Last night I received a very distressed text from my boyfriend. He had somehow stumbled upon an anti-fat-pride blog, whose premise consisted of a fusion between an ode to weight loss and a severe bashing of pro-plus-size bloggers, models, designers and I suppose remotely overweight people in general. Said blogger (who I should mention openly admits to weighing a mere 100 pounds) blamed the pro-plus movement on the increase in obesity, and thus an increase in unhealthiness for the general population. Not only did she have skewed perceptions of health, but of beauty and values and humanity as a whole. I went to bed thinking of her sweeping, irrational, un-researched claims, and sadly realized, as I often do, that she isn’t alone in this mentality. This assumption people have that being overweight equates to an inevitable death sentence or perpetual misery is a common one – so while I wasn’t surprised by the thought of her blog, I was most certainly enraged.
I cannot stand when people assume I’m unhealthy because I’m clinically 50 pounds overweight. I’m not unhealthy. In fact, at my recent doctor’s appointment, which included blood, endurance and stamina tests along with a heart exam, I came out with the knowledge that nothing at all is medically wrong with me. Thankfully, my doctor isn’t a raging skinny-centric Nazi, so he has never once told me to lose weight…because I don’t have to…because I am NOT unhealthy.
By this blogger’s logic, and the logic of most people who know nothing about the relationship between health, weight and genetics, being overweight/obese inevitably leads to health complications. I’m not an idiot, and so I acknowledge the types of complications that may arise when one is severely morbidly obese, but they are no more common that the health complications that arise from taking most things in excess. Consider the following:
- Alcohol: How many times have people been diagnosed with liver problems from drinking too much? Not to mention the amount of drunk driving accidents that occur every day.
- Smoking: About 443,600 people a year die as a result of smoke-related causes, including secondary smoke. While still terribly high but not as high, 300,000 people die from weight/obesity related complications.
- Too much exercise: I’ll never forget the day when I was working out at a gym in Spain (back when I used to do that), and the young woman on the elliptical machine next to me had a heart attack before my eyes. The cause, as my instructor later told me, was overexertion from too much physical activity.
- Not eating enough: Hello people, the statistics for anorexia and bulimia speak for themselves. There are 24 million diagnoses of eating disorders in the U.S. alone, and anyone who knows even a little bit about extreme dieting should know that such disorders are just as likely to lead to death as morbid obesity.
- Severe sports: See my post on rock climbing.
- Texting: How many of us are guilty of texting and driving…hell, even texting and walking? I’m much more likely to die in a car wreck today because someone couldn’t get off their iPhone, or be hit by a truck because I’m carelessly texting as I cross the street than I am to die from the fat on my stomach.
These are just a few I can think of off the top of my head, but the point is, being fat doesn’t cause death any more than the bullets on this list would. People make this grotesque assumption that all fat people will die because they’re fat. Well, all fat people will die, because that’s just what living things do. Just as all skinny mini people will die too. I refuse to spend my time counting calories and jogging on a metal machine for four hours a day because someone has decided the pudge on my belly means I’m unhealthy and destined for heart failure – pretty sure as my medical tests reported, I am currently an emblem of health.
These false ideals of health were enough to get my blood boiling, but as though they weren’t enough, she took it upon herself to decide that all fat people hate themselves. This bitch literally stated things such as, “If models are not thin then girls won’t have anyone to look up to and wont be inspired to lose weight,” or, “statistics show that blah-blah % of people who are overweight are miserable and want to lose weight.” She then proceeded to bashing a plus-size model who wasn’t even remotely fat, essentially saying, “It’s so disgusting and if I weighed that much I’d never be in front of a camera let alone naked.” But one of her worst statements in regards to said plus-size model choosing to do a naked shoot: “Maybe she wasn’t in her right mind, maybe all that food had gone to her head.”
Just…wow. I cannot begin to list everything wrong with this blogger’s perceptions of the world. If all women wanted to look up to was some skinny 00 model, we wouldn’t be having a plus-size revolution in the fashion industry to begin with. Designers and models and magazine editors would strive to portray an image of thinness 100 percent of the time. But obviously this isn’t what the majority of people want. Obviously if plus-size bloggers are inspiring thousands of women, gaining thousands of followers, fat-pride must be something people appreciate.
Furthermore, I’m not miserable. I wonder if this blogger has actually met a fat person. Some of the most confident women I know are plus-size. Some of the most confident-looking models I’ve seen are plus-size. Being fat doesn’t make you miserable, but I guarantee counting calories, striving to weigh 90 pounds because 100 is too much and spending half your life in a gym will certainly make you bitter. Because this blogger is very obviously an uneducated young woman, I should point out that depression is not a synonym for fatness. Depression is a medical disorder, which can be caused due to several hundred un-weight-related issues, often caused by feelings of hopelessness or inadequacy. I’m no therapist but something tells me this girl is pretty miserable herself. In regards to her excruciatingly disgusting comments toward a plus-size model, personally if I weighed 90 pounds I would NEVER stand in front of a camera. At 5’9″, I weigh over 100 pounds more than this blogger, and I’d gladly strap on a fatkini and parade my ass around any time. But if I was skeletal, emaciated and drug-addled looking, I would never let anyone see my body. And what the hell constitutes too much food? If by too much food she means the normal amount required for survival, well, I guess all humans who don’t weigh under 100 pounds must be over-eaters. I guess the fact that I eat enough to keep my body alive must mean I eat too much. I guess the fact I have color on my cheeks and don’t look like Angelina Jolie when she played a sociopath in Girl Interrupted must mean I have a bad self-esteem.
So to you, Miss “I hate fat people”, your ignorance isn’t bliss, sweetheart, it’s revolting. I’m not going to stop eating my pints of Ben&Jerry’s because of some bogus statistic you made up to tell me I am depressed. To be honest, I feel just minutely sorry for you and those who encouraged your writing in the comment section, for taking out your own weight related insecurities onto plus-size people who are actually happy with the way they look. But to be blunt, some hateful blogger with a waist the size of an 8-year-old boy just isn’t going to make me ever want to look any different than I do now. I like my chunky bits and curvy shape and the fact that I don’t devote 20 minutes before every meal to counting the fat content in what I am about to eat. But if you’re going to insist on being “anti-fat-pride,” at least check your damn facts first.