Photo courtesy of pandawhale.com
Photo courtesy of pandawhale.com
Photo courtesy of pandawhale.com

By SARAH LEWIS, Editor-in-Chief

I hate January. Maybe it’s because halfway through day one I’m already completely exhausted with the idea of self-reinvention. #NewYearNewMe. #NOPE. Did everyone shed their flesh like creepy little snakes and literally become slightly new humans or what? Is this year even real life?

I’ve written before on how I’m all about the act of change and being your most pure and honest self. Be you, boo!

But that being said, January shoves so much weight-loss and exercise media into the face of society that it seems like everyone has either signed up for Jenny Craig or gotten a Planet Fitness membership before the first week of the year is complete. (Little hint: If you want to workout without middle school children hitting on you and don’t want to be fearful of breaking a contract more binding than marriage, then don’t go to Planet Fitness).

Now, I’m all about being healthy, but I’m so exhausted with seeing the nonstop diet plan commercials with skinny celebrities running through open fields in slow motion, the promotion of endless under 3.5 calorie menus, and gyms sending New Year gimmicks in the mail telling me it’s time to shed the holiday poundage.

What are we being fed? Or is it more of an encouragement of purge? December is all buy, buy, buy! And January, well January is all lose, lose, lose. But we’re still buying it.

Men are supposed to be constantly greased up with muscles bulging out of their skin, and women are supposed to be slender with a gap in between their thighs, so says subliminal advertising.

All this hullabaloo is making me feel guilty that I’ve been eating more than 2 cheese cubes a day and am only going to the gym once a week…or every other.

I wish that I could viciously shake everyone who has been convinced that they need to overhaul their body a la dieting and extreme exercise and say, “JESSICA SIMPSON IS WEARING SPANX IN THAT COMMERCIAL. PUT DOWN THAT NASTY, POWDERY PROTEIN ‘MILKSHAKE’ AND BUY SOME SPANX IF YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE THAT. And please, avoid everything Jillian Michaels tells you because she just scares me.”

It’s okay to want to exercise and eat healthy, but we’ve been so swayed to believe we have to be physical carbon copies that it isn’t even about healthiness anymore…it’s almost like it’s about fitting a mold.

Did you know the biggest size jean that Abercrombie makes in women’s is a 10? They only sell 7 sizes: 00, 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. I haven’t shopped there since middle school or early high school, but I did some perusing on their site after the company’s CEO reportedly said something about how he doesn’t want unattractive people wearing his clothing. Alright. But I still can’t get over 7 sizes. Are all women just supposed to be one of seven sizes? No…

So, what’s with all the body shaming? As long as your health isn’t suffering, I think that everybody should be seen as beautiful and equal. Thin, thick, and everything in between. It’s not okay to tell a skinny person to eat a sandwich, and it’s not okay to tell a chubby person diet ideas.

Who would’ve thought we’d be fighting for equal body representation in movies, magazines, and shopping malls in 2014? But we’re really not fighting it, and that is what’s made me so somber.