Get Thin or Die Trying

In outrage, my mum showed me an article in UK newspaper The Evening Standard and told me to read it. More or less, after finishing the article, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what I had just read. What was it about, you ask? Well, if you have been alive on Twitter over the past week, the online universe has blown up over one certain former Big Brother contestant, Kenneth Tong.

Young, impressionable girls already have enough pressure on them as it is when it comes to their bodies and being deemed ‘beautiful’ and ‘attractive’ in the eyes of society, but when Kenneth Tong, with his idea of introducing a ‘Size-Zero Pill,’ fires attack after attack, claiming that girls who aren’t a size-zero are “disgusting,” and, “to be skinny is to be perfect and to be fat is unacceptable,” he just takes the whole body issue onto another level. Oh, what a lovely man this Kenneth Tong is, hey?

Thankfully, a lot of people haven’t stood for this Pro-Anorexia campaign. Celebs like Rihanna and Lily Allen hopped on board the hate-train, and even though I am not one to follow the lives of celebrities, I was glad to hear that two well-known figure-heads and role models for young girls are voicing their opinion on such a universal topic, something that affects so many that one in four people diagnosed with anorexia die. Of course, Kenneth Tong didn’t know that, did he? About anorexia being a mental illness, and all.

Getting past my disgust for this point of view, what is laughable, and pathetic, about the whole situation is that after having an onslaught of hate, begging for The Evening Standard not to publish the interview that was conducted with him, Kenneth came out claiming via Twitter that it was all a hoax after having a conversation with his friend, saying it was possible to become a trending topic worldwide on the social networking site, and voila, the Size-Zero Pill was born.

Whether or not Kenneth’s ‘message’ was in fact a harmless little joke – which obviously, it wasn’t, and it definitely wasn’t harmless – isn’t the case. Everyone has a view of themselves, through lack of confidence, that we can’t live up to society’s expectations, where beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder but in what you wear, how you looks, what size you are, and how close you are to looking perfect like those models in magazines.The age in your life when you are the least confident and try to find the niche where you fit in, to be accepted, is when you are a teenager, and teenage girls have seen this message Kenneth has broadcasted to the world, probably wondering if there is something wrong with their own body.

What Kenneth Tong has done is revitalise that fear teenagers have of themselves, in particular girls, that whatever we look like, whatever size we are, we just can’t be accepted by society until we change ourselves to fit into the ideals of what is apparently beautiful.

So thanks for that Kenneth, you’ve done a bang-up job instilling, yet again, an ‘Am I pretty enough?’ mind-set into the world.

More articles by Category: Body image and body standards, Economy, Feminism, Girls, Media, Science and tech
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Cherokee S
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