So as a man there are some issues that regard the fairer sex that I could not generally care less about. But, as a man who is a father to two daughters, a teacher, and a Coach for Girls on the Run, I realize that there are certain issues that women face and are going to continue to face on a daily basis. One of the most important of which is the idea of body image.
In talking with a friend about the concept of body image the other day, I was reminded of two unique facts about women’s clothing. The first is why women’s button on their clothing is on the left side. Second and the REALLY most important fact: women’s dress sizes were created by the U.S. government. Yes, the United States government and, more importantly, the Department of Agriculture. Yes, you read that correctly, Agriculture, because you know, why not. For millions of years women lived without dress sizes until 1941. Then, the government decided that that needed to change. And mainly in the name of fashion, not fashion as we know it today, but the infamous mail-order catalog. Women needed to know what size they were so that they could order clothes through the mail.
Now today’s society has placed such an emphasis on what body type and size a person, especially women should be. For every “Dad body” poll that comes out that says a pudgy man is sexy, there are 500 magazines, social media sites, internet sites, and other media that says if a woman is a size 12 or larger she is “plus size.” Are we serious, the ultimate pin up model in the history of history of sexy women would be a considered a “plus size” woman by today’s standards. And in this man’s opinion, she is still dead sexy. And not just because of her figure or her looks, but the attitude and confidence that exuded.
Because in the end, that is where it matters and that is what we need to be teaching this generation of ladies. That they need to be confident in themselves and accepting of their bodies in the same way that Ashley Graham and Amanda Bingson do and represent themselves. That what society at large says and thinks about them does not matter, but what they think about themselves is all that matters. That they are strong enough to be able to do and accomplish anything that they set their minds.
As First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”