Step Right Up, The Most Exciting Game On The Midway!

Navin R. Johnson: The most exciting game on the midway! Imagine the thrill of getting your weight guessed by a professional! You can blow up your cheeks, you can stick out your chest, but you’re not going to fool the guesser. How ’bout you, sir? Step right up!

Carnival Goer: Hey honey, let’s see how good this guy is. Now what do I win?

Navin R. Johnson: Ah, anything… in this general area, right in here. Anything, below the stereo, and on this side of the Bicentennial glasses. Anything between the ashtray, and the thimbles. Anything in this three inches. Right in here, this area, that includes the Chiclets, but not the erasers.

So the outpouring of commentary regarding my bikini post, and the subsequent news sources that have picked it up, has been amazing. I’m glad that it touched such a nerve, but it also left me doing two really weird things.

1. Defending my legit plus size-ness. Which is cool, I mean, I shop for panties at Lane Bryant and I can only buy accessories and drawer pulls at Anthropology. My jeans range from size 14-18, and if you want to borrow them, you totally can.

2. Assuring people I am healthy. Which is weird, because when I meet people of like, any size, I almost never assume they are unhealthy unless they are actively mainlining heroin. Also because I’m not their physician or the Cool Ranch Dorito Taco police. People are all, hey it’s cool you look this way, you know, as long as you are healthy, and I want to be like, um you too, man? And then I fist bump them, because I am not entirely sure how to respond to that. It was my non-medical degree assumption that people can be unhealthy at any size.

Anyways, this whole entire thing reminded me of a conversation Andy and I had last night, and in a very things you can tell just by looking at her fashion, I figured I share it with you.

 Hey, I’m trying to practice guessing people’s weights, can I guess how much you weigh?

Why are you practicing this?

It’s just a skill I like to keep fresh, in case I need to ever work at a carnival or something.

Alright, what’s your guess?

170. You have to give me a 8lbs margin of error.

Weird, you’re right.

I know, it’s like a super power. Now you go!

Haaaaaaaa no.

No seriously, I bet you’ll never guess!

Nope, if I guess too high or something you’ll be pissed, Pass on that.

Andy, I won’t be pissed, I swear. On our kids. And on Sims3, which don’t tell anyone, but I’m secretly playing.

160?

You’re adorable, at the doctor yesterday I weighed 209.

No you didn’t.

True story.

And so I pulled out the scale and hopped on. I mean, what? He’s going to divorce me because I weigh over 200lbs? That seems like way more paperwork than it’s worth and lawyers are hella annoying.

200 lbs

People carry weight in all different ways. You can’t draw a line in the sand and toss assumptions on either side. I do this, all of this, to show you what a real person looks like at this weight. And what a real person looks like in those clothes. To either confirm or destroy everything you thought you knew about your body.

I’ve never lost friends or boyfriends or husbands over my scale. And it’s also not what was holding me back from having an amazingly exciting career, chasing all the things I never imagined I could achieve.

I always wanted someone to do this for me, and it’s an honor to be part of the group of women who are now doing it for you. All somewhere between 209 and 214lbs of me.

 

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  1. says

    I kinda love you right now.

    I hate when people, including my doctor, assume I’m not healthy cause I weigh over 100 lbs. OK fine, over 200 lbs… but seriously people, it’s been proven by every test possible. I’m healthy, my blood pressure is fine, my cholesterol level is happy. And I fully plan to outlive you all.

  2. Megan says

    Slow clap. You are freaking fantastic. Amazeballs. That’s right I said it. Scales can go to hell btw. Since when should numbers constitute beauty. No one likes math anyways:)

  3. Lesley Henderson says

    Hi there,
    Great to read this blog, I have the same problems with Bikinis… And your blog is funny and inspirational. Well done..
    Regards, Lesley

  4. Bekah says

    Thank you so much for this! It’s like you are a wizard or something because you always seem to write about things that are so prevalent in my life at the exact right time. Just yesterday I weighed myself at the gym, for like the first time since… forever, and I was crushed. I was holding on to being under 200 pounds and I felt like a whale. Then I took off my shoes and my bobby pins and spit out my gum and I still felt like a whale. I’ve often looked at your pictures you post and thought “I’d be so happy to look like her!” and now, because you aren’t afraid to show who you are, I see that we weigh the same and maybe I don’t look as bad as I think I do. If my body looks like yours, then fuck, I’m awesome!

  5. Enc says

    Hello! It upsets me that people assume you are not healthy. I weigh 186 lbs and wear size 13/14 jeans. I am a very healthy person. I don’t always eat meat. Mostly fruits and veggies. If I do eat meat it’s chicken, turkey, or fish. I run 5k’s quite a bit and just recently started bodybuilding. I also wear a bikini for the swim season. I am a healthy and fit person. Love your body and thanks for not being afraid to show it off! :)

  6. Jill says

    I adore you, Brittany….all 209-214 of you. (Plus or minus at YOUR comfort) . You are the person I want my son to marry and my girls to grow up to be. You bring me comfort in knowing I’m not the only one teaching these values to my kids with the hopes of eliminating future assholes from our society. I want to grab a beer with you… :)

  7. says

    Funny, because the only thing I thought when I saw your bikini post is “da-amn she looks beautiful!”

