Vogue Can Go to Hell–Can I Make Peace with My Thighs?

Benelli is my fashion accessory...

Benelli is my fashion accessory…

Those of you who read this blog know that I am always very upbeat and positive. I believe there are few things in life that can’t be fixed with a smile and elbow grease, but these days I’m losing my sparkle. As we enter into the holiday season, there are all kinds of goodies and treats and we all know that January 1st will be here soon enough. Most of us will be back on the treadmill, vowing that this time and this year things will be different.

The problem I have is this. I have no idea what normal looks like anymore.

I have been battling my weight my entire life. If I didn’t have an exercise routine that rivaled a professional athlete, I was always 30-40 pounds overweight. Even with said exercise routine, I rarely got down to what the charts said I should weigh. In fact, I remember sitting in the plus section of a department store and crying.

Six years ago, I found out I had severe food allergies (gluten, casein & soy). No wonder I’d been fat since the 80s, when all the “experts” deemed meat as evil. You shouldn’t be eating that meat! Have a bagel. Now THAT’S healthy. The healthier I’d tried to eat (low fat, whole grain, skim milk) the more I was poisoning myself.

Once I pulled the offending allergens out of my diet, I finally shred the weight I’d always carried around. I was 130 pounds with very little effort and I looked and felt amazing.

Then I got pregnant.

I had the world’s best pregnancy. I ate gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and organic. I worked out twice a day, six days a week. Even into my 9th month, I was swimming a mile a day and doing step aerobics (even though I could no longer see my feet). Over the course of my pregnancy, I gained 30 pounds. I had a super healthy baby and bounced back to feeling great in no time.

Except…

Three years later, I still have those thirty pounds (plus 10 for a total of 40), no matter what I do or how well I eat. If I train hard and don’t lose, I am told “You’re working out too much.” So when I drop the frequency, I get told, “You need to work out more often.”

My diet is mostly lean protein and green veggies. I only use strict amounts of healthy oils like olive oil or coconut oil and eat only good carbs, and am very strict about them, too. I’ve had alcohol on only 4 occasions since July. I don’t eat sweets, drink soda, or use artificial sweeteners.

But none of that matters, at least when it comes to my weight. I am healthy, have beautiful skin and hair. I have enough energy to power a small city and am never sick, but I am still a size 10-12 and 170 pounds.

Why is it no one looks like me?

When we look on TV, we are confronted with extremes–super skinny or clinically obese. We are calling anorexics “beautiful” and calling dangerously obese women “curvy.” We are an a country that is dying because of euphemisms. I hear parents call morbidly obese children “husky,” “big-boned” or “muscular.” We have retailers calling anorexics “curvy.” Take a look at some of my favorite selections:

This is why I will never give Eddie Bauer another DIME.

Someone throw this model a sandwich...

Someone throw this model a sandwich…

Can someone explain to Eddie Bauer what "curvy" means?

Can someone explain to Eddie Bauer what “curvy” means?

Or NY & Company

Curvy Skinny Jean? WTH?

Curvy Skinny Jean? WTH?

I wrote Eddie Bauer AND New York & Company letters. I received a nice form letter about “how much my opinion is valued.” Yeah.

Talbots did only slightly better in my Tour of Curves…

Okay, well at least she looks like she ate...once.

Okay, well at least she looks like she ate…once.

Everywhere I went, I tried to find models who looked like me. I’m not super skinny, but I am not yet plus-sized, either. I was shocked at the models retailers used in their catalogs. My favorite models were at THIS site. Lucky Brand you got LUCKY! Their models are so thin they look bow-legged.

SERIOUSLY?

SERIOUSLY?

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 11.07.35 AM

Give me a BREAK.

Shame on you, retailers.

At Old Navy, they are kind enough to have Plus size clothing, but they don’t use actual models, because we all know fat girls aren’t pretty.

Fa la la la la la la la FAIL

Fa la la la la la la la FAIL

Apparently no woman exists who is between HER:

Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 5.46.47 PM

And HER…

...and HER.

Barbie Didn’t Make Us Fat…

I constantly hear this silly debate about how Barbie is to blame for girls (and later, women) having body issues.

News Flash…BARBIE IS A DOLL. WE DIDN’T GROW UP BELIEVING WE SHOULD LOOK LIKE A PLASTIC MATTEL TOY. Seriously, give us women a little credit.

High Fashion Dysfunction

We did, however, watch the fashion industry and television and film continue to elevate women who were thinner and thinner and dangerously thinner.

I played with Barbies my entire childhood and felt great about myself. In fact, I never had issues with how I looked until I was fourteen and started reading Seventeen Magazine…and no one looked like me. The girls were all over 5’7,” less than 110 pounds, and ONE body type—the stick.

Girls these days have it even harder. In the remake of the hit 90s show 90210, most of the actresses were frighteningly thin. At one point Jessica Stroup weighed in at 100 pounds, yet she is 5’8″. Shenae Grimes (5’3″) weighed in at 90 pounds.

Fashion Needs to Take Responsibility

It really irritates me that people can blame a plastic toy, but fail to keep the fashion industry accountable. The fashion industry has always been the thought leader when it comes to what we as a society consider beautiful.

In the 1950s, if you weren’t Caucasian, blonde, with blue eyes and curves, you weren’t pretty. It was the fashion industry that started breaking the rules, who started highlighting women of different races, who started showing skinny girls as beautiful in a world that valued the Marylin Monroe body type only. It was the fashion industry who took a risk on a woman with a gap between her teeth (Lauren Bacall), and women of color (Iman).

There was a time that fashion led the charge to opening society’s definition of beauty, yet now when we have reached a crisis point they want to claim they aren’t doing anything wrong and their models aren’t that skinny (Karl Lagerfeld). And, yes, Vogue claims it will tsk tsk the too-young and too-skinny, but I’m not overly impressed with the change. The models still look like bony Amazons in need of a sandwich.

Hey, Vogue! Want to be interesting? Don’t put a bird cage on a woman’s head, put some meat on her bones! You think you are art, when all you are is predictable.

Gee, another anorexic Amazon with poofy lips.

 *shock face*

Retailers are Responsible

One might give high fashion a bit of a pass, since no woman is going to wear a birdcage on her head and a bra on the outside of her clothes (and not get carted off to the loony bin), but retailers? Gap, Lucky, Abercrombie, NY&Co, Eddie Bauer ALL use models who are far too thin. Look at the pictures above. If the camera adds ten pounds?

I’ve tried writing letters, but that hasn’t gotten me very far. I feel frustrated. I’ve had all the blood work and I am a perfectly healthy woman…who is a size 10-12.

IMG_2064

Can I Make Peace with My Thighs?

I don’t know. That’s the best answer I have. I feel that, if I were African American, I’d be the perfect size and shape. In fact, when I went to get my thyroid tested, the phlebotomist (an African American female) thought they’d written something wrong on my chart.

You’re here for OBESITY? Girl, you look FABULOUS!

We live in a world of magazines that hail how beautiful and curvy Beyonce and Mariah Carey are at a size 12-14, but then the same magazines call Jessica Simpson a cow for being the same size 12-14.  Women of color can have curves, but us white gals need to look more like Posh Spice. We can never be too rich or too thin.

I feel like I am at the mad Hatter’s Tea Party where nothing makes sense. No one looks like me, and every ad, every movie and television show is a reminder of how I don’t measure up, how I’m not trying hard enough. I try to buy clothes, and Target has 23 different new “skinny jeans.” I can’t buy clothes because nothing in the Misses department fits a woman with thighs, but I am too small for the Plus size department…

…so I live in yoga clothes, which is fine because I live at yoga and in the gym anyway. We no longer even make clothes to fit normal people anyway.

Where Have All the Size 8s Gone?

Those of us in the middle just seem to have disappeared. I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t at the heart of this nation’s disease. Back in the era when the size 6 and 8 were ideal, we didn’t have near the obesity rates. Have we elevated an impossible thinness and that has made our nation fatter than ever?

My Personal Protest

I decided long ago that I would no longer purchase fashion magazines. Additionally, I refuse to shop from any store that uses only super skinny models. I think if enough women did this, the industry would change. I would say write a letter, but I didn’t get that far.

I know there are naturally thin and small women out there. I never said retailers shouldn’t use skinny models at all. But they shouldn’t be using bone-skinny models to the exclusion of everyone else. If this was a race issue, the fashion industry would be in court by now. If they only photographed Caucasian blondes to the exclusion of Latinas and African American women, they’d be in trouble (and should be). But these days we are facing a different kind of discrimination and it is costing our girls their self esteems.

Out of Control

I have never believed in crash diets or fad diets, but I have gotten to the point that I feel my attitude about food has gotten out of control. I can’t dedicate this much time thinking about everything I eat and do.

Is it non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free?

Did I have enough carbs? Too many carbs?

Enough protein? Too much protein?

Enough exercise? Am I overtraining?

The NEW New Year’s Resolution

I’m healthy. My blood tests prove that. For this I am very grateful. I eat really well and have the hair skin and energy levels to show for it. I will work on focusing more on what I do have than what I don’t. Vogue can go to hell. I vow to find a way to make peace with my thighs and somehow learn to love being a size 10-12.

What about you? Do you think this country is out of control? Do you think the extremes have something to do with this? Do you have a hard time accepting yourself as beautiful? What do you struggle with? Have you made peace with your body? Do you have any advice or suggestions?

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  1. #1 by Stan R. Mitchell on December 3, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    I’ll give the advice my wife always gives me — note, I don’t listen to her.

    But the advice is, “Relax. You look great.”

    Besides, guys don’t like women who are skinnier than a bean pole.

    But, I’m pretty much as obsessed with it all as you are. No matter how much I work out, I still wish I looked just a bit better. The only solution I’ve found for it comes from Eastern Thinking, and this book has helped, and has at times made me feel completely handsome and satisfied: http://stanrmitchell.com/2012/06/03/the-greatest-gift-i-can-give/

    Oh well, we’ll probably always fight to look like the Western images we regularly see on TV and in magazines…

  2. #2 by Christine Ashworth on December 3, 2012 - 2:36 pm

    Kristin, you’re one of the most beautiful people I know – inside AND out. Sending you HUGS!!!

  3. #3 by Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) on December 3, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    Amen, Kristen.

    I too have thighs. I too no longer buy fashion magazines because they inevitably make me feel (a) bad about myself and (b) l should spend more money.

    Confidence is sexy.

    I used to have Maya Angelou’s poem, “Phenomenal Woman,” memorized. Here is the first stanza:

    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I’m telling lies.
    I say,
    It’s in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride of my step,
    The curl of my lips.
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    Here’s to phenomenal women everywhere and of every size.

  4. #6 by billgncs on December 3, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    like who you are. ps — to some, that Benelli is a beauty accessory :)

  5. #7 by Sandra on December 3, 2012 - 2:40 pm

    It’s been out of control for a long time and I’ve found that the only way to make peace is to ignore any and all ads or fashion trends that try to make me feel like I’m not worthy to walk the planet. In my book, if you’re not obese/morbidly obese, you exercise and try to eat properly, you’re probably healthy enough. And you’re right about the curvy factor: I’m from the Caribbean and curves are more acceptable and even preferable for most men. (That’s my subtle way of saying, “take a trip to the Caribbean and get some appreciation for dem curves”.)

  6. #8 by C. Hope Clark on December 3, 2012 - 2:40 pm

    One of the few blog posts I’ve read start to finish in the last week. You go, girl. I’m 175 and 12-14. Never was a small girl, and at my sharpest, classiest, sexist age ever (in college then again in my mid-30s), I was 8-10. I’m middle-aged now and things have shifted, but my numbers are great, I feel great. I’d like to do better, but like you, I’m SICK of models being size 0. So unrealistic. Love your rant, and I’m on your side. Had a lady doctor once give me the nicest response when I asked if I was too far overweight. She asked, “Do you feel good?” I said yes. She said, “Then that’s what matters.”

  7. #9 by prudencemacleod on December 3, 2012 - 2:41 pm

    I hear you, my sister. I have just reached the sunny side of 220 for the first time in years and here comes the Christmas goodies. To hell with it all, let’s just be healthy, curvy, and vote with the checkbook. When the stores that favor ultra skinny models start losing big time on sales then they will be forced to listen.

  8. #10 by Kelly O'Sullivan (HILWD) on December 3, 2012 - 2:43 pm

    I tend to rant about jeans from time to time, especially the skinny jeans trend (maybe you can tell me why they put pockets in tight jeans). Barbie didn’t make us fat but she sure did get validated by the fashion industry and we are left with happy playtime memories served up with a spoonful of guilt for not being “perfect”.

    You are healthy and beautiful in all your imperfections. Congratulations, you’re human.

    Will be sharing this post.

    • #11 by Kim Griffin on December 4, 2012 - 7:21 pm

      Ugh, skinny jeans ~ don’t get me started. ..and low rise?? I bought some by mistake because they’re everywhere and have been showing plumber’s crack all day ~ I just know it!

  9. #12 by broadsideblog on December 3, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    I can’t even remember 170 — that was before I wrote my first book in 2003. I am now a 16, maybe a 14 on top on good days. I loathe the whole issue. Sick to death of being told to worry about, to fix it, to lose weight. I loathe shopping and being told I am an XL or “plus” size — why are size 6 or 8′s not a “minus”?

    The size of my brain and heart matters most to me and my husband — not the size of my ass or hips. It is a useless, toxic distraction for women of all ages to focus on their size of our bodies. No woman should waste her time on this — beyond a health issue of diabetes, heart disease or arthritis.

    I’m still a terrific friend, daughter, writer and wife. I could care less about the size of my thighs.

  10. #13 by Melissa Maygrove on December 3, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    Agree. Agree. Agree. I come from a family of large-stature people. (My grandmother was 6 ft. tall and wore a size 12 shoe.) Even when I’m slim, I’m only a size 10-12.

    What we need is for someone to start a clothing store/catalog for the average woman–normal sizes, normal models, reasonable prices, and normal clothes (not this ugly, trendy crap no one wears). I bet they’d make a killing and solve a lot of body issues while they were at it.

  11. #14 by DJ Martin (@herbylady) on December 3, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    I have the opposite problem: I am naturally skinny. Strangers have stopped me on the street to ask if I’m anorexic. I show them my muscles and ask them if anorexics have enough strength to punch their lights out – I do.

