Elizabeth Nord & Angela Jones, (my friend and co-creator of our other blog Plus-Sized Models Unite), in Kona, Hawaii.
I originally wrote this article for Plus-Sized Models Unite, but I think it’s appropriate for all women because I have honestly never met a woman (including myself) who has not struggled with body image at some point in her life. Here we go…
Skinny vs. Full Figured
We all have our own unique definition of the above-mentioned words. Those definitions can vary widely for each individual woman. There are women of every size, shape, age, and ethnic mix in this world. They are all beautiful in their own unique way. For Angela & I, the issue isn’t skinny vs. full-figured. It’s about embracing diversity and being healthy.
I am a size two and Angela is a size twelve. We have very different body types, but we are both active, strong, and healthy women. I am bothered by the notion that you have to be a specific size to be healthy. I agree that obesity and eating disorders are serious problems that need to be addressed and that they cause long-term health issues. I also believe that every woman has her own ideal healthy weight. What I’m saying is that just because I’m 5’4” and a healthy size 2, doesn’t mean that another 5’4” woman’s healthy weight or size is the same as mine or that all women who are Angela’s height should be a size 12. All women have different bone structures, our weight is distributed differently, and we have different genetic factors that play a role in the way our body develops.
Girls and women compare themselves to other females all the time. I’ve done it and it’s no fun. It does nothing positive for your morale and doesn’t change the body shape you are really meant to have. It’s okay to be healthy skinny, healthy full-figured, or any place in between. One way is not better that the other. The important thing is to be healthy.
Angela and I both feel that we’ve finally come to a place in our lives where we love our bodies as they are. This summer is the first summer I actually could care less that I’m flat chested, and I feel completely comfortable in a bikini. It’s just the way I was built. It’s liberating to embrace yourself for who you are, and I wish I had done so sooner.
To me, being healthy isn’t a size or weight. Being healthy is about taking care of your body, exercising, feeling centered, eating healthy, laughing, having fun, learning, living, loving, and divulging in whatever your cravings are in moderation. I truly believe you can be many different places on the size or weight chart to achieve health and happiness.
*What do you think? Have you struggled to accept your body? Have you found a way to embrace your body as it is? If so, how and was there a specific “aha moment” that led you to embracing yourself as you are? What’s your secret to health and happiness? Did you struggle with your changing body during or after pregnancy? Did it affect your self-esteem? Was it hard to lose your pregnancy weight? What can you say to other momma’s out there who are struggling?