    Which now that I type that out, it sounds creepy.

  8. Litta says

    Thank you for posting this and your Bikini post, it is inspirational.
    I haven’t stood on a scale for (and looked at it) for over a year now, until today, and even then I’m trying not to worry about the number (mostly because the scale was off, so, I deem it unreliable).
    But I seriously hate it when people assume one has poor health if they’re a little hefty, when studies have shown that the popular “0″ and “00″ pant fitting women out there are more likely to be unhealthy because of their lack of weight.
    But I’m not trying to say one is more unhealthy or healthier than other, be happy with the body you’re in. Be beautiful in the skin you wear. Thank you for the confidence and inspiration to get out and try something to make ourselves feel beautiful.

  9. Amanda says

    I always find it interesting that people will bully someone for their size/weight under the guise of “I’m just concerned about your health”. Because 9 times out of 10, they don’t care about your health in the least, they are just listing all the ways they think your size/weight makes you fall short so that you feel ashamed about it and they feel better. But it is all bullying anyway.

    Brittany, you look fantastic in your bikinis! (I particularly loved the navy, Jackie O look.)

  10. keith tumak says

    i think your photos are absolutely beautiful and if anyone should have a problem with that they should keep it to their own stick self.

  11. Alyssa says

    Brittany. Thank you. I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a kid. My mother would tell me I was fat and tried to make me join a gym when I was 12 because I was just so fat. Even well into my 20′s , my mother still makes it a point to guess my weight in public and tell me how fat I am. In January I started jog/walking 20 miles a week. I’ve only lost 8 pounds and still weigh 250. But you being beautifully comfortable in you own skin gives me hope that one day I will be that comfortable too. It’s something I work on daily and reading your blog is a definite support for me in my journey. So thank you.

  12. Anna says

    I clicked on the Daily Mail link that someone posted and cracked up at the comments about your “obvious tummy tuck.” I’d take that one as a compliment for sure! I am around the same weight as you and carry it mostly the same, except I have a little more in the tummy area. I’m trying to get geared up for a regular exercise plan to make myself feel better and healthier, but I’m not really worried about my weight too much. Honestly, once I get down around 190, I’m perfectly comfortable and start acting like a skinny bitch!

  13. says

    I have this weird thing about scales lately. It’s like suddenly, I just don’t get what all the fuss is about. I mean, you can SEE me. You can SEE my body… so if I’m willing to let people see me (because, you know, I’m not a hermit) then what difference does it make what the number on the scale is? I’m generally not ashamed to tell someone how much I weigh… Sometimes I’m ashamed of how I numb certain things with food or I’m ashamed of how I choose to not care for myself, but I’m not ashamed of what the number on the scale says because really, it doesn’t mean a damn thing that you couldn’t already tell just by looking at me. I’m somewhere around 230 these days. And I look EXACTLY the same with that number written on my forehead as I do with it tucked away in my pocket.

  14. Meredith Elyse says

    Me: What do you think of this girl?

    My boyfriend: She’s hot.

    Me: Do you think she’s overweight?

    My boyfriend: No she looks healthy.

    Boooyah.

  15. says

    209 lbs and seemingly never to be below 200 again. I get close and then one of my kids asks me to make sweet potato pie or stuffed cabbage rolls and lamb again. I’m only 5’3″ and very muscular so I always beat the carnies on that game! ;)

  16. Pam Wagner says

    Thank you. I’m single, 56 years old, 5′-2″, and 230 pounds. I fluctuate between sizes 16 and 18. I love fashion but as I gained weight, I checked myself out of any interest because the choices were terrible. But I’m starting to nerve up, accept and dress my body as it is, and I’m enjoying some male interest, too. Life’s too short to do otherwise.

  17. Emily says

    Thank you for this.

    I am interviewing for a new job on Tuesday and I am so stressed. I feel like the only thing people see is my weight, not my skills. Your confidence is contagious. Thank you.

  18. says

    So, this post reminds me of one I saw you do on Curvy Girl a little while ago, where you had a diverse group of ladies post a picture of themselves and tag it with their real weight.
    Both this post, and that one, really struck a chord with me because, as a society, we are bludgeoned to shit by unreal expectations every second of every media watching day.
    Every single one of the girls (including yourself obviously) was super cute, and confident, had great style, and owned it.
    I played the guessing game the whole way through, and across the board i was under everybody’s true weight.
    With actresses rounding their numbers down, women encouraged to lie on their driver’s licenses or even in conversation, not to mention that NO CLOTHING SIZE ANYWHERE ON ANYTHING IS EVERY EVEN REMOTELY RELEVANT TO REAL HUMAN VOLUME, we live in terror of realness.
    God forbid we actually let the masses know that a woman can be sexy as shit at 200lbs!
    Anyway, I really dug that “real weight” post, and I really dig this real weight post, and I commend you for being brave, and letting all the ladies out there know that it isn’t just about being “healthy” on the scale, it’s about being healthy whatever the numbers say.
    -love-

  19. Kristen says

    I found you through your bikini post, and found that through some other website. And the first thing I thought was – is that Amy Davidson?!?!?! She looks awesome! Look her up on IMDB, you totally look alike! And the second thing I thought was how jealous I was of your gorgeous look in that navy suit. Thank you for quoting “The Jerk” and thank you for your amazingly fierce strength. You’ve earned another new fan for life.

