"Some people are tall, some people are short. Some people are shaped like sticks, some people are round, and some people are medium,” I told my daughter. “It’s okay however you are.”

“You’re medium, Mom,” she replies.

“Yes,” I sigh. “I’m medium.”

I find the lure of physical perfection both compelling and revolting. As one who has been blessed with a fairly positive self-image but who has observed friends struggle with poor self-image (at best) and eating disorders (at worst), I try to create a home environment for my children in which size is a non-issue—and I try to be okay being medium. I try to live freely in my body as it is. But it is not always easy in our cultural context, and it is even more challenging for those who are round.

Is It Really All About that Bass?

Though the average American woman is 5' 4" and weighs 140 pounds, the average fashion model is 5' 11" and weighs 110 pounds. In addition to this, we’re surrounded by easy-to-eat delicious foods and hear study-after-study that propose “The Answer” to all your eating and health questions (as well as an endless barrage of health-themed clickbait to which even I sometimes succumb).

According to CNN (citing the National Eating Disorder Association), ten million American women battle anorexia and bulimia. Thirteen million Americans (men and women) binge eat. And new disorders and food-related struggles have entered our vocabulary. Orthorexia, for example, is defined as “an ‘unhealthy obsession’ with otherwise healthy eating . . . a term which literally means ‘fixation on righteous eating.’”

So, despite a growth of body-acceptance ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Posted: