Body Positivity is Killing Women

| by Holly Ashe |

What do the hashtags #IWontCompromise, #EffYourBeautyStandards, #DareToWear, #AndIGetDressed have in common? They are all ultra intersectional feminist, “body positive,” and have accumulated over 700,000+ tags and counting on Instagram. Oh, and they are also killing women.

Allow me to explain.

No matter how many ludicrous comments saturate pictures of these body positive heroines, obesity is still a massive (no pun) issue within the health system. £25,000 is being spent a minute within the NHS (the U.K.’s national health service) on diabetes alone. In total, an estimated £14 billion is spent a year on treating diabetes and its complications, with the cost of treating complications representing the much higher cost. That number is just scratching the surface, with heart disease, high blood pressure and a copious amount of other obesity related chronic illnesses that are crushing health systems across the western world.

When the inevitable happens, and the obese patient is told that it is now a matter of life and death, the NHS seems to be freely handing out bypass surgeries at the cost of a tidy estimation of £32 million. Yikes. How many nurses would that pay for? How many beds would cater for generally ill people? Imagine how well equipped cancer wards could be with that nice little bonus? 

I know what you’re thinking, and it’s a theory that many people leap to when trying to fight against such a precipitous argument. What if the obese person we are currently critiquing has a health problem that causes weight gain? True, there are things that go wrong in the body that will cause unwanted or unprovoked weight gain. I myself suffer from hypothyroidism — which means lacking the function to create thyroxine and triiodothyronine, so my metabolic rate is constantly slow, which causes weight gain. I also have to take tablets that cause on average a 20 lb weight gain, and I also suffer from many joint and pain afflictions, that I will not bore you with the unpronounceable names of. Essentially, my point is I have every excuse in the world to have a weight problem, and be all “body positivity.”

A couple of years ago I did, being a former obese twenty something who was ashamed of her folds and rolls. Now, I am 55 lbs down and still going, I get frantically asked how I did it. No, not body positive but the fact of healthy eating and exercise. Yeah, those old chestnuts. Disappointing for those who were expecting some magical feel good story. Unfortunately, real life is much more prosaic. It’s a fight. Fighting is hard, and I think therein lies the problem. You don’t get fat by running, you get fat by over eating and not moving enough. Laze and greed to be mercilessly honest. Two genuinely appalling attributes that should not be revered, and is not positive by any means

Not convinced? Still cheerleading behind the big gals who parade in bikinis in train stations to convince people (and probably themselves) that it’s fine to be fat? Ok, how about another angle?

As I previously ran my own fashion label which was published in multiple international issues of Vogue, I noticed how these ultra-feminists attack the fashion industry. Models being too thin, companies not making a big enough selection of plus sized clothes, and designer labels not making plus size clothes at all.

The way these ladies will twist the truth to make it sound like they’re being victimized by the fashion industry is incredible. Of course reality is not as conspiratorial as these feminists would like you to believe. The majority of the time when a fashion brand uses bigger models for clothes that aren’t exclusively for bigger customers, the campaign loses money. The clothes don’t sell as well as ones that were used on smaller models. And whose fault is that? The consumer.

Chanel, Gucci, Givenchy etc. don’t have plus size collections because generally plus size women don’t spend hundreds of pounds on clothing. If these growing numbers of avid hashtag users were so happy with their shape, why isn’t the fashion industry changing? They’re excluding 24.9% of British who are obese from buying their products. Because that 24.9% aren’t buying them. Of course, I’m pleased we’re slowly crawling out of the heroin chic of the 90s, which was the other extreme of the spectrum, but it shouldn’t be replaced with the opposite end.

