According to Seventeen Magazine, my BMI is 0.4 away from being “overweight.” Despite the reasons why using BMI as a measure of health is complete and utter bullshit, I have to applaud this magazine for a relatively nice try at making me feel horrible about myself. First of all, great job at putting my lowest weight during my eating disorder (considered underweight by an actual medical doctor) in the “healthy” weight range, as well as putting one of my closest Tumblr friend’s current BMI in “healthy” as well, even though she’s at the lowest weight of her anorexia. Secondly, fantastic use of brainpower for making 20+ the only ages that are allowed to have an actual healthy range.
Thirdly, and most important of all, thank you for getting me so worked up that I took pictures of my self-loathed, unmade up, and zit-covered body, and am posting them on the internet. Thank you for making this thought click in my head: All I want to do is accept myself. Who cares what other people think of my body?
See, I know I’m not overweight. I feel and see myself as obese 99% of the time, but I know that I’m physically at a normal weight. I’m in recovery (and have been for about four months) for an eating disorder and depression that nearly cost me my life, but not once have I felt comfortable enough with my body to post anything like this online. I’m still not sure about it as I’m typing these words.
But seriously. This has to stop. In what world is a twelve-year-old nearly four points underweight “healthy”? In what world am I nearly overweight, when in reality I have three or more points to spare?
Yeah, maybe a part of me wants to get down to the 14.8 BMI that’s so-called “healthy” for my age. But maybe a bigger part of me is so done with people being so concerned with weight and looks. Maybe a bigger part of me wants to personally have the extreme pleasure of shutting down companies that are this idiotic. Maybe a bigger part of me doesn’t even care what I look like, as long as my body is functioning and enabling me to live my life.
Because what is a body? A body is a shell. A body is not a soul. But a body helps that soul.
A body is a laughing machine, a crying machine. A smiling, frowning, and thinking machine. It lets you read, it lets you play music, it lets you run and play sports and sit on the couch watching movies. It alerts you when you need fuel, it alerts you when there’s danger, it alerts you when you’re excited. It gives you those loved and hated “butterflies.” It connects itself with other human beings. It does homework, studies, blows off studying, and lets you take walks. It pets your animals, plays with little kids, and climbs mountains. It looks good in your favorite outfits, and it kisses your favorite person.
Who cares what size it is? When you add up all of the things it does for you, the least you can do is be proud of it and accept it. Maybe even love it.
So, Seventeen Magazine. You tried to make me feel shit about myself. Nice try.