Is there an 'ideal' body type?

Is there an 'ideal' body type?

Is there an 'ideal' body type?

There is no “ideal” body type!

Yes, I mentioned the elephant in the room; I felt that someone had to! For as long as I can remember the “ideal” body type has been the most talked about topic in the media, most particularly in glossy magazines.

For the last 3,000 years the “ideal” has changed dramatically. The video below shows this fantastically.

Today girls from their early teens to mid-twenties are the most at risk from suffering from body image. Social media should showcase that people come in all shapes and sizes and yet, words like “thininspiration” and “thinspo” are thrown around like they mean nothing, when in fact they can have damaging, everlasting effects on both the reader and the writer.

It is not easy living in a world where beauty is defined by such narrow terms and where our are bodies are scrutinized if they do not fit into some culturally-prescribed mould. Luckily for us there have been some modest steps to eradicate these views, namely due to the growing concern for people suffering from eating disorders and those hoping to achieve a thigh gap.

Campaigns, such as the most recent This Girl Can, emphasise that women should celebrate what they do no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get. The women on the video below inspire everyone to wiggle, jiggle move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.

Personally I feel that campaigns such as this are key to eradicating self-image issues that people of all ages suffer from today. Yes, obesity is a growing issue today, especially as it can have detrimental effects on a persons health, however, that does not mean that people should starve themselves.

The best show regarding this is was What’s the Right Diet for You? It used a ground breaking, personalised approach to dieting which matches people to the diet best suited to their biological and psychological make-up. This show promoted a healthy view to people losing weight and keeping that weight off so that they did not suffer from any health problems. The show highlighted that everyone is different and what works for one person will not work for another as we all have different body types. Girls, the popular TV show, demonstrates how young women can easily struggle with self-image and how they will do just about anything to fix it.  

This idea of the “ideal” body type arguably started in the media and so it should end with the media. By constantly campaigning and educating people on the importance of eating healthy and taking part in regular exercise then we can eventually show the world that it does not matter, and it should not matter what body type you are. Beauty is more than skin deep which is something which is sadly regularly forgotten in society today.


Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation. 


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