This post is going to be a bit of a rant (you are warned).
I saw this photo floating around facebook today and I had to ad my voice to the thousands of comments it had already collected.
Healthy is beautiful but there are a few problems with the way this photo argues that point. To begin with – many of the girls in both of these photos are at an unhealthy weight.
I am still fat – technically speaking after over 40 lbs. of weight loss my BMI is still 3 points above “healthy”. For a healthy BMI I need to lose another 16 lbs.
Many women on the bottom portion of this photo have a BMI over 25 which makes them overweight. On the top portion several of the Victoria’s Secret models must have BMI’s in the danger range. A BMI of 15 is considered near starving.
I support a more positive message in the fashion industry but I refuse to use anorexic glamazons as an excuse for why I feel crappy about who I am!
I don’t look at stick thin girls and think ‘oh man I really want to look like that’ because I don’t. I really truly don’t want to be a size 0 or 2 but if a girl is a 0 and is truly healthy and happy – good for her!
I am not going to tear people down because of how they look in a photograph. I have no idea what they eat, how hard they workout or how much photoshop went into their picture before it appeared in my Vogue, Glamour or Elle.
What made me feel crappy about myself was getting out of breath climbing a single flight of stairs. I felt terrible going into GAP praying they would have 16’s and that they would fit. And I felt claustrophobic in certain stores where I knew there would be nothing in my size.
And- to be perfectly honest it’s good there wasn’t anything in my size. If I could find jeans that fit me in every store I walked into I might have had an unrealistic idea of how overweight I was getting.
On a more positive note Vogue magazine recently banned underage models who appear to be unhealthy. You can read more about it in an open letter Tyra Banks sent to them. She talks about how the industry has changed at that the size 4 she started out at would be considered overweight on today’s runways.
There was an article in this weeks Time magazine titled “When the Rains Stop”, which is talking about the drought that has hit large swaths of the US this year. While I was reading the article one short paragraph caught my attention:
“Still, American’s are comparatively well insulated from the increase in crop prices, largely because our diets are so full of processed goods that only about 15¢ of every dollar we spend on food actually goes to food. (Most of the remainder goes to packaging and advertising)”
What was striking about this paragraph wasn’t the fact that only 15¢ of every dollar is actually going to the food we purchase (when it is processed), it was the fact that the author could make this statement as fact without any real backup. What that tells me is that this is such a commonly excepted fact there was no need for him to cite statistics or studies, people would accept it.
This is sad because it means that for most Americans this is the truth, the majority of the foods they are buying must be processed. This is not hard to believe, when you go to the local grocery store, and the majority of the space in the middle is taken up by every concoction of “food” one could imagine.
I know that I have been blogging a lot recently about food and the food industry and I will try in the next couple of days to get off my soap box. It is the same basic message, when I go shopping I have to stick to whole foods, to stick to the outside isles of the grocery store, and to know what I am putting into my body. Hopefully by doing these three things, more then 15¢ of every dollar I spend will actually go toward the food I buy and not the package that is containing it.