    I don’t give a good goddamn what people weigh – as long as they are healthy. I don’t care what their shape is – as long as they are healthy. *I* care about what’s inside the person. That’s beauty. And Kristin, you’re beautiful.

  12. #15 by sheilapierson on December 3, 2012 - 2:50 pm

    You’ve just said everything I’ve thought for years! So…on…point!!!! I’m nearing 40 and feel the pressure more than ever to get thinner. I can’t even reveal my weight here because it would make me feel terrible to see it in print :( I will say that I’m between an 8-10 in size…. what happened to being a happy medium? What happened to normal? So glad you did this post.

  13. #16 by C. Hope Clark on December 3, 2012 - 2:51 pm

    I bet if someone opened a clothing store entited “Clothes for Normal Women”, he’d make a mint.

  14. #17 by annerallen on December 3, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    I am 100% with you on this Kristen, and a number of decades ahead of you on the diet wheel. It’s not just skinny models. We have a whole culture obsessed with an impossible ideal of female thinness. It’s as if secondary sexual characteristics themselves have been demonized.

    In the 1990s, a huge amount of information was out there on this subject. Dr. Christiane Northhrup was on PBS every pledge drive, preaching the gospel of body size acceptance. We had magazines like Mode and Radiance that used healthy “plus-sized” models. Books like Dieting Makes Your Fat were bestsellers. Plus Sized model Emme was a household name.

    A decade later, all this info was wiped from our collective memory banks. I wrote a novel based on the principle of beauty coming in all sizes, pointing out the craziness of women constantly trying to diminish ourselves–called FOOD O F LOVE. Everybody was interested at the end of the 1990s. But it needed a big edit. When I finished it, the size acceptance movement was dead. I had to go to England to find a publisher.

    It’s now back in print, but most of my readers seem to find all the info entirely new. I’m trying to spread the word, and I’m so glad you’re helping open eyes to the craziness of the medical/diet industry that says a woman isn’t “healthy” unless she is starving.

    If I hadn’t been put on a high-carb “low-fat” diet when I was a size 12, and called “obese” by doctors when I was 145 pounds, I wouldn’t be a size 22 two decades later. DIETS MAKE YOU FAT!!.

  15. #18 by Sheri Fredricks on December 3, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    When I was single and in my 20′s. I worked out hard to compete in physique competitions. At 5’4″, I weighed 135 and wore a size 7-8. Married and two babies later, I’m in a size 10 and weigh and undisclosed amount. Hehehe I don’t have my ripped abs and cut triceps like I used to (okay, I don’t have them at all), but I FEEL good. My husband knew me then and he loves me now. How we feel in and out of our clothes should determine everything. Nowdays, I never weigh myself. Ever. Instead, I’ll put on my favorite pair of Rocky Jeans and see how they fit. Too tight, and I slow down on the chow. They’ve…uh…never been too loose. I still work out, but not like I used to. I’m comfortable with who I am and the body I have today. Best part of all, my husband loves me, too.

  16. #19 by Jennette Marie Powell on December 3, 2012 - 2:55 pm

    I gave up caring about fashion a long time ago. That’s not to say I don’t care how I look – I do, most of the time – but chasing cultural ideals is a losing battle, especially for someone who’s your size, Kristen – minus 4″ of height. Luckily, I’ve learned to care a lot less what others think through my husband, who’d check out a short girl toting a gun *any* day of the week over a model who needs a cheeseburger (LOL – and that’s exactly what he says about them!). I’m blessed that my 17-yo daughter has grown up with her dad’s attitude and feels great about her 40′s pinup girl figure – and loves the retro clothes that look great on her.

    • #20 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 3, 2012 - 2:58 pm

      I haven’t cared about fashion in years, but what is SO frustrating to me is that it has filtered into the actual clothes. I shop in the Misses section and I can’t get the pants past my knees, but I am too small for plus size. It is starting to affect the actual clothes.

  17. #21 by keelaurow on December 3, 2012 - 2:57 pm

    Every day I wake up and convince myself that this will be the day I’m comfortable in my own body, accept myself for who I am and embrace that which is beautiful about me. I think it just takes practice. All those years of comparing ourselves to airbrushed girls (wearing 40 tons of makeup and posing in lighting that took six hours to set up) was training too, so of course we can’t transform into loving, accepting versions of ourselves overnight. It’s a long road, but at least we are on it!

    These thick legs have gotten me up some incredible mountains and carried me over the finish line of a triathlon. They so deserved to be loved in all their size 12-14 glory. Good legs. Good thighs. Thanks for being so awesome. Remember that when I look down and wince at you in an hour or so…

  18. #22 by Juturna F. on December 3, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    Completely agree with everything in this post! The thin-obsession is killing young women piece by mental piece, stressing ‘skinny’ instead of ‘healthy.’ And when presented with an impossible standard, it’s a 100% normal reaction to just give up–ask any school teacher who’s given a student a test with questions beyond their ability, and watched them refuse to do any of it from despair–which leads to the obesity epidemic.

    Why won’t the fashion industry advertise “Healthy” as beautiful? Every person’s level of ideal health is different, and retailers put ribs-baring models with massive heart problems on their covers, leaving naturally thin women crying because people hate them for being healthy at a low weight. Meanwhile, women who are a 6-8 or a 10-12 as their ideal weight feel ugly even when they’re at their best, because according to magazines, they’d only be pretty if they were half-dead. Heck, according to fashion, a size 8 is plus-sized. Really??? There’s something wrong with this. Underweight is unhealthy, and it’s not a woman’s best figure.

    Healthy is my idea of beauty, regardless of what size that healthy is. Let’s make that the new normal, ‘kay? Maybe then women won’t despair of ever thinking themselves beautiful. Maybe when it’s possible for everyone to reach the goal, more people will try.

  19. #23 by Kinley Baker on December 3, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    I grew up a competitive figure skater. I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food. I have the most depressing picture I plan to post on my blog. It’s me at 18 thinking I’m fat. I look at the picture and want to cry. I was guilted into exercising at every turn for years. My cracker addiction was treated like they were drugs. Even now I still feel guilty for eating chips. I still look around waiting for someone to say: What are you doing?! Anyway, I only just recently realized I want to work out because it makes me feel better. I want to eat better because I want to be healthy. It shouldn’t have taken me so long to get here. We need to stop the guilt. Stop the nagging from other people. I never again want to be asked in my life… “Did you work out today?” We don’t realize how badly this impacts kids. Make being active fun. Make eating healthy delicious. But for god sakes stop telling kids they’re fat. I’m 5’3”. When I skated I was muscles and bones. I can’t tell you how many times people called me huge. Thanks for the post, Kristen. I’ve been thinking about the unhealthy expectations regarding exercise and body image lately. Glad to see I’m not alone.

    • #24 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 3, 2012 - 3:13 pm

      I had the exact same thing happen. I’d been in ballet from the time I was 4 until I was 15. My parents decided they’d let me model because it would be good for my self-esteem. They meant well, and never could have expected that their 5’4″ daughter would be called fat for being 106 pounds with “fat” thighs. I was a DANCER, not a STICK. That’s when I started avoiding meat and eating all the high-carb foods “to be healthy” and when the pounds packed on, no matter how much meat and fat I gave up. What I would GIVE to look like that again.

  20. #25 by Michelle Roberts on December 3, 2012 - 3:01 pm

    The fashion industry and clothing stores are crazy. Seventeen magazine has gotten better about putting “curvy” girls in their magazines. The problem is that they only have those curvy girls in one section, a total of one or two pages.

    I have the same problem, Kristen. I weighed 130 lbs before my wedding. Since starting the pill at the start of 2011? I gained 40 lbs. Exercise? Instant weight gain. I eat healthy, but I’m done watching calories and making sure I only eat this, this, this, and this. It’s way too stressful.

    I would say (and I’m trying) to just enjoy my body. I try to do everything in moderation, eating and exercise included. Hubby still loves me, and my curves, so I’ve decided to take my time. And if I never get to my goal weight? Being fit at 170 lbs is better than nothing!

    PS: You’re beautiful! Don’t pay any attention to clothing size. (Although there is a store called Rue 21 that makes pretty good curvy jeans.)

  21. #26 by angelaackerman on December 3, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you! This really needed to be said, and you did so in perfect Kristen fashion! I think you are beautiful and I’ve seen your meals on FB…you eat SO HEALTHY! Your kid wants asparagus and broccoli instead of birthday cake! I think you are a great role model for him and everyone. We need to eat healthy, full stop. It isn’t about weight–it’s about how we feel. :)

  22. #27 by Sophie Dawson on December 3, 2012 - 3:03 pm

    It’s funny how the fashion industry still hangs on to that 60′s idea. Twiggy brought it into popularity 50 years ago. Now we are either too fat or too flat. My motto is based off the old Volvo or SAAB one; form follows function. Fashion follows comfort. If it ain’t comfortable it ain’t a fashion that’s going to be on my body or feet.

  23. #28 by I.J.Vern on December 3, 2012 - 3:06 pm

    Hi Kristen.

    Yes Vogue can go to hell. I agree. I never cared about those things, even in my adolescence.

    However, I lost recently 16 pounds for health reasons, not Vogue :). Easily, no diets, eating everything my body needed (it signals me on what it needs) and what I wanted, over a healthy period of time (3 months). The only trick was that I reduced quantities, of what I eat and what I drink. And increased exercise to consume more, plus the water supply. By water I don’t mean juices, tea, coffee, coke, etc. Plain water, which is also a good solution to the hungry feeling until the stomach gets used (few days) to less quantity.

    No matter how healthy one eats or how much one exercises, if the quantities received are more than needed or just as much as needed, one will never lose weight. Break-even point. :)

    It’s simple really. If one reduces the supply to the body, the body is forced to use its reserves => lose accumulated resources. I’m not saying one should starve, but reduce a little the quantities for each meal. Little by little, so the stomach shrinks and adjusts to the new quantities, not to feel hungry. Whenever I wanted to lose weight in my life, I never used any diet – I applied these rules and lost it easily and healthily. :)

  24. #29 by Alison Pensy on December 3, 2012 - 3:09 pm

    OMG, Thank you , thank you, thank you for this post. I was reading this and thinking “That’s me. Kristen is describing me!” I have battled, like you, with my weight since I was 16. I, too am 170, size 10-12 and very healthy. Unfortunately, to this day I still cannot look in the mirror and like what I see. And, yes, a lot of that lack of self-confidence has to do with constantly being bombarded with skinny models everywhere you look. It got to the point where I no longer even buy women’s jeans. I can never find a pair that will fit my thighs without leaving a gaping space around my waist. In my desperation I tried on a pair of mens jeans. The first pair I tried on fit me perfectly. Go figure!!

    Thank you so much for sharing. I no longer feel alone :-)

  25. #30 by TLJeffcoat on December 3, 2012 - 3:09 pm

    It’s drives me crazy too. I’ve never thought anorexic is pretty. It always makes me want to buy the poor girl hamburgers. Marylin Monroe was beautiful and I every time I see a women who with some meat on her, I do believe she is perfect. Bony is bad, I’ve argued this with friends to the point of inappropriate explanations on why. It really creeps me out when a buddy says some twig is hot. Really? She looks sickly to me.

    • #31 by TLJeffcoat on December 3, 2012 - 3:13 pm

      I should say though I am not calling naturally thin people sickly. My daughter has a very wiry frame, and is very skinny. But she doesn’t look starved and there is meat in her bones.

  26. #32 by K.B. Owen on December 3, 2012 - 3:10 pm

    Oh, Kristen, I’m so sorry you’ve been battling this. The visuals out there are ridiculous, and it’s enough to make female Olympic athletes feel inadequate. Your healthful regimes could rival them, girlie.

    My problem came with menopause. For me, this has added 15 pounds that I can’t get rid of. I was doing okay before that, even after 3 pregnancies. If the weight started creeping up, I’d cut out the snacks and add some more exercise. But now, my metabolism’s all skewy, and nothing works. I hate to try on clothes (not that I ever like clothes shopping) – it’s just depressing.

    Like you, I had all my blood levels tested and I’m healthy (but it was because I turned 50, not because I or my doctor was worried). Cholesterol low, LDLs and HDLs where they are supposed to be, blood pressure low.

    So you know what? I just want to be healthy; I never looked like a Vogue model, so why would I want to make myself miserable trying to do so now? They can suck it.

    Thanks for sharing, Kristen. Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

    • #33 by K.B. Owen on December 3, 2012 - 3:12 pm

      Oops, meant to put the “n” in “regimen” – not a regime, LOL. ;)

    • #35 by Paul Owen on December 4, 2012 - 1:11 am

      Yes, and for the record, Kristen, you are the second most gorgeous person on the internet. (I probably don’t have to tell you that K.B.Owen is Number 1.)
      Guys don’t have quite the same clothes-buying problem, but when I was shopping for jeans recently, I was mystified at how difficult it was to find something that fit comfortably. God bless all women who have to put up with what’s on the market.

  27. #36 by KM Huber on December 3, 2012 - 3:11 pm

    For me, it’s the stomach and always has been. I, too, have food allergies–yeast, dairy, gluten, soy, and sensitivity to starch, sugar–so it seems I would be an easy bean pole but I am far from it and never have been. My top weight was 223 and am now 155 at 5’3″, which is where I stopped losing. Two years ago, I finally began eating to restore whatever optimal health I may have; only recently, have I added in exercise, and I can’t say that it has made any difference in my weight.

    Buying pants has been a lifelong nightmare but Gramicci.com is where I buy my pants about every two years. They last that long–their G series is a classic look–but they can be pricey; however, I check online frequently and have found them in the $30 range before and after the holiday season. Yet, I can’t say these pants make any kind of fashion statement other than comfortable.

    Great post, as always, Kristen.

