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to think my 14 year old sister aspiring to go down to a size 6 shows what is wrong with society and the media?

(38 Posts)
PotterWatch Thu 13-Oct-11 20:22:57

My perfectly healthy sized sister is on a diet, announced on Facebook or course. I asked her why on earth she was dieting and she said she wants to go down to a size 6. I don't know what size she is now but her profile picture is of her in a bikini and there is nothing wrong at all with the way she looks but she won't listen.

One of her friends had recently posted about how a size 10 was not skinny and how a 12-14 was curvy. As a 10-12 I am probably a bit fat to them, although I am pretty happy with my weight (except the post baby belly but never mind).

It still astonishes me how they look at these really skinny models and think that they look nice. They look ill and I was picked on at school for being too thin, seems like you can't actually win when you are at school. Women like Beyonce, J-Lo and Christina Hendricks look fabulous. Nadine Coyle, Victoria Beckham and others look dreadful. Why can't young girls see this!

It is also a sad state of affairs when 14 year old girls are on diets. Their bodies are still growing for a start. It never occured to me to be that worried about my weight at that age.

OldGreyWassailTest Thu 13-Oct-11 20:45:37

You've only got to look at the Boden advert to the right. Who has legs as skinny as that, I ask you??!!

cory Thu 13-Oct-11 20:46:36

There were plenty of girls who did when we were young, though, PotterWatch; I knew several anorexics and eating disorders were rife in the seventies.

To some extent I think it is about your own immediate circle (dd seems lucky enough to have sensible friends), to some extent about other issues like self-confidence.

cory Thu 13-Oct-11 20:47:06

Very sad to hear about your sister though: sounds like her friends are not of the sensible variety.

MillyR Thu 13-Oct-11 20:47:48

I agree that there are too many pressures on teens to be thin. But I would agree with your sister's friend that for a 14 year old, a size 10 is not skinny and size 12-14 is curvy.

A size 6 now is equivalent to a size 8 a generation ago, as sizes have got bigger. I would say that sizes 6-10 were normal sizes for teenage girls of a healthy weight, and that a size 6 is not in any way an unhealthy size at 14.

manicinsomniac Thu 13-Oct-11 20:54:34

But a size 12-14 is on the large side for a 14 year old girl.

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to be a size 6, especially not as a teenager.

The problem will come if she doesn't intend to lose the weight in a healthy way.

TenderlyLovinglyByAGoat Thu 13-Oct-11 20:57:14

size 6 now is what size 8 was before the sizes all crept up

it is probably quite realistic unless she is very tall or has a particularly big frame?

TenderlyLovinglyByAGoat Thu 13-Oct-11 20:58:21

oh millyr already said it

PotterWatch Thu 13-Oct-11 21:00:25

I just think she is going to look awful. I would guess she is a 10ish, she isn't stick thin like I was but she is not big at all. I hated being an 8 because of the comments I got and was desperate to put on weight. I just find it sad that girls this young are so obsessed with weight and can't look to some better role models. Hoping I don't have this with DD but in todays society it is probably going to be veryu difficult to avoid.

NorkyPies Thu 13-Oct-11 21:03:26

Woman's Hour Radio4 recently had an item 'Zero Waste' about recycling. I kept hearing it as 'Zero Waist'!

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 13-Oct-11 21:06:33

Well, God bless her, she is embarking on a lifetime of issues about her weight. Because if she doesn't become ill and succumb to an eating disorder, she sure as hell will end up heavier than when she started her "diet". I was 8 stone and a tiny bit at 14 and decided I needed to be 7stone7. Went on a diet. Became obsessed with food, compulsive eater, and was 9 stone within a few months, which was absolutely disastrous at the time. I was a size 14 in old sizes.

Of course now I would kill to be as little as 9 stone again grin.

Absolutely nothing good can come from this course of action your sister is embarking on, but sadly she will not listen to you.

worraliberty Thu 13-Oct-11 21:10:15

Exactly what MillyR said

She basically wants to be what used to be known as a size 8 and as long as she eats healthily and has the right frame for it, I don't see a problem.

Her friend is kind of right. A size 10 is not necessarily 'skinny' on some people. It totally depends on height and frame.

