Have you wondered if your body is “normal,” for your height? Or just generally been curious about what about women who are your height/weight look like? What you might look like at your goal weight?
Enter My Body Gallery, a site where women upload pictures of their body, labeled with their real height and weight. Then users can search for users photos based on: height, weight, pants size, shirt size or even body shape (pear, apple, hourglass, etc.), to see photos of women who match those requirements. I, for one, am a huge fan.
Imagine if you’d been able to see a gallery of bodies that were your exact height and weight, when you were younger. I meet so many women, and can include myself as well, that thought they were “fat” in high school. When your body is developing faster than everyone else’s, or you’re built bigger (shout out to my tall girls), or even if you are a bit overweight, it’s easy to feel like a giant, fat nothing. Even as an adult, it can be difficult to gain perspective on our bodies. Sometimes, we can’t be objective about our own bodies — but seeing someone else’s can set off a lightbulb.
Of course, for some, a website like this could be triggering. For those who are prone to eating disorders, seeing “numbers” can be dangerous, especially when one searches the lower end and returns photos of quite thin women. (the 5’10” and 120lbs group is slightly disheartening — and those photos weren’t there a month ago)
However, I believe whole-heartedly that for many of us, seeing REAL numbers on REAL bodies can help to circumvent mental trauma in the long run. If I’d been able to see women who were 5 foot 10 and 180 pounds when I was 16, I probably wouldn’t have thought I was fat. Compared to the girls I was surrounded by? Sure, I was “fat.” I mean, GUYS. 180. That number is HUGE. That’s, like, close to 200. TWO HUNDRED! That’s gi-normous. Models and actresses are 120, don’t you know. Now that’s a “normal” number.
Crazy, right? As an adult, and having met plenty of other women with “high” numbers, I realize that holding myself — a 5 foot 10 woman who hit puberty at age 8 and developed hips, butt and boobs — 120 is INSANE. But those numbers seem to be the only ones we ever hear, for women — 110, 115, 120, 125… these are acceptable weights for women. Anything higher than 150 is taboo. Anything higher than 200 is SCANDALOUS.
This is why something like My Body Gallery is necessary. Women need to talk about their numbers. Their REAL numbers. Tall, short, fat, thin — girls and women need to know that that chick with the banging body and rocking self-confidence is 200 lbs. Or that a 250lbs woman can have an athletic build and be healthy. Or the 300 lbs woman who looks fantastic – not miserable – in a fabulous dress.
It’s refreshing to see photos of women who are my current size, as well as my goal weight (which is what I weighed in high school – sad, right?). I’m feeling really good about my body and my health, despite a relatively small/slow weight loss. Now I can look at other women who are the same height/weight and see that, yes! There’s really nothing wrong with my current size, either. You can be healthy, happy and look absolutely rocking… even if your “number” is large and “scary.”
My Body Gallery. Check it out. What do you think?