I used to be a thin person in a fat person's body... Now I'm a not so fat person fighting the fatty inside!

My blog posts are my thoughts and feelings in the ongoing struggle to maintain an arse that fits in a size 12 pair of jeans.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Body Shock

Right, I'm afraid I'm going to have a rant.

So I'm off work this week preparing for and sitting exams. And therefore I'm back with my old friend daytime TV. Today both This Morning and Loose Women are discussing body image.

This Morning commissioned an investigation into body image and questioned 3000 women of different ages and sizes. Over 80% of women said they were unhappy with their body. See the video of their discussion with actress Shobna Gulati here: http://thismorning.itv.com/thismorning/life/womens-body-image-survey-results

And why are we unhappy with our bodies girls?

We all know why we feel less than lovely at times. Because we're comparing ourselves to perfection. I'm guilty of it now more than ever - if I have even the smallest glimpse of my wobbly bits under my clothes I am disappointed. Disappointed rather than devastated, mind you. Which is an improvement on how I used to feel, but definitely not how I imagined being slim. And that's all I am. Slim. Not perfect. And I realise now I never will be.

But I've got a serious complaint to make on this very issue. Not only do we have to contend with perfection, we now have to contend... with children. Take a look at this:

I was on www.very.co.uk looking for a dress at the weekend. I scrolled past this and actually thought I'd selected children's clothing as well.

How can women be expected to compare their bodies to that of a child?! It made me really angry and if I thought it would do any good I would have complained to very.co.uk. As it stands, I doubt they'd care.

Quite frankly, when we've this to contend with, how can we have a healthy body image? Comparing our bodies to those of very young adults is ridiculous. As far as I can see the only women on their website that actually look like women are those modelling their "plus size" range! And considering plus size models are only a size 12 to 14 we're clearly being given a skewed image even there.

Please comment on this below, I'd really like to know your opinions. Has the way you see your body changed through weight gain or loss? Are you happier with yourself or more critical now than before?



  1. I totally agree with you Hannah, what is showed so us in the media is what they think people want to look like. And I'm sure most people would want to look like that sometimes, but if they actually did I don't think they'd be happy with themselves. As long as the media is portraying these images women will always have flaws with themselves.

    Having children model women's clothes is ridiculous though, it's pretty much just saying we shouldn't grow up into our bodies.

    Throughout my weight loss I've seen my body changed, and I'm still not totally happy with it, but I'm a lot happier than I was before I started WW. I do tend to take more care of what I look like now, but I think that's because I think people always criticise me and I care too much what they think.


  2. This is a really interesting topic and there is lots of research going on in this area anyway.

    Personally, I think that weight loss will give me more of a sense of achievement rather than anything necessarily to do with body-image specifically - I think I like to think that I will like my body more, but I don't actually think it will change the way I feel about myself so much... Oh - then again, I don't have a TV and don't read womens fashion magazines so maybe i shelter myself from some of this idea of "perfection"

    These discussions also assume that "perfection" exists as a material thing, when really I don't think it does..

    Children modeling adult clothes is ridiculous - it may say, as Elinor suggests, that we should im to look like children... but on the other hand, it also suggests to children that they should aim to look more adult..

  3. Elinor - I have the same worries about what people think about me, I think it's also something that's come out of this culture because we all scrutinise how other people look as a result of scrutinising ourselves so much.

    Yourock - I agree that perfection doesn't exist in reality, but on the pages of a magazine and on the television it does. It's airbrushed on. Or rather, reality is airbrushed out!

    It makes me sad that we put ourselves under so much pressure to look a certain way because we can make ourselves so unhappy doing it. I was so miserable because of the way I looked, and I honestly believed losing weight would fix all my problems.

    Don't get me wrong, it's changed my life, but it hasn't made me happy with my body because I've no idea how to feel that. And I think a lot of people don't because of the way the world is.

    It would be nice if more people were able to accept that perfection isn't possible, and that we are all beautiful really.

  4. Hannah,

    I think this is an excellent blog post! And i have to say i honestly think that now its gotten to the point that our view on perfection is so blurred we have no idea what perfection is anymore.

    My aim from losing weight is to try and feel a bit happier and confident in myself. I dont think anyone ever feels truly happy with themselves, theres always something we want to change.

    I honestly think that the fact very is using a child is digusting tbh. Someone in mid 20's can sort of understand, but a child? That tells me that what she is wearing is aimed at young people and second that they should be that skinny. And she is very slim! Sometimes even ww mag annoys me and maybe its because im a big girl, but when see people who are at top end of BMI range and want to move down to lower BMI range and i think seriously id be happy at ur start weight let alone finish one!! But its all down to ur perception of whats perfect, some people are happy at a size 12 whilst others want to be a size 8.

  5. Perfection is a personal thing too I think. What I think is "perfect" wouldn't be what someone else thinks of as the same thing. And, chances are, the person we see as perfect sees themselves as anything but!

    Perfection and striving to be it is a hopeless cause, but it seems to be what so many people feel they have to do.

    Personally, I think we should strive to be healthy and happy. We could all be size 8 supermodels and be unhealthy and unfit, so there'd be very little point in being a size 8 because the other stuff wouldn't make it enjoyable!

    Life is most fun when we forget our insecurities and enjoy things.

    Looking after ourselves is important, but I think aiming for perfection will only make us unhappy.

  6. I agree with everything said above - don't really have anything else to add but I just wanted to say I was quite shocked at the picture of that kid! How an earth can they use a child for their modelling campaign? Surely it is illegal to use a child for woman's clothes? A child has no hips, no tummy, no bum, and is straight up straight down. Now who is like this past the age of 19/20? Hellooo! We are real people! It is the real people who buy their clothes, they should know that! argh!

    And for the record, I have been a size 6/8 and very very skinny but I wasn't happier at all because my life was a mess at the time. I'm not saying I would be happy being fat, but I have done the skinny bit and I'm just saying it doesn't automatically make you happy nor does it make your life wonderful!

    Ps: loved your last sentence "Life is most fun when we forget our insecurities and enjoy things" that's completely true & I am going to use it as a quote now!