For twelve years, I have hidden my weight from my husband, refusing to step on a scale in front of him. This man sees me naked every day. He’s been in the bathroom while I pee. He’s held my hair while I vomited (from the flu…not tequila…give me some credit here). He has touched every single inch of my body. Yet, my weight has been a shameful secret.
I don’t even watch “Mad Men,” but I Google “Christina Hendricks weight.” A lot. A lot more than anybody ever should. Because she is curvy and stunning and I feel like if only I could somehow relate to her I might feel better about myself. The internet consensus is that Christina Hendricks wears somewhere between a size 4 and a size 14, and weighs somewhere between 120-200 lbs. As a society, our notions about shape and weight are that drastically skewed.
Recently, I was having a conversation with some of the other CGG writers about women’s body type. I’ve always thought Tena was stunning. And, I met Daisy at last year’s BlogHer and thought she looked thin, fit and stylish. I confessed to comparing myself to them and feeling fat, unattractive, and inadequate. Turns out, all three of us are almost the exact same height & weight. And we were all guilty of comparing ourselves to each other and finding ourselves lacking. How is it possible that three women with very similar body types can all admire each other, but feel so damn bad about ourselves?
I think the answer is that shame lives in secrecy.
When we refuse to talk about weight, when we keep it hidden, tucked away in our closed-door bathrooms and doctors’ charts, it takes on a life of its own. Like a parasite burrowing into the flesh of its host, laying eggs and multiplying until it eats away everything that matters.
Our bodies shouldn’t be a source of shame.
Our bodies are not shameful.
Our bodies are beautiful.
When I asked women around the web to send me photos with their height and honest weight for a blog pictorial, I expected to be laughed at. And I was, a little bit. But mostly, I received support. Words of encouragement. Confessions of struggling with body issues and self-loathing and envy of others, from women of all sizes. Stories of feeling “less-than” or unworthy, because of a number on the scale. And pictures. Lots of pictures.
I am shocked and overwhelmed at the number of amazing, stunning, bold women who agreed to come forward and share in hopes of moving the needle toward a more realistic perception of weight and body image. Nobody was cajoled or compensated. Everyone volunteered, willing to reveal the number on the scale for the entire world to see. Because they didn’t want their weight to be a source of secrecy or shame. And because they don’t want yours to be either.
Want to get real about your body? Add your photo to Curvy Girl Guide’s “Project Getting Real.”
Audrey Binkowski is a writer, a mother, a digital marketer, and a hoarder of vintage items. Seriously, her closets and cupboards are full of old crap that belonged to dead people. You can read more from Audrey on her blog, Laugh Mom.