The most popular hashtag, #EffYourBeautyStandards, is headed by plus size model Tess Holliday, a 31-year-old American woman, and someone who is deemed by the health system as super morbidly obese. She absurdly believes that she can be healthy at the shocking weight of 280 lbs, a comment that she preaches to her 1.7 million followers on Instagram. In my opinion, that is not only dangerous, but outrageously irresponsible. Many of her followers are teenagers, being told their unhealthy lifestyle is fine, to carry on, not being given the warnings of the inevitable, of illness, pain, disability and eventually death. Even on her website’s front page, she describes herself as a body positive ambassador. What positivity is she speaking of?

tess.jpg
Tess Holliday

#EffYourBeautyStandards is a misleading line, again, blaming the standards in which society and the fashion/beauty industries are making everybody envision what real beauty is like. I’m pretty sure we all have brains, and understand Photoshop/airbrushing etc., right? I don’t look at Kim Kardashian and wonder why I have a Buddha belly to match my big bum and she somehow embodies the most “perfect” curves without a sight of a stretch mark or a quiver of cellulite. This isn’t a question of beauty. It isn’t a question of standards. It’s an important debate that questions the seriousness of the damage this movement is causing.

The fact one needs to state something so obvious is itself ridiculous. It’s time to wake up. Obesity is not positive. It’s a dangerous plague that is being fueled by disillusioned women convincing themselves that they are happy, while leading a generation into early graves.

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Holly is a London based fashion and culture writer. She was previously published in Vogue International as a fashion designer and a start-up business entrepreneur. You can follow her on twitter

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This article first appeared on Bombs and Dollars

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Header Photo: Viktor Forgacs

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Comments

comments

106 Comments

  1. Hayley

    I have an eating disorder. I tried very hard to lose weight in an unhealthy way. By doing this I messed up my metabolism, and it still doesn’t work properly. I don’t enjoy going to the gym because when I do, everyone looks miserable. I know working out the way I did when I was disordered made me miserable. I’ve also been shamed by people at the gym for just being there. As if I don’t deserve to work out because I’m fat. I eat healthy, according to my doctor. I exercise by going to a body positive studio and dancing. I also work as a server and walk about 11 miles a day. The body positive movement is about loving yourself and not striving to fit an unattainable standard. Just because I’m fat, doesn’t mean I eat unhealthy or have health issues.

  2. Jerod Killick

    Body positivity forces us to challenge the ideal, an ideal that in the end only profits companies in the diet and exercise industry. I write about this extensively on my health and fitness site. My own journey was driven by shame. I often think now, “how sad to be so consumed by diet and exercise.” Let’s face it. We will never look 18 again.

  3. Anonymous

    This article is ridiculous, and absurd. Not to mention it’s poorly written with unprofessional wording.

    Being skinny doesn’t guarantee a bill of health or a healthy life style. Being skinny doesn’t keep people from doing drugs, over eating, eating fast food, not exercising etc

    You have no idea what is happening in said person’s life. You do not know if they have a health condition that has lead to weight gain. You do not know if they’re on a journey to being healthier.

    I eat very healthy, I do not over eat, I don’t even eat meat. However I personally gained weight from multiple diseases. So I don’t deserve to have my body appreciated? I should be ashamed until I lose weight?

    Body positivity isn’t just about full figure women. Body positivity is embracing all forms of beauty which means people shouldn’t be shamed for their differences. That includes breast cancer survivors, trauma survivors, birth defects etc. Shaming someone doesn’t make them skinny, shaming them doesn’t cure the health issues. If someone is technically overweight they should feel positive about themselves? Anyone over weight or full figured shouldn’t be admired or complimented? That’s absurd. Supporting different body types isn’t what’s killing women, processed foods, water toxins, pollution and violence is what kills women. Statistically nearly 3 women are murdered each day in the US. With numbers higher each day in other countries.

    People should stop judging others and making assumptions based on appearance. Instead people should be focusing on social issues that affect all of us.

    End rant.

  4. Miriam Cabrera

    It should read “…love and accept MY BODY”. Yes, loving your body as it is HERE and NOW allows you to find ways to honor it and take care of it better. YOUR BODY not KK’s body or some idealized version of the female body. Love and it will go a long way towards true health and healing!!

  5. Miriam Cabrera

    I have lost a total of 60 pounds since finding a way to love and accept my body. To put it simply “you can’t hate your way to loving yourself”. If obese people can’t find anything beauty and worthy in themselves, why would they be motivated to change? Explain that to me… I HATED myself to the point that I didn’t care. And no amount of shaming or health scaring tactics could have changed that.

  6. Miriam Cabrera

    I have lost a total of 60 pounds since finding a way to love and accept my body. To put it simply “you can’t hate your way to loving yourself”. If obese people can’t find anything beauty and worthy in themselves, why would they be motivated to change? Explain that to me… I HATED myself to the point that I didn’t care. And no amount of shaming or health scaring tactics could have changed that.

