I have a lot of friends who are pretty opinionated when it comes to politics, feminism, and other human rights. These span the range of subject matter from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to autism. One of the newer ones I’ve noticed is (forgive me if I’m calling this the wrong thing) body-shaming. Thin girls complaining that people judge them for being too thin, curvier girls complaining that people are calling them too fat. It’s actually kind of piqued my interest. So I thought I might stand on my soapbox for a minute.
My initial instinct is to openly mock the thin girls for their complaints. I mean, jeez. You have the idealistic female body for our society. It must be SO HARD for you to feel attractive, what with you looking like a runway model and all that. And I also have a knee-jerk reaction of feeling proud of people for wanting these girls to put on a few. It seems to suggest that we as a society are no longer pressuring girls to look unnaturally thin, right?
If I look at myself in the mirror, I’m not unsatisfied with what I see. Not everyone has always exactly supported me being my size. A few people have hinted, not so subtly, that they are worried about my weight. That they think it is unhealthy.
I resent the skinny girls for always getting attention. Like, why can’t my body be the ideal? But skinny girls don’t always get positive attention, either. And it never occurred to me that they’d want to have more curves. And some of them, maybe a larger amount of them than I can fathom, wish they could put on weight. But they just can’t. And not because society would judge them harshly but because that’s just their DNA. So, my whole self-satisfied thing is really just a smokescreen for my own insecurities. A thinly veiled one.
It took me a little effort to concede to this in my head, but their feelings are just as valid as those of us who, by society’s standards, are considered too curvy. No matter what size you are, it’s an awful feeling to be told your body is imperfect or unsatisfactory in any way. So, in my effort to kind of rid myself of negative karma over my self-righteous insecurities, I have decided I am over it. I am going to announce, via internet, on a blog everyone on my friends list on Facebook can see, what my weight it.
I am 150 pounds. (I don’t know metric, so if you’re reading this in another country, please forgive me.)
I am 5’4″.
I have a waistline of about 30 inches and a hip size of about 36 inches.
My bust is a safe 34C. Varies from time to time, what with my hormones.
I wear around a size 12 dress and 11 junior-size jeans. I got down to a size 6 dress and 7 jeans my freshman year of college. I thought that was nice.
Here’s what I like about my body: I love my core. I have very wide hips and they are rockin’. I like my bust-line. I like my lower body. I like my back and shoulders. I like my lips and eyes. I like my skin.
Here’s what I’m insecure about: My tummy isn’t flat. It never has been, it never will be. And I used to work out 3-4 times a week. My arms are a little flabby and have a slight acne problem. I wish I had a sturdier chin. I feel like I have perma-double chin. My thighs are a lot thicker than they used to be. I have never had perfect eyebrows. My eyelashes aren’t very long. I fear I am developing cankles. I wish my teeth were straight.
So, there it is, world. I pretty much mostly like the way I look. And I’m comfortable with that. Sometimes I wish I was thinner, but I love my curves. And my husband loves my curves. And my Mommy thinks I have a cute figure. My friends tell me how cute I look when I bother to get dressed in something other than saggy jeans and a t-shirt.
I think, as long as you feel good in your skin and you’re healthy (not that I’m healthy, really) then you don’t need to change. What needs to change is how women treat each other. No one has a perfect body. I reserve the right to resent skinny girls, but in no way do I have the right to actively criticize them. Without some kind of insecurity, someone will always be more than willing to supply one. I don’t feel like letting it get to me.