Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A friend posted an amazing picture on Facebook.

Although I was able to cut and paste it here, Blogger would not let me publish my post. Too big. So, here it is, in words.

The photo shows a scale, with the following hand-written words written on the place where you stand:

The number on this scale will not tell you:
  • What a great person you are
  • How much your friends and family love you
  • That you are kind, smart and funny in ways numbers cannot define
  • That you have the power to choose happiness
  • Your own self worth

And I would add: "your actual state of health".


  1. Brilliant!! Would you be willing to add me as FB friend I am Sally Haynes

  2. You mean the Yay! Scales. Marilyn Wann, fat activist and author of Fat! So?, developed that almost a decade ago and she sells them here:

  3. Actually, this was a regular scale with a handwritten message. I've heard of the Marilyn Wann scales, though. Pretty cool.

  4. I don't want to be defined by a number, ANY number: weight, income, *net worth*, clothing size, years spent in school, age, etc. Yet social systems and structures and individual people "define" me through these numbers every single day of my life. It goes beyond moral judgement. The numbers can determine whether I live or die, whether I have a home or not, whether I have the means to live, whether I have the *freedom* to continue to exist--or not. That's the reality on our planet.

    Humans (as individuals and groups) constantly quantify the value of human beings (others and self), consciously and unconsciously, as if there is an actual hierarchy of worth. It's tragic.

    I'm not an admirer of religion, at least not as it has become inseparable from State/corporate/capitalist/etc forces of oppression, but I often wonder how a truly loving Power would *define* me, or how it would view humanity in general. I imagine we are as One, beyond all the numerical bull shit. Too bad such a loving power does not determine our individual rewards.

    Thus, I can't fault someone for looking to change a number (such as weight or income) as a survival strategy--I can't judge someone for trying to achieve a smaller size any more than I can judge them for trying to make a living wage by working at jobs that are far *beneath* their skills or education. It may be demeaning to clean hotel rooms or shovel horse shit for a living when you have a Doctorate in Philosophy, for instance, but smart and talented people do all kinds of difficult and loathsome activities because they want to survive.

    I never want to assume that someone chooses dieting or weight management for vain, shallow, or *unnecessary* reasons. Dieting may appear to be odious and *beneath* someone, but that perspective might also originate from a position of unacknowledged privilege and status.

    Often, one simply does what one *must* in the pursuit of survival--one chooses from limited options. For some people, that choice may mean working long hours at hated and oppressive jobs, and for some that may mean constant dieting or food deprivation. For many, sadly, survival requires both. For many, survival isn't a matter of just being able to "choose happiness." If only.

    Love and peace to us all.

  5. I must look for this. And use it as a reminder to myself that all of these things are mandatory if we want to live a well-balanced life. Thank you for this.