Reed: Loving the skin you are in


Sergio Flores

The sun rises behind the Old Capitol in Iowa City on Friday, April 10, 2015. Rand Paul was in town to drum up support after announcing his intention to run for president earlier this week.. (The Daily Iowan/Sergio Flores)

Keith Reed
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As ambitious as I claim to be, there are some things that I fail to complete, one being my New Year’s resolution. My New Year’s resolution was to return to my diet and hold myself more accountable regarding weight loss. Time reported that one of the most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and get fit. That was my exact resolution, and at this point, I can proudly say that I have not acted upon it.

The University of Scranton compiled statistics on New Year’s resolutions in 2015, and the results are as you would expect. Approximately 50 percent of the Americans surveyed usually made resolutions and achieved little to no success. I am glad to say that I am a part of the almost 50 percent. I have always liked the way that my body has looked and have no problem with it. It is the media’s representation of the skinny body as ideal that is causing many of us to want to get smaller.

There are various crazy fads out there that are unhealthy and delivering negative and unattainable body images to the general public. The tides are turning; Sports Illustrated has made history by putting its first plus-size model on the cover of the Swimsuit Issue. Ashley Graham, the cover star, took to her Instagram to say, “This cover is for every woman who felt like she wasn’t beautiful enough because of her size.”

This is the image that we have to see portrayed more in media. I have younger family members, and I do not want them to be blind-sided by the tricks of the media.

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The body positivity keeps coming. IMG models have embraced this idea of body positivity and size diversity. The new division of the organization is called Brawn, and it tries to keep the title plus-size from its description. It has one such model under its wing, Zach Miko. It shows and proves to the people of the world that body positivity needs to go beyond women and spill off on men as well. This message is needed for men such as me who are comfortable in the skin they are in and those who are on the other end of the spectrum.

New Year’s resolutions are not necessary. You do not need the New Year to make a change. If you really want to make a change, you can find the motivation to make it happen. But if you fail, and look at the deeper reasons you want to make that change, you may realize that you are doing it for all the wrong reasons.

I am very proud and glad that society can finally recognize people from every walk of life. This message is amazingly inclusive and necessary because diversity is important for the younger generations, which are becoming more responsive as the media become more invasive. I stand by these media heavyweights providing and giving access to body positive images that are needed in contemporary society.

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