    Karen

  28. #37 by Leah on December 3, 2012 - 3:11 pm

    Though I’m at the other end of the spectrum than you, I do agree. I’ve been petite my entire life, but not always healthy like I am now. But when people tell me I don’t eat enough, especially since healthy living is my LIFE, it hurts. I’m sure at least some of those models feel the same way. Just like how some women have trouble losing weight, others (like me) break our backs to gain weight. Don’t get me started on that stupid thigh gap every girl seems to pine over. It irritates the hell out of me.
    I have made my peace with my body. It’s a work in progress, and I recognize that. Of course I have my bad days, but they end too. I used to basically obsess about gaining more muscle, but I just got so tired of it all. I stopped caring. I stopped caring about counting calories and other people’s opinions, including those from magazines or articles. And I feel better, freer. The only thing that matters is what I do to reach my goals, finding what works for me. No one else has any say at all. Most of all, I have fun.

  29. #38 by EDW on December 3, 2012 - 3:24 pm

    I’m a white chick, but I recently started reading fashion mags for Black women, and you’re right — if you were African American, you probably wouldn’t be stressing about this stuff at all. Black fashion mags feature women of a variety of shapes and sizes — and the models smile. No bird-cage hats, either.

    So, if you still want to read fashion mags but don’t want to feel suicidal afterwards, try Essence or Ebony.

    In the pictures you posted, you look very pretty. Remember, sizes and weights are just numbers — and pretty arbitrary ways of measuring a human being.

  30. #39 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on December 3, 2012 - 3:26 pm

    I stopped comparing myself to the fashion models long ago. A some point we need to realize that there is so much more to woman’s beauty than her skinny legs :-)

  31. #40 by katmagendie on December 3, 2012 - 3:26 pm

    Lawd, me and my near life-long fear of food, and eating disordered thinking, and body dysmorphia.

    For one – and yeah yeah you will maybe think, I’ve heard it before . . . but from your photos I don’t see you as an overweight woman. I was a personal trainer and women your size who came into the gym where I worked, or became my clients, I did not consider overweight. We’d work to help the woman become healthy, active, and eating healthfully and going for good blood pressure, cholesterol numbers, pulse, etc. – all things you are doing.

    That said, if you do want to lose weight, or be in the best shape of your life – try interval-type training – there are many kinds of “interval training” – some are VERY intense, and some, like the one I do, is intense but not to the point of injury/exhaustion/puking.

    Three times a week I jump on the treadmill and warm up for 10 minutes – then I do a series of “aerobic dance” moves: running, jumping, skipping, hopping, flailing about, for maybe the count of a song or until my heart rate (I wear a monitor – I suggest you get one!) is at a certain point, then I tone it down to a low jog or fast walk until my heart rate comes back down, and then I hit it again, and then slow it down, and then speed up intensity, then slow it down – sometimes I do the intense part longer, and sometimes I keep the shorter – whatever my body is “feeling” that day – I do this for the hour, then cool down for 5-10 minutes, and then I hit the mat work — a fusion of pilates, yoga, and strengthening exercises mostly using my body weight (though I do sometimes use the rubber tubing or dumbbells and I have an exercise ball and a plastic tube thing – these are to keep me from being bored so I can try different exercises.)

    On the other days, I walk – anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes and no resistance training.

    You sound as if you are eating healthfully, so maybe trying some kind of interval training will help you to drive your metabolism upwards – it did work for me – um, maybe too much so that I need to look at food vs calories vs exercise vs my crazy assed obsessssssions.

    Mostly, if you are feeling great, and you certainly look great, then give yourself a break. It’s exhausting, all this worry about our weight.

    And I do agree that all this obsession about “thin” is making us “fatter” — people have lost sight of what is normal healthy eating behaviors. And they are eating “diet foods” that, frankly, suck, and are the worst thing we can do to ourselves.

    This doesn’t address Hollyweird’s thinness or the fashion mags, or department stores, and that may never be addressed in a way that makes everyone happy.

    Dang, this is long, too!

  32. #41 by mrsbongle on December 3, 2012 - 3:28 pm

    I don’t think your problem is your weight; I think you just need to stop listening to the opinion of morons! You are a gorgeous woman! Stand up and be proud of yourself; you deserve it!

  33. #42 by Hildie McQueen on December 3, 2012 - 3:30 pm

    AMEN and PREACH IT Sister!! Let’s take charge of our bodies, it’s about how we feel about ourselves and what matters most, how healthy we are. I feel so bad for those women that are so obsessed with weight they are missing out on so much because they can’t relax between extreme exercising and dieting. Life is too damn short people!! Too damn short!

  34. #43 by tomwisk on December 3, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    The picture with the shotgun is killer. You are only what you believe yourself to be. I learned early my ideal weight. the one on the chart, is a fantasy and unreachable. I fight my weight and sometimes I’m winning.

  35. #44 by Jen Greyson | Author (@JenGreyson) on December 3, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    Above the jeans is just as bad. Everything right now is these huge flowy drapy shirts that–with my curves–make me look like a shapeless blob.

    I’m trying to love my body, but as a former weightlifter (who obsessed over the gym) my post-preggo body is not awesome. BUT, it’s never been awesome. There’s never been a moment when I looked in the mirror and thought, “NAILED IT!” I’ve always wanted to be skinnier, or fitter, or have better arms. Now, I’m trying to find a space where I can be proud of my health, and start loving my body–and watch what I eat, and exercise.

    As for fashion….I’m trying to take a page out of the Oprah book…she always looks stupendous, even though she doesn’t look wafer thin. She dresses to fit her body, and since I have an hourglass shape, I’m trying to do the same. Finding those outfits is impossible these days though. Someone needs to invent a website where you don’t dress to fit a size, you dress to fit a shape.

    and….you look great!!

  36. #45 by Harley Brooks on December 3, 2012 - 3:35 pm

    Thighs on the bottom, boobs on the top, and Age isn’t kind. I’m what I like to refer to as “fully rounded out.” The movie “The Help” gave the 3 best sentences to pass on to little girls. “You’re kind, you’re smart, and you’re important.” Not “you’re beautiful.” I believe half the pictures printed for sale are photoshopped in some way. I also believe this thin generation is going to find themselves with a whole lot of health issues when they get older. They’ll be marketing jeans for joint replacements and instead of curvy, they’ll be bumpy and have to “snap them on” because they won’t be able to bend low enough to pull them up. Thanks for this blog, Kristen. You look fantastic. Keep smiling!

  37. #46 by Jackie Vick on December 3, 2012 - 3:37 pm

    OMG. A size 10-12 and you think you’re fat???? You look amazing and healthy in your pictures, and if you feel good and your blood tests are good, do what I do and ignore “fashion”. As skinny as they are, they still air-brush and digitally slim those girls anyway. And you should check out womanwithin.com. They sell clothes with curves for real women.

  38. #47 by Nana Prah on December 3, 2012 - 3:40 pm

    Great piece. Thank you for writing all of those letters to the clothing companies. Maybe one day the message will be heard. One day moderate sizes will be in and we’ll get to wear all the awesome clothes. When you were writing I thought your size 10-12 was perfect, and then you got to the part saying that if you were an African American you wouldn’t have a problem, and I said ahhh, explains my thinking.

  39. #48 by Piper Bayard on December 3, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    I’ve made peace with my body. I love it totally. It’s gotten me through cancer and any number of other organic physical ordeals, not to mention the abuse I subjected it to myself in my youth. It’s survived my self-hatred phase, my exercise until I drop phase, my give-me-the-cookie-dough-or-die phase, and it’s even given me two children who have complete sets of functioning body parts in spite of the fact that it doesn’t.

    Yes, I’m heavy. I have also struggled with that all my life. But the struggle has changed. In the past it was because I hated my body for not being a size 4. Now, it is because I love my body and I want to make its job easier. I’m hoping it will have the opportunity to keep me functioning in this dimension for at least 25 books, and it’s going to need all the help from me that it can get. :)

    Is the fashion world nuts? Yes. My DD is 5’10″ and a size 8. She is Xena, Warrior Princess in her build and worries that she isn’t like her equally tall, size 2 cousin. Fortunately, she doesn’t worry about it too much.

    You’re gorgeous, Kristen. It’s okay to look like a woman if you’re healthy and feel good.

  40. #49 by MaLinda Johnson on December 3, 2012 - 3:42 pm

    In the interest of being fair to people who cannot gain weight (my hubby is one of them), being underweight can be just as scary and irritating as being overweight. It would be awesome if society focused on health, instead of looks.

  41. #50 by sewforward on December 3, 2012 - 3:43 pm

    I, too, have ‘dropped out’ of the fashion watching/buying world:gone are the fashion magazines, the shopping (like the Gap, Talbots,etc) and even watching TV/movies -much rather read a book. Its too bad, because now in my life (as a size 12) I have the money to BUY clothes, shop, eat out and go to the movies, but why would I? Stores don’t (or usually) carry my size. Fashion magazines are for the uber skinny – not a size 12 and movies & TV are awful – all the women look so drawn and hungry.

    I do, however, read fashion blogs, where REAL women (size 12 and beyond) blog about their fashion style/choices and where to shop for clothes that fit and that are available in size 12!

  42. #51 by sustainabilitea on December 3, 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Companies have been quietly downsizing sizes for years. In college I was probably an 8 and now I’m sometimes a 4. Really? I don’t think so. As for magazines, my husband and I remarked years ago that women featured in “Shape”, supposedly for women who work out, had thin arms and legs…thin, not shapely and muscular.

    I’ve always been slender although at 58, I struggle a bit more with my stomach area. I lift weights and love having muscles that not only look good but are useful!!! Yet when I try to find a pair of jeans made for someone with a waist that goes in, it’s almost an impossible task. Our younger daughter has the same problem. Not everyone wants jeans that barely stay on or that have to be cinched tightly with a belt to stay up. I don’t want them to gap at the back.

    I never look at women’s magazine, even at the doctor’s office or hairdressers. I’d rather read a book and keep my sanity!

    • #52 by Rebecca Enzor on December 3, 2012 - 4:48 pm

      I’m the same – used to be an 8, but now I often find myself having to buy 4s instead, and I’ve only put on weight! And that whole gap at the back of the jeans… guh. I tried jeans shopping yesterday and gave up.

      • #53 by annstanleywriting on December 3, 2012 - 11:32 pm

        I have to agree on the shape of jeans. I’m a pear-shape, and I’m a “normal” weight, but I can’t get most jeans over my legs to find out if they would even fit my waist. If I do go up enough sizes to get them on, there’s an enormous balloon around my center that is big enough to put a couple of basketballs in, or maybe a couple of one-year-olds wrapped horizontally. Who are they shaping these pants for?

  43. #54 by lchardesty on December 3, 2012 - 4:00 pm

    You are a beautiful, healthy woman. Size is only a number.

    I get your point about size and fit, though. Maybe you are shopping in the wrong stores? The absolute best jeans-buying experience I ever had was at The Buckle. And yeah, the jeans there are expensive, but the associate was able to help me find jeans that fit ME and looked good on ME. And honestly, jeans that make me feel good about myself were worth the extra $. As someone said above, confidence is sexy.

    Anyway, (((hugs))). Say the Serenity Prayer and know that your blog readers think you’re the BEST, inside and out.

  44. #55 by Marcie Atkins on December 3, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    This post made my day!!! I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with this! I can’t compare myself to others– too depressing.

    • #56 by Marcie Atkins on December 3, 2012 - 4:03 pm

      Oh, and I also buy clothes from J Jill. They se to fit me better and are comfortable yet still professional looking.

  45. #57 by Kristy Wyatt on December 3, 2012 - 4:03 pm

    You’ve touched on so many issues, I don’t even know where to begin. Other than maybe, BRAVO! I can’t agree more! My 6 yo little girl who is tall and thin (from her daddy’s side, not mine) is worried about being fat and wants to go on diets. It’s ridiculous! As long as you are healthy, living a healthy lifestyle, we should embrace our bodies. Retailers should make clothes that fit women of all sizes, oh and *gasp* have models of all sizes as well. Kudos to you for speaking out! Write on, sistah! xoxo

  46. #58 by Yolanda on December 3, 2012 - 4:07 pm

    Kristen, Thank you for this article. I have been stressing about losing weight for months. As a mixed Black, Native American, Cuban woman, I look at pictures that show us looking like Beyonce or Iman and I end up disgusted with myself.

    Granted I do need to loose about 30-40 lbs for my health; however, I am so glad to know that I’m not the only one fed up with the fashion and television industries portrayal of how we “should” look to be considered beautiful. So yeah, Vogue, In Style and NY & Co can go straight to hell in a hand basket!

  47. #59 by therese on December 3, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    dear kristen,

    this is very thought-provoking. did you know that many critics have claimed that the more women’s paychecks and social positions rise, the higher our social demands for the body perfect. and it doesn’t end with body size – where are the women with gray hair, or faces that differ from the conventional definition of pretty. having spent a lot of my adult life in paris, france and now southern california, i sometimes feel i’m bombarded with these images of artificial, unattainable beauty. for me the answer has always been a trip to a museum or an hour leafing through old art books – proof that beauty standards are indeed transient. after all, renoir, degas and picasso were not known for their emaciated females.

  48. #60 by Janet K. Brown on December 3, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    Seventeen years ago, I lost 95 lbs. I feel ecstatic with my size 14 bod, thank you very much.

  49. #61 by Anna Erishkigal on December 3, 2012 - 4:13 pm

    I stopped reading fashion magazines some time ago (unless it’s a book of fantasy Steampunk or LARP costumes). What matters is that you are healthy and can keep up with your kids. I gained a lot of weight peri-menopause and then once things ‘went away’ started dropping weight (53 pounds) at the rate of around 15 pounds per year (which indicates most of the gain was hormonal). Joining Weight Watchers helped more than the other programs I tried (it’s the only one that lets you eat whatever you want without weird preaching … just support about portion control). But overall, it’s all about feeling good at whatever weight you are at or, if you find yourself out of breath chasing after your kids, eating healthier and moving a bit more so you can keep up. My battle has always been the spare tire around my waist.

    You look fine! Throw all your Vogue magazines in a pile and light them on fire!

  50. #62 by Chad Swayden on December 3, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    I am happily married to a beautiful woman and we have never met but you are beautiful and your husband is a lucky man! Make peace and know that your smile and your humor are very attractive! And your writing too, by the way!

