It’s considered rude to ask a woman her weight. Heck, it would be rude to ask a man. Women balk and blush at the idea of sharing that number or their dress size, and you can tell they are nearly always lying. But why? With the era we live in now — social justice warriors armed with the wunderkind "social media" — why is body shame even still an issue?
I am a little over 5' 5" and I weigh approximately ten and a half stone. Gasp! Now you know. And guess what, I didn’t die! My BMI has me towards the higher end of "normal." I vary between a size UK 10-12, with my excessively large hips still struggling with a size 12 in some shops. My weight fluctuates often, with my mental health, hormones, and schedule being the usual factors. Do you think any less of me? No. I didn’t think so.
Self-worth is not based on size and that is so hard to accept, for everyone. I’m not here to preach “curvy girls are the best” because we humans come in all shapes and sizes. Some are blessed with a super metabolism and others aren’t. Equally, I don’t wish to promote an unhealthy way of living. (As much as I adore My 600lbs Life there is such a thing as "excess.") I just believe that as a society we should have evolved past being blinded by the importance of looks.
My previous relationship was with a person who spent six days out of seven in the gym and had, quote, "the ideal body." Carbs were the devil and each pocket of fat was pinched and pulled at in disgust. During our relationship, my eating habits changed entirely; I exercised more and went from being well into the 11 stones down to nine stone, ten. And do you know what I learnt? It’s not fucking worth it.
Ever since I (finally) hit puberty, went on the pill, and filled out into the womanly shape I was blessed with, I have always struggled with my size. I went from being a beanpole of a girl to a lady with tits, hips, and wobbly bits. Whilst I had prayed to every deity I could think of to, “Please give me boobs!”, I didn’t anticipate the other parts that came with it. Sure, I was never huge but I was never going to small again.
Dropping down to nine stone-something should have made me happier than a pig in shit, but do you know what? Not a lot changed. Sure, my stomach flattened down a bit and my love handles trimmed in. I lost a little of that weird over-the-rib fat. But my stretch marks were still there. My jiggle still wiggled and I still had rolls when I sat down. When I clenched my butt cheeks together they still had more craters than you’ll find on the moon (fuck you, cellulite). Maybe these things would have gone, or lessened, if I’d lost more weight, but do you know what? Who gives a shit?
My friend asked me what it was like living with someone who physically looked "that way", and do you know what my answer was? A shrug. "No different from anyone else." Sure, when you’re merely flirting and during that courting phase maybe their appearance drew me in. I appreciated it. But as soon as you spend time with someone you no longer see them for their skin, their body, or their weight. You see their personality, their words, and their actions. My friends are not my friends for how they look, but for who they are. I describe them as “kind, thoughtful, silly” not “slim, petite, pretty.” The same applies to relationships.
I had a Eureka moment whilst explaining this to my friend. If the novelty of his body had worn off to mean a whole heap of fuck all, then why was I worried about mine? If when I looked at a person I didn’t see their physical form so much as a manifestation of their personality, why did I care? I won’t deny there weren’t the occasional moments where the lighting was just right or he was dressed in certain clothes that I appreciated the aesthetic. But those moments were so fleeting, rare, and superficial it made me realise how redundant worrying about it all was.
Why would I struggle, starve and deny myself things to strive for a body type that would make someone double-take for a few moments in time, once in a blue moon? No, I shouldn’t. I wouldn’t. It’s not worth it. I would rather endeavour to make someone’s eyes sparkle through something I say, or do each day than restrict myself for those insignificant moments.
Life is too short. Do I really want to go out with kale as the last thing in my stomach? Fuck no. Let me depart this realm with the taste of Dominoes’ cookies still fresh on my tongue. My appeal as a woman goes beyond my physical form. You like me (or not) because of who I am inside. I will not live a life of no carbs, no sweets, no fun, only to die tomorrow after being struck by lightning.
This is who I am. This is how I come: wobbly bits and all.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have Malteasers to eat.