Thursday, January 26

plus sized?

I have a video I want to share with you, and I'd like to hear your thoughts. This was taken at a recent Crossfit event here in Austin.

We are obviously all concerned about our image, in varying degrees. It's part of why we love expressing it through the vehicles of fashion and beauty, and spend so much time reading blogs and magazines on the subject.

But how healthy or even sane is the collective idea about a woman's image presented to us by all forms of media - and how healthy is our image of ourselves?

Despite having given thought to this topic frequently in the past - seeing images of emaciated fashion models, participating in dialogue about demeaning/violently sexual ad campaigns - it was still a shock to hear on this video that the fashion industry considers a size 6 to be *plus size*.

We can not afford to place our worth in what the media tells us is valuable. Because it just isn't.

But still, we look in our mirrors and we let media decide how we translate what we see. We've swallowed the lie that our value is only comprised of our image - and the image we're supposed to want and strive for is a certain number on our clothing tags, and a long list of equally ridiculous criteria for just about every inch of our bodies. So it's not Sarah I'm seeing, it's Plus Size Huge Hip Wonder-Thigh Girl. (All I need is a cape and I could save lonely masses of junk food everywhere from being un-binged.)

But we are much, much more than that! We are all variations of strong, smart, and beautiful. And we have the right - and freedom - to pursue a bigger, fuller life than bondage to an errant value system and an unhealthy body image.

What is ironic (and sad) to me, is the last time I felt bad about my image, I was at the gym doing five rounds of 21 thrusters, and 21 double unders. Seriously?!

So maybe it isn't our size that needs to change, but who (and what) we let determine our value. However others end up labeling me, I'm proud of whatever it is, because I'm proud of me. I dress nice, put on make up, fix my hair, and work out hard because I am worth it. It makes me happy. It was never my intention for this blog to be a standard or a place to show off how amazing I am. My goal is to provide a visual that real life women can be all they want to be. And that whatever and whoever they are is good enough. <3

You've heard [ALL] of my thoughts; I would love to hear yours in the comments. :)


  1. I'm nearly speechless because you covered so much and it couldn't be more true. We are so worth the effort, not because we're shallow but because we deserve to feel good about ourselves, our health and our happiness!

  2. I've recently been more and more disgusted with that idea as well. Honestly, what difference does it make if you are a few sizes over zero? Will it hold you back from being an accomplished woman? You would think that the modern woman could focus a little more the way she lives rather than how she looks. It's ridiculous that five and six year olds already think about not whether they are healthy, but whether they are "fat."

  3. I agree with your comments regarding the fashion industry portraying an unrealistic picture of what women look or should aspire to look like.

    That said, I feel like the video or interviews focus on the fact that a 6 = plus size and can you believe that because plus size is terrible. So in a way, it still means that we are worrying about what size says about us. The undertone I was getting is "no way, I am not a plus size - get it right!" Being fit is important, and as a reader of your blog I find it inspiring and motivational to see your progress as I continue on my own journey. But I can't help but think - So what if I am a "true" plus size (as in a 16, not a 6) - it doesn't make me any less of a person.

  4. This is disturbing. They use such young models as well, I wonder how many of them end up with long term ill effects. Very often, not always, but very often, tall people are also bigger boned. So you have a girl who's 5'10 or more weighing less than someone who is 5'3" and has a small frame. Why do they even publish this material, it is sickening. I've also noted that they pronounce the sunken cheekbones and sunken eyes, is this supposed to be beautiful?

  5. Thank you all for your comments!
    Especially you, A. I really appreciate you chiming in.
    Since you are familiar with my blog, I'm sure you know that I was also once a size 16. I know exactly where you are coming from.
    What I want to stress is that regardless of what you look like, you are valuable for so many reasons (including beauty of course), and that whatever you want for yourself is worth pursuing. I don't expect everyone to want to do Crossfit or exercise or even lose weight. You shouldn't do something because you feel pressure to be accepted by anyone. So even though the video is specifically addressing a certain size number, I think the message spans beyond that.

  6. I was very athletic as a teenager in the 1970' when it was considered unladylike to sweat. At my most fit I was 5'4" and I weighed around 140lbs and wore a size 10-12 ladies clothing size. That size clothing is now labeled size 6-8. It goes to show you those numbers were meaningless. What I know is that I had so much fun 'sweating' I never knew I a 'plus' size. As an older person now I have injuries that I sustained then because the training was substandard for women and the supportive shoes didn't exist back them. We did gymnastics out on the blacktop behind the school because the boys needed the gym to practice for their basketball league. Thank goodness attitudes towards women's fitness has changed and the better guidance is available. So I encourage young women to enjoy their fitness activities whatever it is and the fitness will come. Looking good in their clothes will also be another outcome for their efforts.

  7. Sarah, this post is POWERFUL.

  8. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Sarah, this is an excellent and wise post. I agree with you 100%. The promotion of unhealthy body standards and ridiculous judgements needs to end. You are perfect in every way - healthy and attractive. I find it's very young girls who are especially vulnerable to this negative brainwashing. I hope your message reaches them too! :)


  9. Ginny9:53 AM

    Great thought provoking post, as the mother of two teenage girls I am always worried that theywill get that crazy thought in thier heads. The media does try to portray emaciation as beauttiful, seriously???? I am now and never have been less thatn an 8-10 size, most preteens are the size of those "perfect" grown models, not a healthy standard. We are all unique and that is ok, there is beauty in every size. You are so correct we are more than a size and beauty comes in all sizes!!