Stop chasing after that 'ideal beauty' standard and make your health your top priority

By Karen Chiu, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School

We should focus on making sure our bodies are working properly, not how they look

By Karen Chiu, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School |

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I am writing in response to the letter, “Dangerous diet” (Young Post, October 29).

Nowadays many people try to have the “perfect body”. They believe that being tall and slim is a sign of beauty. This is because many celebrities look like that. They share their weight-loss plans on social media so followers can learn how to look like them.

But some people want to look like them without having a healthy diet or exercising, so they intentionally starve themselves or use diet pills to lose weight. Denying yourself food can lead to eating disorders, while diet pills can cause serious side-effects.

We should value our inner beauty rather than our appearance. If people want to lose weight, they can use healthy methods, for example, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

Karen Chiu, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School

Face Off: is Hong Kong really a health-conscious city?

From the editor
Thank you for your very important letter, Karen. With all the images that flood past us every day on the internet, social media and advertising, it’s understandable that people – especially young people – feel pressured to look like the models in those images. 

But just because they may fit the stereotype of what some people think of as a “perfect body”, this does not mean these models are healthy – and it does not mean you should risk your health to look the same.

As you say, inner beauty is more important. But what’s equally important is health. 

Some people may be able to eat junk food every day, and never exercise, and still be slim. But being slim doesn’t mean their organs – their heart and kidneys, for example – are healthy. 

Teenagers need to eat a balanced diet – food with protein, carbohydrates, and calcium, fruits, and lots of vegetables – every day. Your bodies are still developing, so it is crucial that you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to make sure you grow properly.

You also need to have some sort of physical exercise every day – and experts say ideally for at least an hour every day. This is not for weight-loss purposes, but for general health, to build bone and muscle strength, to improve your lung capacity, and even your self-esteem.

People are of naturally different shapes and sizes, and that doesn’t necessarily indicate how healthy or unhealthy they are. But no matter what we look like on the outside, it’s vitally important to care about what we look like on the inside, and eat and move in ways that keep our insides looking their best.

Karly, Deputy Editor