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Size 12 Is NOT Fat!

Hat tip to Suzanne Reisman and the Sarcastic Journalist, without whom I would never have known that Entertainment Tonight thinks I'm FAT at a size 12.

Geez, I feel like I should be stronger about this, but the American media has me feeling pretty bad about the way I look.

I'll let the Sarcastic Journalist explain:

Take Entertainment Tonight's Vanessa Minnillo. A recent episode of the show has Minnillo, who weighs about 10 pounds soaking wet, donning a “fat” suit and “ugly” prosthetics to see what it is like to be an “ugly” person on the streets of New York.

According to IMDB, Minnillo, a 5′8 former Miss Teen USA, was on Maxim Magazine’s Hot 100 list. I doubt she’s ever had to struggle with being “ugly” or “fat,” unless she considers a size two fat.

My main problems with this show are how they portray being “fat” (or, really, slightly overweight in ET’s case) as this horrible thing. Are people nice to “fat” people? I’m sure plenty aren’t. Are they rude to the “ugly?” Again, yes.

I think it's gone now, but near where I work there's been this giant billboard featuring a pile of strategically placed naked women for Victoria's Secret make-up.  Victoria's Secret's commercials ask, "What's sexy?"  And I can only conclude that the answer is emphatically:  Not Me.

And on all the TV shows, in every job, every mom, every woman who is not actually overweight is thin, thin, thin.  There's not an average-sized woman to be found with the blessed exception of Patricia Arquette on "Medium."

I guess I'm supposed to chalk that up to entertainment stars vs. real people.  I'm supposed to accept that television is hyper-reality. 

Yeah - I live in L.A. and your average date expects you to look like that.  Or at least thinks you're overweight at - you know what's coming - size 12.

Mental Hijinks had a great post recently, too, that made me think, I'm not the only one who gets sucked into this sometimes!  (Thanks to Mary Tsao for this link.)

I find myself a little disappointed to have bought in, even for a second, to the myth that a celebrity could possibly be "just like me." I'm embarrassed that I even spent a moment wondering why my post-partum figure isn't all svelte and sleek. I can't believe I even have to remind myself that she has trainers and chefs and maids and nannies and wardrobe consultants and make-up artists and...other luxuries I probably don't even know exist. I'm mad at myself for feeling even that hint of self-recrimination back when I really wanted to go on a pre-baby vacation but couldn't afford it.

The real kicker is, if you feel like crap about your appearance, you only make it worse.  A confident size 12 woman is sexy, sexy, sexy!  (And guys that don't get that are losers anyway.)  But a miserable, self-conscious size 12 is not a good thing.  What you feel inside really does effect how you are perceived - and how you eat and take care of yourself.

Since we can't gather up the entire entertainment and advertising industry and smack some sense into them, the only solution, of course, is to accept your reality and refuse to accept those unrealistic images of every single woman ever portrayed anywhere being SO SO SO thin.

Sigh.  It's really hard sometimes, isn't it?

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Comments

Thanks for the comments!

It is so true that the message is "be thin or you're not sexy." REAL people have to fight this message, because it's simply not true.

As someone who's fluctuated from size 6 to 12 to 10 and all around, I totally think it's out of hand. Sexy really is so much about how you hold yourself and how you think of yourself.

Not totally on topic but still fun - Meg Cabot has written a mystery called Size 12 Is Not Fat and has another one coming out Size 14 Is Not Fat Either.

But I think accepting our bodies, whatever their size, is so hard. I totally struggle with it, as well as wanting to live/eat in a healthy way without going too far in the diet or too far in the eat all kinds of crap directions. But the message of "be thin at all costs or you're not sexy" is so pervasive it's really challenging, no matter how much of a feminist you are, to escape it entirely. Thanks for this post and for pointing out the ridiculousness of ET.

I couldn't believe it, when I saw V.M. put on a fat suit and she was a size 12. That was ridiculous! The majority of women in the US are a size 12 or better. I have no respect for ET,now that they have shown such disrespect to women around the world. I am a size 22/24 and I love myself - I just wish that more women could accept who they are! Embrace yourself, love yourself!

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