  7. Jaq

    The problem with this is that your reasoning is complete rubbish. Shaming people because they weigh more than is healthy doesn’t encourage them to get out more and exercise, it encourages them to hide which only serves to make them more sedentary. People moving them may also contribute to depression, which in turn can be related to bingeing.
    What exactly do you think you’re accomplishing, with your shaming.
    You are just being counter-productive and a genuinely ugly person.

  8. Anonymous

    Smoking is banned because second hand smoke affects non smokers. There is not such thing as second hand obesity. You can’t ban a body.

  9. Bersha

    I don’t hate fat people, but I feel pity for them. It’s obvious many factors have contributed to their present state. Ingrained, unhealthy habits from childhood – e.g. parents/ caregivers who allowed them snacks without control, to a lack of knowledge about exercise and basic physical laws (more in, less out = accumulation of matter), to a food industry that churns out addictive junk, and now “body positivity” i.e. denial of reality. I grant that there is a small minority who have *real* medical conditions who predispose them to being overweight – but the vast majority do NOT. Just look at crowd photos from the 50s – how many overweight or obese people can you actually find?
    However, I believe the solution is not shaming, but education and empowerment – by this I mean self-education and self-empowerment. Instead of wallowing in the woolly rationalisation of each others’ real weight problems, come back to reality. Try to eat a little less. No, you don’t need that sugary drink masquerading as coffee. Another donut, really? On an escalator – how about walking up those, or consider the stairs? You don’t need a gym membership, but if you can afford a little luxury, let this be it. Otherwise take long walks, do push-ups, or silly-looking aerobics exercises in outrageous clothes. Everything helps, and every drop of sweat means a healthier you.

  10. Kasi

    This kind of ignores the fact that the movement is largely about letting fat people feel pretty and to stop stigmas about fat people. Fat people are less likely to be given jobs, be considered good romantic partners, receive proper medical treatment, and the list goes on. The average overweight person does want and/or try to be healthier, but a lot of eating problems are reinforced by negative emotions. In short, when everyone views and treats fat people as subhuman, this solidifies the cyclical process of feeling bad, eating, feeling bad, etc. Nobody needs to let everyone be unhealthy, but that doesn’t mean that fat people can’t be confident in their looks. Especially when there are SO many people nowadays who are “fat on the inside,” as some doctors call it. Most people in our culture are eating bad. I was diagnosed with blood sugar problems and nearly got Type 2 diabetes because my diet used to be horrible, but I’m thin, so nobody ever mistreats me or refers to me as the exemplar of the modern world’s horrible eating habits. Focus on the corporations and brands which load up their products with fat and sugar and misguide people, especially children. THOSE are the problem. They predestine children to be addicted to bad food. You can take issue with obesity without making fat people feel worse about themselves.

  11. Alice

    I don’t think it is anyone’s business. If someone wants to be happy in their large size, let them. Overweight people are not all lazy people who eat too much; a lot of times there is a totally different story. I think the campaigns are more about not judging other people. No one is asking Givenchy to come out with a plus size line, they are just asking that there be some brands that understand women of all shapes and sizes should have access to all types of clothing. Don’t concern yourself with someone else’s journey unless you are bringing peace, understanding, and joy to the situation. We are all fighting our own battles.

  12. Anonymous

    I’ll agree with you that the title of the article was typical hyperbole click bait.

    I take major issue with your belief that health is not a moral issue. Leading a destructive, unhealthy lifestyle is entirely one’a own perogative?

    Set aside the tax dollars argument for a moment. Health, fitness and proper weight rank right up there with basic hygiene. If you wish to live on civilization and be part of the social compact then you must take care of yourself on a basic level.

    Would you say doing drugs, smoking or being an alcoholic are morally acceptable?

    Diet and excersise are not the solution because those are hard (Sarcasm).

  13. Anonymous

    Americans and likely the British fat because we consume many more calories than we burn and are sedentary. The medical “conditions” that lead to obesity are mainly a myth. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/basics/causes/con-20014834

    Obesity, being fat, overweight or whichever term you prefer is primarily due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Society “shamed” smokers to the point where it is banned and most public places and the public health costs are largely accepted. Nobody started a smoking positivity campaign to normalize smoking again.

