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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Weight standards suck

Whitney Veazey

I’ve recently been on a kick watching the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders show. It’s so addicting for me. I grew up as a dancer, and so watching people dance is comforting and familiar. Although, to be a cheerleader you have to have that look. You have to be skinny, not have hip dips, and god don’t even think about having cellulite or little hairs randomly scattered around your body.
While in certain ways, yeah they have a certain image to keep up, this mindset goes farther than the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders or even the dance world. Seeing girls who are significantly smaller than you be called “heavy” can be damaging.This mind set is one I am all too familiar with as I was always awkwardly in between skinny and mid sized. 

My whole family has always been bigger. We have thighs that touch, cellulite and a plethora of stretch marks. My mom had a saying, “Our family is just built for comfort not for speed”. Which can be comforting that it’s just genetics.

I lost my baby fat in the 7th grade and was under a hundred pounds, and I was so excited because I finally looked like the other girls. However, as time went on, the more I filled out, and I hated it. No matter how hard I tried the weight wouldn’t come off, and that’s when my self confidence depleted.

I joined danceline in the 9th grade and staying active helped me stay as slim as possible, but weight was sometimes commented on. If the uniform hugged you wrong, you got dirty looks, and sometimes that was me. I kept up with the image I wanted until my junior year and then COVID came into existence.

Staying at home, I had nothing else to do but eat. I got really into cooking, and I started gaining weight, but here’s what I didn’t realize, this was the first time I was actually eating healthily. I was dancing and eating, but this made me go up two sizes in jeans, and if you’re a woman you know how much that sucks.

My senior year, I had to get all new uniforms, but that’s normal. It’s not normal for your seventeen year old self to be the same size as your fourteen year old self, but in this society, you are expected to. 

I quit dance after high school, so I lost my main form of physical activity, so the freshman fifteen got me, so I started to try and only eat one meal a day. After a few months in college, I got into a relationship and was happy, so the weight came on like crazy, but for once I was surrounded by people who didn’t care. 

Being a woman, weight is everything. What they don’t tell you is, as long as you are healthy and happy, your weight means nothing. Knowing that is one thing, but I don’t feel it. When I am anxious, I don’t eat, but my problem is I find myself being happy with my physical appearance after a few days of not being able to eat. 

Knowing your worth and feeling it don’t always go hand in hand, which is a painful lesson to learn. You know you deserve love and some slack, but you can’t seem to give yourself either, and it’s a painful cycle. 

This world is a cesspit that creates eating disorders and insecurities in women who are slightly different, and it’s painful to see. It’s painful to know what world my one year old niece might grow up in. To think that she may not find herself beautiful. Beauty and worth are not reliant on society or a significant other. Your weight will fluctuate, and that’s okay. Take that and make it okay. 

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About the Contributors
Amberly Brown
Amberly Brown, Former Staff Writer
Whitney Veazey
Whitney Veazey, Chief Photographer
Whitney is a sophomore from Greenville, Ala. She is working towards a BFA with a concentration in photography. Whitney started at The Flor-Ala in Fall 2022 as a staff writer/photographer and is currently serving as chief photographer.

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