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Size is not deciding factor in beauty

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Laura Ambriz, Photography Editor

Laura Ambriz, Photography Editor

I do not consider myself to be obese, but the description of “waif” would never be used either. Taking a look around campus, I think I am average. But on a good day I barely stand five feet four inches tall and, according to health and weight experts, 10 to 20 pounds overweight.

In high school, this most likely would have me freaked out and on a crash diet. But I was definitely more self conscience back then. All of the popular girls were size four and happy; I was far from that and still am. Years later, I had the realization that they were not any happier than I was, because half of them had eating disorders.

In college, I looked around and noticed many different sizes of women roaming the campus. I did not feel fat, I felt fine.

How my friends felt was a different question. Even as we mature and realize that we have to be happy with the way we are, my friends still stress out about their weight gain. The “freshman 15” is real in the eyes of many.

They have committed their lives to weight loss but are never determined enough to stick with one diet program. In the past four years, it has been a waste time and money trying such things as infomercial weight loss gimmicks, expensive gym memberships, diet pills, weight watchers, the infamous low-carbohydrates diet and $80 Tae Bo workout tape.

I do commend women for not giving up, but at the same time, it is like beating a dead horse. Weight loss is a multimillion dollar industry, yet 61 percent of Americans are still over weight.

Listen closely ladies, most of us will never look like Cindy Crawford — not even if we ate like rabbits and worked out for 10 years. Take my advice, look in the mirror, realize that we are all beautiful and get on with your life.

It is difficult in a society as superficial as ours, but we are society. Women make up more than half the population, and until we change our views on how we look and feel about ourselves, no one else will-especially men.

Of late, some industry decision makers have moved forward to recognize full-figured women. Not to say that the 110-pound supermodels are not making money, but at least now, they are sharing the wealth.

The Ford Modeling Agency has expanded their plus-size division with the popularity of full-figured model Emme. Lane Bryant, a plus-size clothing store, has restructured its fashion line to include more up-to-date styles, decreasing the market for ugly tent dresses. Darn. And a new magazine has also hit newsstands with a bang. Mode has devoted the entire layout to plus-size fashions, models and issues. It was created strictly for giving average-size women a fashion magazine we can relate to, and hopefully make us feel good about ourselves.

Anyone close to me will tell you that I hate to exercise. I never do it. The quote, “People should only run when they are being chased,” is definitely something that I believe. If we can drive there, by all means let’s drive.

But this is not to say that I am not proud of people who take that step to lose weight and stay fit and actually do it. Two of my sisters found that the gym is the best way for them to stay fit. It makes them feel better, and it makes them feel more beautiful. My other sister just cut out sweets for lunch, and she went down six sizes.

Lose weight or do not. We do not have to look like models, and they do not have to look like us. We just have to look like ourselves and be happy.

Laura Ambriz, a senior communications major, is photography editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at ambrizl@ulv.edu.

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