Arm Vagina? Seriously, why do we even fall for these things?
We’ve all seen crazy trends or nonsensical challenges on social media that encourage unhealthy beauty standards. However, things like the thigh gap aren't new. This constant pressure on our looks has existed for many years. As far as I remember, I've always met people telling me that certain aspects of my body needed to change. Yes, before the Internet my great-grandmother became that bully inventing new “challenges” and ways to make me, my sister, and my cousin, feel bad about how we looked. She herselff had been forced to look about 20 years younger because she landed a job with an age limit. Even by the end of her life she would claimed she was 20 years younger (although she was almost 100). She endured countless plastic surgeries and was in an extreme and strict exercise and nutritional routine almost all her life. Somehow, she got obsessed with the idea that the only way to succeed in life was with an extremely slim figure.
She was particularly obsessed with our chubby thighs, and as you can imagine, it didn’t help that much to our self-esteem, especially at an age where this can evolve into terrible issues in the future. Now, I mention all this because I know how it feels to be constantly bothered about your looks. When I see these stupid and illogical trends with the same effect but multiplied millions of times, I can’t help but feel angry and worried about the impact and issues they can develop in people who worry about this stuff. So, among these beauty trends that aren’t only idiotic, but also void of all logic, there's the arm or armpit vagina. Only with the name you can imagine what kind of stupidity we’re dealing with.
All the craze started when actress Jennifer Lawrence said in a red carpet interview that she knew she had “armpit fat, it's okay... it's armpit vaginas.” What is this? Well, not precisely armpit fat but the flesh located right where the arm meets your torso. I mean, what's all the fuss about? Have we really gone too far that we’ll eventually worry about the natural fold of our knuckles or the crease of our eyes, as long as we keep shaming the female body? Why do we keep falling for these messages that, rather than encouraging women to feel good about themselves or lead a healthy life, are pushing them to risk their lives with nonsensical procedures in plastic surgeries and terrible routines to achieve something that’s basically impossible and unattainable? Are these measures really necessary? Basically everybody has an "arm vagina," even the skinniest ones. Moreover, it’s a very important fold that allows us to lift our arms over our heads. So, do you see how stupid this is?
Now, I keep insisting on the self-esteem part of this because it has come to a point where this trend actually playing with people’s health and life. I don’t really want to sound dramatic, but this is literally leading people to kill themselves in useless procedures because some douche thought it was cool to take a necessary and natural part of the body away. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence mentioned it, but she didn't invent that concern. It only shows that she was probably feeling so insecure about it that she brought it up randomly at the interview. Someone else saw it and decided it was a flaw people should care about, and just like that, thanks to the immediacy of the Internet, now we’re talking about it.
Leaving aside the risks of arm vagina surgeries, according to Dr. Nadia Micali (senior lecturer at University College London), in the last decade the number of eating disorder cases in teenagers and young adults has increased 15%. There are even children going through these terrible disorders, and to be honest, most of this comes from the constant pressure we all experience every day on social media when someone comes up with a new trend just to gain a few minutes of fame. I mean, because of this, now there are people eating detergent!
So, to end with the article, but not with the conversation, I do think that as we’re given this nearly unlimited access to the Internet and social media, we also have to be conscious of what we share and the impact it has on our followers, even if they're only two. We might think it’s funny or even surprising to see people hiding behind an A4 sheet of paper and just share it, but someone on the other side of the screen might see this as a direct invitation for them to do the impossible to imitate that image. But more importantly (I know this might sound like the generic message you can see in a post with a black and white photo), I do believe it’s important to start liking ourselves as we are. Yes, being healthy is great, but don’t start thinking your body is filled with flaws that are basically nonexistent. Seriously, look at these photos. Do you really think that fold is the most hideous thing ever? Because I don't.
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