Women commenting on their weight

What it is:

Three snapshots measuring from 3.5 x 2.5 inches up to 4 x 5 inches.

What I know about them:

Written on the backs:  (Upper Left)  This is quite a recent snap – we had been on a full day picnic – Norman appears to be afraid of his shorts coming down.  (Lower Left)  This was in the hills – we went for Easter – grand cold weather – notice I have put on much weight.  (Right)  here I am see how fat I am I wasn’t just kiding [sic] when I said I was fat I lost some this hot weather tho Melody wasn’t feeling very good that morning so she looks sad.


Sorry these aren’t the usual mindlessly pretty studio portraits, but they were on my mind, so I thought I’d post them.  It bugs me that these attractive, vibrant women feel the need to undercut the joy displayed in these images by disparaging their appearances.  (My one hope is that the woman on the left may actually be glad that she’s gained weight since she otherwise looks so emaciated and perhaps had even been ill.)   Of course, we’ve all disparaged photos of ourselves, right?  So why should these be different?  It’s fun to look at old photos and see how much has changed, but it can be equally instructive to realize how much is the same.  I read articles in today’s media about issues of body image and self-esteem as if it’s something new, when clearly it isn’t.  And while it can in some ways be comforting to place an individual’s problem in a larger context, it makes it no less problematic.

2 comments on “Women commenting on their weight”

  1. I really appreciate your comments about body image issues. It’s especially disturbing that the photos were taken not too far before or after the Great Depression, and that when so many people were starving, others were worried about being fat. You’re absolutely right. Not much has changed.

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