  20. says

    God I love you. Now will you please share some of your healthy body image mojo? I’ll brave the cold weather to have you lay hands on my head or whatever you need to do to pass it along.

  21. says

    I think you look very healthy, and lovely! Scientifically (or just fucking logically) speaking, it would be foolish to ever use weight alone as a benchmark for health.
    Also, I’ve referenced you on my blog because I have a mind-crush on you, that’s not illegal, is it?

  22. says

    I quit weighing myself years ago because I realized that the numbers I would see directly affected how good or bad I felt about myself and I was tired of that ball and chain dragging me down. I recently heard a doctor say that you can be healthy and fat and I think I fell in love with him right then and there! I, too, am tired of the assumptions and judgements that are made just because someone is not a size two. THANK YOU for being a role model for all of us NORMAL-sized women who are trying to fight societies screwed up ideals.

  23. Maryann says

    I just found you today. Thank God. You are brilliant, funny, gorgeous, brave, and an awesome woman. I am reading back on your blog and probably won’t get any work done for days. I saw your TED video today and I already stopped my internal voice bitching at me twice today because I thought of what you said, and tried harder to love myself. Thank you. There aren’t enough words and I’m not half as eloquent as you, so just, Thank You.

  24. says

    Thank you! That is pretty much all that needs to be said. I need to follow you after only reading 2 posts that my cousin shared on FB!

  25. says

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I’m sure you get a million “thank-you’s” … this post came at exactly the right time for me. I’ve been dreading weighing myself (I’m in a local competition in Vancouver do to with health and fitness etc) Part of this competition is that this week we have to post our weight and waist measurements. I’ve been so sick and scared to do it… until now! thank you so much!

  26. not supergirl says

    Another thank you coming your way from me, a 5’2″ solid 200-210 lbs (depending on the day). I was scared to change in a locker room all through childhood, so I force myself to fake confidence in front of my daughters. They are embarrassed now, but I know I’m doing them some good. And damn, you’re doing us ALL some good. I love reading your stuff.

  27. says

    I love that you are helping remind folks that we come in all shapes and sizes. Moreoever, I want our kids to embrace that we may all be different but we are all loved. Thank you for standing up for this!

  28. Sarah says

    There is a SERIOUS conversation that several members of my family are apparently having at the moment.
    It involves them speculating that unless I lose weight, my marvelous husband is going to divorce me when he gets out of grad school.
    I could not make this up if I tried.
    When I told my husband, he gave me a “Did you hit your head recently?” look, followed by intense laughter when I said that no, this conversation was actually happening. He said something to the effect of “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
    Love that man.
    I mean, I need to lose some weight for health reasons, sure. But the concept that my husband is that shallow?
    Laughable. So that’s what I do when I hear about this conversation.

  29. says

    I wouldn’t have guessed that (range of) number. I would have guessed less. I don’t know what that means, except that it has nothing to do with health. I am smaller now (at 34, 2 kids) than I was in high school, but my body is not proportional, and I am not fit. I am (nearly?) the skinniest I’ve ever been, but not at all the healthiest I’ve ever been. Weight and health are not mutually exclusive.

  30. Elinor says

    This is inspirational! And what an amazing gift to give your daughter and all girls. Body confidence is a truly astounding legacy.

    But there is something way more important then your weight going on in that picture! What colour is on your toes??? I must know! I fell into instant grabby hands when I saw the picture!

  31. Dawn says

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Being on the plusser side of plus sized I have experienced years worth of people who feel compelled to share their opinions. You always make me laugh but your last few entries have made me cheer too.

  32. olivia says

    Thank you from another constant scale fighter. When I see 200 I feel like a failure. I’ll be rethinking that now.

  33. Robin says

    “I’ve never lost friends, or boyfriends or husbands over a scale”…
    I’m tearing a little here – because sadly I have. At 180 pounds my husband and I are separated and the words I hear over and over again in my head of the reason is that I’ve never lost the weight I said I was going to when we got married. BTW I was 160 lbs then. I’m sure in my head it has much more to do with the kind of person he is, than I am – but in my heart that is all I hear.

    Thank you for being you – for giving me the hope that there is someone out there who will love me for me someday; which is pretty damn great except for those stinkin’ numbers on a scale. That is NOT who I am. I am a mother – and a damn good one; and I was a wife, and a damn good one; and a good friend and a person.

    You look fabulous!!! Keep doing what you are doing; we are all listening and gaining strength from it.

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