Thursday, August 8, 2013

Throwing Away the Label Maker

What is it about us women that makes us run around with a label-maker and tack a label on everyone? Fat. Skinny. Plus size. Tiny. Porn Star Tits. Man-figure. Real Woman. Our obsession with outward appearances is making us crazy and it’s tearing down our self-esteem.

A few years ago I was a tiny little thing - 125 pounds with big boobs and a big personality. I was beautiful, but I was self-sabotaging. I dated a boy for years who fussed at me for getting to 133 pounds. I would buy clothes that would “motivate” me to lose five pounds (don’t judge, you do it too.) I called myself fat and down-played my talents and ate nothing but beans, rice and bananas for a week to get into an itty-bitty pink dress.

The girls on my hall had to safety pin my dress shut.

Then, something happened. There’s no way to pin-point the moment. I dumped my boyfriend, changed my major and moved out of my parents’ house. I met the love of my life who was smitten with me just the way I was. I made new friends both in real life and on the internet.
Oh, and I gained 40 pounds. 

(Thanks, birth control...) 

The strangest thing was I had no idea I had gained it. I was so happy just being me that I didn’t realize I was now the heaviest I had ever been. In fact, I have a photo of myself at my bridal shower laughing and it’s one of my favorite photos of myself. It’s utterly blissful. Four years later I’m down a few pounds, but I didn’t lose it all and now I find myself in a strange place. I don’t refer to myself as a plus-size blogger because I’m not plus size. But I’m not a thin and curvy blogger either. I’m too big for straight-sizes, too small for plus sizes and too busty for everything.

So naturally, someone always wants to tell me what to do with my body. Skinny women have told me I could “easily” be thin if I wanted to. Plus size women have told me they would love to be my size. Small breasted women have both envied and mocked my breasts. No one is happy with my body, so why should I be happy with it?

I’ll tell you why. It’s mine. It houses my mind and my personality. It helps me do the things I love like play the piano, chase my dog, and sing at the top of my lungs. It helps me build people up and measure women for a properly fitting bra and do cartwheels and dance. Why would I ever put a derogatory label on such an incredible thing? Why would I ever call myself "ugly" or "stupid?"

Me. No Makeup, no photoshop.

Take a look at your body. Wiggle your fingers. Tap your toes. Isn’t it amazing how it keeps on working? You don’t have to think about digesting food or breathing while you sleep. Your body does that on its own. Think about the way it fights diseases, the way it gets stronger when you lift heavy things, and the way a mother’s kiss can ease the pain of a sore little finger. Your body is incredible.

Why do we put labels on ourselves? Is it because we don’t like ourselves? Why do we label others? To make ourselves feel better? Maybe we should try some new labels, how about beautiful, fantastic, smart, capable and one-of-a-kind. You are all those things. It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, I have news for you. YOU are the beholder. You are able to see beauty in yourself and in everyone around you. Throw away your label-maker, or better yet, use it to build others (and yourself) up!

So stop buying those “five-pounds-away” jeans. Throw out those magazines with the airbrushed, photoshopped, nipped-and-tucked models. Listen to positive influences and learn to love your body. Make your body happy by doing things that make you smile. Dance, sing, laugh, hug a kitten. Make it stronger by doing things that challenge it. Take up yoga, do a push-up challenge, or train for a 5k.  Don’t tell yourself that you’ll be happy with yourself when you reach your goal weight. Be happy now. Appreciate life now. Love others and yourself now. There’s no greater joy than that.


  1. Love, love, love this post! It's taking a long time but from reading some awesome blogs, I'm starting to accept my body as it is. Sometimes it's hard when I know people are judging me on my appearance but that's their problem, not mine!

    Sarah |

  2. Exactly how I feel, Samantha. Our bodies are great to us and we all should learn to treat it with respect!

  3. I think if you say you're not going to label you shouldn't label...the title of your blog is a label, or is at least political, and you say what you're in between or not using labels even in this post!
    "I don’t refer to myself as a plus-size blogger because I’m not plus size. But I’m not a thin and curvy blogger either. I’m too big for straight-sizes, too small for plus sizes and too busty for everything." It still sounds like you are playing the label game, especially with "too busty for everything" which indicates that is your current identity. That said, kids label all the time, in other words, I think it's a natural thing to do. I find this post obviously hypocritical though for the stance it claims to make...