Why I Think BMI is “BS”


Growth charts – used to compare height and weight against a standard – seem to me to be an incredibly clinical device. They are personalized to an individual, but nonetheless, deduce their height and weight from birth to present to create some sort of “ideal” range that they should fall into. Although it is different than the BMI scale we keep hearing about, I thought that my growth chart would give me a sense of solace and peace. If I knew the specific range where I “should be” according to my own personal history, as opposed to the non-so-scientific standard of the BMI, I would feel better about where I am.

Looking at my growth chart and having my Doctor tell me that I should be between “X” and “Y” pounds, almost felt worse than looking at a BMI or stepping on a scale. At least when I looked at my BMI, I thought, well there is no possible way that this can standardize everyone in the world.

A new definition

In lieu of this experience, I decided to make my own growth chart that was defined by me, and not some numerical, quantitative system. I created a growth chart that catalogues my life moments in pictures. Despite being incredibly self-critical of personal photographs, I thought it would be really interesting to create a chart in which I could see myself progress and growth as a person throughout my life as opposed to deducing my 19 years to a number.

Having this disorder did not keep me from growing and experiencing life. Even if all of my memories were not wonderful and joyous, even if my outlook on life was a bit jaded sometimes, I kept on living.

As a result, I had experiences that are part of who I am, who I will become post-disorder, and that person should never be defined by a numerical system.

Photo Credit: ©2016 Rachel Onefater

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