“You never ask a woman how old she is or how much she weighs.”- I’ve heard this my entire life.
When I was a child, getting weighed was exciting. Up until I was in 6th grade or so, I felt like I was in a race to finally weigh 100 pounds; I was a tall girl, and I was excited about “growing up and getting big.” 100 seemed like a milestone, and it was!
By the time I was in 7th grade, I was 5’11″, and I knew I wore a size 7 because I had been recently measured for my first pair of dress pants. I was on the basketball team, and we were expected to wear them to school on game days.
Around this time, one of the mothers of an 8th grade basketball player stopped me in a hallway at church, and she asked me how much I weighed.
“135,” I proudly told her. I can still remember the big smile on my face as I said it.
“Wow.” She matter of factly replied, ”You don’t look like you weigh that much.”
“That much?!” I thought in horror. My smile disappeared.
Looking back now, I don’t think she meant to hurt my feelings, but of course, her words did sting… and that is the first time I can remember doubting myself, my weight, or whether I looked “okay” or not.
That was my introduction to the judgmental world of weight.
Over the years I have struggled with my weight; as an adult I have weighed as much as 245 and as little as 138. These days I fluctuate between 153 and 163.
As I write this I weigh 160. And I’m okay with that. No, actually, I’m not just okay with that… I’m fine with it.
Yes, after a lifetime of weight issues and self-doubt, I have finally come to the point where I now focus on how I feel and how I look in my clothes, but arriving at this mindset was not easy.
So perhaps you can understand why my curiosity was piqued when How Much Do You Weigh? A Book About Women and Their Weight, by Erin Nieto (Author) & Sheila Daniels (Photographer) showed up on the list of free Kindle books today.
How Much Do You Weigh is:
A book. With pictures. Of women just like you. And in plain sight for all to see, the number that their scales read that morning. No apologies. No hedging. Letting it be what it is and opening up the secret for you, stigma be damned.
Surprise and serendipity await.
Because I am currently at Dan’s lake house with the other editors for Gearfest, we were able to have a lively conversation about weight and our perceptions. Each one of us has struggled with our weight over the years, and each of us seems to be at a point where we feel like we have some semblance of control over it … or perhaps we are simply more comfortable in our own skin these days. And since I pulled them into this post … Carly has weighed as much as 215 and is 177 at this moment. Mike got up to a whopping 375 but is now just 200. Dan got up to 220 or so and is currently 177.
I was able to flip through the book, hold up my iPad, show them pictures of some of the women depicted there-in –and let them offer their guess as to how much each woman weighed. Most of the time they were not even close.
Granted this book doesn’t list the models’ ages or heights and some of the angles used could be a bit misleading (or more flattering than others), but it was interesting to hear their best guesses. Just as it would be interesting to hear yours.
So let’s see how well you can do.
Take a look at a few of these women, and make a note of what you think each weighs. Each picture is a thumbnail, so if you click on it you’ll see a larger image.
Why does it matter what women weigh? Why is a book like this valuable? Why do I think mothers should show it to their daughters?
Simply put, girls grow up hearing arbitrary numbers that don’t always apply to their bodies. For example, it’s common knowledge that most models gracing the covers of magazines are 5’8″ and taller, and that they weigh somewhere between 108 and 125 … and yet we still wonder why we don’t look like “that”.
We wonder if what we weight is “normal”; we wonder if we weigh “too much” or “too little”. And we question what we would have to do to feel more comfortable in our own skin.
So why not demystify the one number that no one ever seems quite comfortable enough to divulge. Why not celebrate the fact that we are all different; that our weight is just one tiny part of a much bigger equation. After all, there are so many factors that impact what the rest of the world sees when they look at us, and what we see when we look in the mirror.
Intrigued? Download the book, which is currently free: How Much Do You Weigh?: The Stigma Defying Photobook
And check and see if your guesses were even close to these models’ weights by clicking on the gallery pictures.
How did you do?