Two hundred. One hundred and forty. Ninety. These are all numbers, randomly put together. They have no meaning. Most people could care less about them. Without a reason, there is no point of existence. However, to some people numbers mean everything, especially when they appear on a scale. Scales are not meant to tear a person down, but in reality, to many people, that’s exactly what they do. Scales were not invented to emotionally and physically hurt people. How have scales shaped or transformed American society today, especially for women?
First, a scale is a device that measures how much something weighs. The amount of force between the object and Earth is measured (Woodford). Most scales today are electronic, meaning they give an exact and automatic result. These are also called electronic balances. In the beginning, scales were not used to measure the weight of humans. Scales were mainly used in trading. They were used to weigh items that could not be counted individually (Withings). Scales were invented during the Antiquity period, which ranges from 3000 B.C. until 400 B.C. Scales were used to count things during this age. The most modern form of the scale is a digital scale. It was invented by Richard C. Loshbough and Edward G. Pryor. This new model was patented on November 25th, 1980.
Scales, however, have not always been so high-tech. The technology we have today was not available to people in the time period scales came about. Scales originally began as balances. In an article written by Withings, he states that balances consisted of “two plates attached to an overhead beam, itself fixed to a central pole.” The object being measured would be placed on one side of the balance and “weight- sett...
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...uch of my self worth was tied to that number.” Also, in another case, a client revealed “I’ve been able to focus on how I really actually feel rather than what a number tells me I should feel (Wauney). This has a really deep and emotional meaning because the person only believes they are worth a number and this person is so much more than that. They are a human being, not a number on a scale. In some cases scales can be helpful, but most of the time they lead to anxiety and self-hatred.
Scales have shaped American society today, whether people notice it or not. Scales have technologically evolved into something more modern and useful in the fact that they originally began as a trading tool to weigh goods and are now modernized to weigh humans. On the other end of the spectrum, scales have also ruined lives by leading people to believe that their worth is a number.
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