Lifestyle / Opinion

The idealization of the slim-thick body type is harmful to mental health

All body ideals are harmful to women’s mental health because they make women feel that they need to fit into a certain category. The latest body ideal to emerge is the “slim-thick body type,” and it is as problematic as earlier “ideal” types.

The slim-thick body type is “a curvier or more full body type with a small waist and flat stomach but large butt, breasts and thighs.” Like other body ideals, it raises unrealistic standards that people think they should follow. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian exemplify this type.

Brianna Revanche ‘25 thinks that “there is an obsession around having the slim-thick body type, but the body type isn’t bad.” She also thinks that social media can worsen the obsession, but it is not the only thing that contributes to the obsession. Some advice she would give is to remember that “what you are seeing is not reality and that your body is already perfect and there is nothing wrong with your body.”

Some experts think that the slim-thick ideal is even more damaging to young women’s mental health than the ultra-thin body type. Researcher Sarah McComb at York University believes that obtaining this body type “would likely require plastic surgery or strategic exercises that increase muscle mass on specific body parts to achieve the curvaceous look.”  

However, Ava Clay ‘22 thinks that “this body type is better than the early 2000s skinny type.” She also believes that this body type is more realistic because it is more curvy. She herself compares herself to everybody all the time because bodies do change. She thinks that social media plays a big role and she tries to limit how much she uses because social media only shows the good part. She believes that the Kardashians make it unrealistic because of their plastic surgery and have the best opportunities. Some advice she would give people is: “Think about what your body gives you, for example like running, and to try to accept where your body is right.” 

Dr. Natalie Zervas, the Director of Counseling here at Dana Hall, said, “None of these ideal body types are healthy for girls” and that this current slim-thick body type is “damaging in different ways, for example with plastic surgery.” She thinks that social media makes the pressure worse and advises girls to “notice how much it is impacting you and talk to friends or people who you trust and know that are supportive.”

Overall, I think that this body type is damaging to girls’ mental health because they feel they need to change themselves for society. I believe that it isn’t the body types themselves that are harmful. Rather, the problem is the way people obsess over them to a point where people feel the need to change themselves.

Image source: Yahoo! Life

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