Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: review of Life Magazine article on obesity

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: review of Life Magazine article on obesity
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (picture taken in 2011)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I came across an article in Life Magazine that referred to an article from 1954 on obesity.  This article talked about how obesity is still a problem but has gotten out of hand.  The referenced article recapped Dorothy Bradley’s struggle with overeating and body image.  She was put down in the article for being 205 lbs at 5 foot 5 inches tall.  The pictures show her standing alone in front of the tunnel of love or looking at the skinny girl in her swimsuit.  One picture was taken with an upward angle from her backside in her swimsuit.  That angle is not flattering by no means but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


The saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder is a true statement because what I find attractive, others may find gross or ugly.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and preference.  I use to call myself BBW (big beautiful woman) or full figured.  In the past I would think I was alone until I found Mode Magazine that was sold at Lane Bryant.  That magazine would highlight plus size fashion and beauty with curves.  I have a poster that says, “if mother nature didn’t like curves, the world would be flat.”  I like variety in this world.  Having everyone look the same would be boring.  I also believe someone can be ugly with just their attitude and their actions.

Sizes back then and now

They pictured her measuring her waist at 31 inches.  The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute states that a woman’s waist should be 35 inches and a man’s waist should be 40 inches because anything over that puts you at a “higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”   Currently my waist is at 37 inches and my hips are 46 inches.  I’m 5 foot 5 and a half weighing 198 lbs.  I wear a size 12 pants.  The article reports that Dorothy wore a size 44 dress.  European size 44 is converted to size 16 in USA.  As the years have gone by the numbers have gotten smaller but the inches greater.

Too skinny?

I have gotten a lot of nice compliments from strangers, friends, and family that I look great at my current size (size 12) or that I’m simply beautiful.  This past Sunday, a gentleman said to my husband that I look smok’n hot and he better hold on tight to me.  I have had people wonder if I made goal cause I look good now.  Some people warn me to not get too skinny.  I tell them that I’m going by the BMI cause I want to get healthy.

Standards of beauty

Our standards of what is beautiful and what looks healthy has changed over the years.  I believe because obesity is a problem that we are use to seeing people being overweight that it becomes a norm.  I know in some cultures they force feed their girls so they are fat because they see it as beautiful and can marry off their girls better.  That practice has stopped but that website shows a smaller culture still practicing that.

I think of my weight loss as a lifestyle change for the rest of my life.  I will never be done because it’s an on going battle.  I will get to my goal weight but I will develop new goals and work towards those.

Easter Dress size 12

Easter Dress size 12

Beautiful at any size

I felt beautiful when I was size 24 wearing that swimsuit in the snow. I was crazy for wearing a swimsuit in the snow but I was trying to win a trip to Cancun. I didn’t win, but it was a fun memory.  My husband has been my biggest fan no matter what size I have been.  He says as long as I am happy, he’s happy for me.  I do believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The article from 1954 Life Magazine doesn’t say Dorothy is beautiful or attractive until she loses weight and gets the job as a nurse.

 Everyone is different

The article highlights how she is without a date, embarassed trying on a dress, and wishing she could eat like the skinny girl.  I do believe that no one should be treated different because of their weight.  I believe I didn’t get some jobs because of my weight and how I wasn’t as confident as I am now.  Everyone has different body structure and some have different struggles.  It took me 4 years to want to try to get healthy again.  I tell others about my journey but I don’t jam it down their throats.  I don’t try to get them to be just like me.  Everyone is on a different path.  They may not be wanting to change.

 Not Willpower alone

The article talks about willpower to lose weight. Willpower alone does not help you lose weight. You need the correct tools in place to be successful.  Some of those tools are what to eat, how much to eat, new recipes, activity, supports, positive affirmations, and believing you are worth the time to get healthy.  Do you see yourself as beautiful?  Do you take compliments well?  I would love to hear from you.

join me on my Facebook Fan page or on twitter
Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Filed under: mental health, weight loss

Leave a comment