A fit Asian woman jogging outdoors.

Just as beauty standards were finally becoming more inclusive, the skinny body trend is back with a vengeance. On fashion runways and the red carpet, barely-there waistlines still reign. But just because it’s being glorified again on social media, doesn’t mean you have to give in to the pressure of fitting in. Here’s why this alarming trend needs to go now.

Body Dysmorphia Is Real

This article is by no means a criticism of those with naturally thin figures. Problems arise when the skinny body type is held up as the , so much so that it puts people at mortal risk trying to achieve it, not to mention creating mental health problems when this goal proves unattainable.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), or body dysmorphia, is a mental health condition where a person worries excessively about perceived flaws in their appearance. These flaws are often unnoticeable to others but can seriously disrupt the life of someone who suffers from it.

According to , symptoms include worrying excessively about a specific area of the body, spending a lot of time comparing your looks with other people’s, looking at yourself in mirrors a lot or avoiding mirrors altogether, going to a lot of effort to conceal your flaws, and picking at your skin to make it “smooth.” In addition, body dysmorphic disorder can lead to depression, self-harm, and worse.

Got dark real quick? While many of those with BDD typically suffer from other mental health conditions, it can happen to anyone – especially those who have been . All it takes is a trigger.

Goodbye Body Positivity?

It always seems like it’s one step forward, two steps back. The world has been making significant strides with with brands like Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie line proudly supporting a diverse range of body and skin types. But then, many fashion labels repeatedly circle back to rail-thin figures for their shows, still peddling the outdated perception that clothes fall better the skinnier you are.

And have you seen the model-bots with unimaginably thin waists, supposedly representing the When these body types are being celebrated by the public, what message is that sending?

Studies have linked young women’s body dissatisfaction and the desire to achieve a skinny body figure with disordered eating behaviors, noting the significant influence of social media. A published in the National Library of Medicine has found “the desire to change the body image and taking unhealthy measures were common, given the proliferation of the use of the social network sites where images and content encourage women to aspire to unrealistic and unattainable body ideals.”

“Paris-Thin” Should Not Be In

It’s alarming the lengths that people will go to achieve a skinny body – ingesting diet pills that dangerously mess with our system, working out maniacally, undergoing surgery, developing bulimia, you name it. More than simply vanity, it’s the fear that one is never good enough. The sad reality is that while many young women want to emulate perilously thin models, many of those models are developing dangerous eating disorders to keep up.

In a call to regulate “the starvation of ‘Paris thin’ models” in 2015, experts from urged that prohibiting models from participating in fashion shows or photo shoots if they are dangerously thin would help in preventing serious health issues in young women, including anorexia nervosa and death from starvation. This would go on record as an editorial in the , calling on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to set regulations to prohibit hiring models who went below a given body mass index.

Models aspire to be “Paris-thin” (referring to France’s prominence in the fashion industry), and the average runway model’s BMI is typically below the World Health Organization’s threshold of medically dangerous thinness for adults, BMI <16. According to authors S. Bryan Austin and Katherine Record, “Models have died of starvation-related complications, sometimes just after stepping off the runway.

These beauty standards, however, don’t just affect models. A notes how tween girls develop disordered eating attitudes when they are preoccupied with weight and food. “The media plays a vital role in formulating what is attractive in society, increasing the thin beauty ideal among females being unattainable,” it states.

“Not In Need Of Alteration”

Beyond the glorification of the skinny body type on catwalks, magazines, and social media, audiences are also bombarded by traditional articles and reels on extreme diet tips, fashion styles to make us appear slimmer, photo apps to shave inches off our faces and bodies, all conditioning us to think we all need to fix ourselves to measure up to other people’s ideals. But enough is enough.

You have the power to screen what you consume, but more importantly, so that we are no longer made to feel insecure by perceived beauty standards. The rise of sites, brands, publications, and organizations that sincerely support inclusivity and body positivity, is a step in the right direction.

Love The Body You Are In

Whatever your body type – yes, including being naturally skinny – love the body you’re in! Find out what you love about yourself and , and more importantly, learn to like your “flaws” and work with them. Embrace your individuality. Treat yourself with kindness. And remember, you are enough.

When feelings of insecurity creep in, give your body some TLC. Pamper yourself with Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Restore Body Lotion. With pure aloe vera extract and Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, it deeply moisturizes for smooth, dewy, subtly fragrant skin all day long.

Embracing your natural beauty extends to your hair and smile. Nurture your with Dove Botanical Selection Hair Conditioner for Fresh Hair Clarify. Made with 100% with white tea blossom extract, it deep cleans hair, balances moisture, and clarifies sensitive scalp from excess oil for a wonderfully fresh feeling.

Maintain a confident smile in the face of unfair beauty standards with closeup Red Hot Toothpaste. Its anti-bacterial formula and micro-shine crystals combat 99% of bacteria to prevent cavities, clean teeth, and leave you feeling fresh and confident.

Practice body positivity by complimenting yourself in the mirror, then compliment those around you, too. Need a little boost? Ask a trusted friend or family member what they like about your body – you may be a little embarrassed to do so at first, but it may help when you appreciate your body through the eyes of another.

As the skinny body trend makes its rounds on social media, watch the people closest to you, too. If you suspect that you or someone you know is developing body issues, do speak to a medical professional. While people may say “it’s all in your head,” this may seriously affect your relationships, career, or life. Counseling or a support group – even an informal one – can work wonders, and taking positive action is the first step in honoring yourself and your unique beauty.