health

She went from a BMI of 22.5 to 16.5. Because of this.

A quick Google image search of Simone also unearthed this picture of her.

By NATALIA HAWK

It’s time for a bit of honesty.

I weigh 61 kgs. My stomach is not flat. I don’t have a box gap. Bits on my arms jiggle. I have big boobs and an arse to match. There’s cellulite on my thighs.

And it’s taken me 22 years to realise that none of the above things mean that I’m fat. I’m not even chubby. I just have a body and it happens to have a certain shape. My thighs are just always going to touch and there is nothing I can do about it.

I’m at a happy point now. I don’t mind wearing a bikini at the beach and I don’t care if my stomach rolls when I sit down on my beach towel. But for awhile there, I was very, very annoying. I exercised like a demon and constantly asked friends and boyfriends if they thought I was fat. “Because maybe I have body dysmorphia and I just can’t see that I’m actually a chubster,” I used to explain when they gave me a look of disbelief.

I went on my first diet at the age of 10. I remember once sitting down and counting my stomach rolls and thinking that I needed to reduce them. I was in year 5 at the time.

There’s a reason I’m telling you all this.

I thought straight back to it all when I read a story in this week’s Take 5 magazine about Simone Brook, an 18-year-old aspiring model who just made it on to the new season of Australia’s Next Top Model.

Simone used to be a size 12. She was 174cm tall and weighed 68kgs. If you know anyone who’s roughly that size then you will know that it is absolutely within the healthy weight range. And if you believe in the BMI calculator, those measurements come up as a 22.5 – classifying her smack in the middle of what is “normal” weight.

But Simone didn’t stay at 68kgs. She lost 18kgs to get to a grand total weight of just 50kgs. If we’re still going with BMIs (reocgnising that there is a lot of debate about BMIs being a perfect measure of health), that’s a BMI of 16.5. Anything under 18.5 is classified as underweight.

Simone’s tell-all in Take 5 this week details exactly why she felt the need to lose the weight.

The full story is available in the current issue of Take 5 magazine, on sale now.

According to Simone, she posted up images from a photoshoot on Facebook, only to get a lot of comments from friends about her weight: “You’re fat”, one wrote. “You need to lay off the lard,” another one of them said.”

Simone admits that she wasn’t fat, not even overweight – but “maybe they’re right, I thought. There were a lot of comments.”

Because of those so-called ‘friends’ Simone changed her diet to stop eating unhealthy food and start eating more veggies. She also started exercising. She says she used a Victoria’s Secret model as her “thinspiration”. And because of her new super-slim body type, Simone was able to make the top 50 of this cycle of Australia’s Next Top Model (ANTM).

ADVERTISEMENT

Now. I have no issue with Simone changing her diet and lifestyle in order to improve her wellbeing. According to her tell-all, she was eating two cheeseburgers, a meat pie and chips daily, on top of three regular meals. You don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that isn’t the wisest of choices. Incorporating healthier foods into her diet and exercising regularly will have many benefits (weight loss doesn’t have to be the only aim of eating healthy, people!) and I’m glad she’s chosen to do that.

And I’m actually impressed that after Simone had already made the decision to try and lose weight, she at least chose to lose weight in a healthy way.

I also have no issue with Simone being skinny. Not at all. She says that she’s been skinny all her life. There are plenty of people that are naturally skinny and they are gorgeous.

But how did we possibly get to this point? So that Simone read those comments about her size 12 photo and decided to take them seriously and that her healthy body wasn’t good enough?

Why didn’t she feel equipped to just tell them to get stuffed? Why couldn’t she ring the person who called her fat and say “up yours, I’m a size 12, I’m not even chubby thanks”?

How did we get to the general conclusion, as a society, that there is only one body shape and size that is aesthetically pleasing? And if that’s not you, then pass the celery sticks. Pronto.

I know we’ve said this a hundred times on this site. But I want to say it again. And I want us to keep saying it for as long as stories like this keep appearing in the media.

Because there are plenty of other girls out there that will read stories such as these and panic. Because they’re not like Simone. They’re like me. They have big thighs, they have stomach rolls, they have arm flab.

And we’ve reached the sad, sad point where society is hitting back and saying, “that’s not okay, guys. Lose that weight. Now.” And I’m so happy to have this platform at Mamamia to say: I’m not fat. Simone wasn’t fat. YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT FAT, EITHER. And you don’t have to lose 18kgs and get on ANTM to prove ANYBODY wrong.

Let’s keep aiming to lose the focus on being skinny. Let’s get the focus back to living a healthy life, at a healthy weight, and coming to terms with your body just as it should be. And accepting that it’s beautiful – whether it’s 68kg or 50kg or any size.

Rant over now. I promise.

00:00 / ???