By James Tabafunda
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Body image — or the perception of how one’s body looks — gets reassessed every January. In 2010, losing weight returns as one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions.
Forty-three percent of Asian American women said they considered themselves overweight. This statistic is based on a 1997 survey, which was made up of 234 women attending junior college. It found no ethnic differences in body image dissatisfaction among white women, Asian American women, and other minority women.
For Maureen Francisco, a former TV news anchor, who is an Issaquah resident and Filipino American, body image has become a cause for celebration as well as discussion.
In her first nationally published article, “Double Zero: Pick on Someone Your Own Size,” which was featured in Stiletto Woman Magazine’s winter issue, she tells her story about being a petite woman — she’s 5’1″ — who has lost a noticeable amount of weight. Her article shares how weight loss has brought both pluses and minuses — more of the former she’s proud to say.
In the article, Francisco writes about adopting a new attitude toward health and physical fitness, which consists of a mixed-exercise routine and a diet that is free of cheap and abundant foods that contain artificial preservatives.
“This is not about genetics. I worked hard,” she said in a recent telephone interview. “Glamour [magazine] did an article on women who are plus-sized and wore double-digit sized clothes. [My article] is the opposite.”
Jenny Lin is also content with her body image and following through with her renewed passion for acting. The former SQL Server database administrator is a new resident of Hollywood. “Women here seem to have different ideas of body image and themselves. A lot of it is tied to self-esteem,” she said.
“The career I’m pursuing is mostly rejection-based. You never know what they’re looking for, right? Some people take it personally and they blame it on their body,” said Lin. Lin is 5’5″, 130 pounds, and a former Seattle Chinatown pageant winner.
Born in Boston, she is a Taiwanese American whose regimen for good health involves preparing drinks with her Jack LaLanne Power Juicer twice a day and running for at least one hour a day. According to her, it’s a way to clear her mind.
“It’s about exercising just to feel better,” she said. “For me, I don’t really care about losing weight. I just care about being healthy.”
“It’s okay to change your appearance as long as it makes you feel good. For me, when I get my hair done, I feel better about myself,” said Francisco.
Some around her react to her smaller stature by asking her, “Why don’t you eat?” Her weight loss is not due to anorexia nervosa or any other eating disorder. Because of her new, active, and healthy lifestyle, she can enjoy a variety of foods — including high-calorie desserts — and yet looks as though she’s not eating enough.
She emphasized, “I like eating healthy. People think I don’t know how to have fun because I’m not eating pasta every day.”
“While I wasn’t born this way, I do want to keep living this way,” Francisco said, now at 90 pounds. “I’m this size, and I’m happy.” (end)
For more information on “Double Zero: Pick on Someone Your Own Size,” visit www.stilettowoman.com.
James Tabafunda can be reached at email@example.com.