The big “O” word
Part of my habitual morning routine, after checking my email, involves logging into Facebook. I can totally waste countless hours playing games, reading status updates and commenting on pictures. I’m a dork at heart and I just love that sort of thing.
Today, I had to do a double-take when one of the pictures that entered my News Feed was a friend of mine with the word FAT typed across her legs. When I enlarged it, the words “The New York Times thinks I’m…” appeared above her right shoulder. Say, what?!
My friend is what I’d call thin. She ran the Country Music Half Marathon earlier this year and is a member of the Nashville Rollergirls. Part of me would kill to be her size! (The other part of me is really working on NOT comparing myself to other women. ;))
Puzzled by the message she was trying to convey, I read the caption which directed me to this link. Kate Harding (of kateharding.net) compiled a slideshow called the BMI Project where she tried to demonstrate “just how ridiculous BMI standards are.”
Since my #1 goal has always been to attain a healthy BMI and since my ultimate goal weight is based on BMI standards, this certainly got me thinking. I came to realize that everyone is built differently. Scientifically, factoring in my age and height, 156lbs may be my ideal weight. But with my body type, I honestly have no clue how I will look when I get there.
Maybe I will be too skinny. Maybe I will still feel I have more to lose. Maybe I will be completely satisfied. Instead of letting that throw me off course though, I’ve decided to stick to my plan and follow through to the original goal, whatever the outcome. I can always reassess my needs afterward.
My goals aside, I understand Kate’s point. What about the girls that let words carry too much power? What is this vocabulary (overweight, underweight… and, of course, the big “O”: obese) — not to mention the stigma the media attaches to these words — doing to their (our) self-esteem as women?
I’m curious. What are your thoughts on the traditional BMI standards and Kate Harding’s slideshow?