I was having a conversation with my mother, it went something like this:
“I ran into my old friend at the convention,” my mom continues, “she said her daughter is doing well, but she weighs (insert weight that many beautiful woman weigh here) and is a bigger girl.”
I was horrified. Why on earth did that need to be listed as a status update on a child? My mom was equally appalled that the statement was included in the conversation. As women our weight is paraded around like a barometer for how well we are doing in life. It has become a determination of our worth and so much value is placed on it. If someone is going to cut you down an ever popular insult is weight (i.e.” you are such a fatty”). Forget how well the adult child is doing in her career, her successes in college, or anything she does to help her community. Let’s focus on the most important factor, her weight.
I can’t tell you the number of times women have been described like this to me:
“She is really funny and smart. I hear her career is really great, but she is bigger.”
“She is really pretty, but a little overweight.”
Insert woman’s positives attributes here and then abolish them here because of her weight. She is great, BUT not. She is successful, BUT she isn’t.
All I can ask is why? Why does this happen? Why do we make this so important? Why is so much value placed on our weight and appearance?
I can remember sitting in a bible study specifically about battling food issues (“Made to Crave”, by Lysa Terkeurst) and we were talking about how our weight does not equal our worth. During the discussion time the conversation turned. Women around the table shared their horror during pregnancy. Several of the girls said they wanted to wear a t-shirt that said, “Not fat, just pregnant”. Laughing they described at how embarrassed they were to think that people would view them as fat. You know what happens when you become fat? You buy bigger pant sizes. The world doesn’t end.
For years my weight has made me feel like I was a failure. I’ve struggled being the “bigger” or “extra junk in the trunk” girl since elementary school. Despite all of the success I have had in my own personal life, my weight has made me feel like I was not up to par. I wish I could say that I’m not going to think this way anymore, but the truth is that it will take me a long time to work through something that has plagued me since childhood. Being put on a diet at a tender and young age has encouraged issues with food and subsequently my worth based on my appearance. If you have a young daughter I beg of you not to put such high value on her weight and force her on a diet. Encourage healthy eating and activity, not dieting. The picture used in this post is me, right around the time I was put on my first diet. My parents weren’t trying to be mean or hurtful by encouraging me to lose weight. They had my best interests at heart and I love them dearly. As I got older, I realized that my mom was doing exactly as her mom had done. My grandmother was simply continuing the upbringing she had. It was an upbringing where appearance and the numbers on the scale mean more than they should. It is a cycle and we can stop it.
We as women are amazing creatures. We give birth. We are nurturing and caring. We are successful in our homes and out in the business world. We sense things with our intuition that men cannot. We are all beautiful in our own unique way and bring something special to this world. Weight and pant sizes do not detract from those gifts and accomplishments.
Let us change the rhetoric. No more, “…but she is fat” because it simply does not matter.
This post was originally written for RealOilfieldWives.com by LC, but I loved it so much and thought our audience here would relate as well, so I asked for permission to re-post it here! Follow the adventures of LC at: www.LivingOilfieldLife.com or on Instagram at: living_oilfield_life
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