I’ve been thinking a lot of weight lately and how we view it as a society. True, being healthy is important and we should make it a priority. However, just because you’re healthy doesn’t mean that you will be skinny, either. What we should strive for is health, not thinness.
Have you ever noticed that most upscale department stores don’t carry anything in a size 18? I went shopping at Macy’s this past weekend and noticed that the biggest they carried was a sixteen—which, lucky for me, is my size—and what I would consider a small sixteen at that. Why? Size 18 and up women shouldn’t shop at Macy’s? Well, exactly.
The sad truth is that stores like Macy’s, Dillards, etc. feel that their image, their clothing, is best projected by thinner women. Jackie Kennedy, one of the most— if not the most—popular first ladies in history was once quoted as saying, to her dressmaker, that she needed to wear original dresses and didn’t want to see “fat little housewives” in dresses she had worn. This comment shocked me, I must admit. Up to this point, I’d never had anything but respect for Jackie Kennedy. And still, I almost find her comment forgivable because beauty is what our society has always valued.
Unfortunately, to be beautiful these days you must also be thin. Of course, this has been an obsession of our society back to the Laura Ingall days, almost one hundred and fifty years ago, when mothers sent their daughters to bed in corsets. Now we consider that barbaric. I wonder what they’d think about our starving ourselves to be considered pretty.
Miley Cyrus has really taken a stand against “weight hate.” She tweeted about Marilyn Monroe, and her post has reached millions. She wrote that Marilyn was proof that you could be adored by thousands of men and still have your thighs touch. I love this quote! It’s going to be framed and put up in my house!
No, I don’t intend to stay a size sixteen forever. Yes, I am exercising and aspiring to one day be a size ten, or God willing, a size eight. I know I will probably not get farther with that. You know what? Not only am I OK with that, if it happens, I think it’s awesome. I want to teach my girls to love their bodies, no matter what their size and shape. I want to teach them to make healthy choices. Weight hate ends with each of us learning to love ourselves, and to teach our daughters to do likewise, to teach our sons to love a woman for who she is instead of what she looks like.