After a study was conducted in the United Kingdom it was discovered that 60% of adults reported feeling ashamed of their appearance. This shocking statistic raises the common topic of body image issues; common body image issues are created mainly by the media. The essay “That Lean and Hungry Look” by Suzanne Britt provides an abundant amount of examples of body discrimination. This essay is one of the many causes of why people look at them selves in the mirror and are unhappy the most important thing about the human body is not the way it looks it’s how it functions; therefore, unlike Suzanne Britt’s “That Lean and Hungry Look” people should be encouraging a healthy body image by fostering healthy behaviors, breaking down stereotypes, and promoting acceptance of everyone.
To begin, all human beings should support healthy behavior in everyone however, most people are not being supportive. People of different body types tend to gang up on one and other because of their own insecurities Suzanne Britt does so when she says “Thin people come in all personalities most of them menacing” (Britt, 1).
She shows how people gang up on each other because she makes all thin people seem like bad, “menacing” people. This can lead to unhealthy behavior such as eating disorders, eating disorders create an unhealthy place for anyone experiencing one. Most people will agree that eating disorders are an unpleasant thing, but this brings up the inquiry: why do people lower each other’s self-esteem? The only solid answer is the person lowering another person’s selfeesteem has a low selfeesteem to begin with and needs to make other people feel bad in order to feel better about themselves.
Without proper awareness, human beings are making earth a toxic place to live because of the constant want for the perfect body. By definition a stereotype is an extensively held, oversimplified idea of a specific sort of person or thing. While knowing different stereotypes in dangerous situations has proved helpful, stereotyping has become more of a negative thing than a positive thing when it comes to appearance.
An example of this is in Britt‘s text when she says, “thin people need watching” by saying this she creates a lack of trust between people which wouldn’t have ordinarily been there. Stereotyping at the rate that it is going should be discouraged because it has begun dividing people into separate categories that they cannot escape from. This ultimately segregates different people and creates tension between the different groups. Breaking down stereotypes stimulates a healthy body image by generating an environment in which people can be comfortable with their bodies because they are not judged by them. Along with the extinguishment of stereotypes comes the promotion of acceptance with every individual.
In a country where equality is law, we still find ourselves faced with inequalities whether it be by race or size this should be demolished. If we accept everyone for the things they cannot change, like their body type, we can generate a better, healthier place to live. In Britt’s text, she shows her belief in the beauty of “fat people,“ though it is this happiness for her own kind that produces a hatred between different looking people. When achieving a healthy body image most people base a lot of what they think about themselves on what others think of them, so when Britt says “thin people are downers” it makes thin people feel bad about who they are based on another person’s unfair and unfriendly opinion.
Therefore, if everyone were to be more accepting body image opinions would get better. In conclusion, a healthy body image has become almost unattainable in the society we are living in today. This is due to a lack of support for each person no matter how he or she appears. In Suzanne Britt’s “That Lean and Hungry Look,” I found myself being personally attacked and devalued for the way I am built; this is an unfair but almost universal wrong-doing of many. Instead of criticizing others because they do not look the same we should be encouraging a healthy body image by supporting healthy actions, demolishing stereotypes, and enabling the acceptance of everyone.