Sing It: Glee’s Message for Body Confidence

Courtesy of Running with Sass

 

In case you missed Glee on April 27, it was a body confidence episode. Mercedes, when joined the Cheerios cheerleaders with Kurt, was told to lose ten pounds in a week. Apparently all the other Cheerios drink this “cleanse” that Cheer Coach Sue created. It showed them in the cafeteria eating little or nothing, trying to be thin, to fit in, etc.

In the end, after failed attempts at losing the weight, the Cheerios do their routine in front of the whole school. Of course, singing must be involved, so instead of the cheer routine, Mercedes belts out the song “Beautiful” a la Christiana Aguilera. She then invites the whole school to come stand up and join in the singing. While it was slightly cheesy (but hey, we are talking about GLEE) it was a great message.

So many girls, especially those in those vulnerable high school years (never mind the actors are in their mid 20?s…) struggle with this. So many girls sit in the cafeteria and push food around their plate pretending to eat, or some actually do eat, then rush to the bathroom immediately after. This frustrates me and makes me angry and sad all at the same time. The pressure we put on girls to be thin is ridiculous. The focus should be on being healthy, or on being toned, not on being skinny.

Sure it’s great to have goals, I have goals myself, but I would never push myself to the point of letting it overtake me mentally. I just, 20 minutes ago, ate a Wendy’s cheeseburger! *gasp*  I am home sick, not feeling well at all, didn’t want to cook, and dang it, I wanted a cheeseburger!! Do I have one everyday? No, I haven’t had one from Wendy’s in years, but it is OKAY to eat!!! It IS OKAY to splurge, and have dessert, and take a week off from running, and not be so obsessed with working out that you do it while sick, or injured, or mentally tired.

I know way too many people who have eating disorders, obsessive exercise problems, and body image issues. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER IT!  Start over tomorrow! It is a new day and a new beginning. :)  You are beautiful.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda (Amanda"runs") April 30, 2010 at 9:01 pm

OMG, I loved that Glee. My friend didn’t get the message though.. I’m downloading that song ASAP!

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Chloe December 15, 2010 at 1:19 am

OMG, i saw that episode last week

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Chloe January 29, 2014 at 5:47 pm

What episode is this?

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Indiho May 20, 2010 at 6:02 am

that was my favorite episode ever!!! I was crying when they did that scene. now I listen to that song everyday, and every time it reminds me I am beautiful no matter what the people at my school, or what my family, or anyone else says. ??

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Jay May December 15, 2010 at 1:20 am

i cried too

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Indigo May 20, 2010 at 6:03 am

that was my favorite episode ever!!! I was crying when they did that scene. now I listen to that song everyday, and every time it reminds me I am beautiful no matter what the people at my school, or what my family, or anyone else says.

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Jessica May 21, 2010 at 1:49 am

i cried during that scene.

but, excuse me?
“The pressure we put on girls to be thin is ridiculous. The focus should be on being healthy, or on being toned, not on being skinny.”

i’m not worried about my weight, i’m worried about my body. and while i’m not over-the-top insane about it, i’m incredibly self-conscious and i think i’m hideous and need to drop the fat, and then i stress because i can’t figure out how. and the thing is, i want to be -toned-. not skinny; toned. but this still produces just as much stress and anxiety, because i can’t figure it out.

my own fault, i know. but either some people -do- deserve to worry about their weight, or none of it matters.

what about the people who just let themselves go?

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Carolyn August 15, 2010 at 10:34 am

@Jessica — I’m not sure to what extent this’ll help, but remember that toned was just a secondary part of that sentence — the *first priority* for girls is to make them healthy, and if they’re toned, that’s good, too. It’s not necessarily saying that fat or flab is undesirable, just that arms that clearly show they’ve been used in a workout (in other words, a way to prove to the public that you respect your body enough to keep it well-maintained) are good.

