I sometimes get comments or emails from readers who want to know what size I wear or how much I weigh. Other than the occasional rant about inconsistent sizing or pouting over pants that don’t fit, I consider these topics off limits.
The number one reason I don’t share my size or weight is because it’s usually asked so that the reader can compare their own numbers to mine. Striving to match someone else’s size or weight is a dangerous path to tread. There is no universally ideal weight or size.
There is certainly a “healthy” weight range (BMI), but even that isn’t fool-proof. If you’re heavily muscled (dense), you may be over the recommended weight range, yet at a healthy fat percentage. Conversely, some people within the range can still be unhealthily “fat.” I would advise anyone seeking their ideal weight to first consult the BMI chart, and then to have their percentage fat measured by a health or fitness professional. If you are still concerned, see your doctor. Weight is influenced by multiple factors and simply comparing yourself to someone else isn’t the right way to find your healthy weight.
Sizing is fraught with even more perils. Consider this: in 1983 the Sweet Valley High twins wore “a perfect size 6.” In 2008, they wear “a perfect size 4.” This illustrates both our cultural penchant for naming a “perfect” size and the fluidity of sizing. Not only have clothing sizes shrunk (“0 is the new 2!”) but the shrinking is inconsistent. Old Navy’s sizing is predictably generous, but I’ve got Forever 21 garments in everything from “small” to “large.” And be prepared for a sizing shock when going for a gown fitting at a bridal shop, where sizes haven’t shrunk at all. But who cares what size you wear? Size has even less relevance than weight. There is no “perfect” size, other than the one that actually fits your body.
All this sage advice is not meant to imply that I’m personally immune to the cult of thinness. I have my own insecurities to struggle with. I see my body’s flaws and wonder if they might disappear if I could just lose five pounds. I long to fit in those smaller jeans just to know that I can wear that size. I have the same body issues as any other woman. In all honesty, my own insecurities are the second reason I don’t share my weight or size with the internet at large. I’ve been flamed on the message boards for everything from my hairstyle to my makeup to my shoes to my age to my egomania and even my weight. I’d rather not give the haters any more ammunition. I may be an egomaniac, but it still makes me sick to my stomach to read nasty comments about myself online.
The third reason I refuse to disclose my weight or clothing size is that women can be so very competitive about those numbers. It’s a vicious, hurtful game in which no one wins, so I refuse to play. Perhaps a boycott will end the game’s popularity?
Finally, this is a style blog and size is not germane. Style can be found at any size. (See a good discussion of this issue on Wardrobe Remix’s Discussion Board.)
My weight and size are personal and I won’t share them. I do my best to maintain a happy and healthy weight and attitude and wish the same for you. Let’s not be overly fixated on the numbers and have fun with our wardrobes instead.