Birdsgottafly Thu 13-Oct-11 21:13:03

It doesn't really matter if a size 6 is ok for her frame, she and her friends should be focusing in good nutrition and a level of exercise, their body size will be whatever it is designed to be.

I think that it is good that Chantelle Houghton has spoken about how has ruined her fertility and that she will need IVF to conceive just because of extreme dieting, as have many women.

worraliberty Thu 13-Oct-11 21:17:19

Yes but many teenage girls see suddenly eating healthily and exercising as going on a diet.

Again, as long as she's eating healthily I think there's nothing to worry about.

Weight is a very strange thing especially here on MN. It seems it's much more ok to be fat than to want to be thin.

OP, is there any way you can check up and find out what this 'diet' involves?

Meglet Thu 13-Oct-11 21:17:28

I am a 'normal' thin size 10. But I can fit into a UK designer Size 6 (an American size 2). There's no way I'd get my backside into a Top Shop size 8, but the designer size 6's in TK Maxx fit me just fine.

I suspect all these celebs who claim to be a size 6 are just wearing designer clothes which are cut generously.

If your sister shrinks down to a high street size 6 she will be very poorly indeed sad. She's aiming for something different to what the celebs are wearing IMO.

forkful Thu 13-Oct-11 21:30:50

OP - could you post these videos to her FB:

Dove "evolution" ad which shows how make up and photo shopping alter a model's image

"Killing Us Softly" - Advertising's Images of Women

Then her and her friends can see what advertising is really doing!

MCos Thu 13-Oct-11 23:25:39

Right - we are talking about 14 year olds. Not full grown adults.

Sorry - I think size 6 is about the right size for a 14 year old. And smaller is normal if the 14 year old is not tall or developed.
And that for a 14 year old, a size 10 is NOT skinny and size 12-14 is VERY curvy.

For full grown adults, size 10 is great, but I would consider it SLIM, rather than skinny. And a size 12 is healthy, but as a 12-14 myself, I think 12-14 is a bit curvy even for most adults, unless you are 5'8 or so, or have 'large bones'.

MillyR Thu 13-Oct-11 23:31:29

I agree. I'm 5'10 and size 12-14. I am near the top of the healthy BMI range.

I weighed 2 and a half stone less at 16 and was still within the healthy BMI range.

shteviesunflower Fri 14-Oct-11 00:10:53

Size 6 is actually very thin for a fairly developed 14 year old, especially in stores where they are likely shopping, such as topshop.

shteviesunflower Fri 14-Oct-11 00:13:01

Of course height makes a difference as well, size six and 4 ft 11 different from size six and 5 ft 11.

worraliberty Fri 14-Oct-11 00:15:22

This is the thing.

The OP hasn't mentioned the girl's height, frame or weight so it's impossible to know if it's really good or bad.

Some people can drop a dress size by losing 7lb or so

As long as the girl is eating healthily and exercising, it could be a great thing. For all we know it might mean cutting out junk food and getting out more?

incognitwooohooo Fri 14-Oct-11 00:16:24

Message withdrawn

startail Fri 14-Oct-11 01:56:38

It depends totally on her build and hight, but I'd of thought most 14 year-olds would be 8/10. My 13 year-old DD1 is pretty much a small busted 5'6" size 12 and she is fairly curvy and grown up looking. Her younger sister will almost certainly be a size or two smaller.
The point is that a 14 year-old who's matured into looking right and healthy at a certain size, should not feel pressurised into unhealthy dieting to aspire to being something she isn't.
My DD1 could eat slightly less and run round slightly more and make a very nice size 10, but if she dieted to the size of her very tall quite possibly size 6/8 friend she'd just look ill. She doesn't have the narrow hipped boyish frame that comes with being her friends hight.

tryingtoleave Fri 14-Oct-11 02:37:20

I wonder if she does any sport or exercise? I think it is really important for teenage girls to play some sport - it is meant to give them a much healthier body image.

tryingtoleave Fri 14-Oct-11 02:40:57

Although, thinking about it, almost all the girls at school who were 'curvy' at 14 were noticeably overweight at our 10 year reunion. Maybe 14 is the right time to start thinking about eating well and exercising. I agree with earlier posters, however, that strict dieting would be disasterous.

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