Turns out, New Year's resolution season isn't what it used to be. Women are actually "dieting" less these days, according to a new survey of 3,800 adults, which found 11 percent fewer women were "on a diet" in 2012 vs. 1992. Even worse is the fact that in 1985, most women thought being thin was more attractive than being heavy, but fewer than 1 in 4 agree now. Oh boy. That's it. We are totally on a crash course for society as it exists in Wall-E, where humans are all obese and sit in floating chairs all day drinking huge sodas and staring at screens!
OR ... people are just starting to be more health conscious over body conscious? Maybe our perception of beauty is finally starting to shift from the ridiculous to the realistic?
Or what we could be dealing with here is simply a matter of semantics. In 1992, more people said they were on a "diet" or "dieting," because that wasn't a dirty word yet. It was a trendy one! These days, no one wants to be seen as a "dieter." It's much more acceptable to say you've adopted a "healthy lifestyle." So, it's possible that the people surveyed really were doing something to lose weight or watch their weight; they just don't call it a diet.
But the idea that we're starting to think "being thin" isn't as hot as we used to? Well, that's good news! It doesn't mean we're glorifying obesity. Or that our perception of attractiveness is all out of whack because we're all fatsos in 2013. It may simply mean that maybe we're starting to realize that skinny doesn't necessarily equal healthy. Curves -- as in the natural shape of a healthy female frame -- like Beyonce's and/or a ripped, fit body like Jillian Michaels', are hot. Skin and bones are not. And, yes, perhaps having a few extra pounds doesn't necessarily mean you're going to die sooner. In fact, someone who's a bit "heavier" may still be healthier than someone else who's skinny but guzzles diet soda, smokes cigarettes, or has no comprehension of eating in a nutritious way.
At the same time, I see no need for hand-wringing about how this must mean women are slowly but surely "letting themselves go." Obesity is an epidemic, but I'd still venture to guess we're a looooooong way off from it becoming the standard -- or even a socially acceptable form -- of beauty.
What do you think -- have we changed for better or worse when it comes to the perception of the ideal weight and dieting?