Every day the contradictions fly: we hear how everybody is getting too fat, and then the celebrity magazines either declare somebody to be too skinny (Nicole Richie) or too fat (everybody named Kardashian or Oprah). Baby bumps are watched closely, and then the moms are slammed for not losing the weight quickly enough (Alyssa Milano) or celebrated for being skinny 2 weeks later (Rachel Zoe).
And we wonder why everybody is confused?
What got me thinking about all of this is two-fold. I have battled my weight most of my life. I never want to be “skinny”, a pejorative term at best, I just want to be healthy. And I am working on that. I’ve lost 50 pounds, gained a little back, and now want to lose more.
I saw a 10-ish year old girl at Target today. Nice girl, shopping with her mom. They were looking at clothes along the aisle, near the juniors section. I don’t think the girl was big enough to shop in the juniors, but like any pre-teen, she wanted to see what the big kids were wearing. She was holding a sweater, one that made me laugh as it had Flashdance, Madonna-Borderline video circa 1985, and rubber bracelets written all over it. Yes, the 80s are back in style, and yes, it still looks stupid to wear an off-the-shoulder crop sweater with leggings. But I digress…
This girl was looking at the sweater, and her mom told her to put it down because she was too fat in her stomach region to wear something like that. Yeah, thanks mom. The girl put the sweater back, and I could tell she looked crushed. Her mom was on the phone, and I don’t know if she registered the impact of her words.
And so it starts as a woman in this society. You’re too fat. You’re too thin. You’re looking good during pregnancy, but too big post-partum. You’re too skinny. And on and on. Fat-shaming. Bikini-bridge worship. (go look it up if you need a primer.)
I’m just tired of it. Just makes me sad that magazines, TV shows, websites, Twitter, you name it, seem be platforms for playing this game.
How about, to start 2014, we all aim to be healthy. Sane. Rational. Trying to eat better, without eating disorders or guilt if we have some ice cream. Exercising to be healthier, but not needing to flip over truck tires from one end of a parking lot and back to show how “dedicated” we are.
I call nobody out. I am working on my own weight, and trying to get healthier. I vowed to walk at least 10K steps per day, and according to my Fitbit, I am doing it. Next comes getting in more weight training. I’ve cut out anything white flour. I am trying. And I am going to keep trying for the rest of my life, as this is a lifestyle change, not a diet that gets switched on and off.
But the biggest thing I am going to do is turn my back on the silly noise about who is what. It really doesn’t matter anyways. No eyeballs = no revenue for the producers.