Why Your Body Size Matters…and Why It Doesn’t Matter At All

Here’s the thing about your body size: It matters a lot, and it doesn’t matter at all. Both are true at the same time. Here’s why:

by Kara Loewentheil

Here’s the thing about your body size: It matters a lot, and it doesn’t matter at all. Both are true at the same time. Here’s why:

We live in a society that values women based on their appearance, and our cultural norms prize thinness above almost any other attribute a woman can have. (Although of course she’s also supposed to have large breasts and a shapely ass somehow along with that thigh gap).

So if you’re thin, regardless of how you feel inside, you benefit from “thin privilege.” You see yourself reflected more often on TV or in the media, you’re more likely to be hired or promoted than a fat person with the same qualifications, and you’ve got an advantage in the dating pool too. Fat bias exists – and correspondingly, so does thin privilege.

But that’s not the whole story. We all know thin women who hate their bodies. Hopefully most of us also know a fat woman or two who loves hers. Being thin doesn’t guarantee you body love or acceptance, and being fat isn’t an automatic sentence to self-loathing.

That’s because what matters most, much more than your actual body size or shape, is your thoughts. You can match the cultural ideal and still feel terrible about your body, and you can be far outside the accepted “norm” and feel foxy as hell.

Now I’m not saying that thin privilege / fat bias don’t have very real economic and social consequences. They do.

But even when society is working against you, your thoughts make all the difference.

Thinking that your body is disgusting or unacceptable will make you feel anxious, defeated, and rejected, no matter what your size. And that will keep you from going after what you want, and from having the kind of confidence that signals to yourself and others that you deserve it.

Loving your body and believing that it – and you – deserve love, success, and happiness will make you feel motivated, joyful, and determined.

Your thoughts can’t cancel out the impact of social oppression. But they can make a big difference in giving you the energy and inspiration to resist bias, celebrate diversity, and love the body you’re in just as it is, no matter what it’s size.

P.S. If you’re ready to have that level of confidence in yourself – no matter what your body size is – come join us in New Orleans for our October retreat! Your brain and your heart will never be the same.

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