Why I Created This Picture
I created this picture for a reason.
I am really disheartened by, and frankly angered by our constant, ego based, superficial responses to our “body problems”. We continue to interpret the problem as the path. After over 15 years in the fitness industry (just part of my background), I have made a lot of fitness friends. I hear a lot of things from them and from my medical professional friends. These are learned, experienced, and caring people. However, sometimes when we think we are part of the solution, we can be part of the problem.
This was sparked by Two Events
My wife went to a pediatrician’s appointment without me (I was in NYC working on a project, otherwise I never miss one). The doctor told her that she was probably overfeeding our daughter because her weight was in the 80th percentile. He overlooked the fact that her height is in the 85th percentile.
Sir - she’s just a large baby. She is breast fed. She gets plenty of playful physical activity during the day. She gets plenty of contact with nature. She is a healthy baby. You judged from halfway reading a chart and mindlessly applying a guideline. This is part of the extension of calling it an “obesity problem” – we are immediately focused on the superficial. And you needlessly worried a caring, attentive mother.
I saw someone post a picture on Facebook of a slim, muscular woman with small breasts and say “this woman is not healthy”. My question was…How do you know? I then saw comment after comment, ranging from “guys like boobs, so you’re not healthy” to “a woman needs fat to reproduce”. The second statement is partially true, but because it was a superficial judgment, the person failed to realize that you can’t judge health from a two dimensional picture. The woman in question may well have been unhealthy – but I guarantee you that most of the people commenting didn’t know her from Eve. Again, a purely superficial judgment that serves to, in the long run, create more problems than it solves.
You are not healthy because you have a certain body proportion. You are healthy because you eat from the earth and you move your body for enjoyment. You are healthy when you listen to your body’s indicators of impending injury and adjust accordingly. You are healthy when you focus more about interaction with others and contact with nature than you do about what your abs look like. There are muscular women with small breasts who are healthy. There are women with large breasts and some thickness around the middle who are healthy. There are women who are slight of frame who are healthy. And there are women of all those body types and more who are not.
My hope for our daughter is that she will not consider her outward appearance as the foremost indicator of health. That she will not look first in the mirror for happiness, whether she ends up being big, small, a little “chunky” or “muscular” or “waify”. That she will look first to enjoyment and interaction with the earth, others, and maybe a ball for happiness, health and wellness. Share this article if you agree. Share this article if you disagree. I welcome all comments