Everyone should be dieting


Contrary to popular belief, dieting doesn’t have to mean starving yourself. A healthy dieting plan can include things like green tea and energy bars, followed by protein heavy meals and exercise. Any and every student can become healthier through dieting.

Brenda Shen

Along with feminism, Obamacare and affirmative action, dieting is another topic that hauls heavy misconceptions and stereotypes.

Dieting is defined as the regulation of food, especially in order to improve one’s physical condition.

Instead, dieting and teen dieting especially has in general become associated with starvation and purging. That does not sound like improving one’s physical condition to me. Dieting should in fact be encouraged among everyone.

The misconceived idea toward the subject has escalated through media portrayal especially. Not just the unrealistic, photo-shopped pictures of models, but actually the sensitive, taboo-like attitude that media now emphasizes toward the topic.

The topic of body image was actually brought up in ACE bell when we were discussing “things kids are bullied about.” It is no surprise that teenagers, both girls and guys, are especially self-conscious about their bodies (along with many other things).

I get it. I really do. Everyone can find their faults more easily than their strengths. However, the sensitivity toward teenagers who want to change themselves and lose weight has become now attained a negative connotation.

In media there is this stereotypical portrayal of ‘bad mothers and friends’ who make snide comments toward their chubbier friend about his or her weight (I am talking about you, “Pretty Little Liars). It could be something like “I wouldn’t eat that cupcake if I were you.”

Then the person loses weight by purging the calories or eating way too few calories.

If the story resolves nicely, the overweight individual will learn to embrace him or herself.

Why do we portray someone who should be dieting like that? I most certainly agree that embracing yourself is an awesome thing to do, but why does the ‘bad friend’ have to be the one that mentions losing weight?

Remarks like these make dieting seem like a big deal. It needs to be made clear that the ‘bad friend’ is not a bad friend because he or she told you not to eat a cupcake, but it is because he or she said it like a jerk with the intention of being mean.

In an ‘ideal world,’ media would portray good friends and parents as people encouraging their friends and children to always be improving themselves with the focus not necessarily on weight but becoming healthier.

Today’s culture tends to emphasize this idea of self-confidence so much that it leads to misconceptions on things like dieting. Now don’t get me wrong- I am all for acceptance and loving oneself, but the idea of changing oneself for the better should not be hindered.

Everyone should be dieting. We should always be trying to improve our physical condition. That means no matter what size you are, thick or thin, eating right and exercising should always be important.

Body image should most definitely be emphasized; dieting should most definitely be encouraged. We just need to clarify the right idea of body image and dieting – the idea of living one’s life to the fullest with the healthiest, strongest body.