Big IS Beautiful | Teen Ink

Big IS Beautiful

December 17, 2009
By Alix Nestel BRONZE, Manchester, Missouri
Alix Nestel BRONZE, Manchester, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Size 14 is the average of women across the country, so why is it impossible for me as a size 14 to go throughout the day without getting some kind of disparaging remark about my weight? I have been called every “fat” name in the book: blimp, whale, tubby, Michelin man, fatty, butter ball… need I go on? I get dirty looks persistently, and I have been denied service at many clothing stores. No woman of any size should go through that type of humiliation. I haven’t said anything about overweight men because, "Overweight women are twice as vulnerable as men, and discrimination strikes much earlier in their lives," according to Geoffrey Bennett’s article about over weight people in America.

The media say being overweight is ugly. What gives them the right to say that? I’m not saying it’s all right to be seven hundred pounds and the only way of getting out of your home is by knocking down a wall and craning you out, but why is it wrong to be a healthy, yet more voluptuous, woman? Every commercial and television show displays girls that are no bigger than a size 2 and then they have one bigger girl on the show that hates the world and, of course, she’s extremely unpopular.

It’s not realistic. In my reality, I’m big. I get made fun of all of the time, but I don’t hate the world, and I definitely don’t consider myself unpopular. The only truth to these shows is that the skinny girl gets the boy. Bottom line, fat isn’t hot to guys but is it the fat itself or the excessive lack of confidence these girls have that’s the turn off? I would go with the second answer. Fluffy girls don’t feel confident because there’s not enough effort being put out to change their minds. The only shows that these girls watch are ridiculous ones such as More to Love. This show is basically telling every full-figured girl that only a full-figured boy could love her. What kind of message is that to girls who already have no confidence?

The Dove Foundation is feuding against every other company to prove to girls that flaws are fabulous. They even have a song in a commercial that says, “Do your eyes sit wide. Does your nose go to the side? Does your elbow have a crinkle? Do your knees sort of wrinkle. Does your chest tend to Frankel? Do your ears sorta wiggle? Does your hair make it giggle? Does your neck crow long? Do your hips sing a song? Do your ears hang low” and I love it because being overweight isn’t the only flaw that causes women to hide from their reflection. Dove is allowing women to relate to one another in saying that we all have flaws that make us different, not ugly and I respect them for that.

Very few women these days are famous and overweight because the number on the scale overshadows their talent. Take Adele for example, she is an incredible singer and instead of people applauding her for her aptitude for singing, she is laughed at and criticized for being a big girl. Then there’s Jessica Simpson. She was a symbol of perfection to everyone while I was growing up but recently she put on weight and all hell breaks lose. Every tabloid is screaming, “FATTY!” while majority of them probably are married to women that are twice Jessica’s size. In my eyes, she’s a perfect example of a girl that hasn’t lost her beauty just because she’s gained some extra body.

My question is when did being overweight make you ugly? In the Victorian era, large women were treasured and their nude bodies were painted in collages everywhere. In African tribes, the bigger a female is the better. African men believe that larger women are more beautiful then thin women. Joan from Mad Men is adored by everyone and she’s not skinny. So when did the explosion of “thin popularity” begin? I don’t think anyone can say exactly when it began but I do know one thing: It needs to stop! We need to take a stand against discrimination. Not just discrimination against the more curvaceous of our kind but against sex, race, and social standings. I hear it said that today’s society is more accepting to everything but from where I stand, the paucity of acceptance is becoming more and more obvious and harder to ignore.

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This article has 45 comments.

on Jun. 24 2012 at 11:20 am
starzforever GOLD, Sebring, Florida
15 articles 0 photos 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
being me is the greatest gift

this is very touching for me because i deal with the same stuff mostly every day but if you dont kno how to love your self the way you are no one will.

AugustusH20s said...
on Jun. 13 2012 at 12:36 pm
AugustusH20s, Thousand Oaks, California
0 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Weight is such a silly thing to worry about. I used to be really heavy, then got really skinny, and now I'm at a normal weight without really changing much of anything.


Teasing someone about their weight is shallow and, quite frankly, makes the bully look like even more of an idiot than they probably already are. xBri

on Jun. 13 2012 at 11:46 am
ms.liz2015 BRONZE, Newport News, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
And finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and could be, if there weren't any other people living in the world.

 i love this poem.. i  can realte to it a lot.

pinkowl BRONZE said...
on May. 12 2012 at 6:42 pm
pinkowl BRONZE, Tyrone, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 109 comments

Favorite Quote:
Jeremiah 29:11


- love the part about bigger girls not being able to find a boyfriend. It's so hard, but I mean, REALLY who wants a guy who only cares about looks anyways?


-thanks for writing about this topic!

on Jan. 12 2012 at 10:38 pm
savetheplanet PLATINUM, Anaheim, California
45 articles 9 photos 564 comments

Favorite Quote:
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

This was an extremely inspiring and brave article to write and I completely agree. We are more accepting that previous generations but we still have a long way to go in terms of equality and such. Thank you for writing this! :)

on Dec. 4 2011 at 4:44 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 324 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

You're completely right! People being treated badly because of their appearance makes me furious. I don't have any personal experience with being teased about weight, but one of my dearest friends is a size 14, like you, and like you, she gets glares and rude comments all the time. Why do some people feel it's necessary? Because it absolutely is NOT. Perfection cannot be achieved by anyone, including the nasties out there, so until they're perfect, they should just shut up.

