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Body Positivity vs Fat Shaming

We see a lot of articles and photos promoting body positivity and how it is okay to be fat or ‘plus sized’. And, then you see the people who are so against all of that who ‘fat shame’ them instead. You see a photo of a plus-sized model or woman who talks about how she is beautiful even though she is at least a size 26. And, if you look at the comments of that photo you will usually be inundated with ‘You go girl!’, ‘Ignore the haters, they’re just jealous’, or ‘You’re so beautiful and an inspiration to us all’, but then there will be that small group of people saying ‘You’re disgusting’, ‘Lose weight’ or worse. Now, I’m all for body positivity, I envy those who love their body and embraces it, but I also support fat shaming. I’m not talking about the fat-shaming that is severely cruel or bullying, I’m talking about the fat shaming that says yes you are beautiful but it is not okay to promote obesity, and being obese is definitely not good for your health either. It is okay not to be a size 8 but on the other hand, it is not okay to be a size 20. It’s definitely not okay to encourage others to be or to stay fat. Now, I know some people won’t be happy with what I have already said or am about to say but that’s okay. It’s mostly an opinion with some little facts thrown in. And, if you have a different opinion, please tell me, I would love to hear them, but for now here is what I have to say.

 

One comment that I see or hear a lot of from these ‘plus size’ models is when they compare themselves to Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe was a sex and fashion icon in her day and she was also a plus size woman and model, so some women still believe that it’s ok to be bigger. The one thing many of these women forget about is that Marilyn was about a size 16, but in today’s society, her size 16 is equivalent to our size 8-10, thereabouts. So that’s a pretty considerable size difference. Today, she would be considered to be underweight or at least pretty close to it. You can check out the following chart, have a read of the Daily Mail’s take, or Time Magazine’s.

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The other thing I see and hear a lot of is people becoming upset or hostile when they are called fat, obese, or in some cases, skinny. Yes, sometimes others may say those words to be cruel but there are also just as many times when a person says that to describe what they see. ‘Fat’, like many other words, is still a descriptive word used when trying to describe a person’s weight, frame, or anything else. It’s not being said to insult you, just describe you.

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This situation actually reminds me of a story I was told by a friend who was reprimanded by a teacher for calling another student ‘black’. Now he wasn’t saying that to be cruel or insulting, he was just observing that this student was indeed black-skinned.  This story may be set in a different country and a different time but the point is still the same, that some words are both good and bad, and are only determined as good or bad depending on how a person uses it not how it is defined.

 

I love seeing people who are happy with their bodies and showing them off, within reason. I love seeing some women in amazing swimwear or outfits that look amazing and complement their body perfectly, which I definitely envy when my body doesn’t work with me like that. Unfortunately, some women still believe that it’s okay to be happy and positive about their obese body. That’s something that I am not okay and many doctors will agree. Here are just a few of the reasons to lose the excess:

  1. Higher risk of type 2 diabetes – which then comes with a risk or other illnesses
  2. Increased chance of heart attack and stroke
  3. Higher risk of high cholesterol
  4. Decreased fertility – sometimes caused by being too big to engage in sexual activity
  5. Higher risk of heart disease
  6. Higher risk of mental illness such as depression
  7. Higher risk of breathing problems
  8. Increased chance of mobility issues
  9. Increased risk of certain cancers
  10. Increased risk of osteoarthritis
  11. Higher health insurance premiums
  12. Higher taxes
  13. Increased risk of an early death

These are just a few of the things that happen when you are obese. With the world’s waistline getting bigger and bigger each year, it’s no surprise that a large number of hospital admissions and GP visits are for weight-related issues. In 2008 alone, obesity cost the USA a huge $147 billion in medical care. You can read a little more about that here. Unless you have a medical reason for being obese such as Hypothyroidism or Cushing’s Disease, then there is no reason for you to be big. It’s not healthy, it’s debilitating for some, and it can have a huge effect on your family.

Is being ‘body positive’ worth risking your life? Is being told the hard truth too much for you and worth risking your life over? Would you be okay with this if it was your child?

 

What are your thoughts on the issue? Is fat shaming okay, or is it uncalled for? Do you have a different opinion? Tell me in the comments!

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