14 August 2011

Don't Change Me: The Difference in American and British Female Beauty

Some time back, I was watching a video posted on my Newsfeed via Moveon.org that prompted me I to write this post.  It's actually a topic that I've been thinking about for some time now and has made me second guess what one considers as 'skinny' or 'beautiful'.

The first thought of Americans is that they're fat and obese, and while we do have a large population and this is the significant case for many American females, I don't believe it is representative of most American girls. Actually, I think American girls tend to be more polar when it comes to their weight; you're either on the slim and slender end or you're above plus sizes.  The clothes that we purchase back home typically come in about 3 or 4 different sizes before it jumps straight to plus sized clothing.  I also think the shapes of many American women varies greatly than the shapes of British women.  We have far more slim, boyish shaped girls than our cousins across the pond in Britain.  British women have far more curves and design to their bodies, and hold their sizes with confidence - it's a very beautiful thing.

When I left the States, I was a size 3/4 (8 England) and weighed about 130lbs ( around 9 stone).  I've been here for nearly two years and I now fluctuate between a size 10 - 14 (8 - 12 US) and weigh at least 10 stone (150lbs).  I'm not happy about it, and I'm not comfortable at this weight either.  Luckily I don't grow wider, I've just gained a lot of weight in my bum and gone up a bra size. At home, I would definitely consider my current self quite fat and disgusting.  In England, this size is considered average and to some even 'fit' (that's in looks maybe not in health).

Obviously this is a VERY big generalisation but it is something I've always noticed since I moved here. Maybe it's just women in London know how to flatter their sizes better than women in Ohio (this is a very big possibility). I'm not sure where it is that we've gone different in the States, where curves aren't fully embraced or aren't outwardly expressed as being as beautiful as they are over here - but I really like the thinking in Britannia.

While I don't intended to stay at my current size as I don't feel my frame holds this weight very well, it is nice to think that even if I don't make it back to a size 3/4, for just some time I finally filled my shirts and hid my boyish shoulders.

Have any other expats found they've gained more weight since moving to England? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Swimming with this Mermaid