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Thoughts on the “glamourizing/normalizing” obesity vs body positivity conversations

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  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,369Member Member Posts: 9,369Member Member
    The only time that fat acceptance bothers me is when it tips the scale into actual untruthfulness. I recently read a bunch of posts from an influencer who runs marathons while being morbidly obese. That’s her brand. She claims she was skinnier at one point, didn’t like it and found it was too much work to stay thin, and now chooses to go about her business being happy, active, and obese. And I would applaud her for doing that, if she could actually run a marathon, but she can’t. She walks marathons, very slowly, and with pain. She has to find marathons which stay open indefinitely and then she makes the support crew wait for hours on her to finish. And then she posts triumphantly about “running” another marathon.

    She’s not healthy and she can’t run a marathon, and she’s telling lies about that, and that’s not cool to me.

    Because I have diabetes due to my past obesity, I’m aware that pretending obesity is just lovely and won’t hurt you isn’t a good idea. Obesity kills. Obese people - I was one - should absolutely be able to buy clothes, and sit in chairs, and go out in public without being mocked, but they should also be told the truth about the consequences of obesity.

    To be fair, cheating in marathons "is a thing." I don't understand it, but she's not the only one, and if she's walking the whole 26.2 miles that puts her ahead of a lot of people claiming to have finished. Not that I'm condoning lying.
  • weatherwoman94weatherwoman94 Posts: 14Member Member Posts: 14Member Member
    I think too much attention is given to the topic of hypothetically obese/overweight people and how they feel about their bodies and whether they're doing anything about it.

    It can become a dumping ground for people with eating disorders who over-identify with grand narratives, driven by low self esteem and untreated mental health issues.

    The attention and concern is shaping decisions that are being made by the Government, for everyone. It is misguided decision to drag everyone into the plight of decreasing obesity/overweight statistics to promote a "health conscious society".

    It's promoting a disordered society for people who are not obese/overweight and whom it doesn't concern. The blatant advertising of calorie values on food where it's in your face.

    You don't have a choice but to look at it, they won't even separate it or put it on a website. It shows a lack of concern and empathy for people who are negatively impacted by having the calorie content of food displayed.
    edited September 5
  • jafinneartyjafinnearty Posts: 57Member Member Posts: 57Member Member
    There's a quote that I can't quite remember that puts it better, but it tends to be that people form there ideals and opinions after there intrinsic gut instinct. A lot of people in society have been taught that being towards underweight is the ideal, and being seen as overweight is a personal flaw. This leads to a knee jerk reaction in those people to use overweight as a dirty word, a classic insult of childhood bullies (or adult ones in some cases).

    However, as there's been a push for more understanding of what it's like being an overweight person, people have come to realise that there treatment and demonisation of overweight people makes them what we call in the buissness 'a bit of a jerk'. And people don't really want to be seen as mean, so the back pedal looks something like:

    'I'm worried about your health!' - 'It glorifys bad life choices' etc etc, you've probably heard a lot of them.

    In actual fact, they don't want to face the reality that they themselves have been a part of pushing - that their treatment of overweight people is unfair, cruel and undeserved.

    In terms of responding to a lot of the critisism that 'body positivity' I would say this. It's the ability to be able to say 'hey, I shouldn't hate myself for the way my body looks - My worth is not intrinsically tied to my outward appearence'.

    And that body positivity disconnects health and physical appearance. Because people can be healthy as they can be, be outside of the average weight due to medical conditions, and should still love themselves. People can look average weight and be unhealthy, and they should love themselves. People can want to change there appearance and still love themselves just as they are. Love yourself!

    Because at the end of the day the people that don't want you to love yourself because of the way that you look, don't have your interest at heart, and they certainly don't care about your health. They just don't want to be seen as mean when they make fun of people.

    Thank you! This is the same line of thinking I have, but I wasn't able to get the words to come out in a meaningful way.

    Anyone and everyone can have something about them that is outwardly "acceptable" in society, but they still hate themselves. The same can be said for that someone that has something that is "unacceptable" in society but they accept it themselves as who they are. It doesn't mean that they don't want to change that about themselves. They just don't hate themselves for it.
  • BecomingBaneBecomingBane Posts: 3,648Member Member Posts: 3,648Member Member
    Not to mention that recovering from obesity is most often a slew of minor changes that add up to larger change over time... not simply one change that works magic. Unrealistic expectations on both sides are harmful.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    I mean, I don't pay as much attention as I used to, but I don't see many (if any) magazines putting 350lb women on the cover, certainly not health or fashion related publications. Most "plus-size" models are just in the overweight range, and it's rare to see them on the cover of anything, except as a token "here, don't tell us we don't represent real women anymore, okay?" one off. There have been one or two actresses I can remember off the top of my head that did a lot of publicity at one point with the requisite admiration for their beauty, but no one holding them up as examples of good health.

    ETA: One of the reasons Ashley Graham gets so much media attention and controversy is because she is unique. Her weight is always being praised/criticized/argued about, and I'm not even sure if she is technically obese or not.

    Ashley Graham is also quite beautiful. Couple that with however her weight/health is perceived and she's almost the perfect target for media vultures. I sure wouldn't call her obese though.
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