    The same should hold true with excessive eating and obsesity. Love yourself, have self-confidence and then use those attributes to change your lifestyle. Don’t use body positivity as coping mechanism to justify your fatness.

  14. Anonymous

    I HAVE POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME WHICH IS WHY I WENT FROM A PERFECT FOR ME SIZE 6 TO A SIZE 20 IN LESS THAN A YEAR. AT THE TIME I WAS WALKING 7 MILES A DAY AND DOING CRUNCHES EVERY MORNING AND EVERY NIGHT. I EAT HEALTHY AND DON’T GO NUTS WITH JUNK FOOD. I HAVE NO HEALTH PROBLEMS OTHER THAT ARTHRITIS WHICH I’VE HAD SINCE I WAS AN EXTREMELY UNDERWEIGHT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT. MY DOCTORS SAY I HAVE THE HEALTH OF A THIN WOMAN. I’M JUST FAT. SOMETIMES BEING OVERWEIGHT ISN’T ABOUT EATING TOO MANY OREO COOKIES.

  15. MadameMarguerite (@Marguer21570970)

    To all the people arguing that obese people are healthy, I have a question. Why do I so rarely see any obese people at the gym or walking, jogging, and hiking? I do these activities several times a week and I very rarely see them. How are they as fit and strong as they claim?

  16. Anonymous

    So you’re using your own personal anecdotal evidence to shout down this woman’s point… stats aren’t on your side I’m afraid. Heart disease is also a side effect of obesity.

    This writer isn’t rubbishing the idea of being body positive, she’s rallying against obese people not doing anything about their obesity and hiding behind the movement.

    I don’t know how you can possibly argue against that. Unless you too want people to be obese.

  17. xephia

    Body positivity isn’t about telling people not to change, not to lose weight, and not to fix their health issues, etc, it’s telling them to love themselves while they do it

    Name calling, fat shaming, and general insinuation of disgust has proven to make things worse – make people more likely to fall into depression and binge eat.

    The body positivity movement is about turning that around and telling people it’s okay to love yourself, and that other people should love you too, on your journey to get healthier

    Very, very few people see the message as ‘being unhealthy is good’ – 99% of the time this is ‘understanding’ of the movement is just spouted by people who just hate fat people

  18. Matthew

    Guess what! We all become wormfood in the end either way. If a person likes their fatness let them have it. A lot of guys like chubby girls anyway. This obsession that somehow eating kale and chia seeds while doing crossfit workouts suited for olympic athletes will keep a person out of the morgue is also a big fat delusion.

  19. charleshouseii

    Because they don’t have ground to stand on otherwise, and this article is written on shakey footing overall.

  20. Anonymous

    Why is this article focusing on the largest plus-sized model and calling the body positivity bad? What about Ashley Graham. She is plus sized and a healthy weight. What about Jennifer Lawarence, she was called curvy and pulsed sized. There are so many plus sized models and actresses that are healthy weights pushing for acceptance of regular women. I am sorry but a size xxs is just as extreme as a xxl just two sides of the same coin.
    Let’s talk about the benefits of walking. It’s not crossfit but it will keep you healthy, anyone with working legs can walk.
    How about the 80/20 rule 80percent of food intake is fresh whole food and 20percent of food intake is whatever you want. Why can’t we talk about attainable solutions and the importance of self-esteem. What makes supermodels eat healthily and excercise their self image.

  21. Meg

    This is rubbish. You know nothing. Diabetes is not caused by being fat. It’s genetic. Type 1……children are born with. Type 2 can happen to ANY body size……especially if there is a family history. My 95 pound (soaking wet) mother is pre diabetic. She eats healthy and exercises never drinks pop and guess what both of her sisters inherited type 1 genetically so she is at higher risk for developing type 2. She doesn’t mow down chocolate and sugar and junk. Her pre diabetic state isin’t due to being “body possitive”. Idiot fashionistas like this writer should stick to modeling and butt out of issues that are too complex for the remaining 2 brain cells that haven’t been destroyed in thier heads by anorexia and bulimia to understand. We get it. You hate fat people. You are making up “facts” so other people will blame them for thier health issues. Sometimes people are fat BECAUSE of thier health issues HELLO THYROID DISEASE!!!!!! Stick to modeling or go to school to get an education before you start spewing nonsense. If you are REALLY so worried about diet and health go after the food industry that keeps pumping sugars and toxic chemicals into the food that many poor (ie fat) folks are forced to eat due to budget.

