Kayla’s Korner

By Kayla Smithgall

With the beginning of February came the long-anticipated Super Bowl LI. The game itself had almost 112 million viewers. An extra 5.5 million viewers tuned in to the halftime show.

As Lady Gaga performed on stage, millions of tweets were posted about her performance. The tweets were mostly expressing excitement and encouragement for the singer, but a specific set of tweets emerged from the mix.

These tweets included: “Lady Gaga needs to do some crunches if she wants to show her belly”, “Tried to enjoy @ladygaga’s performance, but was distracted by the flab on her stomach swinging around” and “Was waiting for a surprise guest but just got Lady Gaga’s gut.”

When I looked up Gaga’s height and weight on the BMI chart below, she is considered healthy. In order to be considered ‘overweight’, she needs to gain close to 30 pounds.

bmi-chart

A few years ago, Rehab.com did research on what a woman would actually look like if she had the body of the famous doll Barbie.

The website discovered that Barbie would be unable to lift her head, because her neck is twice as long and six inches thinner than the neck of an average woman. Barbie’s waist would only have room for half of her liver and a few inches of intestine. Her waist-hip ratio (WHR) is 0.56. The average woman’s WHR is 0.80. As for Barbie’s feet, she would have to walk (or crawl) on all fours because she would be too top heavy for her six inch ankles and size 3 (in children’s) feet.

It seems absurd to me that it was even necessary to do a study like this. When did we as a society reach such an extreme point in body-shaming women that women find a doll’s body attractive and use it for inspiration to change their own body? How can we make fun of the stomach of a celebrity, who is barely considered healthy?

I feel like we have reached an all-time low. We are spending way too much time on the outside appearance of others, when we should actually be focusing on what’s inside, no matter how cliche that may sound.

There are 17 charities that Lady Gaga supports. She even launched a foundation in 2012 called the Born This Way Foundation. According to the foundation’s website, it was started to  “connect young people in safe ways and empower them with the skills and opportunities that will inspire them to create a kinder and braver world.”

It is unbelievable how shallow people can be. Gaga has created an amazing foundation for teens and people are focusing on the “flab” on her stomach?

Since the performance, many nutritionists and health experts have taken to social media to show support for the singer. They post pictures in the morning when they’ve first woken up and then in the evening, after a full day of eating, to show that they also have “flab” and that it is in fact normal to have it.

Marilyn Monroe was one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1950’s and she had more “flab” than Lady Gaga. Even statues of Venus, the goddess of love, don’t portray a perfect stomach.

When did we develop such unrealistic expectations for women’s bodies? I cannot get over the fact that we can’t seem to accept each other for who we are. One day, we will all reach the age when we are old and fat. At that point, people will no longer care about our appearance. Why do we finally accept each other when we are at the age when we’re nearing death? Why can’t we accept each other at any age, no matter what we look like?

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