Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Departure From The Norm

As the title suggests, today's post is a departure from the norm. I recently watched Cherry Healey's Body Dilemma, and it got me thinking. There are heaps and heaps and heaps of blogs devoted to body image, especially women's body images and, more often than not, the awkward relationship people have with their bodies.

Cherry weighs herself daily. This is something I do too. it didn't occur to me, until I watched the programme, that this is an odd (and frankly tedious) thing to do. Regular followers of my blog will know that I recently spent a week in Birmingham. The 'lovely' Ibis hotel did not come equipped with scales. So it was with some trepidation that I stepped onto the scales on my return. To my surprise (and though I'm slightly ashamed to admit it, joy) I had actually lost weight. All of this lead me to thinking that the habitual daily weigh in needs to stop!

Sadly this has proved harder than I thought it would be. Why? This is a question I can't answer. Cherry said that for her it was like safe guard. I agree, those digits are like a statement that tells you (if the read-out is agreeable) that you are acceptable. This is ridiculous.

Featured on the programme was a girl named Kirsty. A girl who has decided to accept herself as she is, embrace the word fat as merely an adjective, and sever it from it's negative connotations. How she has achieved this is a mystery to me. If I ever find out I'll let you know.

Some blame the media for the body image obsession that so many labor under. To a degree I agree, but there has to be more to it than this?... Being confident has a physical effect on the way you present yourself (we have all had fat days when nothing seems to look right, and generally this has an effect on our behavior). Similarly looking healthy usually equates being attractive. Somewhere along the lines we seem to have lost our way and in place of confidence and health we get skinny V Fat. With the former usually being considered attractive and the latter not so.

People are different sizes, some bigger, some smaller all of which are attractive. But too big, and too small are not healthy, and striving to make yourself something you are not is exhausting, and boring. Yet still we strive on.

Personally I have a maximum weight and a minimum weight. So long as I am somewhere between these two I don't worry about it too much. Still, I am more comfortable in myself at the lower end- even if its only temporary (the result of a stressful week, or a wild weekend) and in-spite of the fact that at these points I am generally more than a little peckish.

P.S. An Interesting article on the evolution of female body image over the last 600 years.


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