Why are Women Still Hating Based on a Number?

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Back in 2013, I wrote You Are More Than A Number.

Cliff Notes: what the hell are we doing letting a number define us, instruct our behavior or allowing us to diminish or expand our feelings of self-worth?


Women's Body Issues Revisited

Yep, 2014.  I just looked.

The funny thing is that almost a year later we’re still in a heated debate about those numbers.  Women are still too fat or too skinny depending on which camp you find yourself planted.

When I hear women debating this particular issue, they tend to be brutal, not only with their number, but with other women’s numbers.  It’s when I stand outside the white-hot debate, wondering why we are still obsessed, that I want to point out the bigger issues of the day we could concern ourselves with like war, famine, or the yoga-pants-are-not-pants firestorm that is happening right here in our own country, ladies!

Everything has a cycle.  It’s our nature to like this and not that until this begins to bore us and we’re on to that again. For me, the whole conversation makes my eyes roll back in my head from sheer exasperation and shock that as women we choose to waste our time on such unimaginative nastiness.

Be who you are, where you’re at.  If you like who you are, whoohoo!  If not, make a change based on you, not them.  Embrace you, baby.  And while you’re at it, embrace other women and girls and puppies, oh the puppies.

Have you heard Meghan Trainor’s song “All About The Bass” this summer? She’s catching flack because some think she’s bashing skinny girls in a song that’s an anthem to accepting your beautiful self if you’re bigger than a size two.

“Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches Hey!
No, I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat…”

Folks are riled because it’s the whole Hey! Here’s an insulting slur about you, but I’m just kidding. thang.  Just because it’s presented as kidding, a silly disposable joke, doesn’t mean it’s not demeaning.

See what you think.

The song is catchy and truth be told, I’ve already hijacked her “I’m bringing booty back” line more than I’d like to admit, but I’d prefer she own her number without bashing someone else’s.

To tear down others while lifting up yourself is weak.  While OMT can take some fun poked, I think of young impressionable girls who are still trying to figure out their body image issues (I was a much made fun of skinny girl growing up) and it makes me sad we’re still in this place of using a number to define others and ourselves.

It’s bullshit, ladies and gentleman, and I propose we stop it on both sides.

Seriously, the more pressing matter of yoga-pants-are-not-pants demands that of us, don’t you think?



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  1. I couldn’t agree more! I grew up with a mom who always knew her “number” and was on every single diet you could imagine. It is hard growing up and watching that. I always just wanted her to love herself like me and the boys did.. we thought she looked great ALWAYS! And luckily, she finally got it and is much happier in her own skin now. Life is not measured by the scale!

    • I think of the young girls I know and I want them to embrace their strength and their unique self instead of their number. It’s tough to swim upstream, but the ridiculousness that is assigning worth based on a number has got to stop. Thanks for popping in, Bri!

  2. We are so hard on ourselves and trust me, I can be hard on myself too, but I have gotten better with this, because life is way too short to waste the energy and stress on this! I don’t own a scale and I honestly cannot remember the last time I weighed myself. You can not judge yourself by that stupid number. It is all about how you feel from the inside out. When I start working with new clients, I always tell them to throw that scale away! 🙂

    • Throw away the scale! At this stage in my life, I’ve come to understand that health is king. I want to be healthy enough, strong enough, to move through this life with grace, regardless of a number.

  3. I totally agree! Being healthy should be a lifestyle, not a struggle to reach a number on the scale. Women (and men) can be healthy in a wide range of sizes. It’s silly to feel like we have to put others down to justify a difference!

    • Agreed. “Healthy should be a lifestyle…It’s silly to feel like we have to put others down to justify a difference!” Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks, Brenda.

  4. I cannot tell a lie… I am and have always been obsessed with the number. I wasn’t raised that way, but it has somehow been instilled in my head… But I can say.. I only care about my number….

    • When I was younger, I was truly obsessed for a time. It was exhausting. Funny thing is I’m tall and on the lean side, so as far as society was concerned I was the ideal. When it became a problem for me, I started to question what I was doing. These days find me focusing on health and strength and, um, cake! Numbers can be important, but the obsession of our society and what it does to us is not. Thanks for the thoughts (and your honesty), Aimee.

  5. I don’t own a scale and I don’t intend to get one. I’ve got an athlete daughter who I don’t want worrying about weight…she’s strong and beautiful…and that’s the only thing that matters. Fitness and how you feel about yourself is way more important than weight!

    • I know we’ll never outrun this issue. I wish all girls could be confidant, healthy and strong. We’ll just have to keep on tearing down the ridiculousness of it all as we come across it.

  6. Great article! It is so sad that we find our value in external things. I have boys and I so want them to learn to value who a girl is rather than what she looks like. We talk a lot about being healthy and I’m always trying to phrase things about healthy choices rather than about any numbers. Thanks for your thoughts!
    -S.L. Payne, uncommongrace.net

    • Thank you. I raised a boy as well and wanted him to value the person not the size. I was cognizant of the fact that I was his model of what he would think of women and their capabilities. When he married a kick-ass gal, I knew he had learned well. Good job on raising yours, momma!

  7. I was just the opposite. I was not a thin girl – but didn’t know it. My mother instilled that in me, God bless her.

  8. I needed to read this today. I need to be kinder to myself–I have two little girls watching. <3

  9. Girl you said a mouthful! Weight was always a sensitive issue with me; I developed anorexia when I was 14 no one was ever ugly to me about being a little chunky, but I was – I beat myself up everyday! One day I was able to wakeup and realize that whether I was too fat, too skinny or just right (whatever that is) that I was gorgeous…not in a prideful way, but I love who I am sorta way. When I learned to love myself, I learned to love others too and now I see all women as lovely creatures!

    Screw the scale and measuring tapes they don’t mean squat! 😀

  10. This is so well written. Lots of food for thought.
    I was talking just the other day with friends at work about whether they could wear a bikini on holiday. I am saying “hell yes” if you want to wear a bikini just do it. What I tend to get back is “it’s ok for you, you are dead skinny”. I’m really not that skinny, I have stretch marks and wobbly bits just like everyone else. It is sad that so many people are so quick to criticize, too fat, too skinny, really?
    I do feel that unless a friend’s weight is affecting their health there is no need to comment.

    • As one who has been called a skinny girl most of her life, I often found it interesting that women equated that with beauty because I would then want to strip off to prove their point wrong. See, wobbly bits! See, stretch marks! Same as you, just a different size, friend. Thank you for the kind words and for coming by to share, Julie.

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