Beth Demme Blog

Some people are talking about weight gain during the pandemic as their “COVID-19,” a nod to the “Freshman 15” (the idea that people often gain fifteen pounds during their first year of college). This prompted Steph and me to have a conversation I have actually been avoiding—a conversation about weight, body size, and health. I have been overweight my entire life and I know that most people look at me and assume I am unhealthy. I think our cultural fixation on weight as the single determining factor for whether someone is healthy or unhealthy is a little much. In this episode, Steph and I also consider the importance of ads showing a variety of body shapes, sizes, and skin tones given that healthy looks different on each person. This is an honest conversation about how health and weight are conflated in our culture, and how that gets justified under the broader banner of “attractiveness.”

Ratings and reviews are welcome, or you can leave a comment on the episode page at

Click here to read more about the episode and access the show notes.

Join our community at BuyMeACoffee for access to a downloadable PDF of this episode’s Questions for Reflection:

  1. Have you ever struggled with your weight?
  2. Have you noticed a change in your eating patterns during the pandemic? How do you feel about that?
  3. Do you tend to judge or evaluate people based on their size? Why?
  4. How do you feel about the marketing shift to show “real” women?