American Perceptions?



  • MaryJane_8810002
    MaryJane_8810002 Posts: 2,093 Member
    My twin sister told me that If I lost any more weight I was going to look like a crackhead. To her if you weigh under 180 that is considered eating disorder territory.:ohwell:
  • SyntonicGarden
    SyntonicGarden Posts: 947 Member
    Hang around fitness models and body builders, 15%-20% body fat would be considered overweight. Hang around obese people, 25% would be considered fit.
    Like most perceptions, it's usually going to be how you view things personally.

    What Niner said is exactly what I've experienced.

    My morbidly obese relatives accused me of being ana/bul at 5'7" and 145lbs because I was clearly too thin and "wasting away!" Mind you, grandma's weight took out both of her knees and she needs a scooter to get around. Every single member of that side of the family is a diabetic.

    On the other side of the family, they're all tall and lean. I have a relative who is 5'9, 120 lbs and is CONSTANTLY complaining about how "fat" she is. Every week, it's a different challenge or cleanse. I must look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to her at my current weight of 165.

    Also, doctors are going to give their opinions based on their personal beliefs. My back-woods, family doctor says I'm fine. My Taiwanese allergist and my Indian doctor have both alluded to the fact that I'm fluffy.
  • angel7472
    angel7472 Posts: 316 Member
    As a society we are slowly brainwashing everyone on what is healthy and what is obese. My 13 yo daughter goes to school and her classmates pick on her because they say she's too thin and needs to eat. She's 5'3" and weighs 135. She's muscular and extremely active. My 10 yo daughter thinks she needs to starve to be thin. On Mother's day the whole family was playing basketball and my daughter points to her older sister and say "hungry" then rubs her belly and says "happy". I'm 5'6" and weigh 125 and I looked her in the eyes and said "that's not true I eat more than your stepfather on most days. You don't ever have to be hungry to be thin and I'm proof of that. To be thin all you have to do is be active." She tried to say it again being funny and yet again I corrected her. Even as young as 10 has messed up views on what is healthy and I'm always talking to my girls about obesity and being healthy. It's society as a whole now not just older people.
  • patfriendly
    patfriendly Posts: 263 Member
    Fat people will want, everyone to be fat, so they feel good. You are hot and you look perfectly normal to me.
  • Mikkimeow
    Mikkimeow Posts: 1,282 Member
    I think Americans have a horrible perception of healthy and what a normal weight is. Your height and weight are right in the normal ranges.
  • KombuchaCat
    KombuchaCat Posts: 903 Member
    I definately agree! I'm 5'3" and my goal weight is 130 (I have a larger frame and good muscle structure for a shorter person so I allow 5-10 extra lbs LOL. At 130-135 I could maintain it without starving and felt great). I currently weigh 154 and am definately overweight. People at work (who are overweight or obese) have told ME that I'm skinny, where will the weight come from? Seriously? I don't think they are just trying to be nice either. I suppose next to many Americans I'm in good shape but I am still not where I need to be.
  • LaurenBrooke1843
    LaurenBrooke1843 Posts: 73 Member
    I totally agree with that! I've been losing weight steadily and starting around 135lbs at 5'8" I was being told by friends, people at church, family, ect. that I was looking frail/too thin and shouldn't lose anymore lol. Our perceptions here are so skewed. I'm 129 now and I still look very large in certain areas! Americas obesity problem has definitely made our views of what is normal change.
  • I say put on some muscle and then let someone tell you that you are too small. Then you could kick their *kitten* and prove that little is the new big!
  • smittybuilt19
    smittybuilt19 Posts: 955 Member

    Butt hurters feel free to respond as well........

    Lol, cause you know they will.
  • kmorgan221
    kmorgan221 Posts: 206 Member
    So I have binged twice this month and it has made me reflect on things. First off I AM NOT blaming anyone or anything but myself and my free will for these binges, I am not looking for advice onhow to avoid a binge, I know how, my give a darn was just broken is all.

    I noticed a trend around my binging. People lately have been telling me I am "too thin" and they can "see my bones" ( I was wearing a tank top and you could see collar bones).