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  51. #63 by lythya on December 3, 2012 - 4:21 pm

    To me this image problem has become so much worse lately. I discovered that I suffer from PCOS so now I’m just super aware of what I eat and I’m constantly thinking of my blood sugar etc. and it’s terrible because my blood test has only recognized irregularities in my hormone levels and not in my insulin levels. But I’m so damn desperate, and this illness keeps redirecting all fat to my stomach, making me look really weird cause I’m thin everywhere else :(

  52. #64 by Marcy Kennedy on December 3, 2012 - 4:25 pm

    I’ve been one of those anorexic girls. I’m not proud of it. I was killing myself (quite literally) to become what I believed was beautiful. Working out 4 hours a day (or more!) and punishing myself by working out more if I ate the tiniest thing that was beyond the calorie limit I’d deemed acceptable. I weighed 100 lbs, and I don’t show those pictures to anyone because it’s frightening to remember how tiny my waist was and how sick I was all the time. My self-esteem was so tied to my weight that I can remember sobbing and asking my mom if she would still be proud of me if I gained weight.

    It took a long time to get healthy again. Now I’m a little heavier than I should be according to my doctor’s BMI scale, but I’m a whole lot happier and healthier. Healthy should be the focus.

  53. #65 by gingercalem on December 3, 2012 - 4:39 pm

    So many women battle the self-image monster and they come in all shapes and sizes. It’s so hard to love our bodies but it’s the most vital ingredient to accepting them. You and I have talked jeans before so I know what you are frustrated with. You KNOW you are healthy and that is the single, best focus. With your health and accepting genetics, you can still do some ‘tweaking’ in terms of body composition … within reason — again genetics plays a role!!

    Let me know if you want to chat about some tips I may have for you. But seriously, you look fabulous, are happy and healthy. Embrace that with all you have.

  54. #66 by Ann Foweraker on December 3, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    After menopause put a pause on my weightloss (as with others above it mucked up my usual method of keeping weight in check) I gained a lot of weight – then my sons and I worked out a basic lean muscle building programme that takes me less than fifteen minutes a day of resistance weights each day and a low ( Not No) carbohydrate way of eating (cutting down on starchy and sugary stuff only). Since Jan 2012 I have now dropped from 12 stone to 9 stone 8 lbs (34lbs down) steadily, sensibly and sustainably – I’ve been blogging about it occasionally on my blog http://annfoweraker.com/category/losing-weight-2/ Now we hope to turn it into a book :)

  55. #67 by MegansBeadedDesigns on December 3, 2012 - 4:53 pm

    Thank you so much for pointing out how silly it is for us to blame Barbie for our insecurities as grown women. I loved playing with Barbies as a kid, and I still collect them as an adult, and have in no way made me compare my own human flesh to their plastic mold. Barbies are so unrealistic it would be like comparing a photograph of a person to a cartoon illustration. It’s not the same thing.

    Fashion magazines, and our ideal celebrity icons on the other hand, have a much greater effect. It scares me now to see young girls prior to their teens striving to look like the celebrity icons they worship from the Disney channel (or wherever). When i was 10, I was playing with barbies, reading books, and fantasizing on the swing set. I wasn’t dieting, coloring my hair, or begging my parents to let me audition for a background role in a random television series.

  56. #68 by char on December 3, 2012 - 5:03 pm

    One of my friends always says she was born in the wrong era. If she’d been born a century ago, she would have been the most coveted body shape around. I pretty much thumb my nose up at the fashion industry and refuse to ‘hero worship’ them. I like REAL. And from what I see and read, you are definitely real…and beautiful.

  57. #69 by Kerry Gans on December 3, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    Yes, our society’s portrayal of “normal” is completely unrealistic. This not only goes for body-image, but goes hand in hand with the guilt you spoke about in your last post. The media makes being super-mom seem easy, and when we suddenly become a mom and find out we can’t do it all, we feel like we’ve failed.

    I do worry about the body images out there. Not for me, but for my 3-year-old daughter. I don’t have fashion mags in the house (I rock jeans and sweatshirts most days), and she doesn’t yet watch TV, but the day will come when she does. I’m hoping by then we will have instilled in her that she should strive to be healthy and not skinny, and that judging people by looks is not a good thing.

    My daughter wears a hearing aid, which is an easy enough disability to hide, but I hope that this (and seeing the other disabled kids in her preschool) has an impact to make her realize that outer image isn’t everything. I was never hung up on fashion as a child or teen (I always marched to my own drummer), so hopefully she will be the same.

    And fashion is not alone in saying they have no responsibility for shaping the way Americans think. The mass media as a whole bemoans the dumbing down of America while they serve us nothing but reality shows, sports, and highly slanted “news” — mostly about celebrities. Fashion and the media will both say, “But this is what the customer WANTS!” No, this is what the customer has come to expect–and sometimes the customer doesn’t know any better. As any parent will tell you, sometimes what someone WANTS is not the best thing for them, and you have to give them what they NEED.

  58. #70 by nancyelauzon on December 3, 2012 - 5:16 pm

    Don’t pay attention to height weight charts, they’re garbage. As a former nurse, I can say that. Concentrate on your health. And weight isn’t the only parameter, you can lose inches, too, by exercising. Also: Not only is the fashion industry not making decent styles for plus-size women, they make shit clothes for anyone over 50. Sorry, don’t want to look like a great-grandmother. Can I please have something stylish that doesn’t make me look like teenager?

  59. #71 by Juliette on December 3, 2012 - 5:25 pm

    My 13 year old and I are both 5’4″. She wears a size 3-5. Her jeans are super tiny and she looks like one of the models pictured. She is the perfect weight for her height and very athletic. If I ever got enough weight off to wear a size 3-5 (I’m 53) I’d look dead. Honestly, with my hour glass figure a size 10 is perfect (and looks skinny). Great blog post! Every woman I know should read this.

  60. #72 by Juliette on December 3, 2012 - 5:27 pm

    Kristen – you look GREAT!

  61. #73 by Jessica Vealitzek on December 3, 2012 - 5:29 pm

    I remember standing in front of the mirror when I was twelve and marveling at the new curves that had developed below my hips. I was so proud–they looked womanly. I didn’t yet know that they were called “saddlebags” or that I would spend too many years trying to get rid of them. I can’t tell you enough how much I want to prevent my 2-year-old daughter from the same fate, how much I want her to dictate her own idea of beauty.

  62. #74 by emmaburcart on December 3, 2012 - 5:34 pm

    You are so right on with this post! I think it is an epidemic and I sometimes wonder what is wrong with Hollywood. I was watching Hawaii 5-O the other day, where the men are ripped and muscular and the women are disgustingly skinny. I actually thought, I don’t want to see someone that thin in a swim suit. It just makes me feel sad. I think you hit on something big with culture, too. I call it the White GIrl Disease because it seems like in main stream white culture everybody is supposed to be thin. I consider myself lucky that although I am white, the father who raised me is black and the majority of my family is therefore black. I have always been considered thick and it has always been a good thing. I am a size 10-12, depending on where I shop, and I feel like I get compliments all the time about having a nice shape. Rather than saying “Men like women with meat” I think we just need to change what we see as attractive. Healthy is beautiful. Yes, there is a range within healthy and people have preferences about what they find attractive. I just consider curves to be attractive. I would hate to lose my thighs or my booty. I exercise because I know it is a part of being healthy and I like feeling strong and muscular. I don’t weigh myself and I don’t care how much I weigh. And, I honestly don’t care what size my clothes are. I’ve never shopped at a plus-size store and I shop to fit my biggest part (my butt) and then I get everything else taken in. There are places to shop for all of our bodt types, we just have to find them. Check out CJ by Cookie Johnson jeans. I love them! Thanks for bringing up this important topic! We do owe it the girls of the future to start an epidemic of self love rather than self hate.

  63. #75 by kddidit on December 3, 2012 - 5:35 pm

    Definitely, you’ve made excellent points—loved the tap on Barbie! I never thought Barbie was my ideal??! And since when was “0″ a size?

  64. #76 by elizaknight on December 3, 2012 - 5:42 pm

    THANK YOU! I completely agree, it is sad and disheartening! I’ve always struggled too. I work out like a maniac, am a vegan, recently going mostly gluten-free and yet… I’m not skinny at all. Actually considered obese on that odd weight chart docs tote around. When I was my ideal weigh in college–people thought I was anorexic! After three kiddies, I gained about 40 pounds as well. Totally normal. I think we are the “normal”. Most women I know have thighs. It’s hard to accept that this is the way our bodies should be, but there has to be something said for those of us who work our a**es off — and they aren’t coming off! — perhaps that is because our bodies want us the way we are? *shrugs* I don’t know. What I do know is that my three young daughters are already obsessed with body image, a perpetual flaw in our society. Thanks for the amazing post!

  65. #77 by theiamprogram on December 3, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    i made peace with my thighs by standing in front of the mirror and looking at them and FEELING all the feelings of disgust and disappointment… my mum had lots of cellulite and I had inherited the propensity for it whether emotional or genetic…doesn’t really matter… I used EFT to tap on acupressure points and repeat ‘even though I HATE my thighs I love and accept myself completely…. i was very focused and through doing these techniques made emotional peace with the thighs …followed by a strange physical phenomena… :-) I somehow took up martial arts which I had NEVER even considered before and my body looks so MUCH BETTER anyway I recommend EFT and feeling the feelings!

  66. #78 by 90 days to evolution on December 3, 2012 - 6:19 pm

    Wow, thanks for this post! I spent years worrying about my “prominent backside”, but I hardly ever look at it now (as it’s behind me and I’m tired of craning my neck). I sometimes forget that it’s there, even. I am 5’2″ and usually weigh between 125-130. That’s probably my normal weight. I do try to eat very healthy, but now it’s more for my health and dewy complexion. :D

    I think women should stand up for their health as the NUMBER ONE priority. Nowadays, I don’t hate on naturally skinny women, which no doubt some of those models are. I live in Holland, and narrow, slender-thighed gals are a dime a dozen. I watch them scarf “broodjes kaas” (cheese sandwiches) during lunchtime on a daily basis.

    That being said, I have a sneaking suspicion that many of these poor models are eating kleenex for lunch….super sad.

    The beauty of it all is that variety is the spice of life, and some of us ARE curvey, and I mean curvy! You go with your curvy thighs!!!! You are beautiful. :)

  67. #79 by April L. Hamilton on December 3, 2012 - 6:24 pm

    I switched to buying my jeans in the Young Men’s department years ago, and it’s made all the difference. I get Levi’s 569s, and even though they’re supposedly designed for young men, they fit my ‘womanly’ hips and thighs like no jean made for women ever has. I’m hourglassy, and women’s jeans that are narrow enough at the waist would never fit over my hips, but those that fit over my hips always leave a huge gaping waistband. I think the 569s work because the zippers are longer on men’s jeans, so it’s possible to get something that’s narrow enough at the waist but still opens wide enough to pull up over your hips and thighs. 569s are available in different colors and washes, and are pretty affordable, too (you can find them at Kohls and JC Penny, for example). Give ‘em a try.

  68. #80 by Jae on December 3, 2012 - 6:42 pm

    Too thin is gross, and they have the body of a 12-yr-old boy usually, unless they’ve had surgery to put on there what a sandwich might if they’d eat it. Ignore Hollywood and Vogue. They’re likely all miserable people who wish they could have a cupcake. I’d rather keep my cupcakes, cookies, and pies, and not be Hollywood ideal than starve and hate myself for my image all the time. Nothing wrong with a little curves.

  69. #81 by Jess Witkins on December 3, 2012 - 6:55 pm

    I’m with ya Kristen! Love this post and I love watching TLC’s What Not To Wear because they show all kinds of body types and how to feel good in each of them.

    In college I once wrote a spoken word about not being defined by my make up. I performed it on stage and got so many cheers from the audience it was amazing. If you want some amazing inspiration read Ntozake Shange. She is THE bomb.

  70. #82 by bcrcrider on December 3, 2012 - 7:12 pm

    Kristin, yes, thank you, and yes. I’m finding my size being an issue for an entirely different reason than self-esteem (Not to knock struggling with it for this reason At All – we’ve all been socialized with mixed messages) – I’m 170lbs (which is yes, 20-40 lbs overweight), a size 10-12, and going through breast cancer treatment. Here’s my problem: my girls are half what they were when I started this, and though they’re reasonably symmetrical now, they fit my body less than they ever did before, and if I should manage to lose the “overweight” I’m carrying, they’ll disappear entirely, hence my consideration of reconstruction – but of what kind and how much? Do I ever think I’ll lose the weight? Do I size them for now, or for if I lose the weight? If I size them for my thinner self, will they be too much to live with now (or forever if I never manage to lose the weight)? I know, not quite on point, but it still starts with what size I am vs. what size do I want/need to be, and being comfortable (or not) in my skin.

  71. #83 by Vila on December 3, 2012 - 7:47 pm

    I’m 49, and I have about 30 pounds to drop in order to be healthy. I’ve been quite lazy and have not been exercising or eating as healthy as I should. My concerns at this point in my life are not the size of my clothes, but rather, how high is my blood pressure? What is my cholesterol count? What are my insulin levels, am I going over the edge of diabetic? As little as 3 years ago I was running/hiking with my dog 5 times a week and eating much healthier foods. I was only about 15 pounds lighter than I am now, but I felt FABULOUS, and my blood tests had good numbers. So my goal is to get moving again, and focus on healthy food. As far as buying jeans, I buy men’s jeans. My waist is proportionately bigger than my hips so men’s pants just fit better. I haven’t bought women’s style jeans or slacks for many years. You look great Kristin, and the ladies here have posted some good tips on finding places to buy clothes that fit healthy women.

  72. #84 by stephwest on December 3, 2012 - 8:10 pm

    You’re beautiful! And you make an interesting point about the impossibly thin ideal causing a rebound of people that are larger than ever. Although men are fatter too and for the most point I don’t think they’re influenced by Vogue. :)
    It would be nice to see clothes modeled on normal looking women so you could get an idea of how it might actually look in real life.

    • #85 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 3, 2012 - 8:20 pm

      Actually there is a skyrocketing of male anorexia due to the impossible standards set by much of the male fashion *cough* Abercrombie & Fitch. Yes, it would be great to see what clothes look like on normal people. How can I know if I want a skirt when it is modeled on a 6’2″ woman who is 105 pounds?

