Healthy BMI considered Fat

When I weighed a healthy 65 to 68kg 10 years back it was still considered fat by family and members of society. How wrong and crazy these views of other people contributing to unhealthy body image issues and eating disorders?!!



  • pinuplove
    pinuplove Posts: 12,871 Member
    My BMI is 23.2 and I don't feel like society considers me fat. I'm not walking a runway, but I'm definitely on the smaller side of all the people I see in public day to day.

    As for family, you can't choose them like you can your friends, but you can choose to ignore their stupid opinions on something that is absolutely none of their business. My family think I'm too skinny.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,162 Member
    I also think some cultures have skewed expectations of what looks normal.

    Don't get me started on keeping up with culture and going along with the pack.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 6,469 Member
    BMI doesn't really say anything about your actual bodyfat percentage, or what is considered fat by public opinion (or by specifically your family). It just gives a general idea about health risks, and even then it's not foolproof.

    A lot of this is relative too: in a family of underweight people, an average person can be seen as 'fat'. In a country with widespread obesity, an overweight person can be seen as 'skinny'. etc.

    Culture, personal taste, context,... It's a minefield! In the end, if we are doing what we can to be healthy and if we feel good about our body, we can just ignore other people's opinion (easier said than done). I don't know what people are thinking though when they actually say what they think about another person's weight to their face. Seems awefully impolite :confused:
  • ellie117
    ellie117 Posts: 293 Member
    edited December 2019
    I was a perfectly healthy 22.9 BMI when my eating disorder developed at 16. I dropped down to 21.0 before my family stepped in to help. I'm grateful they took notice of how quickly I dropped before it got too dangerous, but my body dysmorphia never subsided. I've been coping for almost 14 years, fluctuating as low as 21.0 and as high as 35.8, and am currently at 26.0. I've felt "fat" every single day, no matter what the scale or BMI metric said. I don't think society or my family has anything to do with my feelings toward myself. But I do compare myself to every "ideal" body I see on a daily basis, wondering what that person does to maintain their figure and how much better I could be doing to get to that point.

    Anyway - it seems your family does not have an accurate view of what is healthy. Next time they comment, say you're perfectly fine and in an ideal range for your age and height.

  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    Tell them to mind their own business.

    You can say it more gently than that if you want, but random people--which sometimes includes relatives--have no business commenting on your body. There may be exceptions for some people if you have symptoms of some medical conditions, such as untreated ED...but overall, your weight is none of someone else's business.
  • jseams1234
    jseams1234 Posts: 1,218 Member
    edited December 2019
    Interestingly, many men will be considered "skinny" and weak with a BMI in the healthy range... granted, mostly by other men.
  • MikePTY
    MikePTY Posts: 3,814 Member
    "skinny" and "fat" are social constructs, not actual medical definitions. That's why I prefer to use things like normal weight, overweight, obese, etc, that are correlated to a specific weight vs height ratio.

    Two different people of the same weight and height can appear dramatically different in physical appearance, due to fat distribution and muscle mass. Some people may be normal weight but still not be what society considers "skinny", but likewise someone could be overweight or even obese and be considered "skinny"

    Ultimately though, I've found peoples perceptions of whether a person is fat or skinny is a lot like people in regards to tipping. It has much more to do with them than it does with you. Sure, if you get to a certain weight or look, maybe it will be generally be considered skinny by more people. But it often has to do with the person making the judgement. Some people are just jerks and like to be mean to perfectly healthy and skinny looking people for no reason and label them "fat". Others may think that obese people look "skinny". Since it says something about them and not about you, I wouldn't worry about their judgements and just focus on making yourself happy and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
  • nighthawk584
    nighthawk584 Posts: 2,013 Member
    Live your life for you, NOT them!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,085 Member
    Other people's opinions - with the probable exception of your doctor - are irrelevant.

    It's possible for someone to have a normal BMI, but a body fat percentage that is still less than ideally healthy (I think the medical term is "normal weight obesity" or "medically obese, normal weight (MONW)). It's possible for someone to have an overweight BMI, but have a body fat percentage that's considered very appropriate and healthy (I don't know if this has a medical term, but the common casual one is usually "very muscular" ;) ).

    Both of those conditions are statistically unusual. Because BMI ranges are unisex, it seems (in a purely statistical sense) that MONW might be a little more common among women, and "very muscular" a little more common among men, just because average body fat percent tends to be higher in women vs. men at the same body weight and height.

    It's quite common, in my personal experience as well as what I read here, for friends and family to see someone as too thin after weight loss, even when barely into the normal BMI range, or not quite there. I've had less opportunity to observe people around me react to the other case, because it's uncommon among my family/friends to tell someone they're too fat, even when they are. (I certainly had people tell me I was "not fat" when I asserted that I was, and reject the idea that I was obese (when I was); and I've talked with people whom I believe (as a so-not-pro-Ana person!) are overweight or obese, but believe that they are not.

    DIfferent social contexts have different behaviors and assumptions, though.

    Repeating: Other people's opinions - with the probable exception of your doctor - are irrelevant.