5’9″ and 140 lbs. Does Not a “Big Girl” Make

13 Apr
clipped from www.msnbc.msn.com

Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Ann Curry, Hoda Kotb — co-hosts of TODAY’s fourth hour.
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This past week while doing a little Internet research on TODAY show host Hoda Kotb, I came across the following Q&A:

Q: A viewer wrote in the following, and I quote: “In the looks and age driven industry you compete in, how do you find the courage to be open about your actual weight numbers? This morning you said you weighed 140, and I was thrilled that a celebrity of your status would openly talk actual numbers. So many women lie and put an unfair pressure on others to lie as well. Not all women weigh 110 pounds! Thank you for your support of normal, healthy, shapely women!” What do you think about that?

Hoda: You know, I do weigh 140. And that’s on the good days! Some days the scale goes a little higher than that. But I feel like that’s me. Look, I’m 5’9″. I’ve always been a big girl. I’ve always been the big girl in the back of the picture or on the bottom of the pyramid. I have a lot of hangups I’m sure, but one of them is not my weight. That’s just not my issue.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I look at that picture, I don’t see a “big girl.” She’s tall, but she’s not exactly “big.” To me, 5’9″ and 140 lbs. is slender. 5’9′ and 110 lbs.? Now, that’s just anorexic, not normal, not some ideal that all women should strive for. In reality, not TV land, the ideal weight (according to Weight Watchers) for someone of Hoda’s height is 135 – 162 lbs. She’s actually on the low end, especially for someone of her age. Personally, I get tired of hearing “big” celebrities like Hoda Kotb and Kate Winslet constantly being asked questions about their weight and being praised for representing bigger women when in actuality both of those women are on the low end of the healthy weight range charts.

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14 Responses to “5’9″ and 140 lbs. Does Not a “Big Girl” Make”

  1. Fitness And Health Tips Monday, April 14, 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    I kinda cringe when I hear a female say she weighs 100 lbs…

    And frankly I think most guys don’t find that “look” very attractive.

    I’m with you.

  2. laura Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    It’s good to know someone is on my side because I was starting to believe that America had gone crazy with this whole size 0 obsession.

  3. George Carter Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 2:49 am #

    I didn’t realize people thought Hoda was overweight. That’s weird!

  4. tiffabee Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    I totally agree! What is so “big” about her besides her height? Media’s standards are just so outrageous. Nobody could ever live up to them, and nobody should have to!

  5. laurajeanette Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    Thanks for the comment. I’m glad there are others who are with me on this one. I’m going to put it out there and say that I’m 5’5″ and weigh 150 lbs. Every time I hear about women who are bigger than me being called “big,” it makes me at least momentarily depressed. On good days, I feel like I look great. But on days when women like Hoda are called “big girls,” I feel like a fat, ugly troll.

  6. E Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 3:02 pm #

    I understand your point, however, I think you took her statement a bit too literally. I’m sure she meant that given her height and HEALTHY weight, she has always felt more ‘robust’, so to speak, in comparison to many of her more ‘dainty’ counterparts, that’s all.

  7. laurajeanette Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    E – Thanks for stopping by. This was not meant to be a criticism of Hoda at all. It was more to point out the fact that the reason she (as well as many other women) most likely feels like a “big” girl when she isn’t big at all is the media and cultural focus on size 0 being the “perfect” size that all women should strive for. I was more disturbed by the question the interviewer asked than by Hoda’s answer. The question just reinforces the idea that women of Hoda’s size are “big” when they actually are not even close. She just barely fits into the “healthy” weight category. If she lost just five pounds, she would be considered an “unhealthy” weight, yet she is being singled out for representing “normal” women when she really is actually pretty thin.

    • Christina Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 10:26 am #

      I am also 5’9 and weigh around 140. I share that feeling of being the “big girl” with Hoda, simply because most of my friends are shorter than I am. It has everything to do with my height. I’ve always been the awkward girl in the back of the photo too, so I completely understand where she is coming from. Most celebrities are short in addition to being thin, so in her industry she probably just feels “bigger” than everyone because she it. She is perfectly fit, and gorgeous! But I know what she means by feeling a little out of place due to height. The average woman is 5’4, so at 5’9, we ARE bigger.

      • Laura Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

        Ha. Yes, you are taller. My gripe is with certain celebs getting pegged with “big girl” status and constantly getting asked questions about their weight when they are really pretty average – sometimes even pretty thin. It’s just the whole Hollywood size distortion that I really have a problem with. I don’t begrudge Hoda for feeling like a big girl. I begrudge the people who make her feel that way.

        • Kari Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:54 am #

          Relax. I like being “big”. I am 5’9. My clothes fit well. I can reach things that my shorter friends cannot. I am often perceived as “in charge” due to my height. I can carry a few extra pounds better than shorter women do. I was 5′ tall in third grade. Most of us who are “big” are pretty used to the label. There are way worse labels…

  8. Si Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    You woman do it us men as well, make us feel that the only thing that makes a man sexy is to be tall, dark and handsome. How come that is never talked about?

    • MBlack Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      laurajeanette,
      i think this is a nice piece on a thought that should be raised a little more for women and especially young girls. and i find it interesting that 2 of the responders seemed to miss the message that u tried to share. as u said, it’s not about Hoda’s answer in calling herself a “big girl”, and it’s not that u thought Hoda was lamenting about her size/weight, which in turn left u depressed, as “E’s” comment seems to suggest. and for me (as we slightly disagree here), the question to Hoda was not so problematic, as i felt the interviewer was aiming toward the positive to be taken by READERS, in regards to Hoda’s candor and embrace of her “normal” weight, in an industry that DOES promote hiding and lying about it toward the unrealistic end. in my experience as a life-long athlete, and given that we all just finished enjoying the Olympics, I believe folk would be hard pressed to find many of those elite, most fit athletes on the planet, (accept for maybe divers, gymnast, marathoners, etc) to weight LESS than 125lbs….OLYMPIANS! it really does appear that the entertainment world’s preoccupation with “thin-ness” has unrealistically influenced society, and in particular, american caucasian society. 5’9, 140lbs is a regular size girl ;)

      • Laura Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

        Thanks, MBlack.Yeah, I was just trying to point out that people like Hoda and Kate Winslet are constantly being referred to as ” big girls” or “curvy” or what have you, but if you put them in a room of average-sized Americans, they would both be considered the “skinny girl” in the room.

  9. Anonymous Monday, July 8, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I think you missed the point of what she is saying. For those of us who are tall with long arms and lots of hair–and often for many of us black women who are perceived to be “louder” energetically just by nature of people’s perceptions of us in this society based on our skin color regardless of whether we are actually loud, timid or otherwise–we are always perceived as taking up a lot of space. The word “big” is not only for women who are short and overweight. Other people can use the word “big”, too, and she is using it in reference to being a tall woman, who usually is as tall as or taller than many men, has trouble finding pants long enough to fit so one has to shop at the ladies version of big and tall store–hence the word “big.” I don’t think she is using this word in any derogatory of self-depreciating manner. Perhaps I am not as up on things as others but I have not heard her called “curvy” or a “big girl.” She said she is “big”; that is different than being a “big girl” which has a whole identity framework and even reality shows and photo shoots celebrating that particular body type.

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