No, I don’t drink Slim-Fast. No, I don’t eat diet bars. No, I’m not anorexic. Or bulimic. Or vegetarian. I’m a carnivore. I love meat. I don’t like fruits and vegetables so much. I love food – especially filet mignon, roast potatoes with herbs, chicken fajitas, etc. As I write this, I’m eating 3 pre-packaged egg rolls for lunch. (Yes, they’ve been heated up.) My current favorite snack: Tostitos with salsa or queso dip.
So, why then, do people feel the need to comment on the fact that I’m thin? If you saw an overweight woman walking down the street or coming into a store, you wouldn’t say, “wow, look how fat you are!” Would you? And yet, I get variations of the following comments:
“You’re SO thin!”
“I wish I was as skinny as you. You’re so lucky!”
Yes, I’m thin. Thankyouverymuchforpointingouttheobvioustome, ma’am.
But let me point this out right back at you:
Any time you comment on my size, you make me über self-conscious. Why is this society so hell-bent on complimenting and rewarding those who are ultra-thin? I consider myself healthily thin. I may be at the bottom end of the appropriate weight for my size (which is a range of about 10 pounds), but I’m not underweight. I have as difficult a time gaining weight as many people have losing weight – we all know it’s metabolism-related. I was blessed—or cursed—with a high metabolism. Whatever the reason, I’m thin. If I were eight inches taller and a lot prettier, I might qualify to be a model. Or would I?
Recently, the modeling world was turned upside-down. In September 2006, the Spanish Association of Fashion Designers, who organize fashion week in Madrid, banned models with a body mass index (BMI) of 18 or below. The United Nations’ health experts recommend a BMI between 18.5 and 25 (source: BBC.co.uk, Sept. 13, 2006).
According to CNN, “Madrid's regional government, which sponsors the show and imposed restrictions, said it did not blame designers and models for anorexia. It said the fashion industry had a responsibility to portray healthy body images” (Sept. 13, 2006). Thirty percent (30%) of the models who showed up for the fashion week were not allowed to participate. Well, that took care of the starving models, but…
Far be it for a model to gain weight! Oh, the horror! Such actions should not be tolerated! Models must simply be “perfectly” thin – no more and now, no less.
Last month, former supermodel Tyra Banks was lambasted in the media for gaining weight, and for being 5’10” and weighing 161 pounds. Good lord! If that’s fat, then I’m not thin – I’m simply bones covered with a bit of skin. I’m proud of her for basically telling the world to “kiss her fat ass” if they had a problem with it.
As a society, we project images of beauty and perfection to teens and tweens. Who exactly determines that 5’8” and a BMI of 18 is representative of stunning beauty? Who determines that being a bit on the curvy and meaty side is just simply not acceptable? Who made it possible for women of all ages, heights and sizes to walk down the street and state the obvious to me?
Time to go eat some leftover hunan beef. Mmmm!