Hello dear reader(s)!
As you may or may not know (or care) I live in the not-so-United States of America. Here in the US, there is an obesity epidemic. Sedentary lifestyles, fast-food, stress, and the corn industry have all contributed to making us Americans fatter and fatter. For some people, they have conditions that make them fat, and you never know the cause. For some, they just can’t afford the good, healthy food that bodies need. For some, they have eating disorders or psychological issues surrounding food or activity. But overall, it is our lack of exercise, bad eating habits, and poor willpower that has caused the averages to go up so much. Is that something that people should shame people over though?
I don’t believe so. It doesn’t help an overweight person lose weight. They can only decide for themselves if that’s what they want to do. (If they can.) A general critique of the culture that has led to this issue is appropriate, and may help motivate people, but when you directly point your finger at someone because they don’t fit your idea of what a body should look like, you are not doing anything but hurting that person’s feelings. You don’t know the reason they are overweight, you don’t know if they are otherwise healthy, and quite frankly, it is none of your business.
And so as a result of the fat-shaming that has stemmed from our obesity epidemic, there has been a growing backlash. A “Fat Acceptance Movement”. Generally, I support that.
(You knew that was coming, didn’t you?)
As with any movement, there are radicals that have pushed the dialogue from “Shaming people for being overweight is wrong.” to “REAL women have curves.” and “Only Dogs like Bones.”
Are you fucking serious? You, the very people who have been shamed for being fat now feel the need to attack women who are thinner than you? What the fuck is wrong with you?
Do I sound angry? Yeah, I’m fucking pissed. Why? Because it is affecting my beautiful, healthy wife.
So gather ’round once again children, because it’s story time.
My wife has never been fat, but there have been periods in her life where she carried more weight than she currently is. If you believe the Body Mass Index calculations, then she was likely at the very upper end of healthy weight, perhaps into the overweight category but not by much. At all points, she has been damned attractive.
She eats small frequent meals, just as nutritionists recommend. (With the occasional unhealthy meal…but we’re all human, even if I tend to elevate her beyond that status occasionally.) She doesn’t do it because nutritionists recommend it, but because that is how she likes to eat. She played softball in high school & college (pitcher), and has a stronger throwing arm then just about anyone I know. She is almost the exact same height as I am, roughly 5′ 9″.
When I got cancer, and became near totally incapacitated, she worked her ass off (literally) to take care of me, the house, the cooking, the cleaning, walking blocks to catch the bus to and from the hospital and the store, scrubbing the hell out of everything to prevent the preventable infections, and on, and on…
And as a result?
Yes, she lost fucking weight. Big shocker!
You mean healthy, home-cooked eating and exercise in a healthy person might cause them to lose weight? Get right out of town!
And so what happens when
people women who haven’t seen her in a while see her now?
“You’re too skinny.” “You need to gain weight.” “You look frail.”
My wife does not have ribs sticking out, I know, because unlike these insecure women, I see her with her clothes off. (Thank you.)
She does not have the collar-bone protruding like the actresses that walk the red carpet all these women wish they could be.
She does have thin legs, but that runs in her family and she has always had them even when she was heavier. In fact, her friends have always called her ankles “Bankles” which is baby ankles the way that “Cankles” are calf ankles. Even at her heaviest.
And, for the record, I calculated her BMI today, and it is right in the healthy range. She is nowhere near underweight. Do you understand? Healthy.
My wife has always been a confident person, but getting this load of crap left and right has started to get to her. She has had enough stress in her life and she doesn’t need this. It is actually getting to her. The mental toll that I suffered from my illness didn’t just affect me. Before all this, maybe she could have brushed it off, but now, it isn’t that easy for her.
So I’m about to make a statement that many women will find offensive, but I’m sorry, I truly believe it.
Women will never be able to rise to the level where they are respected, until they start respecting each other. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I believe that the majority of women tear each other down. Is it from media conditioning? Maybe. But shouldn’t you be able to rise above it? You are strong, wonderful human beings. Act like it. You want to advance in society? Build each other up. Do not tear each other down.
Do I sound sexist? Well, I’m sorry if that is the case. I don’t necessarily believe it is an inherent trait within women, and I know that it happens with men too, but I would definitely argue that it is more common with women doing it to each other. It sucks. It is mean, it is ugly, and it shouldn’t be something that strong, beautiful people do to each other.
If you really want to rise above society’s body-image issues, then quit participating in them.
Be you, and let others be them.