Thursday, June 12, 2014

Is Size 4 Really the New “Normal”?

Have you heard the buzz about Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl?  She’s the new poster child for a women’s “normal” body.”  But, is she truly “normal”?

Diehl is 5 feet 8 inches tall and wears a size 4.  The average American woman is 5 feet 3 inches and wears a size 12, according to a 2009 survey by Women's Wear Daily. Diehl estimates her body mass index at 18 percent.  The average American woman's BMI is 33 percent, according to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control.
Is her body more “normal” than many of her fellow Miss USA contestants? Yes.  Although, what worries me is that women – especially young girls and teenagers – watching the pageant and reading the hundreds of Twitter comments may develop a warped sense of body image because Miss Diehl is anything but “normal.”

I hope the take-away from the Miss USA pageant is that people – male or female – need to feel beautiful in their own skin and develop the self-confidence to truly be themselves.
I do applaud Miss Indiana for owning her body type and reiterating that she works hard to maintain to her amazing physique.  She credits eating well and exercising.  That is the real message to women of all ages.  Take good care of your health and don’t worry if you’re a size 14 or a size 4. Social media, magazines and your peers cannot make you feel adequate; only you can make yourself feel beautiful and happy.

For her part, Diehl tweeted about how she had worked hard to get her body in shape for the competition, and that she was proud about how her commitment to health and fitness paid off in the end. 

What do you think?  Is the new “normal” a size 4?  I’d love to hear from you.

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