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Overweight and Loving My Body

Sylvia Mayoraga
By , 18, Staff Writer Originally Published: April 11, 2006 Revised: July 6, 2015

I am on Prevention magazine’s website playing with their Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator, and after a few inputs, the computer screen in front of me suddenly says:

You have a BMI of 27.98.

The next page goes on to say:

BMI between 25 and 29.9 (Overweight):

Persons falling in this BMI range are considered overweight and would benefit from finding healthy ways to lower their weight, such as diet and exercise. Individuals who fall in this range are at increased risk for a variety of illnesses.

Whoa! What?

What you have just read is a calculation “in which weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters and the result [is] used as an index of obesity.” Obese status, for your information, begins at 30.0 BMI. So, this calculation is telling me that I am 2.02 “BMI’s” away from being obese! Now, if you look at my picture, do you think I look that close to being obese? I’m 5’2″, and I wear size nine jeans. When I look in the mirror I don’t see an overweight, almost obese teen. I see me—just an average girl!

I am happy with my body, and seriously, I could care less what anyone else thinks about it. This is what God gave me, and I love it!

Do All Teen Girls Have to Be a Size Zero to Be Cool?

I am sitting home watching Mean Girls, starring Lindsay Lohan, and when I look at all those girls there on the screen, I think not one of them looks like me. I don’t see any “overweight” or nearly “obese” girls like myself standing next to any of the popular girls. I never do when I watch television and movies and read fashion magazines. Why not?

Are teen girls being brainwashed to think we have to be a size zero? Well, if you can be a size zero and still eat healthily without having to work out for three hours a day, God bless you. But no one should be on those fad diets or pumping iron at the gym all day, especially if you are only 17. Sure, you should watch your figure, but as a teen you’re still growing and you have other things to worry about as well. There’s school, maybe there’s a job, a boy or girlfriend or just another activity you like doing. I hate hearing size zero girls in the media saying things like, “Look at me, I’m so fat,” and “I hate myself” or “Look at these disgusting love handles!” I mean, come on!

Is Body Size the Only Thing that Matters Anymore?

So what if I am a little full on the bottom? At least I can wear jeans and make them look good. I sometimes wonder if anyone notices the little things besides my body size. When people see me, can they tell that I have really straight teeth, or are they too busy looking at my “double chin”? Can they see that I have a really cool sense of style, or are they too busy throwing up from the sight of my bulging torso? Can they see that I have light brown, penetrating eyes without staring at my supposedly overly fat cheeks? My guess is no, because the only thing that people focus on now, is unfortunately, perfect bodies.

But who’s to say what’s perfect or not? Why can’t my body type be perfect, and “skinny” be considered unsightly?

I Like Me the Way I Am!

I am happy with my body, and seriously, I could care less what anyone else thinks about it. This is what God gave me, and I love it! Yeah, I can’t fit a size three around my knees if I tried, but I can do a lot of things that, maybe according to this standard, a nearly obese person like myself should not be able to do. Like, I do yoga, and I can do the difficult poses, even though sometimes, while I’m doing a handstand, my unsightly fat oozes down toward the floor over my face and impairs my breathing (he-he).

I don’t care what anyone thinks. I’m happy with my life and with the things that I have accomplished so far. I’ve done things that most 30-year-olds haven’t done, and I’m only 17 and just getting started. I love my body—overweight and all!

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