I took this photo of my best friend last summer. Time spent as happy young people together indicates hope to me. Planning our futures, like we can control them. Our husbands, our kids, our lives. Life will be what we make it. That gives me plenty of hope.
Today a perfectly healthy, normal size woman told me she’d done some fitness test only to be told that she was obese and need to lose over a stone and a half. I must admit I just laughed as it’s ridiculous. She’s no more than a size 12, if that.
It made me question who should be allowed to tell us we’re overweight, or underweight for that matter, and what we are all striving for. This picture of the perfect skinny body is always burning through our minds, but who dictated that it should be the norm? It makes me feel uneasy, a sort of hint of some society where everyone is expected to be exactly the same and differences are unheard of. As long as you eat healthily and exercise regularly, what has anyone got to complain about?
I would class overweight and underweight as a weight that will harm your health or life expectancy, not as some unattainable figure. If it’s not hurting us, what are we all striving for? It’s not only lifestyle that affects our proportions, its in our genetics. Two women, at the same age, doing the same amount of exercise and eating exactly the same meals could be completely different weights and shapes. Some people are a natural 6, and that’s where their body is comfortable but for others it may be 14.
Dictating what size people should be is not only damaging to that individual’s self-confidence, it is damaging our society’s very fabric.