I Love Tyra's "So What" Campaign
This article is mainly dedicated to teens and young adults, but applies to anyone who uses their weight to define how they feel about themselves.
If you aren't familiar with Tyra Bank's "So What" campaign, it was designed to teach women to stop obsessing about their weight and learn to love themselves no matter their size.
It all started with a magazine article that was published about Tyra and they said she weighed 200 pounds (when she really weighs 160).
The bottom line is... they called her "fat."
This struck a cord with Tyra because if the media thinks she is fat, what are people who are bigger than her supposed to think of themselves? What kind of message is that sending?
Yes, Tyra has gained 20+ pounds since her modeling days, but she still looks fabulous with her extra curves and is far from being fat.
So she started a "So What" campaign and kicked it off by having her audience members wear tank tops that displayed their weight. The campaign continues on with women marching, wearing their "So What" shirts while they proudly announce their flaws.
What people don't realize is that it's not really about weight. It's about self esteem. Tyra wants women to start accepting what they look like right now, and realize a number on a scale doesn't define you as a person.
It's OK to not like your thighs, arms, and stomach but it's not OK to obsess over them and go to extreme measures to change it (starvation, anorexia, bulimia, etc.).
Now you might wonder why I would talk about something like this on a site that teaches people how to flatten their stomach. Isn't it a bit hypocritical for me to tell people how to lose weight, but then promote Tyra's "So What" campaign?
No it's not, and here's why...
I want to emphasize that there is a BIG difference between wanting to get in shape and look good for yourself versus letting your self worth be defined by how much you weigh.
When you start comparing yourself to other people and feel less of a person because of your size then your problem is far beyond weight loss. It's self esteem.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be in shape, but it's another thing when you are resorting to unhealthy habits and obsessing over your weight because you are comparing yourself to models, actresses, your friends, etc.
Here's how to tell whether or not your desire for weight loss is a self esteem issue...
Do you spend excessive amounts of time comparing yourself to people thinner than you? And if so, do you feel less beautiful or not worthy of love because of your size? Do you feel you would be liked more if you were thinner?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, then it's quite possible your issue is more self esteem than it is weight. And actually people with low self esteem have a harder time losing weight because they're doing it for the wrong reasons. This is a proven fact.
Remember Oprah's battle with weight in the 90's when she went up and down like a yo yo? She finally admitted on her show that she had low self esteem, and was trying to lose the weight for the wrong reasons.
But when she really started to love herself and her self worth improved, she was finally able to lose the weight and keep it off because she did it for herself, not anyone else. Wanting to be thin is not enough motivation to lose weight, even though you may think so.
I have a small amount of tummy flab that came with some weight gain, but I don't let it define me nor am I obsessed with it. I would love to have a flatter stomach, but I also like the other curves I've gained so I do my best to manage my tummy and appreciate the parts of my body I do like.
Would I love to have a six pack? Absolutely! But I don't feel less of a person or constantly compare myself to friends and celebrities because my body isn't perfect.
Our Youth Is In Trouble
I never anticipated the number of e-mails this site would generate from teens with such low self esteem. In fact, that's what inspired me to write this article.
Many of these teens are already a healthy weight, but they are literally obsessed with being skinny just to fit in or because they believe that's how to get accepted in our society.
We are in a weight crisis, folks. When magazines are publishing headlines announcing that Tyra's fat when she's far from it, what kind of standard are we setting - especially for our youth?
It's bad enough teens grow up with Us Weekly and Cosmo magazines in their hands, but when the media attacks someone who is far from fat that sends a horrible message to people about what our society accepts.
Ladies, we have to be the ones that step up and learn to love ourselves for who we are. Because if you can't accept yourself, how do you expect other people to?
It's OK to want to be in shape, eat healthy, exercise, etc. but it's not OK to compare yourself to someone else and think you are less of a person because of what the scale says.
If that guy doesn't pay attention to you because of how you look, then that's a sign he's not worth your time anyway. You deserve someone who accepts you for you!
"So What" you are carrying around a flabby stomach and some extra weight here and there! It doesn't define who you are. Learn to love yourself, and if you want a healthier body then do it for you, not anyone else.
I encourage you to support Tyra with her "So What" campaign. It's about time someone is speaking out against the war on self esteem and healthy body images. I really hope it starts changing the way you feel about yourself.