Regarding Body Image

by Sarah Luna

It’s well known that most girls have a skewed perception of their body image. I like to think that I don’t have that issue, but after all, I am likely part of “most girls”.

I’m used to being the short one in the group. In fact, two of my good friends are at least a foot taller than I am, so I don’t think it’s weird to have to strain my neck looking up at them.

But until yesterday, I thought that I was a normal sized 5’4″ girl. Actually, according to the Hamwi equation (ooh nutrition-y), my ideal body weight is 120 pounds (with an ideal range of 108-132lbs). My current body weight is 127 lbs, so I’m at the higher end of normal. The only time I get anywhere close to 120 is when I’m sick or after walking the Camino. 120 is simply unrealistic for me.

Last night, I went to a two-hour Latin dance lesson. We newbies learned the basic step of jive. I’d never done jive. And I looked super uncoordinated. At the end of the lesson, my partner Dan and I talked to some of the team members (Oleg and Anne-Sophie) who helped us through the basics of leading and following. Oleg was having Dan lead him trying to get him to emphasize leading from the hips. Then he pointed at me and said: “Now you don’t have to use a lot of power with her because–look at her–she’s tiny.”

Tiny? I mean I guess I look tiny to someone six inches taller than me. I’d never really thought about myself from that point of view. I wonder what other things I don’t realize about myself.

I wonder if everyone else simply thinks of themselves as normal sized too?