    I had a rutured brain anuerism in Nov 2013 so I see specialists and Drs quite frequently right now.

    I asked my neurologist and my primary care dr if I was "too thin" (5'3'' 125 lbs) and they both said NO. They both explained to me that the rise of obesity in America is obscuring our perceptions of what a healthy fit weight looks like on people. People that are a healthy weight have collar bones.

    So do fellow Americans agree with this theory? That obesity (just the term being overweight in general) is so rampant in America that normal weighted people may look "too thin" to us now?

    And yes it hurt my feelings, and cycled me into a binge. After talking to other people, that wont happen again :)


    Butt hurters feel free to respond as well........

    I absolutely agree with this, and have seen it time and time again. When I was over 250lbs people would say to me variations of "but you're not fat/overweight." Collectively our perception of "healthy" weight is very skewed where morbidly obese is simply obese, and obese is just overweight.

    It can be very frustration, but I've learned to stick with my plan and let others worry about themselves.
  • smittybuilt19
    smittybuilt19 Posts: 955 Member
    I do agree that the American perception is skewed. At 5'11" 236 lbs. I thought I looked buff, as did the folks around me...HAHA. (not a weight had been lifted in well over two years)

    Naw, fat...I was fat.
  • smittybuilt19
    smittybuilt19 Posts: 955 Member
    Something I have noticed as time goes by that "Hoss" as we describe it around here (a big young man, think lumber jack/ farm boy) generally turns into lardy pants over the years. Not a good look, yet people still say "he's just healthy like a man should be"
  • husseycd
    husseycd Posts: 814 Member
    I definitely think the perception of "normal" has changed as we've gotten bigger as a country. Clothing sizes definitely reflect that. I'm 5'5", 130 lbs, and 19% body fat (measured by BodPod). I am fairly lean, but my BMI is 21.6 -- right smack in the middle of healthy. Yes you can see my ribs and collar bones. You can also see them when I'm 10 lbs heavier.

    But clothing sizes have gotten ridiculous. I am now a 2-4 and sometimes wear an extra small in tops. I have a 34 DD chest, I should not be an extra small. I believe we're also taller than we were at one time, so I do get that. I know feet are bigger, lol.
  • JustSomeEm
    JustSomeEm Posts: 19,914 MFP Moderator
    YES! Absolutely skewed, depending on the weight of the person doing the judging, and how deluded they are about THEIR fitness level. I've had overweight people tell me I wasn't overweight when I was OBESE - offering me cake... LOL! (like I wouldn't take the cake, or something. Sheesh)... and my healthy weight friends are very congratulatory about getting fit. Get to a fitness level that YOU like and feel comfortable at. Don't worry too much about others. :flowerforyou:
  • litsy3
    litsy3 Posts: 783 Member
    VIsible ribs are one of the things that get routinely airbrushed out of advertising images too, so people assume that your ribs 'shouldn't' show even if you are thin.
  • fannyfrost
    fannyfrost Posts: 756 Member
    People are definitely seeing things skewed, but I see it both ways.

    My daughter is skinny. She was always skinny, but here weight was fine, she ate plenty of food and consistently chose healthy food. So I didn't worry about it. she was called skinny. she had a friend's mom tell her she was too skinny, she had that same friend ask her how to lose weight, my daughter 11 her friend 13. Another mom in the group thought my daughter's weight was perfect. Friends at school thought she was skinny, but someone taught her how to read calories on food when she was in second grade. When she was 18yo and lost 2 pounds, still well within healthy range, she started to cry. My kid lost the freshmen 10 in college due to stress and stomach issues (she has since gone vegan, leveled out and gain a few pounds, much better).

    My friend recently lost a lot of weight. We saw her in the winter and she was looking a little gaunt. It wasn't about the body, but her face was looking sallow and too drawn. It isn't about bones showing, it should be about looking healthy. Meantime a lot of our friends think she lost too much.

    In NYC area, lots of people are fat and lots are thin. A friend I know is like a size 6 and she thinks she is fat. Her daughter looked great one year and she was telling her to diet, she was also like a size 6.

