Society is too lenient on unhealthiness
By Quinn Storm, News Editor
Let’s get one thing straight—I absolutely adore body positivity. I believe that everyone should love the skin they’re in. As someone that has had periods of both self-love and self-hate, I am on an ever-going journey to find what is right for my body and to grow to love the way I look. That being said, I think at some point telling everyone, especially young children that eating anything you want and never exercising is dangerous.
There is a difference between accepting the body one was born with and being healthy at any weight, and eating whatever one wants, never exercising and putting oneself at risk for things such as heart disease, diabetes, and various other medical situations. As a person who has never been especially “thin,” I work hard every day to eat right and exercise. Of course, everyone should treat himself or herself every so often, and I most definitely do.
Through working out and eating right, I have slowly but surely come to terms with how I look. Exercising, for me, is about being strong, healthy and intrinsically motivated to always push myself further, not so much as to what number is one the scale. But every so often I think to myself, what would have happened if my parents had never pushed me to be healthy? As a person that is already predisposed to be a bit heavier than “average,” would I have never chosen to be healthy for myself?
Many parents nowadays are seen as those who do not want to hurt their children’s feelings. Children these days get participation medals for everything, and older generations don’t hesitate to point out the fact that millennials and their children feel entitled to everything. I don’t have children, and so I cannot speak for parents, but I can notice that not keeping a young teen aware of their body and the changes they’re going to face can be more hurtful than it is helpful.
Gently reminding pre-teens and young teens going through puberty that regular exercise and improved eating habits will only help them in the long run will not hurt their feelings or harm them in any way. Childhood obesity is an epidemic that no one should want seizing the nation, and yet helping younger people with a bit of tough love is too much to think of.
I have young siblings, boys and girls, and I would never look at them and tell them they’re fat, or they have to exercise or they’ll get fat, or anything of the sort. But, as an adult, inspiring them to want to eat well or go outside by doing it myself may just help them in the long run. It’s no fun to always be battling with weight, and instilling good values in young children can help everyone be healthier.