I definitely have "fat" days, where I just don’t like the way my clothes fit when I look in the mirror. Realistically, my weight probably hasn’t fluctuated more than a couple of pounds, but I (like many other women) may occasionally have a hard time seeing my appearance for what it is. To address this issue, a new website has launched which aims to portray "an accurate reflection of what real women look like," reports The Globe and Mail.
My Body Gallery allows users to view a collection of photos submitted by women who share their height and weight, and encourages visitors to upload a photo of their body for others to compare themselves to.
While the site is a step forward in that users compare themselves to the bodies of average women rather than models and celebrities, you can’t deny that it still puts an immense focus on appearance.
Visitors to My Body Gallery can share body image stories through a blog or by uploading their own photos which are tagged with their height and weight, as well as other information that describes them (pant size, shirt size and body type). Most photos are anonymous, with faces and descriptive features blacked out.
According to the site, “a recent study found that 95 percent of non-eating disordered women overestimate the size of their hips by 16 percent and their waists by 25 percent, yet the same women were able to correctly estimate the width of a box.”
The photo database is a unique concept that allows women to view "real" bodies, rather than the images of beauty we’re usually bombarded with in the media. But I also can’t help wondering if this site might feed insecurities and body image issues for some. While the site definitely shows that every body is unique, I find I’m happiest with my body and the way I look when I stop comparing myself to others.
Would you submit your photos to My Body Gallery in order to gain perspective on your body? Or is the database just another way to compare ourselves to a certain standard of beauty?