly and totally envy them- I would love to experience that comfort and self-assurance, but reality is that so few of us actually ever could. We all know that little niggling in the back of our mind as we sink our teeth into a glossy pastry... "Good luck squeezing into that dress now!". But still we ignore these thoughts and chomp our way through the stress-relieving chocolates and saucy chips that always taste better when you shouldn't have them! However, for most of us this idea of weight loss is just a vanity based on insecurities or a lack of control. Many women want to lose weight to feel happier, but is there actually any proof that skinnier girls are any happier than us normal girls?

If I were to pretend that I didn't diet or want to lose weight, i'd be lying. For the past five years I have told myself over and over that I needed to lose weight. I have never been obese, just ordinary, but I always wanted to know if being that little bit thinner would make me happier with myself. So a few years back I lost a good bit of weight slimming down to fit a pair of size 6 Topshop skinny jeans (it didn't take long for that weight to creep back on... I daren't go near the skinny jeans at Topshop now, unless I want a good cry!). I had experienced a little bit of friendly teasing at school for my size, and though it wasn't anything too harsh, it still affected me. I soon cut down my meals to one a day, with a smoothie for lunch or chewing gum and water... It's laughable now; to think that at twelve I was so disciplined in losing the weight that didn't even matter. I did sit ups and push ups and anything to work off the puppy fat that was the basis of a couple of jokes. I feel really stupid now, that it was such an extremity- but at the time it was all that mattered to me and when my mum sat me down and told me that I had become bony and gaunt, I felt a sense of achievement. It was totally ridiculous. And did I feel happier? Not one bit.

I felt a bit better going on holiday and not feeling chubby by the swimming pool, but I still wasn't happy with myself. Skinniness is not going to change something that much, despite what we may want to believe. From this ridiculous experience of mine, I can say that being skinny definitely does not make you automatically happy. It takes much more than that.

I just wish I could convince myself entirely that I don't have to lose weight now. But seeing adverts on television of Raquel Zimmermann swanning around in the delightful Chloé Love ad or Emily Didonato writhing around in the Acqua di Gioia campaign, I can't help but wonder whether these glamorous creatures ever sit in front of the telly with a packet of Pringles... I doubt it. But these are the ideals that we are fed.

There is a formula for beauty within the fashion industry and it stands at striking beauty+ skinny= acceptable. We don't really have much else to look at, and fair enough- it's aspirational in a sense. But changing this doesn't mean replacing Anja Rubik with a size 26 woman at LFW! There are far subtler changes in the fashion industry underway. Recently we have seen a number of beautiful models moving away from waif stereotypes- like Crystal Renn and those at Mark Fast's shows- and this is a step in the right direction. We need to put across that every shape is beautiful- clichéd though that is.

But still this wont make a dramatic change. We have all become so punitive, and it is shocking. The majority of men are still going to swoon over skinny girls rather than those with natural curves. Not to mention girls, who can be so malicious about size with those damaging whispers of "she's put on so much weight!" commonplace. Despite comments like these and those dated ideals, I know that there are so many larger girls who are happy in themselves because they see the bigger picture- they focus on what makes them individual rather than conforming to what is expected. And a natural girl with a huge smile is much more beautiful than a skinny one with a look of worry after eating that extra biscuit with her tea.

Lovely though it is to be greeted with "Have you lost weight?!", it's much better to enjoy what you have, because we are so lucky. Life is way too short to fret over these materialistic things. My all time favourite quote is very appropriate here:

"Life is far too short to be anything other than yourself."

Think of this before you panic about having a big dinner. If you truly think that being skinny will make you happy- then go for it! But, cheesy though this is, there is something beautiful about everyone and this should be enough to bring a smile to your face.
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