Monday, November 7, 2011

The Skinny On Fashion

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"To all you girls that think you're fat because you're not a size 0, you're the beautiful one, it's society who's ugly." - Marilyn Monroe

I just recently read a post by Kristina Bazan of Kayture entitled Does Skinny Rule the Fashion World? and I can't help but think that the battle between separating the linkage between "beautiful" and "skinny" is still going on. Gone were the days when women like Marilyn Monroe would be the women young girls would look up to when it comes to looking sexy. Now, young girls starve their way toward perfection, believing that food is the enemy and that every roll of fat they see on themselves when they face the mirror is a signal to skip on meals for the rest of the day. I have actually written a letter to Meg Magazine a few years back regarding this issue on what is considered beautiful in the fashion industry.

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"I know it's one's personal task to boost self-esteem but it would also be really good if media did its part in making women realize their true potential rather than rob them of the chance to believe that they can shine with what they were born with."

I had to quote myself because it was with this line that I felt I needed to emphasize. Despite the campaigns popping up on body acceptance, saying that skinny isn't in, well, I gotta tell you one thing: skinny IS in. Why do we have to deny it to ourselves? We don't see average-sized women gracing the glossy pages of fashion magazines. We don't see plus-size models working it on the runways. And we definitely do not see fashionistas/stylistas above a size 8 or 12 get a lot of hits on Chictopia or get the most hypes on Lookbook. No matter how much we tell insecure women out there to love themselves and not let their size and figure weigh them down, it can't be helped, because society does it for them. Society does it for us.

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You might wonder why I sound so affected regarding this issue. It's simple, I have been labeled and have been insecure myself. I get told that my arms and thighs look huge in photos. I've been told that there are some clothes I can't wear because of this and that. It has come to a point that I call myself fat and I get reprimanded for doing so because I am not fat, nor am I bordering towards overweight. I am an average-sized woman with an athletic build and birthing thighs. I am a healthy 120-pound 20-year-old woman who stands at 5'4". I might as well put it out there. Maybe it has helped to have guy friends who constantly tell me that I'm not fat and tell me that they'd choose soft, curvy real-looking women over reed-thin models. Maybe it has helped to surround myself with people who look beyond the superficiality of physical beauty and dig deep towards what makes a person who they are. Either way, I have learned to accept what I am and what I can be.

We know that clothes look generally better on skinny people. Generally. The skinny members of society just comprise a tiny percentage of the whole female community. There are more women out there with bellies, butts, and thighs. Why can't the media and the fashion industry put these women in the spotlight and show the rest of the world that clothes look good, if not awesome, on them, too? We know the power that media and fashion have over everyone and it's about time this power actually did some good to the teenage aspiring models who flip through fashion magazines or stay glued on their televisions watching Fashion TV.

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I salute Danah and Stacey of PLUMP as they continue to push the advocacy on bodily acceptance at a time when physical discontentment is at its peak. Danah and Stacy know what it truly means to be beautiful and to be confident in your own skin. These two help many filipinas realize that you don't have to be reed-thin to be beautiful. You are beautiful and fierce any weight you are.

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I also have to applaud my fellow blogger and one of my closest friends for years now, Farrah Garcia of The Style Reactor for being confident in her own skin. You'll understand the insecurities she has gone through by reading her post on finally stepping out of her comfort zone by proudly embracing her curves. I can't be any  happier to see her exude a certain aura of confidence because of this.

We're going to be fab no matter what our weight and figure may be. We are beautiful the way we are. So, I don't care if the media will say "Skinny is in." Skinny can stay in for as long as it wants, I know my athletic build will not handle being reed-thin and I'm embracing my curves after years of insecurity. No, I am not shunning or hating those who are thin. If you're thin and achieved that figure the healthy way, then I salute you. Just remember that being skinny doesn't make you better or even prettier than the average-sized girl next to you.

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