Hi, My name is Karis, and I am created in the image of God…
Several weeks ago, I started a Facebook discussion that really got me thinking about body image and our perception of beauty. I watched the Emmy’s and noticed the beautiful Christina Hendricks…the redhead that plays Joan in Mad Men. I saw her standing next to someone, maybe a friend or member of the press, and noticed that in comparison to the woman next to her she was very tall and almost “Larger then life” looking. After a little more research about her, I discovered that at her first Emmy’s in 2010, she couldn’t find a designer to give her a dress. She’s a size 14, and that makes her 7 sizes larger then the largest sample size produced by designers. That same year, she was selected as Maxim Magazine’s Sexiest Woman Alive….
All this started me thinking about how skewed our standards for beauty are. Men (and women) the world over find Christina Hendricks to be wildly beautiful, and yet, designers say she is too fat for fashion. Ridiculous.
Back to Facebook…I posted a link to a picture of Christina at the Emmy’s, gave a little information about her, for example that she is 5’8 and her measurements are 42-30-36 and she wears a size 14. Based on that, I asked people to guess what she weighed. We may never know what Christina weighs unless she comes out and tells us, but I was more interested in hearing people’s perception of weight and what they thought she should weigh. People guessed everything between 130 to 200 lbs. Let me tell you this…there is no way she is any less than 160 lbs.
I will admit, I had an agenda. I am a tall girl. 5’10 barefoot. I can’t remember weighing less than 100 lbs. I was taller than my second grade teacher. I got married at 20. The lowest weight I have registered in my adult life (if you can consider 20 an adult) was on my wedding day. I was 135 lbs. I was skin and bones. Not because I tried to be, but because I was a full time college student, worked 3 part time jobs, volunteered on highschool staff at my church and sang in 3 different bands. Plus, I had just planned my wedding in 4 months. I lived on my own and didn’t know how to cook, so I ate things like minute rice and butter, deli turkey, string cheese, bagels and pizza…lots and lots of pizza.
Other than getting my period at 13, my body didn’t seem to change at all until after I had my first baby at 22. I basically had the body of a teenage boy until my body needed to change to accomodate feeding my child.
Now, I’m 32 and a mother of 2. I gained 55 lbs with my first pregnancy and 48 with my second. I lost the weight both times. It’s amazing what happens to a metabolism exactly at age 30. It’s like someone flips a switch. I now have to be concious to eat healthy, excersize (which I loathe) and take care of this temple. I have dieted, and not always in a moderate way.
In highschool, I remember my friends talking about weighing 95, 100, 110 lbs. There was no way I was telling them my weight. Sure, I was at least 6 inches taller than most of them, but somehow, we don’t seem to take that into account.
So. Without belaboring this any longer, this morning I weigh 167 lbs. That can fluxuate 10 lbs in a day. I guess I retain water. I wear a size 14, my measurements are 40-30-43…Yes, that’s a badonkadonk. My husband loves it. Here is me, wet hair, no makeup. This is the image of God, and when you look in the mirror, that’s what you’ll see as well, God’s image staring back at you.