I understand that in today's society women with hourglass figures; big breasts, small waists, and a full ass, are often considered to be the most "beautiful". Their bodies are seen as the most desirable, and thanks to photoshop and filters, virtually anyone can "achieve" this look with some clever editing.
Obviously, this is an impossible standard and we should not be looking to it as such. No matter your size and shape, your number one priority should always be your health. Not if you can fit into the "right" size of jeans.
I also understand that words such as "thin", "small", or even "skinny" are frequently used as compliments towards women in our society, whereas words like "broad", "big", or "fat" are almost always intended to be insulting.
This is a painful double standard.
So far, in my adult life, I have come to find that my body is naturally slimmer (and this isn't me "bragging", it's just the way I'm built.) I was a happy, chubby little toddler and retained some of my chubbiness, specifically around my stomach, all throughout elementary school and even until the start of high school.
It wasn't until puberty kicked in a few inches of height and I started becoming more active that I started to lose some weight. I'd never had a big appetite, even at my chubbiest, and my diet stayed relatively the same so the weight stayed off. (I want to make it very clear that I never actively tried to lose weight- I was just trying to run a mile without passing out during gym class.)
In college, aside from an intense stomach bug that left me unable to eat for a week and too afraid to eat for the month following where I lost a fairly substantial amount of weight without meaning to, I've remained pretty much the same size.
I still have to shop in the juniors department for bras, most of my t-shirts are a size "small long" because otherwise they don't cover my torso, and I have to buy jeans labeled "bold curves" just so I can fit them up my thighs and around my butt. (This, of course, leaves an awkward gap around the waistband so I've had to invest in a few good belts to prevent them from sliding down around my hips.) So yes, technically, I am on the "smaller" side when it comes to clothing sizes.
That being said, stop calling me small.
I know it's always well-intentioned. When family members say to me, "Oh you look so skinny!" I know what they're trying to say is, "Oh you look healthy!" The problem here is that I do not associate being skinny with being healthy. As goofy as it sounds, whenever someone comments on how thin I am, I feel the need to oppose them. When someone tells me "you look skinny", what I hear is "you look emaciated and weak".
Going back to the month I was afraid to touch food whilst I recovered from my stomach bug, I was weighing less than 110 pounds, which for someone of my height, is starting to get pretty low. I noticed that my ribs were visible through my skin, every one of them so clear you could count them. My skinny jeans got looser and even my skater dresses that normally hugged my waist were too big for me.
That was simply not healthy.
I understand that, supposedly, telling someone "you look fat" is far more insulting than telling someone "you look skinny", and its true. There is a certain societal expectation, specifically targeted at women's bodies, that fat=bad, skinny=good. But why?
Clearly, the "heroin chic" look from the 90's was a dangerous trend that caused an outbreak of eating disorders in girls. Why do we glorify the shrinking of the female anatomy? Why are we so afraid of the word "fat"? Literally everyone has it!
Instead of commenting specifically on my, or on anyone else's, weight, you can say that you like their clothes or simply tell them that they look good at whatever size they're at. "Pretty" doesn't have a measurement; true beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
If you have subscribed to my newsletter you have definitely read about some points of the importance of following your dreams that I sent out on my last newsletter of 2012 two weeks ago.
The Importance Of Following Your Dreams
I have been invited to TEDxAUBG (American University in Bulgaria) to prepare a presentation about a very exciting topic because it reflects the last years in my life: “The Importance Of Following Your Dreams.” I will speak at their event in April. Today I’d like to publish the five points I’ve sent out with my newsletter two weeks ago and add a few more.
– By following your dreams you will come to know that failure is part of the success. It isn’t always that bad and it is part of the process. You need to fall before you can stand up again!
I once got kicked out of school as a teenager. I took it as an opportunity, moved to boarding school and finished high school with honors. Before I was just an average student.
– Living is giving. When following your dreams you definitely have a story to tell. This story will give hope and inspiration to others and this is a great contribution.
I always wanted to travel the world. I moved a lot as a kid already but I’m location independent since a couple of years. My stories and my blog inspire others to travel (hopefully you are one of them). That is why I love what I’m doing! All the feedback I get is better than any paycheck I got during the last years as a marketing consultant.
-We all know that there is a certain path society wants us to follow. It is fun proving them wrong. Why should you follow the status quo?
When I started my nomadic lifestyle, working from Australia, Thailand or wherever I was, people always told me that this can’t be right. You can’t work and travel the world. I proved them wrong. Today I have traveled to more than 50 countries and lived in 7!
– Like the universe, your dreams have no limits. You are the creator of your dreams, big or small ones. When you understand this you are able to design a way to favor your plan and accomplish your end goal.
I wanted to work as a consultant for a big marketing agency. Once I reached this I noticed that I wasn’t happy and that this wasn’t what I wanted to do in life. I finished my contract and since then I’m free dreaming big and trying to accomplish new goals. Life is about development, reaching out for the stars and growing beyond your thoughts is possible!
– Life is too short to waste it with regrets. At the end of the line what we end up regretting are the things we didn’t get to do. So while being young, go after what you want. Pursue your dreams. It is in living your dreams that you get to know the true meaning of life.
I died in 2008 and was reborn again. After a tragic car accident in Sydney where my drink was spiked, I got robbed and hit by a car I realized that life can end any time. It must not even be your fault. Some idiot who doesn’t look out, is drunk or too tired could hit you with his car and everything your worked for is over… Ask yourself; What have you achieved so far? What have you done until today? Have you already lived?
It took another two years after the car hit me until I really asked myself these questions. That is why today I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m a travel blogger and freelance marketing consultant. I have clients all around the world and work online. My office is a Macbook Pro and with me I always carry my Nikon D7000! I don’t need more… My bank account tells me to get a normal job with a constant salary but my heart tells me to follow my dreams and dream even bigger and achieve even bigger goals!
When will you start to live?
These are only a few of the points I will talk in my presentation. I will publish everything here on the blog after the talk. I’m very excited about this opportunity!