April 25, 2012

Value & Weight

The obsession with weight and body image in our culture pushes its way into all of our lives, whether we want to participate or not. Do you talk about weight, dieting, and your body frequently? Even if you don't, chances are likely that people around you do.

I recently read an article about Octavia Spencer, the talented actress who played Minny in The Help. She said that she believes she needs to lose weight because "when you reach a certain weight, you are less valuable." Really? This made me sad for her, and for everyone who feels like this. I realize she was probably including her value as an actress, but I know that people really do associate their body size with their self-worth--and it's not right at all.
Original image by me :)
I'm aware of the stereotypes that exist toward overweight people. They are often seen as lazy, lacking in self control, and less productive. Do you believe this? Then let me change your mind with an example:

Person #1
Hardly ever exercises
Stays inside most of the day
Eats whatever he or she wants
Never gives a thought to weight gain
Cleaning the house is an afterthought
Has no self control when it comes to cookie dough
= Underweight

Person #2
Exercises regularly, often daily
Can run for miles at a time
Watches what he or she eats
Has gone for months without junk food
Cleaning the house is a priority
Keeps cookie dough cravings to a minimum
= Overweight

Embarrassingly, person #1 is me. Person #2 is my husband. Fair? No. True? Yes.

Is it possible that our bodies are not an accurate representation of our lives and habits? Do people see us and make assumptions about our lifestyles before they know the facts? You bet. That's our world. But it shouldn't be.

So . . . if the way we look doesn't accurately reflect what we do, then our weight should never be associated with our value as human beings. Never. Do you make judgments about a person's value based on weight? How about yourself? Then stop. Now. We are all equally valuable. You are valuable. The size or shape of your body can't change that.

To summarize:
1. Weight does not accurately represent habits.
2. Value has nothing to do with appearance.

And don't you forget it.

7 comments:

  1. Great point! New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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  2. You hit the nail on the head here. Weight is such a complicated issue. I know I feel so much better about myself lighter vs. heavier, but it shouldn't make a difference!

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  3. So true, and so perfectly written!

    P.S. I nominated you on my blog for the Versatile Blogger award.

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  4. You are a fantastic writer Lisa! I learn so much from you.

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  5. Been reading up on your A to Z posts, and loving your writing, as always. You are such a great example in all that you do, and as I read the post about Linguistics, and wanted to say thanks from a shy girl who lived at home who you took under your wing in those classes. You're great, Lisa. Don't ever change.

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  6. I love this post we need to be more concerned about health instead of weight. Your posts are amazing thank you for being so honest and keeping it real.

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  7. http://acquiringbalance.blogspot.ca/2012/04/about-weight-brief-general-history.html
    wrote about this too. Great post!:)

    ReplyDelete

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