There is a lot of talk around the Internet focused on “curvy” girls loving their bodies. That the messages society and the media perpetuate about beauty are damaging and detrimental to self-esteem and unhealthy. I am not arguing that point and more power to the curvy girls to seek fulfillment in their image while being healthy. Knock your socks off.
I am not a curvy girl in terms of mainstream society. For twenty years (not kidding) I have been 5’9” and 125lbs. Aside from pregnancy I have consistently been a size 4 – as long as designers kept their sizing straight – and my worst complaint for years was they never made pants long enough. I will readily admit I wore clothing well and knew how to choose pieces that further flattered my figure. I have never not worn a bikini in the summer.
There. Full disclosure.
In the past year or so I have gained ten pounds and now I am 135lbs. I work out strenuously (see: with professional and college athletes) multiple times a week and occasionally watch what I eat. I know that some of this weight gain is from translating some fat to muscle on top of adding more muscle. I’m okay with that.
What I am not okay with is, for some reason, I have lost my abs and cannot seem to get them back. I have gained a size in clothing and am now wearing a size 6. I am fighting a “pooch” coupled with some remnants of stretched skin thanks to two pregnancies and for the first time I am looking in the mirror and not recognizing my physical self.
But, you see, I don’t get to complain about that – or be frustrated about it, because I am a “Thin Girl”.
I am not allowed to be upset about any of this – because, after all, I am still a size SIX! Others would LOVE to be a size six. Others would kill to be 135lbs. How dare I play the “woe is me” card when all my life I’ve … you get the picture.
But, here’s the thing. It’s not about weight or size or image or any of that. Putting the focus on that only speaks to vanity and, quite frankly, if that’s the case, you are no different than any of the messages that come from the magazines. You are worse. You are telling a Thin Girl she doesn’t count as much as a Curvy Girl. And last time I checked we women were getting smarter about attacking other women. Right?
No, it’s about the frustration of losing control of your body. It’s about the constant struggle to work on being healthy AND wondering if you are failing. It’s about after twenty years (TWENTY YEARS) dealing with change. It’s about the clock and the calendar.
It’s hard no matter who you are – and harder still when you get the sense you aren’t allowed to talk about it. So, there. I’m talking about it.
And you can, too.