Most of us have been unhappy with our weight, clothing size or body type at one time or another. This often leads us to try new diets or weight loss fads all because of our, or society's, obsession with becoming the "perfect" body size.
However, "size" is relative. Deena Shoemaker, a mentor coach for youth, noticed something odd about the clothes in her closet. Despite her weight remaining the same, she discovered she had clothes in several different sizes, ranging from sizes 5-12.
Deena decided to take pictures of herself in the various sizes and post them to Facebook to make a point: beauty isn't based on a size (and label sizes are wholly unreliable).
Working with young teens, Deena hears from young girls who wonder, "if I were skinnier, would he have stayed?" She knows young women who skip meals or throw up foods they ate to stay the "ideal" weight or size.
We know Photoshop is responsible for the perfect images of people in magazines. Those aren't real or natural people, in fact, they're LIES. And clothing sizes vary by brand, sometimes being a size 5 while other times branded as "plus size."
Though these numbers are also lies, Deena points out that it's hard to convince girls that the number on their clothing label isn't accurate.
Deena's beautiful statement at the end of her post is worth reading again and again:
"And to you; my dear beautiful girls, my size 2 girls or my size 18 girls, your size doesn't determine your beauty; your life does. The size printed inside your clothes is subjective to the fashion industry's personal taste and it fluctuates rapidly. Stop believing the social normatives about who and what you should be.
You are lovely and you are loved. Just exactly the way you are."
Yes, we need to be healthy and treat our bodies well including good eating habits and exercise so we feel good. But we need to stop body shaming ourselves and stop believing the subjective and arbitrary numbers listed on clothing labels mean anything when it comes to our value or beauty as a person.
We all have unique body sizes, shapes and types. We need to embrace our unique beauty and focus more on feeling good and capable rather than searching for the false "ideal beauty" only found in a number or bottles of makeup.
Whether you're 12 or 62, stop listening to what the world says defines perfection. You are who you are meant to be. Size does not define your beauty, capabilities or value.