Monday 15 October 2007

Size matters

At 5ft 5 inches, I'm considered 'big' in Asia but whenever I'm in the US, I become a petite Asian girl. In Singapore, I buy clothes that are in 'medium' or 'large' size but in the US, I can sometimes fit into a tiny size '3' because a size 5 can be too loose for me.

Being big-boned means that I am naturally heavier and bigger than my peers. Looking at my school photos, I find myself towering over my classmates. Of course, being a self-conscious teenager, I equate being big-boned as 'FAT' though looking back, I had always been trim and fit.

Now that I am older and wiser, I have come to terms with my size, well, more or less (a woman will never be truly satisfied with her figure). In a country that is obsessed with weight loss, I can't help but feel affected from time to time. A friend from the UK commented that he had never seen a newspaper that's filled with so many pages of slimming advertisements. Mind you, our advertising space is really expensive due to the monopoly here. Yet, the pages are splashed with tall, attractive women flaunting their new-found figures in tight fitting outfits.

One popular singer who's about 5ft 4in, weighing 105 pounds (48 kg) proudly declares that she feels more attractive and confident now after losing 11 pounds (5 kg). Of course, she's paid to say all that for she endorses a leading slimming salon but what message are they trying to put across to the young impressionable girls out there?

Sometimes even the not-so-young aunties are still impressionable...


Anonymous said...

A newspaper filled with superficial ads indicates the existence of an intellectually-numbed population that is appealed to by the obvious. Don't bother about it. It takes Passion to appreciate the fuller women as opposed to those teetering on the verge of anorexia.

An appreciation of the latter can indicate the 'desire to possess' or 'control' arising from an inferiority complex. Those who love to 'feel' the most in life, love to 'feel more', be it in spice or size.

Anonymous said...

aaawww maaannn...i'd LUV to be at least 5'5"...I not even close... *sigh*

Amel said...

Hi, Blur!

I know EXACTLY what you mean. A close friend of mine says that weight problem is the same to women as ego to men he he he...

Here's something I wrote before we got to know each other about pressures in Asia:


The World According To Me said...

Interesting topic. I think it's pretty common for us girls to wish we were taller or slimmer, I know I do sometimes. Then again, there are girls out there who wish they were smaller or bigger. Are we ever satisfied?!
But what's really sad is that young girls can be so impressionable, and they see these supermodels and slimming advertisements and are literally starving themselves to death.

mooiness said...

In my experience, there's an obsession with the 50kg mark amongst Asian girls. And usually these girls do not look anywhere near what we'd consider fat.

You are right about the media pressure though - a woman's willpower and sense of self-worth must be damn strong to withstand the constant barrage of slimming advertisements.

Blur Ting said...

You're right Edsperience. I doubt many men would appreciate a skinny body but try convincing the women!!

JY - you know what? You don't have to be tall, it's all about proportion. In the modeling world, the proportionate models can be really tiny cos it won't show in the photos. You look so tall and slim in your photos you know. See, it's all about proportion.

Amel. I read your blog and you're really hit the right note in that blog! I can totally relate to those things you said!

World - Sad, but true. It's not going to be easy to change that perception.

Yah, Mooiness, guys don't really care about how much a woman weighs as long as she's well groomed and presentable, and have tons of confidence right? That's waht they always say and I choose to believe them :-)

Amel said...

Hi, Blur,

I knew you'd be able to relate to the things I mentioned in that specific post he he he...glad you enjoyed reading it! ;-D

Anonymous said...

Its so interesting that being very thin is as much of an obsession half a world away as it is in the U.S. It is a sad commentary on the pervasive values being conveyed to young girls. I don't see an end, though. It really is a shame.

YU said...

Hi Ting! Came from Mooi`s blog. I think you`re pretty; very sunshiny and cheery!

I can`t wear lots of smaller sized clothing thanks to my broad, man-like, swimmer-type shoulders no matter how thin I get.

My mom thinks I`m fat while my dad thinks I`m too thin. We can`t please everybody so we might as well just eat and do whatever we want so long as we look good to ourselves.

Anonymous said...

When in asia i am tall and big. when back home, i am just a regular dude. I like it.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear! I totally feel you as I am also tall (1.68m) and big (size 12) so am considered fat by Asian standards.

Anonymous said...

I guess Asia being touted as producing the world's most petite women, have to "keep up" with that image, thus girls like us (I am 1.68m/size 12-14) are considered "flawed Asian products".

Especially here in mish-mash SG, when we get fed on a diet of Asian AND Western cuisine (not to mention the myriad of other exotic foreign flavours), we can't really all just develop like "Asians", can we?

The society here is just plain shallow, thus the emphasis on big girls being labeled as "fat girls". If it were not as superficial, why the need for condos, cars and other flashy belongings?