Ugly Meters, Body Confidence & How We See Ourselves

 I was in the mood to download some free apps on my iPhone. I enjoy the simple things in life so it's always an adrenaline rush to download a quality app for free, cha-ching. As I was "shopping" I came across something that did not sit well with me. This is what I observed directly below my beloved Draw Something:

an Ugly Meter? Excuse me? I don't understand why these applications are becoming so popular. What really irked me was the description: Do you ever wonder if you're ugly and your friends don't tell you? People are paying 99 cents too much for this application and giving it 4 stars. Come on, we're better than this. Society as a whole has a fragile state of self- confidence as it is, we don't need the Ugly Meter ranking our appearances--- the name itself sets us up for failure. In a world saturated with materialistic mindsets, this just adds to the clutter.

Growing up, I was never tiny. I wasn't unhealthy but I wasn't slim and trim. This mindset stuck with me throughout high school and the beginning of college where I'd hide behind baggy sweatpants and lots of mascara. Only within the last couple years have I gained the confidence to accept myself. Since then I've became healthier and more fit but my self-perception should not have been built around my physical appearance. 

How many times have you been with a friend and said "Ugh, I feel so fat" and your friend who doesn't negate your statement but tries to out do it by replying "You're fat? Look at my muffin top." It's gotten to the point where we try one up the other's flaws. A survey from FITNESS Magazine and Yahoo! Shine reveals that men and women view themselves as too heavy and far from their goal weights. Look at these statistics:

  •  41 percent of people believe that they would be happier at their "goal weight" than they are right now. What's more, 18 percent believed their sex lives would be improved, 7 percent thought they would make more money and 5 percent were under the impression they would have more friends.
  • While almost half of all women said they had a "fat day" at least once a week, only 28 percent of men said the same.  Also, 58 percent of women said they wanted to lose between 10 and 20 pounds.
  • 31 percent of women believed they looked fatter than other women and only 10 percent thought they looked "better." Whereas, 16 percent of men compared themselves unfavorably to other men.
  • 51 percent of women and 21 percent of men said that they had deleted a photo of themselves because they worried they looked fat in it.

If someone wants to lose weight to become healthier, I am 100% on board with that idea (Good for you, that's what I did!); however, it's unhealthy if someone is trying to lose weight so he or she can fit media's "beauty" standards. Perception and reality are opposite sides of the spectrum, how we feel and what we are can be totally different things. It's important to address if our minds are acting on perception or reality and, for Heaven's sake, don't let an iPhone application make that decision for you.


MicBla said...

Is it possible to be astonished and yet simultaneously unsurprised by a set of statistics? This is so disheartening, and yet, if I'm honest, I can personally identify with a few of the statements you described. We should be praising healthy living, but instead our society focuses on physical size and weight goals that, for many, are simply unattainable. Thank you for this excellent reminder. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is so completely awful! I was talking about this just the other day, actually. Have you heard of Dove's new campaign? It's all about each woman having beauty, but I've also heard it isn't released in the United States yet. How ridiculous is that? I think society puts crazy pressures on people. Actually, I didn't think I was fat until people started telling me I was. It's a sad time when I had confidence before people blew it for me! Since then I've lost about 40 pounds, but I can't help but wonder if it was for me or for people who had to see me. I'm all about being healthier--eating right, drinking water, taking one less scoop of ice cream--but I believe that every woman should own her body as the beautiful creation that it is. I'm a size 8 and I feel fabulous!


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