Is Kate Middleton Responsible for The World’s Body Image Issues?

Ever since Kate Middleton stepped into the public eye, there has been much scrutiny surrounding her weight. The 5 foot 10 in. tall duchess is rumored to weight in at just under 100 lbs which, according to her BMI of 14.35, is seriously underweight. (Anything under 18.5 for women is considered underweight.) Now, once again, everyone is worried about young girls and how they’re going to respond to Kate Middleton’s body. “If the Duchess of York is dangerously thin, then maybe I should be too,” are the thoughts that people fear the young girls of today will undoubtedly have, especially since so many of these girls idolize these women. Although this strong influence hasn’t necessarily been proven, I don’t doubt its existence.

However unpleasant it is to see someone being so heavily scrutinized in the media, everyone knows that with the spotlight comes the criticism.  The one thing I can’t come to grips with though is the idea that Kate Middleton is being criticized for being underweight because of her influence, and NOT because of her health. In my opinion, there needs to be a conversation held  about the role of the media and their own perpetuation of the ideals of beauty.

It is not the responsibility of Kate Middleton or any other famous women to regulate their weight for the sake of the young girls around the world. Is that not the role of a parent? And how hypocritical is it of the media to hail Ms. Middleton as gorgeously divine and then to turn right around and poke at her for being incredibly thin? Unfortunately, what the media chooses to cover isn’t always shaped by what we viewers want to see, but by what they want us to see. If you hail all of the ghastly thin women as physically perfect as the gods, then that is how the viewers will see them.

What’s most important in this issue of public scrutiny (specifically about weight) is the idea of influence. Education is the key to unlocking the truths behind what we see in the media, and the  simplest form of education begins in the home. If young girls are so heavily influenced by what they see in the media, then there must be some deficiency in the education at home. We should be influenced simply by things that we like and things that we learn. Our parents have always encouraged this notion, and the parents of young girls should continue to do so. There is a difference between admiring someone and idolizing them, and the difference should be made clear. Kate Middleton should be admired because she’s graceful, intelligent, and well spoken. She shouldn’t be idolized because she has zero% body fat. These are conversations that should be held, if not at home then in a public sphere — perhaps, as crazy as it sounds, in the media.

You know, there’s a reason for the phrase “Don’t believe everything you see on TV.” In cases like these, it can seriously be bad for your health.

What are your thoughts on the media and their influence on our own decisions regarding our ideal of beauty? Should celebs be held personally responsible for the well-being of their followers and fans?

Candy Dish: Healthy Candy
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