For most of my adult life, I’d rather have given a detailed description of my bowel movements than tell people how much I weighed. I’d rather have talked about my salary, political affiliations or amazed you with tales of my sex life. But not any more. Now, I’m happy to tell you how much I weigh: 95 kilos. A cool 15st. Stick that in your sandwich and eat it.
I know. It’s a lot. But it’s all relative. I have huge boobs (a 34K, if you please!). I’m kind of tall. I have junk in my trunk. I am certainly a lot larger than pre-marriage and baby, when you’d have had to waterboard me to get my weight out (12st: this also sounds a lot although, funnily enough, I looked super-slim).
But then, that’s the funny thing about weight. It tells you very little about a person. So why would we rather live off wheatgrass than tell our nearest and dearest what the scales say? Then again, is it any wonder when we are all so obsessed with outward appearances. Gigi Hadid – yes, the supermodel with a smoking-hot bod – recently posted a message on her Instagram in response to trolls. ‘No, I don’t have the same body type as the other models in shows… If you don’t like it, don’t follow me…’ Meanwhile, the wonderful Lena Dunham has stopped looking at social media because of the ‘verbal violence’ she encounters over her body. Speaking about a picture of herself in her boyfriend’s boxers, which got a particularly horrid response, she said, ‘It turned into the most rabid, disgusting debate about women’s bodies, and my Instagram page was somehow the hub for misogynists all afternoon.’
I applaud Lena for showing it like it is, and not photoshopping her posts. Because the ‘Instagram Effect’ has had terrible consequences for body image. Why don’t we enjoy the way we look, instead of trying to filter and crop it, to hide it away?
I have this fantasy of gathering together 100 women of all shapes and sizes and photographing them in their underwear, while standing on scales and holding up boards declaring their real weights. Because then we could see that we genuinely do come in different shapes and sizes; that your size 8 is another person’s size 14. But as it is, we are too scared to admit this, let alone celebrate it. And in doing so, aren’t we just body shaming ourselves? So now I’ve told you mine, you tell me yours. There is power in being honest about the way you look – which, by the way, is beautiful.