“Everybody’s fat!”
“Go outside and run around!”
“Hit the gym!”
“Stop eating platefuls of crap all day long!”

“VEGETABLES!” – Michelle Obama

VS.

“You are perfect the way you are.”
“Don’t succumb to the media influences.”
“Be yourself.”
“Your body is beautiful.”
“Don’t change.” – Dove (and recently, Always.)
To me, it seems like every other month another feminine hygiene product company is making a viral video to boost girls’ and women’s self-esteem. The soap/shampoo/vaginal douche mega-corporation Dove has been famous for it in recent years, and just a couple weeks ago, leading tampon distributor Always jumped on the YouTube sensation bandwagon as well.
Here are a couple examples of exactly what I’m talking about:
Dove Real Beauty Sketches – A professional forensic composite artist (FBI guy who draws the face of an attacker based on a victim’s description) draws the face of a woman without looking at her… TWICE– Once based on her own description of herself, and another time based on a description given by another woman.
Dove Evolution – A regular woman is given professional hair, makeup, and photo retouch jobs to transform her into the unrealistic portrayal of beauty we see everyday on billboards across the country.
Always #LikeAGirl – Boys and girls in their upper teens are asked to act out throwing/running/hitting “like a girl.” Their actions are contrasted with pre-pubecent girls who are asked to do the same thing.
Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama makes her weekly appearance on the next talk show to discuss the obesity epidemic that has struck the United States and urges the general public to respond with heart rates a-blazing. “Let’s Move!” is Ms. Obama’s own initiative to tackle the problem at its source: The American youth. I highly encourage you to visit letsmove.gov, especially this information page: CLICK HERE, which will give you more information on the reasons behind the development of this program.
I’m no health expert. But I am a teenage girl living the in the US of A. (This is the part where I offer my point of view as the target of both of these campaigns.)

While Ms. Obama’s mission is much more health-focused than that of the maxi pad corporations, which are more self esteem- and body image-based, the line that separates the two areas of concentration are often muddled.  I’m sure the First Lady would agree with the messages of these campaigns, that girls should feel confident in their own skin and educate themselves about the falsehood of the media, just as I would be willing to bet that the CEO of Dove would not be opposed to little girls running around playing sports after school and replacing the french fries in her school lunch with broccoli. So when is being overweight, or rather, not looking like the super rail-thin model, “okay” and not?

I believe the answer boils down to body type. Let me explain.

We women come in many different shapes and sizes. Some of us are born tall and skinny, some of us are born short and curvy. Some of us are tall and curvy, some of us are short and skinny. That much is genetic. And this is our body type. THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO TO CHANGE OUR BODY TYPE.

Too many people do not know the difference between being naturally curvy and being (unnaturally) overweight. Think about the difference between a plus size model and a plain old fat person. A healthy, naturally curvy woman won’t jiggle when she does jumping jacks. A fit, “big-boned” woman can still run a mile in under 10 minutes. An in-shape size 12 is sexy. An out-of-shape size 12 is not.

If every woman with a different body type were to exercise and eat healthfully, their true body type would shine through in all its natural beauty. But no matter how many miles she runs, somebody born with the curvaceous hips of a young Iggy Azalea will not be able to achieve Natalie Portman’s waistline. Likewise, a woman with a taller, flatter figure will never get Jet Selter’s ass no matter how many hundred squats she commits herself to. Its simply not in these girls’ genetics. You can shed fat and gain muscle, but you can’t change the proportions of your body.

“You can shed fat and gain muscle, but you can’t change the proportions of your body.”

Women should aim to reach their own peak level of physical fitness. We should pay less attention to the number on the scale and more attention to our Body Mass Index and Target Heart Rate. We should be aware of how we feel in our fresher, faster body. Eating healthy and exercising will change the way you live your everyday life for the better.

I do think all women are born with the right to feel confident in their own body. But there is a difference between contentment and complacence, Dove. We are all born with different body types, Ms. Obama. So go and do all that you can to make your body the best body it can be, because it has the potential to be a sexy, toned, muscular one. That much is the same for all of us.

Cath out.

Written by Catherine Goetze

Catherine Goetze www.cathincollege.com Find me on social media! Facebook: www.facebook.com/cathincollege Twitter: @catherinegoetze Instagram: @catherinegoetze SnapChat: @catherinegoetze Contact me: cathincollege@gmail.com

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