More Than Numbers: the Introduction
Last year I scribbled out some thoughts about how we get measured by other people. At the time I couldn't articulate them very clearly - if my Youtube video on the subject is anything to go by! - but they developed into a discourse on the numerical tags we carry around: age, height, weight, IQ, what we get paid, the social statistics we fit into.
I was finding myself increasingly frustrated at how difficult it is to break out of all the stereotypes these tags carry, and every time I wrote or talked about it, I had so many people say they felt the same frustrations.
It started with body talk. My mum used to make me clothes, which was amazing. But the one thing I hated? Being measured. Those numbers were always higher than I wanted them to be. Even when I was a size 10, I was surrounded by girls who were size 8 or 6 and had these teeny tiny waists, teeny tiny hips.
But it wasn't just about the physical; it was what it meant mentally, how it filtered out into other areas of life. It was the way I restricted myself, my abilities, my outlook, based on parameters I had neither set nor tested.
It's been a good few months since I decided I wanted to find out and write some more about the experiences of others on this theme, and I feel honoured by the the three amazing women who agreed to be interviewed. They are all very different, and I celebrate those differences. I'm also grateful for their honesty and willingness to open up for this project. I'm really excited anticipating the conversations this could spark, and I hope that anyone who reads will find something useful in the truth of human experience.
Here is what I wrote all those months ago, and this is the starting point for my project now.
Everywhere I went I felt defined by numbers: dress size, shoe size, height, weight, BMI, IQ, age, etc., etc. Forget that! I am not a conglomeration of measurements! I am a heart, a mind, a soul. I am a lover. I am a writer. I am a musician. I am a stay-up-late reader. I am a party-planner. I am a forgetful woman with good intentions. I am a try hard, push hard, laugh hard individual. I am an overcomer. I am a want-to-do-and-give-more person. I am unique.
I am more than numbers. And so are you.