Friday, August 28, 2009

Women's Size 8: the new plus-size

(Photo from Glamour magazine, September issue)

"I started doing some modeling recently," said my friend's hairdresser.
"Oh, really? That's great! What are you modeling for?" was my friend's response.
"I am working for a plus-size modeling agency."
"Plus-size? How could that be? You are so thin!
"Yeah, well they were looking for women who wear size 8."

Size 8? Size 8? Since when did the ultimate size that every woman strives for, size 8, become plus size?

It reminds me of an article I just read about a 180 pound women featured in Glamour magazine who was referred to as a "plus-size" model. While the woman is not in tip top shape and has a belly role and some stretch marks, she hardly looks "plus-size" to me. She looks like the rest of us normal ladies who are far from perfect. The question begs to be raised, who is defining what plus size is and who had the nerve to coin that term in the first place! It's an absolute ego buster for anyone!

When I sit and think about, I am just as bad. I am 157 pounds and I constantly obsessing about how "heavy" I am. My friends and I are always discussing it. In fact, just this morning my friend Marla and I were talking about weight and what it will be like to put on so much more weight when we're pregnant someday. Is this what I should be worrying about? I suspect not.

My mother-in-law told me a story that should help put this weight thing in perspective and it's something I try to keep in mind every time I am tempted to ridicule myself for eating that ice cream sandwich.

Her friend has rheumatoid arthritis and for a long period of time was unable to do hardly anything for herself. This highly active busy woman had to drop out of most of her activities and was even confined to a wheel chair. Her doctor treated her for a long time before finding the right medicine that really helped her gain her life back. Now she is back up and running from event after event, helping her community, working and tending to her family.

Although the medicine is working wonderfully, it has one draw back: it made her gain weight. She's not worrying about though. She is really grateful to have her life back and can't imagine why she, or any of us, should waste our valuable time her on Earth fusing over our weight. As long as we are healthy and able to move about and do what we want and need to do during our day, shedding a few pounds should be the last thing on our minds.

Let's focus on the important things in life and stop worrying about looking perfect. Ignore the media and their constant nagging to be thin and don't bother with the magazines that are always telling us how to loose weight. Focus on family, friends, good health, and the unlimited number of other blessings we've been given! God loves us just the way we are and we should love ourselves too.

Go enjoy that cupcake, ice cream cone, or decadent piece of dark chocolate candy! Life is short!


Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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Tonya said...

Thanks Denise, for sharing this. I agree whole-heartedly! Tonya

Anonymous said...

Okay, this means my dream of becoming that "perfect size" is even more far out of my reach, than I thought.

Dannia said...

this so reminds me of times in the past that I have worried about what to wear and how I would were taken..then you look back and think...ya know I wish I looked like that now! Be happy for how you look today...tomorrow may not be so nice!!! love ya, Dannia

Vonda Skelton said...

Hi Denise! This is a subject close to my heart. As a matter of fact, I have a chapter on our struggle for beauty (based on whatever the current cultural standard is!) in my book, Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe. If we listen to the world, no matter what we do, we'll never be able to measure up. Praise God our worth isn't based on our beauty, or busyness, or our stuff!

Thanks for speaking up!

Anonymous said...

To suggest that a 180 pound women, who I will assume is of average height, is not "plus-size" or let's just say "overweight", is a pretty ridiculous statement. Despite all the articles I've read about how Americans are growing in size/girth at an alarming rate and the percentage of people who are obese has gone up significantly, I do not believe that we are at the point yet where a 180 pound women should be considered the "norm". Both men and women who are significantly overweight run a much higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, etc. I don't agree with statements that induce people to become complacent about their weight problem. I realize that solving the problem is no small task, but to accept it as though it is perfectly normal and not a problem is wrong.

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Rhoda said...

I was curious so I blogged new size 8. I'm 46 and a size 8 for the first time in my life, which in my youth was a goal I would have died for. These days though it seems like being a size 8 is what it used to be like when you said you were a size 12 or 14. I look at women my age who have had children, work, are successful in their careers and they all talk about their weight as much as anything. It makes you wonder why on earth we even consider it. Have been between 225 and 250 most of my adult life, you would think after 3 years of being a size 8 I would have let this go, but still I look in the mirror and wonder what plastic surgery I could get that would get rid of the excess skin, cellulite and sagging "everything". And when I'm laying on my death bed I wonder if I will regret not trying to make myself model perfect or the time I spent not loving myself as I am.

Lace Abelbey said...

I appreciate the article in which you have written, but you haven't highlighted any of the aspects of which the hairdresser feels about modeling. I'm sure she is thrilled to be her true size and be so beautiful that she can be PAID for it! I am in the very same position - 5'6", 155lbs, mostly muscle. Its difficult because I am very strong, but also curvy - and nothing fits correctly. People tell me how "beautiful" and "pretty" I am and I have since been trying to model.
I am a hard working bar manager that gets alot of gruff for being such a bodacious babe that just wants some positive attention.

Again, thank you for your article.

-Lace A., Brooklyn, NY