  22. anonymous

    The study stating that people who were a little overweight live longer was debunked because they purposely included people with chronic illness in the thin category but screened for chronic illness in the overweight category, which skewed the results. They included smokers and actual cancer patients in the thin category but only healthy non-smokers in the overweight categories. That study is garbage.

    If you are overweight and exercise doesn’t cause you to lose weight there are a few things that could be going wrong:

    – You aren’t doing exercise that is intense enough. Yoga does not build significant muscle or burn significant calories. The elliptical is not great either, neither is walking alone. Running [you can take walk breaks if you need to], biking, rowing, or swimming are the best cardio, and should be done at least 3 times a week.

    – You are building muscle. Congratulations, this should be your goal! If you are not losing weight but your body is looking better, you may be gaining muscle as you lose fat, muscle is more dense, so while you will be thinner, your weight may not change as much. This is accomplished by lifting weights, weight lifting is recommended for everyone as it trains the muscles and is proven to decrease later risk of osteoporosis, and increase overall wellness. Building muscle also increases your caloric needs, meaning you burn more calories, which can aid in losing all that fat that is killing you.

    – You expected results in a week. Results take time. If you give up because it’s not instantaneous, you are lazy. You have to keep at it.

    – You have an extremely rare disorder that is causing you not to lose weight. See a doctor, they will probably tell you that you do not have this. Most people who think they have a condition that’s causing their obesity do not. They are just fat.

  23. Caitlin

    Body positivity isn’t about promoting obesity it’s about promoting confidence. It doesn’t say that it’s good to be obese and you should stay obese, it actually is very involved in the health factors because the goal into be healthy and happy. The point if these hashtags is to destroy the image the media promotes of what women should look like. Body positivity actually leads a lot if women to lose weight if they are obese because it helps women see where they really want to be and what they actually want to change. The whole point is to not shame women into feeling bad about themselves and to be comfortable in your own skin. It’s good and as long as the women are healthy and happy then it doesn’t matter. Healthy doesn’t mean thin.

  24. Anonymous

    It’s sad that people take knowledge and truth and turn it into something it’s not. I did not read anything in Holly’s article that resembled hatred. She seems concerned and to be honest, she has the right to be. Being over weight is a problem, even 30lbs over make a difference and how your breathing and ability to do simple activities changes either in the positive or negative way depending on whether your losing or aging weight. Take a chill pill and stop complaining against people.

  25. YAWA

    LOL Type 1 diabetes is an INBORN error of metabolism! You cannot get it as an adult. Maybe you are referring to type 2 DM?

  26. Lisa Rambo

    I’ll weigh in a bit, being someone who has battled…fat, body image, health and self esteem my ENTIRE life and then did it publicly on the biggest loser 5 years ago!! I was over 200 pounds by the time I graduated high school, honestly I do think not talking to our high schoolers about the dangers of obesity for fear of other eating disorders is a huge disservice…I do wish someone had genuinely, loving talked to an unhealthy high school about her body and health…. we need to start talking openly about all eating disorders, I do see a food addiction counselor now. But I think the bigger problem we have put too much into making your weight who you are… IT IS NOT! We need to stop assuming that if someone’s body is fat, that makes them unhappy automatically. Fat does NOT equal unhappy/lazy/disgusting/unworthy. This is something that I have had to bat off from people my entire life. The older I get, the funnier (and actually just plain sad for the person thinking that) it is. The views we have in this world are so scary. I’ve always known my worth & have enjoyed my life & that has NOTHING to do with the size of my body at that time. We need Please stop acting as though we all need to be miserable because we look different.
    I am now battling to drop 25 pounds again….I’ll never stop the battle for better health….but I will not let the battle rob me of who I am ….happy and confidant!

