Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Let’s face it: the starting point of what the majority of society seems to view as fat isn't even overweight at all. Obviously, being obese is very unhealthy (and clearly visible), but there are many people who view slender and toned as the only healthy body type. This sets up people with healthy pudge (that their doctors could care less about) to be put into the “fat” category as well, which can compromise their mental health and put them at risk for taking unhealthy measures (crash diets, excessive exercise) to obtain what society believes is a “healthy” body.
Underweight/thin people have been criticized, even falsely accused of having eating disorders, which is hurtful and wrong as well. However, the fact of the matter remains that being underweight is glamorized while being even slightly overweight is considered wrong. As Coke0@xanga stated, “I've never seen an ad saying "Too skinny? Try this supplement!" ...But there are ads EVERYWHERE stressing the importance of thinness through gyms, diet pills, meal plans, etc.
Being fat is not a death sentence.
There is less panic about skinniness, and if there is some great concern about skinny people not eating enough, it's reserved for the people who are clearly emaciated or close to it. The "obesity epidemic" and "fat is unhealthy" hysteria often includes people who are in the middle range BMI wise, who are thought of as fat or chubby even though they're not even close, and who are therefore given the "unhealthy" stamp.”
Also take into account how many underweight girls on Xanga respond to these posts saying that regardless of their weight, they are perfectly healthy, and yet being overweight is unhealthy. So I ask you this: If it is possible for an underweight person to have a well functioning body is it not also possible for a slightly overweight person to be just as healthy? Check out these examples, complete with a BMI summary, and decide for yourselves.
- If your BMI is under 18.5 you are underweight, and you should talk to a doctor about whether or not you should consider gaining weight. If your weight is negatively effecting your health, consider gaining weight. If not, be proud and rock what you got!
- If your BMI is between 18.6 and 24.9, you're at a healthy weight. You/society may think you're a little too skinny/pudgy. If someone has a problem with it, it’s likely because they have confidence issues of their own. Love yourself, and remember you have the right to defend yourself (as respectfully as possible). No one ever changed the world by keeping quiet. *Note: The second model from the left represents a thin but healthy BMI, while the other models represent a curvy but healthy BMI.
- If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you're clinically considered overweight. Keep in mind, the vast majority of those in the overweight category are only at risk for health problems, meaning that the vast majority do not have health problems associated with their weight. If you live on junk food and refuse to exercise, you're at risk for the health problems associated with your possible future obesity. There are, however, many "overweight" people who stay active, eat healthy, and have well functioning (aka healthy) bodies that are horribly criticized every day because they don't fit into the stereotype of what "healthy" looks like. Why should their confidence be compromised because of others’ ignorance?
- If your BMI is over 30 you are obese, and you need to talk to your doctor about possible lifestyle changes. Being obese can seriously effect your health, and if your weight is putting your life in danger, it's time to make a change. You are more important than a number on a scale, but it’s important to be healthy enough to show the world how much you have to offer as a human being.
Learning to accept those with a curvier body type should not be considered "fat acceptance"; it only furthers the stereotype that they are fat. I personally believe the word "fat" should be banished. There are those that have well functioning bodies, and those people deserve to be happy with themselves and happy in life. And guess what? Overweight and obese people deserve to be happy with themselves too, and they deserve to have people that care about them as who they are so that they have support in making the lifestyle changes needed to live a happy, healthy life.
Do you believe there is a double standard regarding weight? Has this changed your views on what it means to be at a healthy weight?