Hands up, I am guilty as charged for commenting on my weight fluctuating and feeling a sense of some weird achievement if my clothes feel slightly looser. Why? I still don’t know, I am still learning to rethink this notion that the ‘smaller’ I am the better I feel. Which is entirely untrue, I know where my healthy body lies and how I feel in that form, I am using the word body instead of weight here because I don’t weigh myself anymore.
Should we be congratulating each other when we appear to lose weight?
This one I am seeing in the studio as we welcome back customers who are picking up their finished outfits. Some ladies have stayed the same size, others got a size larger and the odd few lost weight. I and Ann had many conversations during lockdown about how we would not congratulate weight loss or gain. Instead, we decided it was best to respectfully listen to each lady if they felt the need to discuss their sizing and if not we didn’t mention it at all. In the case of an outfit not fitting we reassure ‘her’ that we can make changes at no extra cost. Afterall lockdown was nobody’s fault, nor was what our bodies mentally and physically went through.
Is there any depth to a compliment on your weight?
I put it up there with the “at least your pretty you’ll be fine” compliment. It is more of a give and takes a compliment with no real depth to it. And it enforces the idea that our worth equals our weight and appearance. Age is a remarkable thing and knowing that eventually, all beauty fades is a powerful realisation, so if you do attach your worth to your looks it is time to reassess what real beauty you bring into this world.
Tumblr pro anorexia
If you were a 90’s baby chances are you used Tumblr at some stage during your teens. Back in the noughties, it was a social media stomping ground for promoting eating disorders. Growing up as a teen in the Tumblr days it was obvious that the message coming across Tumblrs platform was the skinnier you are the better. Which is why I thought it was relevant to remind us that Tumblr in many cases was where we first learned to celebrate weight loss.
I will always remember the image of Kate Moss beside her interview quote, for Women’s Wear Daily, where Kate said: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Kate Moss was instantly met with backlash from the media and public, claiming she was encouraging eating disorders and fatphobia. For me, at 14 years old, it was a very powerful and negative image that is still imprinted in my brain and I shudder to think why it has stayed with me over 10 years later.
When did we decide smaller equals better?
I am not claiming that Tumblr is the blame for people naively congratulating someone who has clearly lost weight but I know personally it did condition me to see a green light if I or someone else got smaller. It was clear as day, smaller = better, why? Oh, I don’t know because a picture on an ancient media platform said so? Crazy logic to me now but the effect it had on young users back then was profound and I question if it still silently sits within all of us.
We only ever have right now
As we come out of lockdown and possibly back into one again I hope we can let go of the weight-loss obsession. If this time has taught me anything it is that we don’t have time to wait for a date or weight goal to be happy then, we only ever have right now. Our weight or silhouette is not a reflection on who we are as people if we are suitable for the job, what career we should be in or how we should dress. If you are struggling with this strange time of cocooning maybe this previous blog will offer some relatable information where I discuss Quarantine Fat Shaming.
I also came across this blog when researching why ‘Why we shouldn’t celebrate weight loss’ and found it very relatable and educational if you have had anybody issue moments these past 4/5 months (what month are we even in lockdown wise now?) I recommend you give this a read.
I leave you with this idea
What if we celebrate each other for the important stuff that has value and worthy meaning? Weight loss and gain is a fickle metric to attach to and it can change due to many factors that cannot be controlled; random bloating, water retention, illness, travelling, stress… While we are congratulating each other on real values can we learn to accept our body in every weight, size and shape? Unless you are genetically lucky I don’t know a single person that doesn’t change weight now and then, especially amid a pandemic?