The Madness of Measurements

I have a secret. I don’t really understand what an infographic is.

I get plenty of emails from people telling me they’ve created them, and to be honest it mostly seems to be what used to be created as a poster, or a flyer. A way of sharing information in graphical form. Oh, I guess I do know what an infographic is in that case.

Anyway, regardless, I don’t normally share them, mostly because it seems to have become a buzzword that means “I’ve created this pretty picture that doesn’t really say anything of any interest and I thought I might persuade you to part with valuable space on the blog you’ve worked really hard on in order to promote me for no good reason”

However, yesterday someone sent me an “infographic” (the word makes me a little bit sick, from now on I am sticking with “information graphic”, I don’t mind extra words.) that actually was quite interesting. (You can click on it if you want to zoom in, but I’m going to pick sections out.)

Obviously, this isn’t all properly readble (another reason why I generally don’t like infographics, I only have so much space) so I’ll pick out some interesting bits for you.

Firstly, one of the whole reasons that I write about vanity sizing and body image is this quote

“Because we want so badly to be assured that we are thin and beautiful, we fall into the dark of sizing that is detached from our bodies.”

A distorted body image is a very bad thing. Thinking you are fat and starving yourself when you are patently underweight is bad. Telling yourself it is “normal” to be obese and that you don’t need to do anything about your weight when you can’t get into a regular sized seat at the Cinema is also bad.

This portion of the infographic shows how womens average weight and BMI has crept up over the years, whilst designers have introduced smaller and smaller size labels. The truth is tiny women aren’t buying these tiny sizes, the average woman is getting bigger, but still buying the same size from the designers as she was in the 1950s. Those tiny sizes are being sold to the women who are now the same size as the average 1950s woman.

Women come in all shapes and sizes, it’s important to remember that the number on your clothes means nothing.

I shall try not to rant too much today, I like to save my ranting up, but there’s one last thing on the infographic I want to bring up.

There are other risk factors to take into account, obviously. Having a 34″ waist doesn’t mean you are going to die of heart disease or diabetes. But research has shown that in women a waist measurement of over 34″ puts you at serious helth risks. So stop worrying about what your clothes say and whether you are beautiful exactly as you are, and get out a tape measure.