Proud2Bme | Lauren Conrad Bans "Skinny"

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Lauren Conrad Bans "Skinny"

By Pooja Patel--Lifestyle blogs are becoming a popular way for celebrities to get on our collective social radar. Every celebrity from Gwyneth Paltrow to Blake Lively to Olivia Palermo aims to tell us how to live, through top ten lists and GIF-filled advice columns.

Yet, the ‘advice’ showered upon us is not always accurate and body positivity often falls to the wayside, as celebrities endorse beauty products and fad diets.

For example, Gwyneth Paltrow’s top hits under the nutrition section of her blog named ‘goop,’ are as follows: 

After reading just the titles of these top articles it is clear that the primary message is to count calories and lose weight, not necessarily to promote holistic health or body acceptance. While I am sure Gwyneth Paltrow has no ill intentions, it is becoming more and more clear that the dialogue needs to change. Some celebrities, like Lauren Conrdad, have stepped up their blogging game after seeing the dangers of negative body image.

Several days ago Conrad released this statement, “When we’ve talked about getting in shape in the past, words like ‘skinny,’ ‘slim,’ and ‘thin’ have often come up. We’ll be banning any body-shaming terms from the site, and replacing them with words like ‘fit,’ ‘toned,’ and ‘healthy.’ We try to do this for the most part anyway, but now we’re making it official! The word skinny will now be reserved for skinny jeans.” She adds, “…we want to make sure that the focus is on being fit as opposed to a number on the scale.”

With this statement Conrad works towards a healthier dialogue, one that will eventually and hopefully lead to the elimination of body shaming words, phrases, references, and images. However, it is only a step (although a much appreciated one) in the right direction.

Conrad says that words like ‘skinny’ will be replaced with words ‘toned.’ However, the implication of ‘replacing’ a word or an idea demonstrates a kind of equivalence and less of a change. It seems as if ‘skinny’ has recently acquired a negative connotation; yet, simply swapping it for words like ‘toned,’ which honestly seems to mean the same thing, seems frivolous and ineffective.

The only word that should be used to describe ‘health’ is ‘health.’ Extraneous words like skinny, fit, and toned are misnomers and cannot and should not be treated as the same thing. Blogs need to stop using these words under the guise of health, and need to start describing holistic health that pertains to more than one societal group. This is the only way to true body positivity. 

About this blogger: Pooja Patel is a Junior studying neuroscience and philosophy at Barnard College, Columbia University. She does research at a CU neurobiology laboratory, which emphasizes anticipation behaviors, circadian rhythms, and biology. She has interned off and on at the National Eating Disorders Association for about two years. Pooja enjoys reading, dancing, watching mindless tv, and keeping up with fashion trends.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

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