The In- Betweener – Opinion Piece Or Polemic- Vogue Young Writers Competition

This is the first of my three pieces that I entered into the Vogue Young Writers Competition (if you have no idea what I’m talking about read my previous post) bare in mind it was writer in 2011 so some of the stats are a little outdated, also beware of the fact that it’s rather controversial but I see it as a very important subject which needs to be discussed and my opinions in the piece still stand. I hope you enjoy! It’s titled The ‘In-Betweener’.

Fat or thin – which one is in? I’d rather be an ‘in-betweener’.

Every day more and more people I see are overweight. From school children and teenagers to men and women, the British have become a nation of fatties. When I do a bit of research I find that in 2012 one in three people in the United Kingdom will be overweight. Another staggering discovery is that the number of obese people in the world now equals those who are starving.

Britain hasn’t always been an obese nation, however since fast food outlets and supermarket ready meals have become part of our culture we are gradually getting fatter and fatter! Because obesity is such a controversial and to some a sensitive subject, we don’t tend to talk about it that much, but I think it’s time we started.

Then I read fashion magazines and think how odd it is that fat and fashion are worst enemies: you never see anyone over a size eight on the catwalk and all the bill boards and magazine adverts show models who are beautiful but also extremely skinny. This doesn’t reflect real life at all.

I find it hard to feel sympathy for those who are obese; they put themselves in that situation and are the only ones who can get out of it. But one of the bigger questions is what makes some people eat and eat until they get to a stage where it’s very hard to go back? It often isn’t because they’re hungry! People often eat in an effort to change their mood, they eat out of habit and some even eat because they’re bored. Add this to the fact that we don’t get enough excercise; most of us do jobs where we are sat at a screen all day and often spend out leisure time doing the same thing, so it’s hardly surprising that we’re getting heavier.

Then it turns out that to be fashionably thin, young men and women often aren’t eating enough ; they are effectively starving themselves or eating and then making themselves sick in order to maintain the look that they see depicted in the world of fashion. Neither of these approaches in life are doing us any good.

Aside from the conflict caused by being overweight, it brings more chances of getting dangerous and sometimes fatal health problems such as heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. At the other end of the spectrum, anorexia and bulimia are now common conditions among young women – and increasingly young men – in their quest to be thin.

I feel Society needs to work harder to tell young people about the importance of healthy eating and doing regular exercise? With the right approach we can all eat chocolate once in a while and still stay at a weight we are happy with. We have to accept that, in this looks- obsessed world, not all of us are going to be content with our appearance, but we can try and get ourselves as close to it as possible without torturing ourselves.

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