I recently started counting calories. I’ve done this from time to time to get a better sense of what and how much I eat. In general, I am very lucky that I am not plagued by body image issues. For the most part, I like the way I look and am comfortable in my own skin. This is something I almost never hear other women say.

image by LexnGer

I am highly aware that many (most?) women are not comfortably with their bodies. I think this has very little to do with actual women’s bodies and more to do with cultural expectations about what women’s bodies should look like. So many of my friends and students talk about hating their bodies, feeling insecure, feeling worthless, and feeling like they have no personal identity or value.

This issue came up at the doula retreat last weekend. (I know I’ve been writing about that a lot, but I really gained a lot of insights there.) At the retreat, one woman admitted, “I almost didn’t come this morning because of weight issues.” I was stunned. Here was a normal-looking woman who was very nearly paralyzed by her body images issues. While I frequently want to back out of social events and obligations because I’m an introvert, I was shocked to think of women not attending a group event because of the way her body looks.

How many insights, interactions, and contributions do we miss because women choose to stay home? This question haunts me.

2 thoughts on “fat

  1. singlemomtakingovertheworld

    It think that it has so much to do with cultural and societal influences. I have, o how can I say it a unusually body type (BIG BOOTY, BIG BOOBS) for a “white” girl. Even though I am not all white. But, I get so often from other cultures, and ethnic groups (even my own Native American) to embrace the thickness. But, then so many white people seem to think you have to be so damn skinny and I just don’t have that body type. So its sort of strange because I feel like some people think I am fine and others think I should loose some weight but, I have found that cultural influences have so much to do with it. Personally I want to look my best at whatever weight that is regardless of how other people look at me.

  2. sherewin Post author

    Interesting point. Ideally, our bodies would just be okay and the voices that encourage “big booty/big boobs” and also the voices that encourage thinness would all lose traction.


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