Body Image

February 3, 2011 at 1:01 am 1 comment

Michelle Obama with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Image via Wikipedia

I found this poll on Elle. It’s interesting. First of all, I’m going to be honest about my own size. I stand 5’3” tall. I might be able to squeeze into a misses 16 if I were lucky and it were vanity sized and I sucked it in just right.

I currently wear a size 16 in women’s, which is a much more forgiving size, meaning that it’s more like an 18 in misses. Forget shopping in the juniors department. I quit doing that when I turned 29, although I kept my size 6 figure for a few more years.

I know that with my BMI I am considered obese. I’m more apple than pear shaped. I just thank my lucky stars that I’m not morbidly obese or super obese (these being actual medical designations), since I was, at one point in time, considerably heavier than I am today.

The average dress size for an American woman is currently a size 14. The only way any woman should actually wear a size 14 is if she’s an Amazon. Size 14 is too fat. When referring to a size 14 they are talking about a size 14 in misses sizes, not women’s. That means that I’m maybe thirty or forty pounds away from being “average.”

But at average weight I’m still at least another thirty pounds overweight, and that’s if I actually were big boned, which I’m not. Big boned. Ha. I prefer fluffy.

This Elle magazine article included a poll to gauge how people judge body types and which is considered the most pleasing. The highest response? Buxom Christina Hendricks from Mad Men. She’s hardly fat. She’s voluptuous, but she has a nice flat midsection.

After that, Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian. Obama is a healthy mesomorph with average breasts and some really great arm definition and shapely legs. As for Kardashian: the girl has got some junk in her trunk, but she’s not fat by any means. And you can judge that for yourself by how many bikini pictures and nude photos she takes, hawking diet supplements. She bought the boobs.

I take comfort in the fact that these women are considered the most attractive. I’m a little upset that Jessica Simpson didn’t rate higher, but they used the infamous Mom jeans picture, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Who did I vote for? Michelle Obama was the woman I would most aspire to look like out of the choices provided for me by Elle Magazine.

We must be doing something right as a culture. It’s not a bad thing to see women who are healthy and attractive as being healthy and attractive. We can’t all be waifs, although if you are naturally built like Twiggy, and you don’t have to take speed or vomit your food to make that happen, then more power to you, as well.

Let’s not make any woman who’s healthy feel like she’s less. For that matter, ridicule rarely inspires unhealthy people to make healthier life choices. Back handed compliments don’t, either, like, for instance, you have such a pretty face. You know what does work? When you see someone with a weight problem who’s obviously moving in the right direction, praise her for it. Compliment her. Do the same thing for the men as well. They deserve our encouragement.




Entry filed under: Health, Social Commentary, Women's Rights. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. sandraroffel  |  February 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Good post.
    I hear you on the size thing. I am 5′ 9″ and big boned. I am “supposed” to weigh 160 lbs. I can wear a size 12 misses at 190. Hmmm. I think scientific studies about weight need to stay in the scientific journals and not in the mainstream media. Instead of challenging people to get fit, they place unrealistic expectations on those who are overweight. Why can’t they make it simple: Eat less. Move more. As a society we need to realize that there is beauty in all sizes, from waif to BBB. Why can’t we work on our character like we work on our bodies?


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