      • #86 by stephwest on December 4, 2012 - 8:37 am

        Exactly. I’ve been looking for wedding dresses and I have to search the web to see if I can find a photo of an actual woman wearing a style I like to see if it will be flattering. I think the regular women look beautiful in their wedding dresses and don’t see why it would be so bad for business to show reality.

  73. #87 by Susette on December 3, 2012 - 8:17 pm

    I’m telling ya, once that mommy gene is tripped we are never the same. But learning to love who we are and who we are becoming is worth it. I think you’re beautiful, darlin’!

    Cheers, Susette

  74. #88 by dlb on December 3, 2012 - 8:41 pm

    This hit home for me; I’m dealing with a bout of self-pity over being single and “fat” and seeing the person I like flirt with skinny little athletes and virtually ignore me, somewhat overweight but feeling better about myself than ever before. I’m a 14-16 at just under 190lbs and 5’7″. I have huge curves (and thighs!) and a classic hourglass figure. My hair and skin look awesome; I’m in better shape now than at any other point in my life. So why does every guy want someone else? I hate feeling like I should be ashamed of my body because I’m not a tiny athlete who lives at the gym. I exercise by taking martial arts and fencing and dance, not by pounding a treadmill and lifting weights. The guys who’ve shown the most interest over the years are the kind who think they can take advantage of “fat” girls.

    I’ve shopped the “fat” stores most of my adult life, and even those clothes don’t fit well because my curves are so much bigger than the industry norms. Empire waists hit me halfway down the chest. Designers assume that no one has a 10″ difference between waist and hips, so tops and dresses are always baggy and make me look heavier than I am. I have to wear a bra three band sizes too large in order to get a cup that fits right. I feel like a freak already, and then prospective mates pass me over because I’m “fat.”

    All jeans are “skinny” on me because my thighs are enormous. As I build muscle and lose fat on my legs, my thighs remain bulky, just toned. My arms have almost no fat on them, but they are large from the muscle. At rest, my arms look “fat.” When I wear Spanx to smooth the lumps, my extra-long torso makes the elastic bunch and actually emphasizes the rolls. Ergo, I am still “fat.”

    Were I not Caucasian, I would probably have guys lined up around the block. After all, isn’t the grass always greener somewhere else?

    Ok, I’m going to stop ranting and feeling sorry for myself. I live at the intersection of Awesome and Bombdiggity, and I am beautiful. Eff what the Man says.

    • #89 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 3, 2012 - 9:01 pm

      I totally feel your pain. By the time I find pants that go over my thighs, the waist is HUGE. And then all the plus size stuff comes in animal prints and big stripes. WHO DESIGNS THIS STUFF? I do know that men actually do like women with meat on their bones. I wish I could help more than this, but I am struggling, too. It is hard to remain positive in a world that values unreasonable Photoshopped images.

  75. #90 by Grass Oil by Molly Field on December 3, 2012 - 8:55 pm

    Brava, Bella!

  76. #91 by Honey A Hutson on December 3, 2012 - 9:05 pm

    You are exactly right. They have contributed greatly to two issues. The women who starve to meet the “ideal” and end up with eating disorders, etc. and on the other end they have contributed to the overweight issue as well. For women who can never meet the thin ideal after a while you start to realize you’ll never be that and therefore what does it matter? If I can’t be that then why try at all? The self esteem slips, the drive to take care of yourself and all of these things cascade to worse things in many cases.
    We all need to take ourselves as we are. Most of us do not have the metabolism to be anything but what we are whether that is skinny or curvy or whatever. That is beyond our control – in the genes. We need to be happy with healthy and mentally stable.

  77. #92 by timkeen40 on December 3, 2012 - 9:11 pm

    My wife and I talk about ths all the time. I feel something for the actors and models, especially the women of these professions. All of us in the normal world, the one where our livelihoods do not depend on how we look, cannot understand how women and men would undergo surgeries to improve their bodies. But more and more in the world of Hollywood, you can’t be a pretty woman unless you are rail thin. You can’t possibly be a model or an actress unless you have breasts the size of cannon balls (enter the implant). Men can’t possibly act any more if they have wrinkles (enter the nip-tuck). In their world, all the procedures somehow can make sense. In their world, the only way to stay viable – and employed – is to have thesse procedures.

    But in the real world, it does not mean that Barbara who works behind the counter at the grocery store is not a very attractive women just because she has had two kids and there is a little more to her thighs than there used to be. It doesn’t mean that Bob is no longer someone to look at just because his belly is a little further over his waistline that it used to be.

    And it shouldn’t mean that either of the last two examples have anything to do with the kind of people Babs and Bob are.

    Still, all you see on television are beaches full of models.

    I think anyone who has ever been to a beach knows that it is not true.

    Tim

  78. #93 by MonaKarel on December 3, 2012 - 9:21 pm

    OBESITY?????????? At size TWELVE? Darling, you need a new doctor or two or three. Dear heaven what is WRONG with people? You’re not old enough to personally remember Twiggy, but in my opinion she was the beginning of the end. Poor girl looked like a concentration camp survivor. Sure the clothes hang well on her but how in the world can anyone else wear them?
    I dropped fifty pounds. I’m still very large. But I’m not as large and I’m far healthier than I was. I’ve always been hard to fit since my butt is smaller compared to my waist. And I’ve decided I really don’t care any more about “their” opinion. Just mine. Wow, what a weight off.

  79. #94 by renée a. schuls-jacobson on December 3, 2012 - 9:45 pm

    Girl, your badonkadonk is redinkadonk. Seriously. This is a thing that happens when you turn 40. You start to see new signs of aging. The neck. The grey hairs. The lines around your eyes and mouth; they get deeper. You learn to make some peace with your flaws. I don’t know how it happens. Maybe it happens as you start to see people around you pass away. I can’t tell you why it happens, but it does. Remember, Lamb, I’ve got some years on your in this department.

    You are beautiful. Your beauty is so obvious, it can be experiences over the phone, in vlogs and — I know from other people — in real life. You inspire people. You have star quality. You really do. And you have smarts. And, as you pointed out, you just so happen to have a tush. Okay. Remember that gratitude post you wrote a while back? You are alive. You have a healthy child. You have a great husband. You have a fabulous writing voice and a popular blog. You write like nobody’s business. And you have a big tush. Just a little more cushion for the pushin’.

    You might not like it now, but I’m guessing you will hate it less when you are 45. That will be my wish for you. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself. Seriously.

  80. #95 by Jennifer Dawn on December 3, 2012 - 10:01 pm

    Without a doubt the fashion industry is out of control. I’m 5’7″ and would love to weigh in at 145, but my body loves it at 152. There was a time in my life when I dropped down to 135 and people said I looked anorexic and they were right. I didn’t like how it felt to be so super skinny. I couldn’t sleep on my side at night without my knees rubbing together bone on bone! I’m certainly not advocating being obese, but rather choosing a healthy lifestyle and taking care of the beautiful bodies that we have. Starving myself or working out obsessively is just as bad as eating Little Debbie nutty bars for dinner and calling a trip to the freezer for more Ben N Jerry’s a form of cardio. I have a 13 year old daughter and her friends already diet and call themselves fat when they are all stick thin and practically disappear when they turn sideways.

    I’m with you. Vogue can go to hell and we all need to make peace with our thighs. It’s time to take a stand and not support these stores that promote these ridiculously thin models. I have a ton of female friends and not one of them looks anything like these micro models – they are ALL much more beautiful.

  81. #96 by Laura Ritchie on December 3, 2012 - 10:56 pm

    You’re right. The whole thing is so screwed up. When I was just a girl, my stepmother turned to me one day, and said, “You may be only 9 years old, but you have the @$$ of a 30 year old!” I don’t think I ever looked in a full length mirror the same again. It’s funny (and by ‘funny’ I mean awful) that one careless statement can forever alter how we see ourselves.

    I agree that changing where we shop is a great idea. And we can also take the issue on at home by watching what we say around our children… about ourselves, and about others. Like any prejudice, teaching good attitudes to the next generation is always worthwhile.

    And, Kristen, it sounds like you have the answers you need, if you will just accept them. You are loved, admired, and successful in what you do. Such a beautiful and blessed lady. Don’t let the world and its opinions get you down! ~WANA hugs~

  82. #97 by Laurie on December 3, 2012 - 11:44 pm

    By the time I find pants that go over my thighs, the waist is HUGE. And then all the plus size stuff comes in animal prints and big stripes. WHO DESIGNS THIS STUFF?

    ****OMG yes!! I have to shop in plus sized stores (I hate that term). I have hips and boobs. Tops are too tight, but if I go up one size, they’re hugely baggy on me. And WTH is with all the sparkles and leopard prints in plus sized stuff. I can NOT find plain, solid-colored shirts for the LIFE of me. I swear, I give up.

  83. #98 by annstanleywriting on December 4, 2012 - 12:03 am

    You look so pretty in the photos, it is difficult to imagine that you worry so much about your body-image. Perhaps as you get older, you will become more concerned about the health side of the equation and less about the weight issue. I sure have. I won’t say that I never think about my weight, because I do, but I worry much more about staying healthy so that I feel good and can be active and do the things I love – bicycle, dance, ski – for many years into the future. Obviously, you agree, because you’re choosing to eat well and exercise mindfully. It seems to me that should be everyone’s goal. Changing where we shop and reviving the body acceptance movement from the 90s are great ways to start influencing the media..

  84. #99 by creativityorcrazy on December 4, 2012 - 12:13 am

    I’ve gotten comfortable in my own skin and work to teach my daughter the goal is healthy, not skinny. I am disappointed by the industry. I’m not big on modeling stuff, but caught several episodes of the modeling reality tv show since my mom does those shows. I am shocked at the size the modeling industry considers to be plus sized. No wonder so many women have body issues.

  85. #100 by sao on December 4, 2012 - 12:22 am

    I like the Eddie Bauer definitions. It beats the hell out of LL Bean’s “Classic,” “Original,” and “Favorite” fits. Or Land’s End’s Fit 1, 2 and 3. The first time I tried on the jeans, I knew exactly which fit to pick for myself and which to pick for my daughter. It’s a function of waist-hip ratio. People who carry their weight on their waist have a very small to no difference between their waist and hip measurement. People who carry their weight on their hips can have a large differential. “Curvy” isn’t needed as a description of larger sizes. Numbers do this, much more accurately than deciding if size 12 is curvy or regular.

    My fashion peeve is trends. I don’t want to wear something unflattering, no matter how “in” it is. Glasses have been a particular problem. I wear them every day and they are my most visible attire. Small, rectangular glasses make me look like I have small eyes in a rectangular face. At the height of the trend, it was just about impossible to find anything that looked remotely flattering on me.

  86. #101 by amandalewisab on December 4, 2012 - 3:46 am

    I was surprised that during all of this Kristen, that you never mentioned your husbad’s opinion of you; no doubt he thinks you’re beautiful. And guess what? When you’ve done all you can (eat healthy, exercize, etc) and find that even your doctor says you’re healthy well then it’s time to take a step back and say, “My husband thinks I’m beautiful, and I think I’m beautiful, then that’s all that matters.” Screw everybody else. Yes, even you’re nevative family members, or whoever else! Also I feel the need to add that the fashion industry has been slowly changing those little tags inside our clothes. Sneaky huh? Want proof? Go to a vintage shop. Try on some of the clothes that were MADE in the ’50′s and you will swim in a 10-12. So you see Kristen? You are healthy! You are beautiful! And as anyone who knows you (or feels they do from “following” you) you ARE amazing! Btw. One last little thing if that size tag in your clothes bothers you that much… Cut that ***ch out! Lol

  87. #102 by belinda on December 4, 2012 - 4:03 am

    We’re told to check our weight and obsess about what is on the scale when the worry over the weight causes us to gain weight. Do what you need to do to be healthy and stay healthy and enjoy your life, be happy with yourself, and love yourself. You’re luckier than most of us out there. You are beautiful and don’t allow yourself or others to tell you any different.

  88. #103 by Sara-Jayne on December 4, 2012 - 4:06 am

    I’m a size 10/12 and about 145-150lbs (I fluctuate quite a lot over the course of a week if I stop exercising and such), but I think there’s a lot to do with body shape. If you look at all the TV shows, all you’ll see are women who are ‘athletic’, but straight-up-straight-down. But then along come ‘normal’ women such as Lucy Lawless and Sara Rameirez, and suddenly I can breathe a sigh of relief again…but WHY the heck should I have to!?

    I’m out of the house a lot, but I try to ensure that I eat my ‘main meal’ (usually something I’ve pre-prepared or a ‘be good to yourself’ ready meal) at lunchtime, with dinner usually being a protein shake and a couple of pieces of fruit. It actually fills me up pretty well, and it means when I’m at theatre rehearsals until 10pm, I’m not eating too late in the evening.

    Days off kill me though. I really need to learn how to stop boredom eating…or shopping whilst I’m hungry. :( Yes, I do want to look another half a stone or so, but that’s because I want to lean up (I’ve just started working out properly), rather than ‘get skinny’. I know i already have fairly wide hips and shoulders, but i’d like more definition around my abs and arms. So i see weight as a sort of by-product of my getting healthier, not necessarily my wanting to simply ‘get skinnier’.

    I have to confess that I haven’t read this blog before, but I think I shall have to start doing so. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post!

  89. #104 by Jayne on December 4, 2012 - 4:16 am

    nothing wrong in size 10-12 or whatever if your comfortable and healthy. I was size 24 at the beginning of the year. Ive lost 4 stone nearly so now a 20 hopefully going on 18 16…. Slimmers World. And Hubby has lost 8 stone. All those allergies though must make it really hard, feel for you.

  90. #105 by Rae Summers on December 4, 2012 - 4:19 am

    I definitely vote for yoga clothes! I haven’t bought new jeans in years for the same reason – I have the grand choice between clothes I couldn’t hope to crowbar myself into and the maternity section. And I’m just a normal 40-year old woman with a normal body shape.

    By the way, Kristen, I echo that phlebotomist (going to have to look up what that is now): Girl, you look fantastic!

  91. #106 by Wayne Borean on December 4, 2012 - 6:42 am

    A couple of points:

    1) You look fantastic. Seriously.

    2) Watch Canadian or British TV and you’ll see people who LOOK NORMAL.

    Be yourself.

