Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Musings on Body Image Stats

According to a video on “Body Image Statistics” posted on Weighingthefacts.blogspot.com, a blog voted the Top Eating Disorder Blog of 2010,

  80% of children are afraid of being fat.
  More than 50% of 10 year old girls wish they were thinner.
  Americans spend more than 40 billion a year on diet and beauty products.
  The average American woman is 5'4" and 140 pounds.
  The average American model is 5' 11" and 117 pounds.
  The current media ideal of thinness is achieved by less than 5% of the female population.

Though each one is disturbing to me, I think the first two are the most. Why is a ten-year-old girl thinking about being thin? Isn’t she supposed to be wrapped up in the world of long division and spelling tests, best friends, pleasing her parents, practicing piano, playing sports, and lip-syncing to Journey. (What? Ten-year-old girls today aren’t into Journey? I was!)

I remember thinking I had a belly pooch from late middle school—college. (Looking back with my post-baby-having body…I didn’t.) But all my slight insecurities brought me was modesty. I wore a one piece, for example. That’s not the worst effect I can think of.

And the flip side is…try finding a one piece for any age these days. Somehow girls feel fat, but they are wearing bikinis and booty shorts.

I just don’t get it.

The obsession is to show more skin, but to be uncomfortable with the skin you’re in.

How can this be?

My grandmother used to say she was thin as a rail when it was popular to be pleasingly plump, and then she gained weight when it became popular to be scrawny. I know that trends change, but it sure feels like we’ve been in this “thin is in” trend for an awfully long time. (Perhaps because that’s what I’ve seen during my lifetime?)

I worry for my daughter(s?). What will the world tell them is beautiful? Will they believe it? Will it change what they see in the mirror?

I worry for my sons. How will they see women? Will they hope for a woman who is less than 5% of the population?

I cannot change the world, but I can change my home.

·      I will not verbally assault my appearance in front of my children. They need to know that beauty is, in part, acceptance and confidence in what we have and diligence to change what we can.
·      I will keep some images and intentions away from my kids, and I will be clear, when those images and intentions come (which they will), about what real beauty is.
·      I will show love for my children as they are and encouragement for who they are growing to be.

Since my children are small, this is all my list is so far. If you have older children, I’d love to hear your perspective.

Here's what I know about myself:

I will always be short.
I will always have freckles.
I will always be wide-footed.
I will always have sensitive skin.
I will always be toe-thumbed.
I will always have to pluck a million eyebrows.
But, if I love others well and true, and have a heart for my Creator,
I will always be beautiful.

“Body Image Statistics.” Weighingthefacts.blogspot.com. n.p. Feb. 2010. Web. 23 June 2012.

some image updates from my self-challenge to dress and accessorize well twice a week:

These shoes were a gift from my parents during their travels in Ireland this summer.

I have little talent for hair, but I can twist.

I slept in the twisted hair and woke up with fun volume. My earrings were handmade by fashion designer Anastasia Morozova.

A black and white dress screams for colorful shoes. These are from Ireland as well. 

this post is linked up with
pleated poppy
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings


  1. what a fantastic post! thank you for your honesty and for the inspiration! found you via the link up and am excited to link up xo

  2. Thank you for this awesome post! I specialize in body imaging and your blog is very inspiration. Thanks again!