March 30, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 35°F


Body image standards have shifted

The connection between body image and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a topic in mind that I have wanted to talk about for a while. Body image itself has such a social stigma in today’s world that it can impact what kind of person you are  perceived to be. Essentially, this means that people tend to perceive what other people are like based on what their body looks like. “Skinny” people are seen as healthy and active, but on the other end, “fat” people are seen as unhealthy and inactive. It is fair to say that body image does not impact the qualities of a human being. 

During the pandemic, people could not go to gyms. For most people, the gym is the most common way to stay in physical shape. However, when this was no longer an option, most did not know what to do. Some could not afford to buy workout equipment like dumbbells or treadmills. The pandemic was hard on many people, and it was difficult for people to get motivated to get back into a routine. This is because many individuals were trying to focus on their mental health over their physical health. Individuals wanted to put more focus on how they were handling stress and anxiety in the middle of a global pandemic. It is completely okay to put your emotions and feelings above the way you look. The important point is that people are trying to be healthy in their own way. This leads me to another crucial point. There is a major difference between being healthy and having a certain body image. Everyone has their own body type. Being healthy is different for everyone. However, as the pandemic dragged on, people were judged for their changing bodies and saw it as stress eating or not being healthy. It is essential to note that everyone has their own way of being healthy, and thus, we must do our absolute best not to judge how others eat or do certain activities to improve themselves. On the other hand, social media has done a considerable amount of work in fighting against the judgement of body image. There’s been significant progress in body positivity and embracing every individual as a unique human being.

The main message of what I have been trying to say is that it is okay to be the body type you are right now. The goal in life is to be happy with what you are doing and be healthy. You cannot define someone’s goals in life based on the way they look. It is not fair nor is it right to do so.

Since the pandemic has hit, we must continue to empower those who are not as “body-positive” as other people to make sure that they are treated with the right amount of respect and kindness. This will allow these individuals to prosper in the long run. Furthermore, they will not have to worry about how they are being perceived. Thus, all these actions will allow a new norm in society to be established where judging others based on their body image and body shape can be seen as something that should not be done. After all, if your body has changed since quarantine, it isn’t something that people should be ashamed of.