ALenny GOLD said...
on Oct. 15 2011 at 5:14 pm
ALenny GOLD, Melbourne, Other
11 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
Colour my life with the chaos of trouble.

I think your best point from this article was that confidence is the key - i'm AU14 but because i'm not afraid of my image i never get teased or called names and i have a boyfriend who does part time acting. It's not what you look like, it's how you act that shows true beauty. I really hope that those awful people who call you names get everything they have coming to them.

on Aug. 10 2011 at 12:18 pm
parker_01 BRONZE, Fort Worth, Texas
2 articles 1 photo 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Oh. You were serious."
-Vampire Academy-
"Every little girl should be told she's pretty; even if she isn't."
-Marilyn Monroe-

Totally Agree. Bigger women are discriminated more and it's rediculous. I suck at spelling.

on Jun. 27 2011 at 1:12 am
swcricket98 GOLD, Williamson, Georgia
13 articles 17 photos 102 comments

Favorite Quote:
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Not everyone hates overweight women. Society as a whole is growing to accept more and more things. It depends on the age of yourself and the size you are at that age. If you are a sixe 14 at 10, then that is a big problem, and some people are gonna stare. There are things you can't change.

Also, have you ever heard of Queen Latifah? How about Aretha Franklin? Nikki Blonsky? And the list goes on and on. Just because you are overweight doesn't mean you can't embrace it like these women are.

on Jun. 5 2011 at 11:11 pm
PennyM.L SILVER, Lynwood, California
7 articles 0 photos 53 comments
I love this! i mean, I'm confident, most of the time. and i wear size 20 bottoms, thank you big butt. i haven't felt discriminated against because of my size, and i don't notice the dirty looks, but i guess it's because i don't care about that. We're all beautiful, size 0 and up. and only people could see that. :/

on Jun. 5 2011 at 11:05 pm
PennyM.L SILVER, Lynwood, California
7 articles 0 photos 53 comments

it's great you don't care about what people think about you, and that you have confidence, but come on, you know what she means.


gotbrain said...
on Apr. 25 2011 at 6:28 pm
interesting isn't it? that DOVE, a BEAUTY company, is saying that woman have all these flaws and its okay? hmm how about all those people, like myself who are confident in themselves and don't need to focus about focusing on their outward appearance. A person's indivudalism isn't based on looks but rather what they contribute to society. Why should that glance make you feel any lower about yourself? because you let it. When i walk down the street I don't think twice of what other pple could be thinking because the only thing i know is who i am and what i offer and if your not confident in that then you clearly have more to work on then just the way you aesthically look. 

on Dec. 29 2010 at 9:55 pm
DawnMarie BRONZE, Milton, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song. - lou holtz

Yeah, I guess I am making it personal. But guess what, hun? TeenInk is a place for expressing your feelings and thoughts in words, this isn't a debate site. Go somewhere else if you want to argue an opinion like a professional. 

gaga-fan28 said...
on Dec. 29 2010 at 8:31 pm
See, now you're making this personal, which means that you don't feel confident enough to argue your point in a mature manner. Grow up.

on Dec. 22 2010 at 7:37 pm
DawnMarie BRONZE, Milton, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song. - lou holtz

You just don't get that people should be able to watch TV as they please, and not be limited by what they can and can't do because of their size. If everyone took your advice, the world would be a horrible place full of judging and selfishness. Nice going, gaga-fan28. 

gaga-fan28 said...
on Dec. 21 2010 at 8:31 pm
People choose what they feel like. The media isn't forcing anything on anyone. If watching TV makes you feel like a fat pig, DON'T WATCH IT. You'd think that would go without saying... I mean no one is strapping you down and forcing you to watch TV. We all make the choices that affect our emotions.

on Dec. 11 2010 at 9:59 am
DawnMarie BRONZE, Milton, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song. - lou holtz

Even though I'm only a size 3 (which feels big for me) I feel the effects of the media just as much as everyone else. I was watching America's Top Model the other day, and most of them weigh just a little over 100 pounds! Most celebrities even weigh in the 100-120 pound range. It's sick to me how they can do that to their bodies, but at the same time I feel bad about my body. It's horrible what the media does, and I really don't care what anyone else says.

on Dec. 11 2010 at 9:55 am
DawnMarie BRONZE, Milton, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song. - lou holtz

Even though the media has the right to say anything they want, it just isn't right! It isn't right to make girls feel like fat pigs when they're watching TV, or even turn to anorexia or bulimia.

So let's hear your rebuttal on that, however pathetic it may be. 

on Jul. 10 2010 at 4:05 pm
LiveLife2theMax GOLD, Wicklow, Other
12 articles 4 photos 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
-Robert Frost

I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.
-Kurt Cobain

um one question..

Why isn't this in the mag??!!

I suffer from low self esteem and extremely low confidence because of my weight. On average, I am a size 12. But every store is different. In one i could be a 10 and the other a 16. And when I'm out with friends, that is so embarassing. I've been called so many names, you would not believe.

Because of my weight, though i am not enormous, i stopped doing things i love. I stopped sports and drama becuase i was embarassed.
its noce to know you're not the only one going through being over weight (although some times it really feels like it)

Fair play to you. An amazing opinion and an amazing writer. Keep it up :)

gaga-fan28 said...
on May. 7 2010 at 4:56 pm
apparently that posted twice, sorry...