EDITORIAL: More than a size
Fashion is one of the toughest businesses.
Beauty, style, confidence, taste, personality, everything goes into a woman's personal look. And when you're a fashion leader — say, a business owner or a blogger — the pressure to conform to society's ideals only increases.
As the owner of Elizabeth & West Fashion House in York City and Mommy in Heels blogger, Rebecca Wattenshaidt won a Real Women in Style award from Redbook magazine last year and was featured on the magazine's cover.
And she has felt that pressure of losing weight. She starved herself down to a size 2, only to find herself wanting to go down to a size 0.
That's when she realized that she needed to be a better role model for daughters Ella, 9, and Charlotte, 5, and not be so concerned with the numbers on the scale. And to do that, she needed to rethink her own body image.
On. Jan. 15, Wattenshaidt started a new movement: #MoreThanASize.
The social-media movement asks women to post a selfie, saying "I am #MoreThanASize" and stating something that defines them beyond physical appearance, such as a community builder or entrepreneur, or someone who's creative or adventurous.
"Remember this and tell yourself this every single day," she encouraged her followers, "Who you are as a person, as a human being, a friend, a co-worker, a sibling, a boss leaves so much more of an impact than your size 14 body, your size 2 body or your size 6 body."
As of Thursday, Jan. 25, #MoreThanASize was closing in on 1,000 posts on Instagram, with women posting photos of themselves as strong, independent beings no matter what size clothing they're wearing.
Of course, there are still people who twist this positive movement to make these women who might not fit the current ideal feel bad about themselves.
On The York Dispatch Facebook page, people still commented about Wattenshaidt's size, insisting that a person who wears a size 12 or 14 couldn't be healthy.
Look at Wattenshaidt's photo. She's happy. She's glowing. She's busy, she has a family and a successful business and is being recognized as a fashion leader.
It doesn't matter if she fits your ideal size. What matters is her attitude.
"I’ve literally been every size from a 2 to my current size of 12/14, and I’ve never been more confident," Wattenshaidt said.
That's what makes a person a leader. Not the number on a tag, but the attitude inside the woman wearing the clothes.
Rebecca Wattenshaidt, you look fabulous.