Response to LoriMarch 1, 2008Erin 17 Comments »
My comment back to Lori turned into an epic, so I am putting it up here as it’s own post, as a response to her comment on Body Acceptance. I freely admit that I do not know HTML enough to format inside a comment box and there are a lot of links that I wanted to include. It’s cut for length, and while it is a response to Lori, I am of course always interested in others’ points of view.
My earlier comment was about your comment that you’ll never be society’s idea of attractive, and that is what I called bullshit over, not the rest of your post.
My argument, and I do have one, is that the fat acceptance people think that “society” equates “thin” with “beauty”. Society doesn’t do that.
Yes it does. That is why all advertising is done with thin models. Why everyone on television has to fit a certain mold. Why actresses are told to lose weight to get parts in movies. Why places like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and LA Weight Loss can exist. Why people are willing to take appetite suppressants and diet pills that can cause a multitude of health problems. Why weight loss surgery is on the rise in North America.
The fat acceptance people want and need you to think that. The fat acceptance people need you to think that all bodies are beautiful no matter what. That is not true.
According to your scale of beauty, I suppose that statement can be true for you. It’s not for me. I think that every body can be beautiful.
If you are more than 20 lbs overweight you are not eating right and you are not exercising enough for your body. If you are carrying several inches of fat around your midsection, you are not healthy. This is an evolutionary principle, not a beauty one.
Did you mean to be so insulting here? I’m just curious, because according to every method out there I am more than 20 lbs overweight and I am genetically designed in such a way that I carry my excess fat on my midsection. I go to the dojo five times a week. Do you truly believe that I am not exercising enough for my body and if I just ate less and moved more, I’d become more ‘healthy’? Or do you mean that I’d lose weight? Because the two are not mutually inclusive.
The human body is designed, has EVOLVED, to be 10 to 20 lbs “overweight”. Not thirty, not fifty, but 10 to 20 lbs of optimal weight. This is a failsafe in case of future famine. Its part of natural selection.
No one who is 5′6″ and 200 lbs is healthy. Not if its muscle, not if its fat. It’s not healthy. The fat acceptance people want you to think that is, but it’s not on several fundamental health levels.
Could you source this, please?
I will not let anyone tell me that I am or am not healthy. You are not me – you never have the right to make that call for me, or for anyone else other than you. For you to write that 20 lbs overweight is okay but anything more than that is unhealthy says that you are the one buying into the bullshit. And I have to ask – over what weight, exactly? You say you don’t believe in the BMI – then tell me, what is the optimal weight for a person who is 5’6″? Does it take into account that some people are naturally more curvy than others? Does it vary for body type? For gender? For race? For genetics? Or is your idea of the perfect weight for a person of 5’6″ a static number? Who decides? And how?
And who the fuck cares what the scale says? Health is not measured by that but by a multitude of factors, none of which can truly be determined except by the person living in that body. I read a blog of a woman who weighs 300 lbs and she completes triathlons. Is she unhealthy then because even though she exercises every day probably more than anyone I know, her body’s set point happens to be 300 lbs?
The fat acceptance movement needs women to be angry at “society” rather than empowering them to get their asses moving and moving in a way that works with the evolutionary changes the human body has made.
Because everyone who is more than your allowable 20 lbs overweight must be “not eating right and …not exercising enough for [their] body.” Clearly, it’s obvious – eat less and move more, right? Wrong. Read this and this and this.
Women need to maintain over 10% body fat to assure fertility and hormonal balance. That is not a mistake. That’s natural selection. However, over 20% body fat can decrease your fertility and send your hormones out of balance. That isn’t a mistake either.
Again, could you source that, please?
Its not easy in a society where we don’t move around enough and food is very plentiful, but I have to do that.
I’m not saying that BMI is the indicator. I’m not saying that there aren’t people who don’t hate and threaten fat people. I’m just saying that society isn’t talking about a couple of extra pounds when it says disparaging things about “fat” people. But the fat acceptance people don’t want you to think about that. They want you to think there is a vast conspiracy against anyone who isn’t a size 0.
No they don’t. At least, none of the blogs that I read do. But then, judging from your comment, you haven’t actually gone out and read what the fat acceptance movement is doing or talking about. I suggest starting here and then going here and here and here.
But there isn’t one. And saying that you’ll never be beautiful in society’s eyes is copping to the bullshit that there is one.
When I used the word ‘society’ I was using it in the sense that there is an ideal of beauty that is shoved down our throats, and not only do I not fit in it but I never will. And my point in my original post was that I will never fit that ‘ideal’ and that I don’t care. I know that my friends and people in my immediate circle find me attractive. I know that there are lots of people in the world who think that my particular body shape is attractive. And I know that I am lucky that I don’t buy into the ideal of beauty in terms of my self esteem. I say lucky because everyone that I know (and by everyone I mean everyone that I have ever had a conversation with for longer than five minutes) has told me that they want to lose weight because they feel that they would be more attractive or healthier or both if they lost weight. It’s not my place to agree or disagree with them over the health thing because as I said before, no one can make that call for anyone else. No matter that society tells us over and again that we (especially women) should never be content with ourselves the way we are, but should instead always be striving to look younger and be thinner, I am happy and healthy in my current shape and I have no desire for anything else.