    Wayne

  92. #107 by Mahogany on December 4, 2012 - 8:02 am

    You look fabulous girl…love this post…fashion is, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder….that’s what I’ve always believed….

  93. #108 by jadwriter on December 4, 2012 - 9:01 am

    I think that magazines showing skinny models are mainly to blame, esp when they rejig the pictures to make them look super slim and shiny. I happen to think that 10-12 is a good size to be. It is normal. You look healthy to me. I am 12-14 and am happy with my weight now. I wasn’t at the start of this year as my BMI was higher than it should’ve been and now it isn’t having lost half a stone. You have to just keep telling yourself that you are a normal size and those catologue models aren’t.

  94. #109 by The Hook on December 4, 2012 - 9:32 am

    I’ll never argue with a woman holding a bow…
    Seriously, you look GREAT, Kristen. Just relax and keep writing!

  95. #110 by Addison James on December 4, 2012 - 10:00 am

    Amen!

    I have the same body type and have thought all these things myself. I think those BMI charts totally forget that some women have muscle and we weigh more. And can we just focus on healthy?

    I had to start using a personal shopper at Macys years ago simply because I couldn’t find pants that fit . And I’ve come to terms with the fact that for pants to fit my thighs, I’ll need to get the waist altered.

    And I stopped buying or even looking at fashion magazines. I saw a blog post once of a woman who just had a baby who said we should celebrate our mommy bodies! We brought life into this world and we have the bodies to prove it. Fashion industry is created by men who don’t want to take the time and effort to create clothes for real women. Their loss. They could be making millions of dollars on us, particularly us pear shaped women. Just focus on healthy and ignore those numbers on the scales.

  96. #111 by shejustaintright on December 4, 2012 - 10:08 am

    You look great. Size is all relative. I recently lost 90 pounds in preparation for some upcoming surgery. I now wear a size 14. I weigh 196 pounds. Yeah, and I’m also six feet tall. I feel like I’m too thin, and I’m not even down to the BMI I “should” be at (184). Surgeon says – lose 10 more pounds. But I don’t want to! It’s all a crock of … you know… as far as I’m concerned. I work out and I eat mindfully. My trainer is “obese” according to BMI charts, and she’s built like a brick s**thouse. Let’s all be happy and feel beautiful, shall we? I see pictures of myself 90 pounds ago, and you know what? I looked happy, because I was. I still am. But now I’m happy with blood pressure and cholesterol levels within normal parameters. I’m curvy. That’s who I am, that’s my body type.

  97. #112 by Inion N. Mathair on December 4, 2012 - 11:18 am

    Thanx so much for having the balls to post this, Kristen. I’m southern and it seems that we embrace curves much easier below the Mason Dixon line, but there’s still work to be done. I’ve just recently lost over a hundred pounds and I’m learning how to eat to mantain my weight, which is frightening. I’ve only known how to eat to gain or starve to lose, so it’s a struggle to find that comfort zone. I’ve been overweight most of my life. (I topped at my biggest 235.) And, the constant fight to be accepted led to a lot of self-destructive behavior. I think we, as a society, need to promote health and happiness, not this insecure, self-loathing that women have seemed to adopt from the media and Hollywood. Obesity is at an all time high, as is eating disorders and bullying. It looks to me like insecurity is running rampant in our world and we need to put a stop to it now. If we were to follow your example and just be comfortable with ourselves and stop buying the magazines and feeding the monster, maybe that would incite some change. Or, maybe we’re too far gone… I hope that’s not the case.

  98. #113 by Natalie Ramm on December 4, 2012 - 3:29 pm

    Not sure if some one has already mentioned this, but Levi’s has a “bold curve” jean that is perfect for women with curvy butts and thighs (I actually think all the models who wear these on their site are African American). These were the first jeans I’ve ever bought that actually fit me!!

    • #114 by alism8 on December 10, 2012 - 11:31 am

      I’ve got those,and they’re great. I hadn’t bought jeans for a while because of problems finding the right size and fit. (I’m under 135 lbs and approx. 5′ 2″).When i jumped into those Levi’s at the store, I thought I heard angels singing! But where I live ( Caribbean), that’s actually just the start of the curves for lots of women. It’s the curviest curve Levi’s has to offer, so it’s still inadequate for many. Although curves are better appreciated her, finding good quality clothes in larger sizes is still a problem. The clothing sold in stores here usually originate in the USA, i.e. made for stick people who love to show off their bones. Personally, I find a better fit with UK made clothing.

  99. #115 by timamarialacoba on December 4, 2012 - 4:56 pm

    Kristen, you’re so right! We’re no longer allowed to look like women! I’ve now reached the stage where I’m comfortable with my body – my blood pressure and cholesterol’s good and I’m healthy even though I’ll never be a size 10 (here in Australia that’s equivalent to US size 12). I’m a history teacher and I tell my female students to just look at the paintings of women over the centuries to see what real women are supposed to like like, not at the twisted images of today.
    I’m happy to say my body would be loved by Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian and the great sculpters of ancient Greece and Rome. And I say, Amen to that!

  100. #116 by Russell on December 4, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    I think Popeye and Brutus were the only two males in love with a stick girl. What they saw attractive about Olive Oyl (to quote Robin Williams, “sounds like some kind of lubricant”) is beyond me. Not only is she built like a 2 x 4 turned on edge, her voice is terribly annoying.

    I can understand the clothing frustration though. My wife has the same complaint–once again you can proudly say, “We Are Not Alone.”

  101. #117 by Kim Griffin on December 4, 2012 - 7:52 pm

    The country IS out of control ~ I mean, just look at all the Biggest Loser shows out there. Thin is in and so are skinny jeans and low rise (both ridiculous). It’s madness.

    The problem is that the food industry keeps changing what people “should” be eating and the fashion industry tells women what they “should” look like.

    Lots of shoulds, and shoulds blow..

    Women need to make sure they’re healthy, bottom line ~ no matter what size they are. …Eat what the body needs, exercise, etc.. When we take care of that and buy the clothes that actually fit and are nice looking, others in the industry will have to adapt because we’ll be hitting them where it hurts ~ their bottom line.

  102. #118 by jmmcdowell on December 4, 2012 - 8:10 pm

    The models who are currently held up as the “ideal” form of womanly beauty are also meant to be sexually appealing to men. And yet what do the models look like? Prepubescent 10-year-old boys. That’s what men should find sexually desirable?

    We are women, not young boys. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and that’s the way our bodies are meant to be. But until we all say NO to those artificial standards and back it up by withholding our money, the fashion industry won’t care or listen.

  103. #119 by Diana Beebe on December 4, 2012 - 9:00 pm

    Yay, you! I’ve always had legs, even when I was a skinny high schooler. I couldn’t wear the cute jeans back then that were considered skinny jeans because my calves aren’t skinny. I was thin everywhere else.

    I did recently lose about 70 pounds. I went from 18 to 8 in about a year. I felt great! Now I’m floating around 12, and I feel more like I did when I was an 18 and miserable. That’s my own perception of myself though. I don’t compare myself to the fashion magazines where the girls are airbrushed.

    I know what I have to do to take care of my body, so I’m not worried. It sounds like you are figuring out what’s going on with your own body, and I’m thrilled for you!

  104. #120 by theliteratecondition on December 5, 2012 - 12:03 am

    My thought was along the lines of: Vogue should kiss your a**… No, they should kiss your thighs – your beautiful, strong, womanly thighs! Thighs that have held you up, carried you through fields, plains, up mountains, down roads, thighs that have doubled as horsie for the little one, table, and what-not-all-else, thighs that have looked good, felt good, done good hard work your whole life. (And I’ll remind myself the same.)

  105. #121 by bakingnotwriting on December 5, 2012 - 3:58 am

    Hi Kristen! Watch the Mindy Project on Fox. It’s super funny — but even better, Mindy Kaling is a NORMAL-looking girl and she gets the guy and is awesome and cool and wears cute clothes. I believe she is the ONLY normal looking girl on TV. It makes me happy to see her. And she’s the writer too. Which is awesome.

  106. #122 by Jane Sadek on December 5, 2012 - 9:35 am

    Kudos – you rant for all us normal women!!

  107. #123 by Samuel on December 5, 2012 - 11:19 am

    Why would a gorgeous woman like you be whining. You’re beautiful.

    • #124 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 5, 2012 - 11:34 am

      Awww, thanks :D *hugs*. I probably wouldn’t whine if it wasn’t a nightmare to buy clothes. It isn’t just the magazines that have gone crazy. Most pants I can’t get past my knees and by the time they fit over my legs the waist is MASSIVE. Just would like a little bit of sanity!

  108. #125 by Aello on December 5, 2012 - 3:28 pm

    The thing about clothes shopping is that very few things off the rack are going to fit any one person –no matter what the size– perfectly. They’re all manufactured standards. No one’s body is a manufactured standard. And it takes far too long and can actually be even more expensive if you don’t want to use Walmart fabrics to make your own clothing.

    It seems like the only way for anyone to find clothing that fits anymore would be to take it to a tailor or learn to do the alterations on their own.

    The fact about Vogue is that its not saying that women have to be unhealthy to be attractive to anyone. Models are professional hangers (but still talented, and hardworking women). It’s their job to make the clothes look their best while catching the reader’s eye . Men do not buy Vogue, ladies. Only other women read Vogue. The magazine exists to sell clothing, not manufacture unrealistic body images in the mind of society. Society does that to themselves. At the most, Vogue is saying “You must be a size 0 to be a super model.” But anyone can still be a model if they’re not size 0, or if they have tattoos or shave their head. They can be a fit model for a department store or a website, where they would have to maintain a certain size that may very well be a 10-12.

    But they would still be a professional hanger and not an example to the women of America what a healthy body weight looks like. Sure, Victoria’s Secret Angels are beautiful women. But they valued for their ability to look great in underwear. If that’s what someone wants out of life, then by all means they can be seen as an example. But I know alot more women who are more interested in gaining respect for their careers or who want a big family– and if that’s the case then who cares how you look in underwear? You have no business worrying about anything but your health.

    If someone enjoys looking at clothing ads or possibly likes the articles, then they should buy Vogue. If they want an example to look up to, then they should probably start by looking towards their parents, friends, or peers. Not models. Models sell clothing. They do not advertise unrealistic lifestyles or weight goals.

    • #126 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 5, 2012 - 4:32 pm

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Actually I have a lot less problem with Vogue than I do the other retailers I mentioned. Eddie Bauer is NOT high fashion, and their target market is ME. Over 30 women. NOT teeny boppers. There is no reason that every model needs to be an emaciated stick. And I will also say that EB’s “curvy” jeans only fit an emaciated stick. I know. I’ve tried them on.

      In my opinion, there is more than one size of “hangar.” I don’t use a tie hangar to hang up my heavy wool coat. What they are saying is that the only beautiful women are stick figures, and that isn’t right. If they were only using one race of women, they would be in court right now. And they have the right to use string beans for models and I have the right not to give them a dime of my money *shrugs*.

      Art dictates the future of a society and what it values. It was writers, artists, songwriters, poets, fashion designers and photographers who changed America to embracing other races and other faces. The fashion industry has had a LONG history of spearheading social change in favor of women (I.e. the “Flapper” era). They should remember to use their considerable power for good and not evil, and what they are doing is evil. When we have thousands of elementary school girls in therapy for eating disorders, there is a HUGE problem in the industry and in this country. They might as well advocate “feet binding.”

      • #127 by annerallen on December 5, 2012 - 5:02 pm

        It is “foot binding”, Kristen! Starving people cripples them mentally and physically. I’m so glad to see the huge number of responses, and I hope this goes totally viral. Somebody like me who’s too old and fat to matter can’t say these things, but you can.

        And nobody’s talking about the medical industry’s hand in this. A few years ago, they lowered the “normal” weights for women, and suddenly perfectly healthy women were told they were “overweight’ or “obese”–and we had an “obesity epidemic.”.(Weight loss surgery is the most lucrative medical procedure, and the most lethal.)

        It would be different if they had a “cure” to offer, but they don’t. After you give up junk food and get moving, you’re still not going to look like a boy. Dieting has a 95% failure rate. Most people weigh MORE 3 years after dieting–and they’ve lost muscle and gained fat. Let healthy women look like healthy women and the “obesity epidemic” will disappear in adult women..

        I’m not addressing the problem in children, which is different.

        • #128 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 5, 2012 - 5:23 pm

          Especially since there is no consideration for different body types. I once had pneumonia and was down to 107 pounds. I looked like a victim of the holocaust…but I STILL had a booty and thick legs. I am built like a gymnast and no diet is going to change that. If we can embrace different women of different ethnic backgrounds and different races, why can’t we embrace different body types?

      • #129 by Aello on December 16, 2012 - 8:54 pm

        I completely understand where you’re coming from. I do agree that it would be great if Vogue and its peers would represent a wider array of the real women who are out there. The problem is that no one is designing for them. I’ve never heard of Eddie Bauer prior to this article but I wouldn’t doubt a word you’re saying about their clothing. I’ve been working in retail for four years now and its become increasingly clear to me that profits are the only thing that drives a company.

        We need to stop assigning blame and start convincing the fashion industry that bigger sizes do want and deserve quality clothing that fits. A couple of companies – such as Dove– have already started to change the way they advertise. We just need to keep pushing. We have to stop settling for T shirts and yoga pants and start caring. If women of a certain demographic –no matter which it is, really– simply give up and say that they don’t care about fashion, fashion won’t care about them because there’s no money in it. Fashion is a business just like most everything else in this country. If only skinny women claim to care about fashion, only clothing for skinny women will be made.

        We need designers who are passionate about creating beautiful, flattering clothing in a better variety of sizes to be pushing their way into fashion week or to apply for Project Runway (though on the show they may be asked to create for size 0 models, all of the portfolios submitted by each designer are posted and fully viewable on the site). The more people who get online, submit letters to magazines, start writing for those magazines, post about it on their blogs, or start creating product that states our needs, the quicker we’ll finally start seeing more sizes become mainstream.

        I believe its possible to make a change in the fashion industry as there have been in the past, but in this profits-driven world I believe that the ceiling will have to be broken by consumers rather than asking already established corporations to change their ways of thinking.

