Friday, February 13, 2015

The Weight of Weight

"Weight" in and of itself is a neutral word, imbued with meaning only in a specific context. Unlike other terms like "happy" or "sad" that have an unequivocal sense, "weight" has various meanings that ricochet from one pole to the other.

Everything has weight. Mass, no matter how large or infinitesimally small, implies some sort of existence. How size is measured is also a relative perception depending on one's own relationship to the "other."

In the human realm of ordinary perception (the 5 senses plus one), body weight has become one of the most talked about and thought about issues - decidedly a First World problem, although even in Third World countries, advertising is now muddying the waters with images of sleek cream and/or tan-hued women held up as the standard of feminine beauty. 

Herein lies the weight of weight. Fashion magazines, billboards, television and other mass media broadcast subliminally that we are not good enough unless we measure up to the advertised image. It is the rare woman (or man for that matter) who can judge themselves based on their own uniqueness.

More interesting questions than the most common one, "Why don't I measure up?" would be: 

"Can I manage to feel comfortable in my own skin?" 

"Am I doing fulfilling work and helping others?" 

"Can I still fit into a seat in the economy section of an American Airlines plane?" 

If the answer is "yes" to the last question, you are ahead of the game, no matter how much our culture screams that we are not good enough unless we have the perfectly sculpted size 0-2 body.

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