    Now on sizes changing. Marilyn Monroe wore a size 8, which was equivalent to a size 12 in the 1980s, many companies the sizes got larger, but now Marilyn Monroe size 8 is today's size 8 in most stores. The store or the brand can change the sizing dramatically. Gap was always cut larger. Also a 12 women's can be drastically different than a Junior size 13/14. My dad was in the dress business, trust size is just a number. Even at my skinniest, 5'2" 108 lbs, I couldn't fit into anything smaller than a size 8 because of my hips. My daughter is 5'4" and weighs 105lbs and still needs at least a size 4 because she has a butt.

    this story really talks to the joke of sizes. My dad sold Mother of the Bride dresses. This woman comes in and says I am a size 12, well she was a size 16 (my dad's dresses ran big), she would not accept that. So they took the size tag off a dress, told her it was a 12, she bought the dress, the dress was a size 16. Sizes are random number assigned by manufacturers. When women decide the numbers are bad, too large because they are big, manufacturers cut clothes larger.

    So ignore people and do what makes you feel good as long as he Dr doesn't think you are in any danger then no worries.
  • jmv7117
    jmv7117 Posts: 891 Member
    I asked my neurologist and my primary care dr if I was "too thin" (5'3'' 125 lbs) and they both said NO. They both explained to me that the rise of obesity in America is obscuring our perceptions of what a healthy fit weight looks like on people. People that are a healthy weight have collar bones.

    So do fellow Americans agree with this theory? That obesity (just the term being overweight in general) is so rampant in America that normal weighted people may look "too thin" to us now?

    And yes it hurt my feelings, and cycled me into a binge. After talking to other people, that wont happen again :)


    Butt hurters feel free to respond as well........

    I'm not American but live in the US about 4 months of the year. To date, no one has said anything to me about being too thin in the three countries we live. If anyone ever did, it would go in one ear and out the other. I do however agree that our perception may be off with respect to body image. Generally though if someone comments on your weight it is their own insecurities speaking. No one can make you feel bad if you don't let them. By binge eating, you gave them power over you and you are continuing to do so even by posting this. Don't give them power they don't deserve!
  • MinnieInMaine
    MinnieInMaine Posts: 6,439 Member
    I agree. A great deal of the skewed percetion is that overweight/obese is becoming the new normal. I read a statistic in another thread that the average American woman is 5'3" and 160+ pounds, which would be on the borderline of highly overweight and obese for a woman of that height. Assuming that's accurate, most are going to see someone at a perfectly healthy weight as being "too" thin because they're used to seeing others at a larger size.

    Part of this is also environment. If you're part of a healthy family and have a circle of friends who are mostly at a healthy weight, that's going to look more normal to you. I've got friends who are in that situation and would never comment that I'm too skinny because although I've lost a great deal of my excess weight, I'm still not quite there. They're thrilled for me of course but not concerned for my health.

    It can also have to do with "your" normal as others have pointed out above. After being heavy for so long, I've gotten some comments from friends and co-workers that I don't need to lose any more weight and am skinny or wasting away. In their minds, my normal shape is much bigger and my new shape seems extreme. I used to balk at comments like that but now I just smile and maybe say thanks for noticing and move on.

    You feel good about where you are. Two docs have said you're at a perfectly healthy weight. Other people can think whatever they want, it's just their opinion.
  • in_the_stars
    in_the_stars Posts: 1,395 Member
    Ehh... ignore everyone but the doctors. I have collar bones and thigh gap, etc... Always have. Pic in avvie and the pic below at 5 pounds heavier. I'm healthy. :)

  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,270 Member
    North American standards are skewed...

    I am currently at 153 and 5 ft can see my collarbones too...I am lean...but could probably lose another 10lbs...

    My husband is good with that...but no more than 15...and I will respect that...

    I've been told by my MIL who is a very large woman I don't need to lose anymore...then I tell her what I weigh...

    It really shouldn't be about should be about health...are your numbers good, ie blood pressure etc. Are you eating enough food that is nutritious? are you getting exercise? enough sleep?

    I am starting to hate friggen numbers...scale, weight, clothing sizes, bf%, bmi, tape measurments etc...are you healthy?