Believe it or not, Marilyn Monroe wore between a size 10-14 throughout her prime acting years! And she was considered to be one of the most beautiful, sexy women of her time. We weren’t body shaming her and telling her to starve herself to lose a few pounds. I loved learning Marilyn’s size because I myself, have a muscular, medium sized frame. I’m not model thin, like so many women in fitness are portrayed to be. And, despite the fact that I exercise 5-6 days a week and get my 8+ servings of vegetables in daily, I never will be model thin. This is partially due to genetics. Genetics do play a role in what your ideal body size should be. It’s important to be aware of the physiques of your relatives. If you don’t see many tiny people in your family, does it make sense that your expectation is to be tiny? Probably not.

How Can you Stop Body Shaming?

Now, genetics shouldn’t give you a free pass to climb to over 300 pounds just because your parents were that large. But it can explain why a size 6 may not be a realistic or healthy size for you to be. Educate yourself on the body composition of the past few generations within your family tree.

Stop Body Shaming With These Actions

Stop comparing yourself to the rich and famous in magazines – the images are completely unrealistic!

Air brushing eliminates every flaw from the movie stars, royals and athletes found in magazine publications. These images often aren’t what stars look like in person. I remember when I first saw Angelina Jolie in person. I was shocked at how frail and unhealthy she looked. On the big screen, she can look toned and of a normal size, but not in person. This proved to me that Hollywood actors really shouldn’t be who we compare ourselves to. This behaviour definitely leads to unhealthy body shaming.

Search for images of beefy arms and legs on pin-ups from the 40’s.

Back in this decade, a more muscular female frame was the desired shape. Some of our current stars with a broader physique like Pink, Beyonce and Amy Schumer are also potential role models. Hang images of these stars on your fridge or bathroom mirror as a reminder that the “ideal” body type society has built up, may or may not make sense for you to obtain.

Watch what your kids are growing up to believe is the “ideal” body.

Toys and dolls are often not an accurate representation of the human body at all. Did you know, if Barbie were real person, her body fat and structure would be so tiny, she’d fall over!?!

Stop weighing yourself all of the time.

I’m frequently reminding my personal training clients that muscle weighs more than fat, so the scale never tells the whole story. It’s more important to figure out how you want to feel due to your healthy living habits, versus a number on the scale. If you’re actively working to change your physique, pictures and measurements are a much better way to monitor your progress versus tracking the number on the scale.

To Sum it up…

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Remember that many beauty icons of the 40’s and 50’s bounced from between a size 10-14. Find role models who aren’t all stick thin and don’t believe everything you see in magazines is real. Help your children develop a healthier sense of what the “ideal” body shape is and let go of what the scale is telling you.