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Nancy Barone on A Woman’s Worth

Nancy Barone on A Woman’s Worth

There is an old expression, ‘You are worth your weight’, which had been coined as a compliment.

Today, it seems to be the opposite; the more we weigh, the less we seem to think we’re worth. When did this shift take place? And mostly, why? Since when did the bathroom scales decide our very happiness?

Ancient Egypt shows us images of tall and slender women, with impossibly long necks, whilst Ancient Greece was happy with plump women, seeing as no one looked at them anyway, besotted as they were with all the gorgeous men! The Renaissance, the most forgiving era, encouraged women to be full-bodied as a reflection of their husband’s financial success. No starving waifs in the palaces, please.

And then the Victorian age introduced the dreadful corsets. The women had to be plump, yes, but they had to have waspish waists. No wonder Victorian women spoke in dulcet tones, they could hardly breathe!

The twenties invented bras that were actually intended to flatten women’s chests, while outer clothing hid any sign of femininity. Which is very similar to the image of women in the sixties and seventies. It was only in the late eighties and then again with the new millennium that women were ‘allowed’ to be curvy again, with most young women wanting to look like Kim Kardashian.

Even a couple of my own characters are battling with weight issues. In my trilogy, The Husband Diet, My Big Fat Italian Break-upand Storm In A D Cup, my heroine Erica Cantelli is the overweight and under-loved step-daughter of a frivolous, size four woman.

Erica was never able to connect with Marcy on any level as she felt, and still feels, oppressed by the woman’s own good looks and impossible beauty standards. Marcy is everything Erica never can or will be— petite, slim, delicate and fragile. Because Erica towers over most women, has an ample bosom and hips, strong legs and the determination of an ox. There is nothing that frightens Erica. Except for the image of herself reflected in the eyes of Marcy and husband Ira. He jokes that he’d gladly trade her in for two size tens as he and Marcy want Erica to get a stomach bypass which she literally runs from.

It is only when Erica meets her children’s principal, the gorgeous Julian Foxham (who finds her desirable) that she begins to believe that she might be worth more than she thought.

But just as Erica is slowly convincing herself that she has nothing to worry about, pfftt goes her confidence, like a sneeze in the breeze. Because how is she supposed to compete against all the beautiful, successful and classy women vying for Julian’s attention? They are so skinny, Erica wonders how their organs even fit? And here she is, yet again dressed in cargo pants, ready to go and scrub the toilets of her B&B. How can she ever win? How can we ever win?

By loving ourselves unconditionally, no matter what the bathroom scales or anybody else says.

Thank you for taking the time to read! Join me and Erica Cantelli on this rollercoaster ride to happiness!

Nancy’s latest book in The Husband Trilogy, Storm in a D Cup, is published in paperback and e-book by Aria on 19 January 2023. Buy it here.

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