Menu Close

I Would Uninvent the Bathroom Scale

Editor’s Note: This post was sent to us by a mother in the F.E.A.S.T. community who wrote, “I am so proud of my daughter’s friend’s essay.  She wanted to write about one modern invention she wished was not invented.  And she picked the bathroom scale, knowing that her friend (my daughter) has an eating disorder.  She is a very wise 14 year old!”

As a teenage girl, I would be lying if I told you I’ve never looked in the mirror and criticized the littlest things. How could I not? Social media is a very real and prominent thing in my life, and is full of stereotypes that are not only unrealistic, but heartbreaking. Everyone is supposed to follow the rules. You have to be skinny but not too skinny. You need an hourglass shape, a big butt with thin Barbie legs. To others, I’m a 10/10, but not according to the scale in my bathroom that I pass every time I walk by to brush my teeth.

The bathroom scale. A discouraging and intimidating item that is found in every person’s house. The bathroom scale is the invention I would uninvent. 

You may ask, why? Out of all the inventions in the world, why did I choose the bathroom scale? Well, body image has always been a part of my life for a very long time. I’ve never been the tiny girl who fits into all the clothes or the girl who wore tank tops and skirts. I was the girl who acted confident so she could set an example for her friends and family. I was the girl who hid how she felt with an oversized hoodie. Growing up I would walk past the scale in my bathroom, and get this feeling of guilt and tell myself: “Should I do it?” “I want to know.” But secretly I knew if I step on this scale, all it will do is hurt me. As I grew up these feelings took over my mental health. I lost my confidence; and no matter how many people told me, “You look so good today” or “You’re so pretty” it didn’t matter. All that mattered was the number; the number I saw on my bathroom scale. 

As I grew up I realized it wasn’t just me going through these problems. My friends and family were going through similar struggles. I’ve had some of the most important people in my life look at a picture of themselves and say: “Ew I look so fat, I’ve gained so much weight” or “I look like a skeleton.” My closest friends weigh themselves every day before and after a meal to see if they got “fatter” or if they’ve gained weight. What they say about themselves and what they do to keep track of their weight comes off like it doesn’t mean anything, as if it was coming out of their mouth to be lost in space. At least that’s what I thought. But now I realize that the way people see their bodies and how much they weigh mentally affects them in so many ways. Eating disorders, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, all these things can start to form. One small thing can lead to so much worse. 

The topic of body image is so complicated, and there are so many things that go into it. Having the option to see how much you weigh is draining, disheartening and honestly has no benefits. “Uninventing” the bathroom scale is not going to eliminate body image struggles completely, but it will diminish the temptation to let that number describe and define you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *