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Letters to the editor

June 03, 2008

Don't put weight before inner beauty



To the editor:

Growing up in today's society is extremely hard: not only because of high prices, but also because of the way people are pictured. All you hear about are children and adults being overweight. Although this is true, this is not my problem. I have a problem with how girls and women are pictured. Our society believes that everyone should be that "skinny size zero." Our bodies are made differently and no one person will look the same. Young girls are reading those magazines and watching TV and they see skinny models and actresses. Stars spend millions of dollars to look that way. Also, magazines can airbrush the picture to make it more appealing, so how do we know what we're supposed to look like?

One out of every 100 young women between 10 and 20 is starving herself, sometimes leading to death. The group that eating disorders affect the most include women ages to 12-25. It has been stated that a large percentage of women in that age range have an eating disorder. As a teenager, weight is something that I deal with and many of my friends do as well. We see these stars looking amazing, tall and skinny and that is what we want to look like, but in reality we can not. The average American woman is 5 foot 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5 foot 11 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds. Do you see any problems with this picture? Well, I do.

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A large impact on girls having issues with their weight are their friends and peers. Guys are always saying, "Wow! That girl is hot!" and when we look at her most of the time she is a very skinny girl. This lowers our self-esteem and can cause us to take drastic measures leading to an eating disorder. There are so many different changes that our bodies are going through, and most of the time guys do not understand this. Not only are the guys making remarks which lowers our self-esteem, girls are doing it as well. Girls can be nasty with some of the remarks they make. Not only is it happening in high school, but it is also happening as early as the first grade. Forty-two percent of first- through third-grade girls want to be thinner. I find this to be very disturbing. At such a young age a girl should not be worrying about her weight; she should be in school and activities having fun. Weight is a large issue that women and men deal with, but for the most part it affects women.

There are ways in which we can stop this problem. First of all we need to make people aware of the situation, such as parents. If your child is suffering with his or her weight then help them. Help them before it gets to a point where they develop an eating disorder. Because once you develop an eating disorder, it is extremely hard to get better. I also want to inform guys about this topic. Every girl is made differently, so we're not all going to be the same. I want guys to stop judging girls on how they look. Get to know them for who they are and not for what they look like.

Even though you might tell a girl she is fat, but in a joking manner, never ever do it, because once it is said, those words will damage our self-esteem. And lastly, I want all girls and women to know that they are beautiful in their own way. It does not matter if you're that size zero or tall with long brown hair. You're still special. Eating disorders are horrible and I just wanted to inform everyone of that. So please next time you think about calling someone "fat," remember that word can affect someone tremendously.

Amber Conrad
Greencastle, Pa.




Coach Stottlemyer has done much good



To the editor:

I know that many people are upset and disappointed by South High's elimination from the baseball tournament.

It is a very unfortunate thing. However, I want to make sure that we don't lose sight of the big picture and just focus on this one thing. I want to make sure that everyone knows and acknowledges what a fabulous coach Ralph Stottlemyer is. Yes, a mistake was made. But that is just one small part of the years of service and dedication Stottlemyer has given to South High. He coaches baseball, wrestling, football, etc. He is more than a coach. He works with the students and helps them outside of sports too. He cares very deeply and I am sure that no one feels any worse than he does about the elimination.

I think we should all thank Stottlemyer for his dedication to South's students and give him a pat on the back for his years of devotion. He changes lives and I think we all need to focus on all of the positive he has done and will continue to do. He is a great guy, so let's all tell him thanks.

Loretta J. Thornhill
Hagerstown

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