        • #130 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 18, 2012 - 12:39 pm

          You make an excellent point. I feel frustrated because I am the forgotten middle. There are fabulous skinny clothes and even fabulous plus size clothes, but one is far too small and the other far too big. I think you make an excellent case. Of course, in the meantime…what do I wear? LOL.

      • #131 by Aello on December 16, 2012 - 9:10 pm

        Sorry for the double post, but PINTREST. Seriously, Pintrest. If more women would post under the category of “women’s fashion” (which I left this blog to habitually browse and was shown billions of pictures of thin women) pictures of themselves in clothes they love instead of pinning models in ads then that would seriously catch the interest of retailers. It would prove that there was a market out there.

  109. #132 by Neil on December 5, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    You look great, Kristen!

  110. #133 by Julie Glover on December 5, 2012 - 7:15 pm

    You looked fabulous when I saw you at the conference, Kristen! Beautiful and confident.

    I agree completely that the fashion industry needs to use a wide array of body types. I remember seeing that America’s Top Model was asking for just that, and then explained that you had to be at least 5’7″. Um, how is that normal when the average woman is around 5’4″?

    The majority of my life, I’ve been puny–short and thin. Such girls weren’t represented in fashion mags either. It was tall and big breasts with those wafer-thin legs. Now I’m not even opposed to those gals. But your point is dead-on that women come in all shapes and sizes and should celebrated for that. Thank goodness we don’t all look alike.

    And I don’t want to see some “campaign” by a company that just means that they do it for a while to get good publicity and then go back to the one-size models. It needs to be the way we present beauty…all types, all beautiful, all celebrated.

  111. #134 by annerallen on December 5, 2012 - 7:22 pm

    Here’s a wonderful Facebook page for all of us: Big Beautiful Wellness https://www.facebook.com/bbwellness

  112. #135 by Evie on December 5, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    I get this. I’m a hair over 5’9 and I’ve never been small…NEVER. I starved myself in high school to get as thin as my petite mother thought I should be, but even when my ribs, knees, elbows, clavicles, and hipbones stuck out like hooks I still weighed 135 and wore a size 9. I have sturdy, heavy bones that I’ve never broken- not playing football with the boys, not getting tossed off a rodeo horse, not tumbling out of trees, not falling while rock climbing, not in years of karate classes and general clumsiness…I don’t break. And I have musculature that makes me sturdy, too. I’m heavy. I know that, by the books, I’m far overweight. I have a paternal-family history of obesity and diabetes, and I struggle to keep from letting myself tip too far that direction. But at the same time, I have more energy and more stamina than most of the rest of the population. I run circles around most people. I don’t eat junk food, meat, sodas, or pre-packaged anything. I eat salad and fruit and whole grains. I hike and kayak and swim for fun. I do daily yoga. I walk several miles a day. I will never be thin. But I love my curves. I like my hips. I love my muscular legs. I love that I have boobs and thighs and an ass. I’d keep all of it… if I just didn’t have the squishy stomach lurking in the midst of it all.

    Know this, though: You are beautiful just the way you are. We all are. The only women I’ve ever met who I didn’t think were beautiful were the ones so worried about their appearance that they didn’t let themselves live, laugh, and just be free to be.

    Can you keep up with your son? Without panting for breath, can you do the things your day requires? Is your body fit and strong? Yeah…I thought so. So, who the hell cares if you have thighs? Buy stretchy jeans and show off the curves! Men (the ones who aren’t morons) LOVE curves! No one, guy, girl, shaggy dog, green space alien- no one- wants to hug a skeleton, cuddle with unpadded hip bones, or look at ribs they can count in the dark. I promise. You are more beautiful with thighs than you ever could be with legs that don’t touch at the top. :)

  113. #136 by Michel King on December 6, 2012 - 12:23 am

    Awesome post!

    I am a size 6 and I have been wonering the same thing for a while. I am 5’3″ and come from a primarily Norwegian family. The fact that I am this thin is a miracle because ALL of the women in my family history are stocky, square, and extremely “sturdy” women. They may look obese, but those ladies could toss you across a room!

    I also have struggled with the fact that I am not blonde, exotic, tall, or “beautiful” by industry standards. I’m a short, muscular, brunette with a broken nose and a spare tire. BUT, I have come to love my body because WHO I am is vastly more important than HOW I LOOK. I think of it this way: I may have been born in the US, but I am still exotic. My features are those of my ancestors, people who conquered territories, braved harsh conditions, fought epic battles, and could drink any supermodel under the table. Sure, it isn’t as “glamorous” as their lives, but I am just fine with that!

    All we ever need be is ourselves. And that comes from within, not from the mirror.

    • #137 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 6, 2012 - 8:16 am

      I hear ya, girl. My family is Norwegian too, ergo the long torso and short, muscular legs. I am built for strength and could bench press most of those models. Too bad we can no longer accessorize with a battle ax, LOL.

  114. #138 by willwander on December 6, 2012 - 7:42 am

    I loved this post and I completely agree that the fashion and retail industries are getting out of control. I struggled with my weight a lot (and still do at times). I remember one year where I swam about a mile a day (EVERY day) and I was a twig but I was convinced I was fat because I didn’t have a flat stomach yet…news flash girl, your NEVER gonna have a flat stomach. It took years of seeing different body shapes to love my own. I finally came to terms with it when my mom brought up different ideal beauties. “You love Renaissance art, right?” she asked. “Yes,” I said. “Okay, well Venus of Urbino has the same body type as you – does she look fat?” Aha! It was such a wake-up call. What’s more, my recent trip to Mali changed everything. For the first time I was living in a society that loved and valued curves. My tailor made dresses for me that accentuated my figure and made me look GREAT! Everyone looked great there – healthy and happy. There wasn’t nearly the same emphasis on figure as there is here. (Sure, they tend to idealize the curvy woman, but there were some model-thin glamazons too and they weren’t deemed unattractive by a long shot.)
    Thanks for sharing your experience! I think 10-12 is totally normal and that you look beautiful and healthy!

  115. #139 by Rainy Kaye (@rainyofthedark) on December 8, 2012 - 5:58 pm

    While I agree with the sentiment of this post–that the idea of beauty needs to be redefined–I have to point out a little hypocrisy.

    “Throw this model a sandwich.”

    How is that an acceptable thing to say, when the reverse–”Tell this plus size model to get on Jenny Craig”–would have caused an outrage?

    ALL women are conscious of their bodies. We are never thin enough, curvy enough, or flawless enough. Your “sandwich” comment can be just as hurtful as calling a size 12 obese.

    • #140 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 9, 2012 - 4:12 pm

      She only needed a sandwich if she was going to model “curvy” jeans. Sorry. She doesn’t have any CURVES. If she was modeling skinny jeans or straight-cut jeans or bootleg jeans, then she would be fine. But SORRY, she is modeling CURVY jeans. If they put a 5’1″ model modeling TALL clothing, I would have said she needed to be stretched on a rack. If she was a pale, skinny white girl modeling for African American makeup, I would have said she needed time in a tanning booth.

      I wasn’t condemning naturally thin women. Far from it. But, if people are that sensitive than I suppose they can just not read my blog. It isn’t hypocrisy, it is fact. THE MODEL IS NOT CURVY. She isn’t even CLOSE to CURVY. It isn’t that she is a BAD model, she is simply the WRONG model. I never said skinny was bad. I said it was fabulous and I know women naturally built that way, but THERE IS MORE THAN ONE BODY TYPE that needs to be represented. Blonde women are beautiful, but not to the exclusion of every other woman.

      Sorry. And the clothing industry needs to start being more honest. A super-tall, super slender bony woman isn’t curvy, and a 300 pound woman isn’t curvy either, she is “plus-size.” There is a difference.

      • #141 by Rainy Kaye (@rainyofthedark) on December 9, 2012 - 5:16 pm

        No one is denying that the fashion industry needs to include more body types. And no one is denying they model clothes incorrectly.

        No, those models simply should not be modeling curvy clothes. I totally agree on this part. If someone is looking for curvy jeans, they would want to see how it would look on a model with closer to their body type. I get, and agree, with all of that.

        I also agree with the comments that you are beautiful the way you are.

        But several of your comments throughout the article would have enraged people had you made equal remarks about plus sizes. It’s not about being sensitive. It’s about not doing the thing you hate to the other party.

        Let me put it this way. If a model had been plus sized and marketed as curvy, would you have written, “She needs to go on Slim Fast.”

        I doubt you would have, because that’s rude and people would have been upset. You are, I imagine, classier than to say or maybe even think something like that.

        But that’s the equivalent of what you said about the skinny models.

        Anyway, I wouldn’t stop following a blogger because I disagreed with them. I would however if that was their immediate answer to someone who doesn’t support their every word.

        I’ve been following your blog for a long time. I just don’t comment often because I use Google Reader on my phone and don’t like commenting through it. I even participate in #mywana sometimes.

        But I am a bit disappointed that an article about a topic which really did need to be said was a little bit tactless. That’s all.

        • #142 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 9, 2012 - 6:30 pm

          The article was about how the fashion industry only has one idea of beauty. The photo that you are talking about was right after this statement:

          When we look on TV, we are confronted with extremes–super skinny or clinically obese. We are calling anorexics “beautiful” and calling dangerously obese women “curvy.” We are an a country that is dying because of euphemisms. I hear parents call morbidly obese children “husky,” “big-boned” or “muscular.” We have retailers calling anorexics “curvy.” Take a look at some of my favorite selections:

          When viewed in context of the article, the comment is about having the wrong model for the wrong clothing. The image is of a woman who MIGHT be 105 pounds being called “curvy.” If they would have had a 300 pound woman modeling “skinny” jeans, I probably would have said something, too. I couldn’t find any pictures so I referenced pop culture:

          We live in a world of magazines that hail how beautiful and curvy Beyonce and Mariah Carey are at a size 12-14, but then the same magazines call Jessica Simpson a cow for being the same size 12-14.

          The comment is not about the model, rather the mindscrewing the fashion industry is doing to people at large. We have no concept of NORMAL. What is a healthy thin? Well, SHAPE Magazine regularly features models for fitness that, technically, would be considered underweight and unhealthy. TEEN Magazine has a section for “curvy” models and all the girls are dangerously obese.

          And maybe I am being blunt, but this country is dying because people are being polite and not calling things what they are, even down to labeling those women who are naturally thin as anorexics. It is insulting ALL around to ALL women. I apologize if you feel offended but the comment was intended to point out that, if that gal was “curvy” she seriously needed to eat more. That’s all.

  116. #143 by littleduckies on December 9, 2012 - 2:07 pm

    My younger brother went, in two years, from being a normal, healthy, cute kid to being OBESE. And my mother insists that he’s rock solid, and it’s all muscle. Ugh. No, lady, your son is obese. I cannot believe I am looking at the same child. He was a normal-size eight year old, and then he was an obese 11 ear old. And his mother, instead of helping, insists that he eats right and gets enough exercise, and says he’s just muscular.

    Seriously?!?

    But lady, cut yourself some slack. You had a baby! Yeah, that’s a good excuse. And even if you had lost all your pounds, you wouldn’t look the same, because they’d be in different places. I think nursing for a year and then weaning lost me most of the weight. I want to keep five of those, because I was slightly underweight before I got pregnant – but the rest of it? Just won’t go away. I have about ten pounds left. So? I had a baby. And I don’t have time or energy to exercise as much as I did, and I lost a lot of muscle during the pregnancy. Okay, it’ll go away some day. And if it gets to be a health issue, I’ll make it go away. In the meantime? Yeah, it’s annoying. But it’s also part of life.

    I totally agree with you about the models. Here’s something you can do: Don’t watch TV, don’t read fashion magazines, and encourage everyone who cares to do the same. Spread it far enough (Facebook? Pintrest?) and it’ll have an effect. Plus, you won’t be annoyed by seeing these people.

  117. #144 by littleduckies on December 9, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    *I meant ten year old. Oops.

  118. #145 by Irma on December 9, 2012 - 2:57 pm

    Can totally relate to this post. According to the fashion industry, if you’re not a size 0 you’re a plus-sized woman. I’m happy to be on the positive end of the number line.

    I think you mean Lauren Hutton, she of the gap between her teeth.

  119. #146 by Marina Schulz Tork on December 9, 2012 - 5:59 pm

    I’m a size 8 Uk girl and weigh aproximately 122 pounds. Yet a friend of mine from school keeps on asking me seriously if she’s starting to get fat because she weighs 110!! And everyone in my class is about 100. I sincerely almost feel fat fat fat and I know I’m not! I’m 16 btw
    People are weird.

  120. #147 by donna l martin on December 9, 2012 - 10:02 pm

    I have really struggled with my weight for about the past three years. That was when I was diagnosed with a severe and rare life threatening allergy to vitamin K. Since this is used as a processing agent in most canned, and frozen foods as well as found in many fruits, veggies, condiments and other foods, I was forced to eliminate 99% of the foods I had been eating for years and replace it with more starchy carbs and meats which added to my weight issues. Then three months ago I dealt with kidney stones (9 so far and counting), kidney infections, and kidney blockage. A specialist then told me I am one of those rare individuals who suffers from both types of kidney stones and had to cut out about 99% of what was left for me to eat to avoid permanent kidney damage.

    To say eating nowadays is a challenge is an understatement, but to say it is challenging to try to lose the extra weight now doesn’t begin to describe what I deal with on a daily basis. I think society as a whole is too quick to judge the outside appearance of a person without taking the time to see what REALLY is going on with them.

    I am so happy to hear that you are coming to terms with whatever size pants God sees fit to have you in and that you are enjoying good health…it’s something people sometimes take for granted until they no longer have it…

    Donna L Martin

  121. #148 by positivemindpositiveheart on December 10, 2012 - 12:56 am

    I think you look incredible! My goal is to be size 10-12, not because I want to be thinner, though I do, but because that would be a healthy size for me. I hate that our world has made girls/women feel inferior unless they are a size 2! It shouldn’t be about what physical number size you are, but rather how healthy you are. I don’t want to lose weight so that I can look like kate moss, I want to lose weight so I can be confident in my body, healthy for the family that i would like to have, and comfortable in my own skin. Loved this post!!!

