Season 10 America’s Next Top Model Winner Whitney Thompson decided to go on the show with a single goal in mind – to raise awareness of self-esteem.
Thompson had been in the modeling industry since the age of 15 but gave it up. At that young age she didn’t feel that “eating half an apple for breakfast and having a half a can of tuna for lunch” was healthy. “Running until literally vomiting” was not a life to live, reports Thompson.
When trying out for the show, Thompson had one thing in mind – to show that curves are beautiful. Her main inspiration was her then 13-year-old cousin who once told Thompson she thought herself to be fat; when in reality her cousin was a size two.
Now after the show, Thompson is even more proud of her curves and promotes a healthy life style. Thompson says “healthy is beautiful” and that is exactly what she came to Salt Lake Community College to talk about.
In her presentation last week to an assembled crowd in the Student Center of the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, Thompson told of fashion designers’ tactics of having stick thin models in runway shows and marketing campaigns.
They accomplish this by using young girls, some as young as 12-years-old, whose bodies aren’t yet fully developed. Airbrushing is another trick that make the models look flawless. The pictures gets so distorted that the person does not look the same, and is what many have come to accept as beautiful.
Thompson expressed that it is unrealistic to try to look like runway models because they are extremely young and because countless hours are invested to make it appear that they have the perfect bodies.
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible for females to look at a picture in a magazine and not compare their own bodies to the models.
“Seven out of 10 women find themselves reading a magazine and feeling worse about themselves,” Thompson reports.
Yet even though the magazine makes many girls feel worse about themselves, they continue to read them because their goal is to one day look just like the models. In reality, young girls are striving for a perfection that does not exist.
Society has let the media decide what beauty is and it is hurting the self-esteem of people everywhere.
Building self-esteem is said to be one of the hardest things to do. The first step is accepting ourselves for who we are.
When Thompson was asked to give advice to those who have body image problems, she recommends people “walk away from the mirror” and “try to take the negative and make it into the positive.”
For some young girls, it does not sound like an easy thing to do. However, they should keep in mind that there will never be a day they please everyone. The important thing is to be happy with who you are.
As Thompson says, “Healthy is beautiful. Beautiful is not a size, not an age and not a procedure.”