Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sizing Us Up

In the past 2 weeks, I have found myself telling 2 of my favorite teenagers (my daughter and my niece) the same thing:

"Don't start hating your body now. You have your entire life to do that."

And the more I think about it, the sadder it makes me. Because as I said the words, I knew they were true. We as women spend an ungodly number of hours hating our bodies. And I've come to the conclusion that the clothing industry plays a part in that hate.

Gracey is a size 2 - 4 just depending on the clothing. Read that again. SHE WEARS A SIZE 2 or 4.  Tiny, right? So when she began trying on cute dresses and none of the size smalls fit her, she was upset. Forget that she looked BEAUTIFUL in the mediums. Or that I'd love to know why on EARTH a size 2/4 is magically a MEDIUM. Call me crazy, but that seems like a very small person to me. Just thinking about the fact that this kind of thing is contributing to her having body image issues at 15 makes me crazy. 

Now, don't mistake that last sentence for the beginning of some kind of wacky eating issue. The girl loves her carbs. She isn't going on some crazy diet or anything. In fact, after her minor breakdown, she was all smiles and loved every single size medium she bought with her babysitting money.

Same scenario but with swimsuits. We go shopping in the adult section of swimsuits at multiple stores. Both of my girls are searching for suits - and both have to buy sizes that made me think if I'd been in their shoes, I'd have been looking for an XXXXXL. Because if my 12 year old who barely tops 100 lbs really has to wear a medium, then this 40-something fluffy girl would never be able to shop anywhere except a tent shop!

Of course there's that whole thing too. The POUNDS issue. Somewhere along the way, the number suddenly made a difference. Everyone started claiming to weigh 115-125 pounds as though that was supposed to be a "normal" weight. Yes as I look at my string bean girls and know what they weigh, and recall my weight at my wedding, I know realistically that if we all weighed 115 - 125, we would probably all be very hungry and very undernourished!

Sorry for the rant. I don't usually get all worked up like this. But I want my girls to grow up loving themselves and not worrying about sizes or numbers as if that defines them. Or as if they are somehow too big, abnormal, etc. And I certainly don't want them to start now.

Goodness knows....they have their whole lives to feel hate their bodies. I know I have certainly spent too much time doing it. Maybe I should practice what I preach. Or put down the brownie..... or both.


3 comments:

Jenny McCord said...

Amen.

teresa said...

Very well said!

Brigitte van Pelt said...

A few years ago I got to my all-time heaviest (not gonna reveal that number...oh no) and it made me hate my body. That only motivated me to finally make a change. I have yo-yoed with my weight for years, but I am determined to be at my healthiest weight by the time I reach 45, if not sooner. My biggest regret is that I didn't exercise enough. That was never a priority to me. Now, if I miss a day of jogging, I have withdrawal. I don't care about numbers and sizes, I am most focused on being HEALTHY. I want my BMI to be in the normal category and not the overweight one. And I want to feel strong, confident and beautiful when I see myself naked. Now I just see a lot of cellulite that I am determined to get rid of. So, that hate....it motivated me. It got me moving. It made me determined to get healthy. While I understand your daughters are not overweight, so I am sure it must be frustrating to see their disappointment in finding appropriate clothes. But just keep reassuring them that they are beautiful. Positive affirmation has power. You're doing a great job with your girls, Charee!

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