  122. #149 by doveranalyst on December 10, 2012 - 1:11 am

    Hi………
    I actually read every word from start to finish……….
    I am an Indian so I wouldnt know what size would be related to 10-12………….but from what you look…………..I can identify with it………
    Same happens here……….though the movie Dirty Picture did some help with actress Vidya Balan showing curves and being sexy yet being ‘fat’ as they say…..but the fact remains………..and you know what………I hate being that skinny and wouldnt want to be it!! Though I know I should be a little more leaner!!lol
    N yeah……here we tailor clothes. All the clothes that I buy need to be large enough for me to fit in initially ,then need to be trimmed at the waist…………cuz yes they dont make clothes for normal women!! ;)

    Here’s my blog if you care to browse…
    http://doveranalyst.blogspot.in/

  123. #150 by melissa on December 10, 2012 - 4:04 am

    Reblogged this on melissa the nettlesome and commented:
    Lately I’m beginning to feel like writing and sharing things outside of the Japan blog. (My big ongoing project is an analysis of the film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! Stay tuned!)

    This post caught my attention today. I really like most of what Ms. Lamb has to say, especially her rejection of the “Barbie makes girls hate their bodies” thesis (although I think the issue is too complex to categorically dismiss dolls as an influence on girls’ self-image).

    However, towards the end of the post, I think she handled race a little clumsily. She writes, “We live in a world of magazines that hail how beautiful and curvy Beyonce and Mariah Carey are at a size 12-14, but then the same magazines call Jessica Simpson a cow for being the same size 12-14. Women of color can have curves, but us white gals need to look more like Posh Spice.”

    This fails to address the body issues facing not only African-American women, but women of every ethnicity and background. To imply that the weight and body image craze targets white women and spares minority women only weakens us in fighting this issue. Here’s a good place to start for other perspectives on the shaming of women over weight or health: http://www.theroot.com/views/shaming-women

    • #151 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 10, 2012 - 8:44 am

      Actually women of all races face this issue, but I feel that, since I am clearly a white girl, I am only really qualified to talk about the shame facing my own race. For me to try and talk about what it’s like being Asian, Latino, or African-American would be insulting to those ladies and not authentic. If women of other races want to leave a comment about what they face, that is fabulous, but I don’t presume to know what it is like for them. Thanks for the reblog, though.

  124. #152 by kerrycooks on December 10, 2012 - 8:18 am

    Here’s the thing – your body is clearly at a healthy weight for you. You’re healthy, you eat well and you work out. Bodies come in all shapes, sizes and metabolisms, although it can take a lot of our adult life to accept that. I weigh about 135 pounds, with legs as skinny as the models you posted pictures of – but am I happy with my body? Well, no. There’s always someone skinner who’s genes have given them the skinny legs + the flat stomach + a pretty face. All you can do is accept what you have, try to love yourself, and be grateful that your legs are strong and get you from a to b.

  125. #153 by Ruth Hartman Berge on December 10, 2012 - 9:26 am

    I think it’s totally out of control. I went in Banana Republic to look for a skirt. They have these really tight pencil skirts so I asked for a bigger size. The sales woman got snotty, told me THAT size was only available on line and ignored me the rest of the time I was there. My friend who sat there open-mouthed watching this, was shocked. Seriously? Like because I was heavier than a stick I wasn’t worth simple common courtesy? And I don’t shop for other people in my life who might fit their narrow definition of reality?

    I’ve been size 4 and I’ve been size 16. I feel better thinner and am working to get back to what I consider a reasonable weight more for health purposes than anything else. As for Banana Republic and their snotty sales woman, I won’t return. Ever. If a store can’t treat everyone courteously as a potential client no matter what their size, I’m just not interested.

    Great article!

    • #154 by alism8 on December 10, 2012 - 2:56 pm

      I’ve altogether stopped patronizing stores where sales clerks size you up as you grace the doorway. It’s like they’re already thinking of ways to tell you they don’t carry your size! Sometimes, I enter, announce that nothing here looks good and about turn to the exit… ;) For whatever reason, they only stock items in stick size. I think they look hilarious – I just take my money elsewhere! :)

  126. #155 by wednesday on December 10, 2012 - 11:10 am

    Female bodies are made to do exactly what ours are doing. We have kids, we age, our metabolism slows in our 30s. It’s a fact of life that our body shapes go from maiden to mother to matron. It’s the fashion industry and society’s expectations that aren’t normal or realistic, that wants every woman to look like a pretty boy. And they want want something from us: our money.

    You are healthy. You have a beautiful son, a husband who loves you. You are following your dreams. Your body is a vehicle for those dreams, it’s not you.

    Now, go get a hug from your husband. And when the fashionistas get you down, try remembering what Joss Whedon’s magnificent Ilyria said: “Your opinion of me weighs less than sunlight.”

  127. #156 by Katie on December 10, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    Yes and YES. Marketing relies on creating and feeling female securities. We can’t have a wrinkle, spot of cellulite, or ounce of fat – there’s a ‘cure’ for all of that! Thankfully, there are beautiful women of all sizes out there (like yourself) that make people like me feel normal and acceptable. :)

    Off topic slightly, but I wondered if you could tell me when you noticed you might have those food allergies and who you saw to sort it all out. I think I may have a problem, but doctors frustrate me to no end and I don’t want to go through more circles of nothing (thyroid – been there!). Thanks!

  128. #157 by Christina on December 10, 2012 - 5:14 pm

    Hey, Kristen.

    You do look great! And you can make peace with your thighs. What I don’t like is going to the doctor for a sore throat or twisted ankle and getting lectured on weight. I mean, really?

    I found out this past summer I have an issue called Lipedema. This disorder affects primarily women and it affects their legs. Doctors don’t really know about it. It’s a fat disorder / hormone disorder / inflammation issue / God only knows what. Basically it means that no matter how hard I work out, how clean I eat, my legs are NEVER going to look like Posh’s. I’m a size 12 on top and a 12-14 on the bottom. It takes FOREVER to find pants that fit my waist and my legs. I wish some wonderful new designers would take the time to make some really great clothes for people like me.

    I saw a great graphic on Facebook about all the conflicting messages girls get today. You’re too fat – you’re too thin. If you’re a virgin, you’re frigid. If you sleep around, you’re a slut. It’s one thing after another and if we’re playing by society’s rules we can’t win. Good thing I reject society’s rules :)

  129. #158 by allthewaydoc on December 10, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    As a woman who is also a size 10/12 and 170# and I hate my thighs!! At the age of 37 I was 175# and 32% bodyfat, divorced and miserable. Post ACL replacement I decided to get my fat ass and thighs back in the gym. Over the course of two years I went from 32% bf to 18% bf. My thighs and ass were still fat and I HATED them. Someone finally took pity on me and asked if they could train me, I agreed. Thanks to them pushing me hard in the gym to lift heavier weights with my legs and to do horribly copious amounts of walking lunges with weights, my legs finally started changing and losing some of the fat and looking half way decent! But it took heavy weights and a lot of dedication on my part! Those who tell you that you are working out too hard are wrong! The quads are huge muscles and they will help you to burn a ton of fat! I am now 40 and still weigh around 170# but my bodyfat is between 12-15% depending on how much food I am shoving in my mouth :D

    I dont think we women need to settle at being a little overweight! We just have to push ourselves! We have to be determined and dedicated and NOT rely on motivation to get us where we want to be! One does have to be realistic and plan on it take a few years though. No one got fat overnight and it doesnt go away overnight either :)

  130. #159 by Inese Poga Art Gallery on December 11, 2012 - 1:07 am

    Hi, nobody should be whining about being obese, and you Kristen don’t even look fat at all, judging by photos.
    I could not make time to start writing another blog about all these issues, didn’t manage so far, but I’ve been dealing with medical matters, health surveys, clinical trials, drugs, medical devices, etc. for 30 years, I’m a full time visual and craft making artist, designer and also full time medical translator.
    I come from Latvia, Europe, and the first thing I noticed when I arrived to Canada, was lots of overweight people. I had never seen that living back in Europe. I couldn’t image that.
    I did additional research, and compared the eating habits over there and in Canada, and I found that people are following some myths about healthy foods, life styles in North America.
    I am wearing the same clothes what I was wearing at the age of 21. I’m 54 now. I’m using whipping cream when cooking every day actually, I never buy any low-fat foods because they have no flavour, taste disgusting and only contain additional chemicals, I am never eating at fast food and junk food places, I always cook at home, even those days when I have to work for 18 hours because my deadlines are tight.
    What everybody could do for starters, is this:
    never drink any single coke or other soft drink again (pure poison, tonnes of chemicals, contains so much sugar that you don’t need to eat anything else if use coke), drink water and carbonated mineral water instead;
    never eat at fast-food places, just stay away from Tim Horton’s and similar places, they feed you pure sugar and no nutrients containing addictive foods;
    reduce the amount of sugar gradually (after two weeks you won’t even notice that you’re using less)
    eat normal fat-containing real foods, but cook them from scratch;
    no ice creams, no donuts, no cakes, have some chocolate instead.
    Very simple, right?
    You will notice a big decrease in weight after a while. With no exercising, no stress. You have to repair the digestive system first, that’s the key. And eat good food, real food without chemicals.

  131. #160 by Acil on December 11, 2012 - 11:00 am

    Hi! Omg I totally feel ya. Being a teenager and of, well I guess normal weight to me but fat to others, I often feel pressured. Like when I look at the mirror sometimes I think yeah I’m fine but on other days I just wanna break it. I was constantly called ‘fat’ in school by like club mates and was even told by ex-friends to ‘just stop eating’. I’m surrounded by skinny freaks, like stick-thin, so compared to them I’m probably plus plus plus size.
    But I learned not to care and just enjoy life and be healthy.
    I indulge once in a while but never too much, since yeah I’m still watching my weight.
    I learned that the more I am conscious about my weight, the more I’ll gain them.
    So just forget about them.
    Besides, the world is moving from ‘thin is in’ to ‘big is beautiful’ :).

  132. #161 by spashionistareport on December 19, 2012 - 9:58 am

    You raise some excellent points here that the majority of women can identify with.
    I write a fashion blog for disabled women (women like you, not little girls trying to out-anorexic each other) and I have yet to meet a woman that is happy with her body. If you think you have issues add a handicap to the equation and the lack of self esteem multiplies exponentially.
    The truth is retailers target younger women simply because they have historically spent more on clothing than older and/or curvier women. That is starting to change. Stores are ordering larger quantities of the bigger sizes and designers are starting to realize that the average dress size in this country is a 16. Unfortunately, if you “give up” and resign yourself to yoga pants you’re waving the white flag at the fashion industry instead of stepping up to find what works for your body and in doing so thumbing your nose at them.
    By the way, I’m 5′ tall, weigh 149 lbs, and wear a size 12. I have Cerebral Palsy (won’t bore you with the detailed explanation. It’s on my blog if you’re interested) but aside from that I’m in excellent health.

  133. #162 by Samuel on January 8, 2013 - 12:52 pm

    Come on, we need you to be giving us tips on writing. You look great BTW.

  134. #163 by Amber on February 25, 2013 - 5:07 pm

    I’m that skinny person. 5’8″ and 120 (usually 118, but the special time of the month can push it up a bit).
    Even though this article isn’t pro-skinny people, I love it because I think the modeling industry is pure evil– I have known too many girls who feel that they are inadequate because of their weight.
    I want to stress how important it is to stay a healthy weight from the opposite point of view. When I drop too much weight, every pound counts. If I drop below 118 (because I don’t have enough fat in my diet or because I’m busy and forget to eat) I feel horibble, sluggish, and irritable. I do NOT have an eating disorder, I’m just careful about what I eat and when I’m NOT careful I suffer these consequences.
    However, I used to have the opposite problem. I used to weigh 160– I have very petite features (tiny shoulders…) so this weight WAS excess though I did not look remotely chubby. It’s an average weight that is totally normal, but I did not feel energetic or healthy.
    The best advice, that you mentioned in your article, was that I decided to like myself. My hair, my cheeks, my weight. I loved ALL of it and this allowed me to stop eating when I felt bad about myself. Only after that could I monitor portion control, eat well, and excersize with great results.
    I feel healthy and confident and I DO NOT need to lose weight– but pinterest and magazines sometimes make me feel otherwise. To this article, maybe add that we should not feel the need to have six-packs (this can actually be very dangerous) or gO on extreme diets (this could damage metabolism) and curvy figures are not bad. I do not allow magazines in my home that have this nonsense and I’m a yoga pants maniac! For any curvy people, I highly recommend shopping at pinup clothing stores. They always have cute modest dresses and bathing suit that look great! My favorite store is Temptress in San Diego. They’re models look like healthy curvy women, how we all should look.

  135. #164 by Renee Regent on February 25, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    i would kill to find a pair of jeans that fits! If they fit my thighs, they are too big in the hips & waist, and fall down. No, I do not want to wear a belt! And I am not plus sized, either. When I shop in department stores, Misses is too “matronly”, and Juniors is too juvenile. What about the dozens of years in between? We are the ones with the $$$ to buy good clothes! ugh. Now they are all made in foreign countries and fall apart after two washings. Thinking of becoming a nudist.

    Thanks for speaking on this and letting me vent.

  136. #165 by maddy on April 6, 2013 - 4:50 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog by accident but I found it absolutely fantastic!! Thanks for writing this wonderful and insightful post.

  137. #166 by Chaplain Winston T. Muldrew on April 8, 2013 - 12:05 am

    This country sucks.
    I long for the good old Biblical days. Frankly, I was drawn to this article because I wanted to see your thighs. Are those your thighs at the end of the article? I had to read all this stuff and see all those thighs. But it was worth it. After all I am a man. And you know how to get a man’s attention.

  138. #167 by loreleigray on October 1, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    …. failing to see a problem with how you look. Really? Fat where? How fat? Does not compute.

    I am starting to realize how much I bave interbalized Not Good Enough for being a size 20, 244 lbs. Which is down 30 lbs from 6 months ago. And I am SO SICK of hiding it I could scream. It doesn’t help. You are my dream size. Really, I LOATHE the fashion industry SO HARD right now.

    • #168 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 2, 2013 - 9:25 am

      Keep pressing and ignore those idiots. The sell the impossible so we buy all kinds of products and pills to look like Photoshopped sticks. Good for you on the 30 pounds! Congratulations.

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