This article from mindbodygreen.com REALLY hit home for me. Our society and culture VALUES thin. The world is your oyster if you are THIN. I even think you are treated differently if you are fit…and thin and fit are NOT synonymous. When I see a FIT person I think about all the time and effort they are putting into looking that way…and all the time and effort they must CONTINUE to put into remaining that way. I think if CrossFit and skydiving and free diving…only crazy people are that FIT. I look at them with awe…how the hell did they do that? And you know how they did that…but you really don’t. You KNOW how fat people got that way…and it was not 4 hours at the gym every day. Ain’t nobody got time for that! (This is the remix…be sure you watch the WHOLE thing!)
Ok…all joking aside. People treat fat people differently based on their size. It just the way it works. I think there is a range of reactions…gals a bit smaller than me get the “You go girl!” when you see them sweating their ass on walking. Sure the encouragement is nice but can’t a girl go for a walk without it turning into a social movement? Then there is the…”Oh…Weight Watchers didnt work? I know a TON of people who have lost weight doing that though!” Oh really? Do you also know people who have gotten their teeth knocked in when offering “encouraging words? No? Well you will be the first and you can start your OWN group or bitchy ladies missing their teeth! You can call it “Toothies”! I think the one that I am most guilty of is the supermarket breakdown. When the 500 pound man or woman is buying $200 worth of JUNK- soda and doughnuts and candy and sugar cereal and pop…you see them and you see their cart and you think “REALLY? THIS is what you are buying? You do know that your cart is the reason you can only grocery shop with a scooter?” I am SO guilt of this. I now understand the WHY of this situation bit better. HARD CORE ADDICTION. They might as well have needles sticking out of the necks. These people are ADDICTS and without serious rehab that addiction will kill them. Not everyone that size is an addict…and maybe not everyone that size is unhappy. All I know is that if I was that size I would be an addict and I would be VERY unhappy.
When you have to buy your clothes online…or when people give you the evil eye on airplanes when they see you approaching that empty seat next to you…when you get the “You go girl!” when the see you walking…yeah no…that is judgement. And it sucks. The author of this article sums this all up PERFECTLY. She says “People treat fat people differently, as if our size is a reflection of our worth. I’ve been on both sides of the weight spectrum. It is amazing how people treat you when you are “thin.” You fit in. People don’t have to feel uncomfortable, and they celebrate your beauty. But at 50 pounds heavier, I’m ignored, hidden, bumped into, and judged.” I do it…I know I do it! When I see someone OBESE I think “I wonder how they got there? I wonder what they are eating? Are they happy with their life? I wonder if they have tried losing their weight?” But WHY? Why am I thinking so much about a stranger? And why are my throughs always sad or negative? I should not give TWO SHITS about that person…unless they are doing some totally awesome or totally douchebaggy…and usually these people are just living life…trying to not be judged by a society that only values thin people. No wonder fat people are depressed…society has deemed then worthless…walking ghosts powerless to break through the barrier of the living. I would be a lot of them want help…but society has deemed them idiots for not being able to figure this out already…why would you help someone who “obviously” cannot help themselves? Its a VICIOUS cycle that very few can break out of.
If you are fat you are lazy. And it you are lazy your are worthless. You are sucking up resources that could be used elsewhere. Problem with this logic is that it is NOT logical. Many obese people, myself included, are NOT lazy…we are active and fit and funny and smart and intelligent and are contributing daily to our communities. You might not think this way but someone around you is…and they are doing it often. How can we begin to shift our cultural thinking and understanding of weight? To start with we can talk about it. We can talk about it openly and publicly…we can begin to understand why obesity happens and focus on reversing it. I will never be THIN. I am just a bigger gal and I am coming to grips with that. Where I really need to be in my head is also no so obsessed with my SIZE. I just need to focus on my health. Is my body fat at 20% or below? Are my visceral fat levels LOW? Do I have any major health conditions? Am I HAPPY? Thats all that I should really be concerned with. But its REAL hard when EVERYTHING around me is telling me to be thin and NOT worry about the health stuff…that will just come naturally if I am thin. RRIIGGHHHTTTT. I will be healthy and I will be fit and I will be happy. And I will continue to talk about obesity and weight and health openly and honestly in HOPES of changing the perception and stereotypes of fat in MY community and culture.
I REALLY hope you enjoy this article and it gives you pause to stop and reflect on your own thoughts about weight, obesity, and out societies infatuation with THIN.