Numbers: They’re Just That – Numbers

Jun 29, 2024

In a world increasingly dominated by metrics and measurements, it’s easy to become fixated on numbers. Whether it’s the weight on the scale, the size of our clothes, or the age on our driver’s license, these numbers can often feel like they define us. But let’s take a moment to reflect on what they really mean—or rather, what they don’t mean.

Numbers are inherently fluid. They go up, they go down, and they change with time and circumstances. Consider your weight: It can vary day by day, even from morning to night, influenced by what you eat, how much water you drink, and even how much sleep you get. Similarly, clothing sizes differ from one brand to another, and a pair of jeans that fit perfectly one month might feel a bit snug the next.

Age, too, is just a number! It marks the passage of time but says nothing about our experiences, our wisdom, or our zest for life. Whether you’re 25 or 75, your age doesn’t dictate your ability to pursue passions, learn new skills, or make meaningful contributions. I have seen this time and time again photographing women for my Embrace Your Beauty Project. I’ve photographed women from 40-80 and no matter their age, they continue to make amazing contributions to our world.

When we allow ourselves to be defined by numbers, we give them power over our self-esteem and our perception of worth. But the truth is, these numbers are just one small part of our complex identities. They don’t capture our kindness, our creativity, our resilience, or our capacity for love.

Think about it: Does the number on the scale tell the story of your strength and determination? Does the size of your jeans reflect your compassion and generosity? Does your age encompass all the experiences and lessons that have shaped you into the person you are today?

Of course not. Numbers are simply inadequate for capturing the richness of our lives and our characters.

Ultimately, the key to freeing ourselves from the cruelty of number shame is self-acceptance. This means embracing our bodies, our ages, and our lives just as they are, rather than as we think they “should” be. It’s about recognizing that we are enough, just as we are, regardless of the numbers that may fluctuate from day to day or year to year.

My Challenge to You

One powerful way to diminish the hold that numbers have on us is to speak them out loud. When we verbalize these numbers, we strip away the fear or shame associated with them. I literally shared my numbers on YouTube and TikTok. And guess what happened? Nothing! Except for the fact that I feel more free from number shame than ever! And that others reached out to me telling me thank you!

Sharing our numbers with others fosters a sense of solidarity and support! When we realize that everyone else is dealing with similar concerns, it becomes easier to let go of the pressure to conform to numerical ideals.

So here is my challenge to you:

Share your numbers with someone. With me. With a trusted friend. Or even with yourself out loud while looking in the mirror. Say them with love. Say them often, and in time, any negative thoughts you have toward your own numbers will lessen and maybe even go away all together ❤️