Linda Rios/Contributing writer
Since childhood, girls are taught we have to look and act a certain way in order to be appreciated and be called “pretty.” This skewed idea of how a woman should look has to be put to an end.
People don’t realize, especially men, that not every woman is build the same. Not every single woman seen on the street is going to be tall, skinny, blonde and with blue eyes. Not every woman is a Barbie doll.
The Mattel Company recently decided to change the image of their Barbie doll to include several body types, as well as ethnicities, to better reflect the variety in women’s looks and bodies and eliminate the one-look-fits-all mentality and the implications behind it.
By doing this, the company is teaching girls to love themselves in every single way.
When I was growing up, we didn’t have anything like this. My sisters and I would play with the regular Barbie dolls; seeing them tall, skinny and extremely beautiful, wishing we could be like them.
When I noticed not everybody has the same body type and not everyone looks the same, I realized companies like Mattel and MGA Entertainment are harming children, rather than teaching them something positive while providing entertainment.
Same thing goes for little boys; they see themselves represented in action figures and end up wishing they could be like them. But this kind of thinking is detrimental because the expectations they have set for themselves, at least physically, can’t be achieved by everyone.
Companies like Victoria’s Secret demonstrate the ideal woman in their fashion shows, excluding every other woman who doesn’t fit their standards of beauty.
Some individuals, especially those in the developing stages going all the way through college, can be truly affected by being body shamed.
There are services provided by the University to help with people affected with body image issues to learn to love themselves and not allow others to harm them in the future. We are lucky as an FIU community to have these sort of aids, one being the Counseling and Psychological Services department at the University.
CAPS allows people to talk to psychologists about what’s bothering them in order to find a lasting solution.
There is no shame in wanting to get help, it’s rather a brave thing to do because not everyone is sure enough of themselves to admit they need help and actually search for it.
On the same token, there are women who decide to stand up for those of us who are not “perfect” and show that everyone can be beautiful in their own way.
Ashley Graham is one of those women who has inspired millions around the world. She is one of the “busty models” who has made a name for herself in the lingerie company by designing her own line with Elle Company.
Graham said in an interview with Self Magazine: “I had to realize that if I didn’t really love who I was and if I couldn’t appreciate this — my body — as my moneymaker, then I wasn’t going to make any money.”
At the end of the day, loving yourself by who you are and not who others want you to be is the most important thing of all.
Body shaming is one of the lowest things a person can do to another because it means they might not be secure with themselves and with who they are. It has to stop.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Image by Zoe, retrieved from Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/_lovenothing/3081091436/in/photolist-9kJLYp-dBdaMw-ac55u-aBkAUE-55mpoq-gzJ81r-9EtHsZ-GsFtY7-fJutUQ-5ThPMi-7BeDfL-gzJ9zu-6SHj2R-5VxBUQ-gzHEXU-6hWKvU-48mgxC-5Ggp99-5GgoCq-k2Eo2-gnr2d9-HyMCAL-9mHR8-rzJFUd-5VQGLL-yo5YZa-sR6j4i-92YsYn-4ijHms-CqJqhr-pppppM