I Need To Lose 10 Pounds First

white woman with long brown hair in denim shirt with yellow background chewing her nail nervously

I'm fired up folks - because the more I think about this, the more frustrated I get.  I began coaching small businesses last year which has been wonderful and I've worked with business owners who are wanting to uplevel their companies.  However, in the past couple of weeks three of my female clients have said "I need to do a photo shoot for my brand but I need to lose weight before I do it" and as such are putting off sharing this "next level" of what they've been working on/planning.  And this can go on for months.

asian woman with black hair and blank tank top hiding her face looking rueful

And as such, the world is not receiving it.  Because it isn't happening.  Because they're not wearing the "'right" size of pants.  These are BEAUTIFUL women who are incredibly talented, super smart and have a wonderful product/message to share.  But they're not sharing it because they're concerned that their audience/client base won't like the way they look.  So they wait.  And push back deadlines.  And things stall out.  Sidenote - these woman range from a size 4 to a size 16 which shows that the "right" weight is a moving target. 

I can't help but feel a couple of things here -

  • a) I have literally never heard a male entrepreneur say "I have this really great idea but I need to lose 10 pounds before I launch my company because I have to be on the website and I just don't like how I look right now."  
  • b) how many amazing ideas/projects are we as a society missing out on because the creator of said amazing idea/project is concerned about being judged for their appearance and, as such, their message is being missed?

Let's start with the latter - I GET THIS.  I have been called a pig, told my skin was too red by strangers on the internet and told to cover my arms because they were "too big" by a loved family member.  Our client Whitney Austin was shot 12 times (12 times!!!) in a mass shooting and when she went on Good Morning America to talk about it, all some people talked about in the comments was her makeup.  All to say, my clients aren't nuts and they're not making it up - people absolutely judge us based on our appearance - we all know this.  But we cannot let those people determine what we get to say and when we get to say it.  

Someone needs what you have to give right now.  This moment.  Please please please don't let what you think you're supposed to look like keep you from giving it.  It can happen in big ways, like people starting companies, and small ways too.  

shared with permission 

I'm in a dahlia group on Facebook and a woman posted this along with a video which got a ton of comments about how much her video helped them and I promise, no one was focused on what she looked like (she looked lovely by the way) - they wanted to learn because she could teach them.  The nervousness to be seen is obviously about more than just weight, it's the need to look perfect in order to be acceptable.  

It's funny, I fell down some stairs in December and, as a result, have been on crutches since (I'll be fine!) so physical activity has been really limited.  And I need to do a photo shoot for my coaching business website and the thought ran through my head "well, maybe you should wait until you're walking around again and your face doesn't look quite as full" - what in actual heck???  It's pervasive and it sucks.  And I'm not going to wait.  This is what I look like right now and if chubby cheeks prevent someone from working with me I'm totally fine with that.  

And on to the first point - there's massive inequity from the jump - women make less money than men (16% less), receive less funding (less than 2% of VC funding), and actually have their pay docked if they gain weight (down 9% for 64 lbs).  Those aren't opinions, they're facts.  And that's not even getting down to women of color vs. white women.  Those stats are even more staggering.  So the playing field isn't even and then we're continuing to tape our own mouths shut because we don't look "right".  While gents are not factoring in their waist size into anything (nor should they!).  

I told you I'm fired up.  

Here's my request - let's stop basing our worthiness on what we look like.  And let's stop basing the worthiness of others on their looks.  As my good friend Jen Waldman says, "the world needs what you have to give."  And as Katie Sturino says "my body's the least interesting thing about me."

three women laughing together - two are thin and one is curvy - all are happy

So do your photo shoot, post the picture/video on Facebook, don't hide in the back of photos so we can't see you, don't refuse to be in photos so we really can't see you - you are valuable, you are beautiful, and you are worthy of being heard and seen.  Let's go change the world!!


  • Erin's Faces

    Cheryl – thank you so much – yes to fired up!
    Victoria – ooh that’s a really really good point – and I think we’ve honestly all done that. But seeing it and changing course for the future is the best thing to do (+ apologizing if we hurt someone’s feelings) – thank you for sharing that!
    Ashley – thank you so much – and AGREED – it’s SO EFFECTIVE which is probably part of why it’s still happening.
    Marie – thank you xoxoxoxo
    Christie – yes!
    Tracie – thank you so much – grateful to have you here!
    Karen – Yes to leading and not sitting back!

  • Karen Turner

    Ladies, there are a lot of smart, unattractive men in boardrooms. Let’s be the smart women who are also starting businesses and participating on the boards of companies. Do not sit back because of self-perception.

  • Tracie

    Thank you Erin for your, as always, candid and wise authentic self reminder. Love being a clan member!

  • Christie Hobbs

    Yes, ma’am.

  • Marie Greene

    Friend, I love this. Amen. YES.

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