I can actually see what they’re saying — I’m a fairly overweight teenager and I’ve had to deal with the whole you-aren’t-beautiful-unless-you’re-skinny thing forever, but recently I did start lifting weights for 20 minutes a day and after a few weeks, I’ve finally started to develop muscle where previously I just had ‘bat wings.’

Not only am I happy to see that for the first time in my life, a workout has changed me, I’m also happy to see that my body *can* change that much — it’s very encouraging. But I’m still a very thickly-built girl and I have come to realize, after years of anxiety (some of which, to be honest, I haven’t fully gotten rid of — thanks a lot, Mom), that that’s fine.

All in all, I think the main thing is for each person to keep healthy and to use his/her own body to be beautiful *in the healthiest way that he or she prefers, in the healthiest way that it can be achieved*. Don’t let yourself go to waste (on either the obese or skinny-malnourished ends of the spectrum), but if you want to be overweight *and healthy,* that’s fine. If you want to be skinny *and healthy,* that’s fine. But one shouldn’t try to achieve a body that isn’t who one is, if that makes sense.

I can see some parts of this where someone might have some contention, so please tell me if you do. Also, I think I might have double posted by accident…

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Aisling August 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

HIPS & CURVES, NOT SKIN & BONE(:

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Emily De Vicente August 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I loved that episode and though merdedes sang that song soo good. and it was encouraging…though it might have been in a cheesy way but it just showed how girls struggle with self confidence everyday. It made me smile :) im embracing the inner cheesiness haha!

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Breanne October 4, 2010 at 6:53 am

I just started watching Glee this season, I didn’t see that season, but I just listened to that version and I LOVE it. Great reminder…and the fact that mercedes sang it makes it all the better :)

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ALI November 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

this post was a little condescending. I think you should do whatever you want–if working out isnt ur thing…dont do it! Find another way to enjoy exercise. The emphasize shouldnt be on being toned…this means nothing! it should be on being happy with your body and the things it can do for you…feeling healthy and confident…feeling like YOURSELF!

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Allie July 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

i agree! i don’t like working out, but if i sit around all day i feel icky (tired and bored and unhappy). that’s why i walk my dog with my friend, go out for a walk with my family, and why i’m currently looking to get a bike. because it’s what i like to call “hidden exercise”, it’s so much fun that i don’t even think of it as “working out”. and i always feel better after i spend some time outside or actually doing something that is fun. :)

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sarah November 19, 2010 at 11:52 pm

theres like nothing left to me. im all skin and bones it feels like i hit a wooden board everytime i fall or run into something. I sturggle with eating and used ot overdose laxatives but I stopped because I ran out. I have to force myself to eat. Why don’t I ever feel good enough if everyone tells me I am like a twig. ?

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admin November 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

It’s not about your body – it’s about your heart. I would really, really recommend reaching out to a professional. You can overcome this, but you need help. Check out the NEDA website for more information. I wish you the best!

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: ) April 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Please excuse me, but i’m going to be a bit blunt here.
THIS IS NOT A GOOD SIGN! please, stop beating yourself up over it. The people who are really skinny never feel good, as you have experienced. If you are having trouble getting yourself to eat, put yourself in the right mental situation. Think about what got you to this point, and how you’re going to HEALTHFULLY get back to normal. Don’t pig out, just eat when you are hungry. If you still feel uncomfortable, or it keeps on hurting, tell someone. Go to your doctor. It might feel embarrassing, but this is important. Please, please, take care of yourself. It could become dangerous if it gets out of hand. You are loved! <3 hugs all around! <3

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U R Loved! April 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Hi everyone, just wanted to share a wonderful song that will lift your spirits! Listen carefully to the lyrics. It is by Jason Mraz, it’s called The Beauty In Ugly. It is a truly wonderful song. Hugs all around!

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SuperWomanInLove September 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I have loved Glee for along time and I watch it every time that I am sad. It makes me happy and makes me feel better about my self and teaches me that I am not and will never be alone!!!

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