  27. Tina M

    This is such a great comment and response to this narrow-minded article. I am also considered obese but the metrics put in place that we still use from the 1930s. However, you make claims that someone who is obese cannot be healthy? If you knew another about one’s body, you would know that weight isn’t the final, deciding factor. I have perfect blood pressure, excellent good and bad cholesterol levels, am not pre-diabetic and go to the doctor’s regularly who say that i’m a solid example of health. If you knew anything about Tess Holiday you would know that she is in great health too. She talks about how her levels and tests for everything are great, goes to the gym regularly and eats right. Just because your weight number makes you obese by society’s standards, doesn’t mean that you’re unhealthy if all of your numbers are coming back positive from check-ups. I’m saddened that you are so unhappy with yourself, and I hope that you realize your worth one day is not defined by the number you see on the scale, but so many other factors.

  28. Anonymous

    The main causes of Heart Disease are diet related such as high cholesterol (often caused by obesity), high blood pressure causing heart muscle dysfunction (often caused by Obesity) and as one of the main complications of diabetes (Type 2 – caused by …Obesity!)

    So while DM may only be in the figures as 2.7% of deaths, Obesity and its complications cause many of the leading causes of death such as Heart disease

  29. Rebecca

    How can society expect women to want to treat their bodies to healthy lifestyles if they hate themselves? The “body positive” message can only encourage women to respect their bodies and live healthy, happy lives. This article is upsetting and dangerous.

  30. Anonymous

    First off, your statistics are way off! Perhaps it’s because you’re using only U.K. numbers, but let me help you out with some US numbers. 80% of American women wear a US size 14 or above. The #1 cause of death in Women is heart disease, while Diabetes only accounts for 2.7% of deaths. Morbid obesity rates have steadily lowered since 2005 in the US, and that has been attributed to healthier attitudes regarding eating and body image.
    Back in the 70’s and 80’s, when advertising and attitudes regarding women’s weight were all about being as thin as possible, with girls wearing jeans so tight they used pliers to zip their jeans and could barely breathe all day, anorexia and bulemia was commonplace with both teenage girls and twenty-somethings.
    I was a teen in the eighties and I was one of those girls. All my friends starved themselves too, and many of my friends ended up having to go into hospitals for treatment. I, thankfully, got into an outpatient program and got help before I destroyed my body.
    I wish to GOD that someone had been talking about loving your body back then! Maybe it would have saved so many young women!!
    I have Hashimoto’s Disease, which is a thyroid disorder that also makes my metabolism very slow. I also have insulin resistant Type 1 Diabetes, along with Rheumatoid Arthritis and several other autoimmune diseases. I developed these all as an adult, and my diabetes was caused by a medication, not by my weight (I was very thin when my pancreas stopped working). I’ve been very thin and very heavy.
    Another thing you have entirely wrong, fat women have MONEY!!! I’m a professional in the medical field and I have to dress well. I paid twice as much for clothes when I was fat than I did when I was thin!!! When I wore small sizes, I could walk into any store and find designer clothes on sale, always available, and priced to sell.
    When I was larger, I had to order clothes from specialty shops and the prices for good clothes was much higher! Shopping in regular stores was much more difficult because larger sizes sell out first, and they are never on sale. It’s much more expensive to be fat. Unless you want to shop somewhere like Walmart or Target-which I’m NOT going to do, you pay a fortune for clothing.
    For someone who claims to know what its like to have a medical problem that causes weight gain, you sure write with an entire lack of empathy or understanding for women who have decided to accept their bodies and love themselves at any size!
    Perhaps you are projecting your own self hatred upon those with good self esteem. I think you should learn to love yourself in your own skin, and stop trying to tell others how bad it is for everyone else to love women in every shape and size. It’s the INSIDE that makes us all beautiful, not just the outside, and a fat roll here or there makes no difference in the long run! I hope you learn to love yourself one day.

  31. Jackie

    Thank you. As an insurance agent I deal with mortality tables consisting of decades of stats to back our decisions on premiums to charge for life insurance. Guess what.. many many “large” people either pay more or are outright declined… why… Because the lifestyle associated with being fat is related to other health issues and a shorter lifespan. Not always true as we always have special cases, but in general it cannot be denied that a obese person has an increased chance or having a shorter lifespan.

