Jerusha Pimentel – Columnist
Girls, let’s talk about dieting. We all do it, right? And we have, in some way or another, ever since we were young—most of us starting in our early teenage years. Whether it’s going on a “cleanse” to prepare ourselves for a school dance or the upcoming bikini season, or doing our best to avoid desserts while sticking to skim milk and anything with the word “lite” on the label, we’re always watching what we eat. We’re also good at religiously reading nutrition labels (we are pros at counting calories). Our reasons? It’s actually one big one: fat. We hate it, we fear it, and we’re all convinced we have too much of it. If we’re not dieting to get rid of the fat we have in our body, we’re certainly dieting in hopes of avoiding any more sneaking onto our body!
And we all have experienced those nauseating times when other girls—be it our best friends, our sisters, our roommates, or cousins—talk about the “fat” that they claim to have, even though they seem perfectly fine. This drives us crazy because if they think they’re fat, then what must they think of us? “I’m a whale compared to her!” It’s run through your mind while watching this girl–who is already pretty and thin–look at herself in the mirror, complaining and pinching that centimeter of “fat” on her stomach.
Doesn’t she realize she’s perfect? Doesn’t she realize she does NOT need to lose a single pound—that in fact she could gain some weight and still look fine?!
But then at the same time, even when you have someone dear to you who is a little bigger, you still hate it when they complain about their bodies, too. They may be curvier than you, and maybe even more than a lot of girls, but somehow it…fits them. It looks good and it hurts you to witness them hating their beautiful curves.
But not you, right? You will always be in the category of girls that really does need to lose a few pounds, who obviously isn’t as physically skinny as those slim girls pinching their skin and calling it “fat,” but also isn’t one who can “pull off” the curvy look, either. It just doesn’t look good on you, and if you could just lose like five or ten or fifteen pounds—it’s not like you want to be anorexic or something! You’re the exception, right? Well guess what? You’re not.
Let me tell you something, ladies, and I really hope this sinks in: There is not a single thing wrong with your body. You and I? We are raised believing that there are things—and not just one or two things, but a whole list of things that are wrong with us. “Fat” just happens to be the biggest, scariest problem we battle.
Haven’t you noticed that not a single girl is perfectly content with how much she weighs? Even if she does recognize that she’s thin, she at least still wishes she were bigger in other places. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough room in this column to continue on about this issue, but I want you to know, dear reader, that you are not the exception, and I’d like to challenge you with a rule I make myself follow. I call it the sister rule: if you wouldn’t want your sister doing it, you can’t either.
Would you want your sister hating her body? Would you want her counting her every calorie, always saying no to pizza, weighing or measuring herself every day and writing it down on paper? The answer (I hope) is no. So, then, you can’t do that to yourself. Start loving and accepting your body the way you wished your sisters and friends loved theirs, and following this rule is the first step.