Have you heard the buzz about the Miss USA candidate from Indiana who is being praised for her average, normal body type?
Her name is Mekayla Diehl, and she is a stunning woman with a truly beautiful, down-to-earth smile. Her body looks toned, muscular, and feminine. She has curves in all of the right places, yet her silhouette is sleek and sculpted.
Diehl reports working out for 2 hours a day, 7 days a week to train for the Miss USA pageant. She proudly claims to have gained weight in muscle and explains how she focused her workouts on certain areas to give her a curvier shape. She reportedly ate a high-protein, low-carb diet, and we can all fill in the thrilling details of that diet on our own. She prepared herself for Miss USA like an athlete prepares for the season-winning game.
In other words, she worked really freaking hard to look that great in her bikini. Like, Terminator-bust-your-ass hard. And she’s a size 4! That is not normal; it’s not average. It is very much above-average in every applaudable way. But let’s please not allow the media to tell us that we can all aspire to this as a normal settling weight. I’m a size 8 on good days, a 10 on average days, and probably a 12 right now (I wouldn’t know, I’m only wearing clothes with elastic at the moment). I know that if I really put my mind to it, I could maybe squeeze into a 6. But, let’s be honest, the days of 4s are behind me, and I’ll probably always have some junk in my trunk. And I’m okay with that. So are a lot of the women I know.
Miss Indiana is clearly a strong, inspiring woman. But just because she does not look undernourished does not mean she is not in above-average shape. Despite steps in the right direction, our media (which, to go down a tangent, is just a hyper-reflection of our society at large) is still showing signs of a dysfunctional understanding of body health and esteem. What is the treatment? Is there a cure?