Bigger through the years?

31 Oct

Two years ago I was still a big girl, at the time I was protective of ‘bigger’ people, I got angry about discrimination, the fact we didn’t have access to more clothes that fitted and that people should try to understand us more. I wanted big girls to be accepted and celebrated, I honestly believed that  women came in all shapes and sizes even as big as I was and that it was ok?

So now I’m not big anymore I’m thinking about a couple of things. I see bigger people now and feel guilty that I don’t feel sympathetic. I feel I should understand more because I’ve been there. Of course I do, I know the effort (both physical and the head stuff) to make the change. I also know the realities of what being big really feels like.

But what I know now is how good not being big is. Of course I can’t make anyone change unless they want to, I didn’t for god knows how long after all!  What I don’t want to do is celebrate obesity which is really what I was saying in my old life?

Is it more acceptable to be concerned about friends who are too thin than it is about the ones who are too big?  God forbid anyone says anything like ‘haven’t you put on a bit’ yet we can say ‘you look like you need a square meal’ and get away with it?

What I have concluded though is that we do need to understand how women ‘should’ look.  In the main women are supposed to have curves, we should have breasts, hips, and a bit of padding however that doesn’t mean over weight or obese.  As you know from reading my posts I still have wobbly bits which are going nowhere and actually I love my curves!  I accept totally that women come in a lot of different shapes and sizes and that our genetics will dictate to a big degree what our bodies will look like so some will have sporty frames and a lack of curves.  However without over eating and lack of activity a lot of women’s bodies should still be curvy, the key thing is being healthy and fit.  There is a real difference between an overweight woman and a natural curvy shape?

Through history there are plenty of references to women having curves – this blog was an interesting read in setting the scene.

But what is interesting is that we are celebrating a natural womanly shape  – not obese and not skinny.

So let’s look at the other side of the debate –  the Size Zero woman, this isn’t realistic or natural, it’s being unhealthy to the other extreme of obesity and just as damaging.

However what I am finding as I read more on the subject is that with young women, the emphasis seems to be educating them on the risks of being underweight and not being overweight?  Is that wrong, are we wrapping them up in cotton wool and giving the message that being bigger isn’t their fault and that we should be celebrating their size?   More girls are overweight than skinny – it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense?

A recent TV programme asked teenage girls to look at two pictures, one of a ‘normal’ healthy woman and the other of a ‘celeb’ type woman, underweight, enhanced boobs etc.  The girls preferred the second body, a lot of them were totally unaware of what a normal female body should even look like, so they were already struggling with what they should look like, but even here they were concentrating on the risks of the skinny rather than the obese?  It’s confusing and from what I can see very unhelpful for girls, I for one would like to see a more balanced approach to education about body image.

Are girls who are bigger just telling themselves all is well because they’re not skinny?  Do they feel that their problems aren’t worthy of any help?  Are we celebrating being big, making it acceptable and avoiding the issues?  Is that why as a bigger girl I felt so angry and protective about how I felt I was being treated. But because I did feel this way perhaps this was one of the factors as to why I took so long to do anything about it?

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