  32. Jackie

    As someone who is an insurance agent and financial advisor I can make a quick point for the people who still do not get “it” or argue otherwise. You know why we charge more for life insurance for overweight individuals… Because they are more likely to die from that lifestyle choice or complications related to living a “bigger” lifestyle. Sometimes we completely decline people who are so overweight because the chance of being able to collect enough premium to offset the payout does not have time to occur.
    Yes yes someone will say it.. I’m fat and I have life insurance.. Good for them, but that is not the norm. Anyone who thinks being overweight is not related to adverse health issues like heart disease, stroke, joint problems and some types of diabeties to name a few is absolutely clueless. Preventable health complications do place a “large” burden on the health system and do contribute to higher medical costs. Not all fat people die early or have complications… but a good many do. As someone who was bullied in middle and highschool for being fat I can tell you the shame worked. It sucked
    …but it worked. I finally said enough is enough and I put down the fork. I became a smaller size, I got the partner I wanted, my blood pressure decreased and I feel better and have felt better for the past ten+ years since I lost the weight. Being confident is great, but promoting being happy with your “big” body is just as dangerous and promoting the heroin chick. Find the middle ground and work to achieve it. Dropping lbs is hard, but for many it is possible…not all but many. Stop making excuses, drive past the drive-through and get off the couch.

  33. A tired woman

    Imagine… loving your body no matter what size WHILE living a healthy lifestyle, like eating better and working out…THATS BODY POSITIVITY AND THAT AINT KILLING NO ONE. THIS ARTICLE IS PROBLEMATIC AS HELL. EDUCATE YOURSELVES.

  34. Anonymous

    The way I try to explain it in conversation is that body positivity is about your worthy as a person being put above your physical appearance. It encourages people to love themselves and when you truly love yourself great things happen. I experienced this myself, I had a time when I hated how I looked and I was going to the gym and having poor eating habits to punish myself not to improve myself or because I wanted too. Now, I eat what I want bad food and all (just in moderation), I workout because I found what I like and if I have a lazy day or a “fat” day I don’t beat myself up for three days about it. The best part is that I feel better, look better and my doctor says my health is better now then when I was rationing kale chips and a boiled egg. It is because I love myself and I am worth more than a number on a scale.

  35. julie

    Are you so diluted that you think the health industry isn’t making literal billions on fat people? What you don’t get is that it isn’t celebrating being unhealthy, it’s about trying to promote some amount of self-love regardless of one’s size. Obesity is a very emotional and real thing, people who have never struggled with it have no right to say a fucking word. A girl who is shamed for being fat will not loss weight to not be ashamed, this will only create a further sense of self-hatred, in which case, do you really feel will be a motivator for them to be more healthy? How in your pee brain sized head does this make sense? Maybe creating an accepting societal environment would motivate people to not be ashamed of going to the gym, or ashamed to get out on the dance floor? Here, let me put it terms that you could potentially understand…. if fat people cared about their bodies more instead of being ashamed, do you think it would lead to increased obesity or for them to feel like they are worth it enough to be healthy instead of thinking they are lesser people? Also, you’re a fucking tool.

  36. Natalie Rose Apar

    This article lacks any and all self-awareness. Thin people get the exact same diseases as fat people do, but you’re only upset when fat people seek healthcare for said ailments, not thin people. Which only goes to prove that you aren’t actually concerned about people’s health or any kind of strain on the system (which is a bullshit argument to begin with, we all need healthcare at some point in time no matter what your body size).

    No, what you’re concerned about is that you have invested time, energy and money into making yourself thinner and now here come these fatties smashing apart the very concept that there’s a right way to have a body. And it makes you mad. And you know what? It should make you mad! But not at the fat people who are just loving their bodies and being themselves, you should be mad at the industry that has been lining its pockets with your misery for decades. You should be mad at a system that told you the only way to love yourself was to lose weight. You should be mad at a system that lied to you and told you the only way to be healthy was to be thin. You should be mad at the system that told you your life would finally be perfect once you were thin, and then shrugged when that didn’t happen.

    I’m sorry that us fatties not hating ourselves somehow takes away from your own self-confidence, but that’s a you problem, not an everyone-else problem. Maybe refocus that time, energy and money into better self-care rather than lashing out at complete strangers for looking the way you used to look.

