I remember the day when I was categorized as obese so I totally get what’s going through Amy Schumer’s mind after being included in a Plus-Size issue of Glamour Magazine. I remember that day as if were yesterday. I went to the doctor for a physical, as a child, with my mom, and I did the usual. I stepped on the scale to be weighed, and then backed up against the wall to have my height measured. I was 5-feet-and-one-inch tall, which is still my current height today. I weighed 126 pounds, which is the weight I have attempted to maintain for the last several years. The doctor showed me the chart of where my weight fell according to my height. And, though she was just trying to prove a point of how inaccurate the calculations were, it has forever been imprinted in my mind. My numbers qualified me as obese.
Now, clearly, there must have been something wrong. I was an athlete; a soccer player; a track and field runner; and sometimes even squeezed into a size four, though, was far more comfortable in a size six. I kept asking, how could I possibly be considered obese? Or even overweight? My doctor and my mom kept reassuring me that the numbers don’t measure muscle. And, of course, like I have heard my entire life, they said, “And, you are all muscle.”
I felt crazed. My desire was to be thin, fit, and appealing–not obese! And, if I was considered to be obese, I couldn’t imagine how many other people in this world were being inaccurately labeled.
And, just the other day, Amy Schumer was included in the Plus Size bonus issue in Glamour Magazine. First of all, if a size six in media is being portrayed and published as a plus size, what kind of message does this send out to the trillions of girls out there? Already, we, as a society, are striving to attain the ideal body type that is being declared as beautiful. But, a size six is now being categorized as a plus-size?!
Clearly, the term ‘plus-size’ connotes overweight, unhealthiness, and exceedingly large. But, even so, why are we isolating these women, categorizing them, and placing them in a distinct group? There aren’t bonus issues placing underweight, malnourished, and starving women on the front cover, being titled, ‘Underweight Sizes.’ And, truthfully, those exist far more than the other. And those are a representation of unhealthiness, unhappiness, and individuals in need of help.
People are absorbing these messages through images, magazine titles, and stories. If Glamour is now considering a size six to be a plus-size, I fear what this message will do to young girls who are healthy, beautiful, and happy; but, who continue to work to keep a certain body weight and size. But, if I saw this, as a young girl, who was susceptible to developing an eating disorder, and compared myself to these plus size women whom were featured, I can’t imagine what my reaction to food and exercise would have been then. And, how many other girls out there doing the same.
I, too, am currently a size six. Anything less on my athletic frame would be considered unhealthy. I support Amy Schumer, and her argument back to Glamour magazine. This is one of the worst messages delivered to society, and it just happened the other day. We believe we have come so far in positive body image and accepting and loving ourselves for who we are, but this just set us back more than you can imagine. My hope is that girls see this as a mistake, or as completely inaccurate. Because, it is.
Go Amy! I was a huge fan. And, am now an even bigger fan!