First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you had a great break like I did (as evidenced by absolutely no posts in the past week).Second, let’s talk about weight. If you’ve been eating anything near what I have in the past month, you may be considering weight loss for a new year’s resolution. Even if you haven’t been eating too much, you’ve probably been inundated with media messages about weight. According to a 1994 study, women’s magazines have 10.5 times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men’s magazines do.* Factor in television commercials, talk shows and that internet ad for obeying “one simple rule”, and it’s amazing we can think about anything else.I’m here to remind you, however, that curves are not a weight issue. Most of us are full-breasted regardless of whether the number on the scale is high or low. It’s sad that “curvy” is often a euphemism for “plus” or “overweight”.

Of course our curves can have an impact on our weight. For some women, large breasts mean discomfort during exercise, which can lead to avoiding it, which can lead to weight gain. At the other extreme, as Susan Seligson notes in Stacked, “Breast reduction . . . makes women feel thinner, and the thinner they feel, the better their self-image, the less they eat, and the thinner they actually are.” Even with this observation, however, Seligson wasn’t willing to endure the risks of surgery to convert her 32DDD’s into something smaller.

Most of us are probably not considering breast reduction in the new year, but even before cutting back on calories, let’s remember to do the things that improve our self-image regardless of our weight. Wear a great bra. Stand straight. Be active. And wear clothes that fit rather than hide who we are.

*Guillen, E., & Barr, S. (1994). Journal of Adolescent Health, 15, 464-472