No matter what size you are, chances are you've been made to feel self-conscious about it (thanks, mass media!). With the useless-yet-pervasive BMI and our cultural obsession with the heights and weights and dress sizes of various celebrities, we live in a world where size statistics carry a lot of, well, weight.
They don't leave much room for variables, either. While we might know full well that in real life being 5'4" and weighing 180 pounds doesn't look the same on one person as it does the next, it can be difficult not to internalize those numbers and let them mean more than they should. That's where My Body Gallery can help.
An interactive photo gallery meant to show us "what real women look like," My Body Gallery lets users browse photos based on height, weight, body shape, and clothing size to get a sense how variable these numbers really are. Users are also encouraged to upload their own photos, adding to the already diverse database of images available on the site. Here's but a sampling of what I got when I searched for the earlier example of 5'4" and 180 pounds:
While I'm not sure how I feel about most of the faces being blacked out (it looks like that's left up to individual choice, so at least it's avoiding the headless fatties phenomenon), it's striking to see the differences in shape and size here among women who are all the same height and weight. The more we can break down these notions of who should weigh what and what a 200-pound or a 100-pound or a 500-pound woman really looks like, the better off we'll be.
From My Body Gallery:
This is a place for women to post their true and accurate pictures. And for other women to see that the world is not a place of cookie cutters. We are all different in our body shape and size as well as our place in our journey to loving our bodies exactly as they are, not as we (or others) think they should be.
It is a place for us to be kind to others and ourselves.
Check it out, and consider adding your own photo to the gallery!