Dear America | Teen Ink

Dear America

November 12, 2007
By Anonymous

My name is Hannah, I am 14 years old and I weigh 125 pounds. Why is that so hard for me to say? It’s hard for me to say because of you: because of my friends, because of strangers and because of celebrities. Our society has been focused on weight and being slender /skinny for a long time. We think that if we weight less than the fake people in the magazines or than the anorexic celebrities who are starving themselves, then maybe we will be beautiful. But we aren’t. I appreciate people like Tyra Banks who set a positive example for teenagers like me, on how we should look and act. Tyra Banks came out and told America that she weighed 161 pounds and she was proud of it! When I heard that, I was thinking “161 lbs, wow that’s a lot!” I am ashamed that I thought that way just because of a number. She isn’t fat! And even if she were “fat” then we have no right to judge her body. I occasionally watch Tyra’s show and she always looks beautiful and slender. Just this year I found out that I have a friend who has been basically starving herself for the past two years, maybe more. I still don’t know why, everyday I ask her if there is something I can get her to eat, but she always refuses. I am afraid to say that she is also 14 and she probably weighs less than 100 lbs. It is not even necessarily her fault. She said that she can’t stop and she is a horrible person for doing this. Middle School and High School are some of the hardest times of our lives because of all the pressure. I don’t know how she could stand it but everyone is always pressuring everyone else to be thin. I say my friend one day and she was wearing low-rise jeans so that it made it look like she had fat around her sides. I was thinking to myself, “oh my…” but then she turned and I saw the front of her and she looked really skinny. Why is America like that? Why do we always assume that the words skinny and beautiful will be next to each other? I hate how we have to deal with it. I have looked in the mirror some days and said “I hate my body”. But I am skinny for my age. I eat a lot though and exercise enough. Even today one of my friends said that she had never weighed more than 120 pounds before, so when she reached that she said to herself, “You fat lard stop eating so much!” Of course, since I already weighed more that, I felt terrible so I didn’t even say anything. The only question I have for you is why America? Why?

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