I am all for women having a voice, sharing their experiences and opinions on things that have happened in their lives and just being honest about their journey. However, I believe I stumbled upon too much honesty last night when I read this article titled “It’s Important To Stay Skinny For My Husband.” And while I am smart enough to know that most articles like this are essentially clickbait, I fell for it anyway and began to read the story of Gemma Hartley.
Her basic reasoning for feeling like she has to stay skinny for her marriage is so that she can feel good about herself, look attractive to her partner, and after 3 kids she felt that she was holding onto extra weight that she didn’t have before. I’m trying to give this writer, and the women that agreed with her some credit, because there is so much pressure to lose the weight after you have a baby – snapback is it’s own trend just as thigh gaps are on Instagram.
In particular, one portion stuck out to me that said, “Even though logically I know that I’m still deserving of love and physical affection, I put up a barrier between us because I don’t feel like I’m deserving. Sex doesn’t solely hinge on me being sexually attracted to my husband; I need to feel attractive, too. As I get older, it’s becoming harder to maintain the exact same physique but I’ve found it’s worth the challenge. Focusing on our health together keeps us close and keeps us happy.” And while no one can tell another person what happiness is for them, I refuse to accept this version of happiness that has so many conditions and only allows a woman to be the same size she was in high school.
This narrow, vapid view that women are constantly held to: as if perfection is attainable, and as if our bodies should look like Victoria’s Secret Angels but without the 5 workouts a day, crazy diets and nutritionists. I hope this woman has a happy marriage for what it’s worth and all the effort she puts into it; and that one day she can know her worth outside of the number she sees on the scale.