  37. Shannon Brevard

    Body positivity isn’t about being extremely obese and not doing anything about it (to me anyway). Body positivity is about loving yourself in your current state and not letting it dictate every little thing you do like how comfortable you are in public or how much you love yourself. It’s not even a fat bodied specific movement either, every person with a body should be able to love their self whether they’re fat, skinny, short, tall, whatever race, abled, disabled, whatever feature they happen to possess they should embrace. I’d also like to point out how this article doesn’t really talk about the direct correlation with income and obesity. People who cannot afford to pay for a healthy decent meal evey day also can’t afford insanely expensive clothes to wear on their overweight bodies especially if it won’t fit later due to weight gain or even loss. If you want less fat people, then acknowledge poverty. Being fat and lazy was a sign of wealth a long time ago, and obviously that’s not factual now but companies act like it is when determining prices for not even decent clothing that lasts. I am an obese individual, not by choice. I take medications, and don’t have good genes in the first place regarding health or weight so I’m predisposed to being overweight. Depression doesn’t help that either. But I don’t have any past, current or near future issues regarding my health because of how much i weigh. I eat as best as I can with the money I have. Every day is difficult to love my body,
    I don’t need someone claiming that loving myself is killing others while a lot of people hurt or even kill themselves over hating their bodies. Everyone’s situation is different. I am not killing anyone by thinking I look cute today. I am not killing anyone by purchasing a dress that actually fits me. I am not killing anyone. Period.

  38. Losing the weight

    So much hate going on here. To all the fat shamers, do you really believe that shaming fat people and you nasty remarks will help them? No it doesn’t, your actually part of the problem. Instead of being hateful, be encouraging. Words are weapons, use them wisely.
    In the past, reading some of these comments would have made me take to comfort eating, thankfully I finally got to the point where I don’t care what people think of me and in the last couple of months I’ve lost 1 st 9 lbs and counting.
    Your words may also send others in the opposite direction, making them develops an eating disorder and becoming anorexic.

    Yes the author does make some valid points, but she comes across in the wrong way, shaming fat people instead of encouraging them. She claims she was overweight and lost 55lbs, why doesn’t she give tips about how’s she did it. Like what did she do to build her level of fitness up at the beginning, or what exercises worked best for her or what she changed in her diet. Did she completely cut out fatty foods and sugar or did she just lower her intake, did she do it gradually.
    If you are going to criticise people (especially if you were once in a situation like them) at least give them constructive criticism.

    Sorry for the long post

  39. sndsfnny

    Body Positivity is not killing women. Don’t take my word for it–look at some of the science.

    Abstract of Matheson “Healthy Habits” study. When all different sizes of people practice the same four healthy habits, the hazard ratios are almost indistinguishable:

    http://www.jabfm.org/content/25/1/9/F1.expansion.html

    There are a number of researchers who have concluded that pursuing healthy habits without focusing on weight loss provides equal if not greater benefit than obsessing over body size.

    https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/content.asp?id=152

    What is going to become extinct, sooner or later, is fat hate. I recommend adaptation.

    Also, who are people supposed to believe? A fashion icon like Tim Gunn who has called out the industry for ignoring women above certain sizes, or a fat phobic blogger with an obvious axe to grind?

  40. rhea

    First of all this is a way more complex issue than this article would indicate. Just because people are different sizes, even considerably larger, doesnt necessarily mean they are not healthy. A lot of these large body positive models do take better care of themselves than the average obese person(as in go to the gym/exercise regularly, also eat good foods etc) It does not mean the people they inspire to feel comfortable in their own skin follow all of their positive examples. That said, i think the movement of body positivity IS NOT encoraging people to be fat or obese, but more to not hate themselves, stress and live in misery about it. The more we study obesity and genetics the more we are learning that is in some ways less the individuals fault than their genes in some cases. Not to mention how the culture of food has evolved, the cheapest food is the worst food (the poorer are not fatter because of the money honey, and that phenomenon trickles all the way up the income ladder). You can inherit obesity as well as the behaviours that cause it, and it can literally cause some people to be or prone to be shaped differently. The trouble of obesity is a much deeper and complex problem than a movement that promotes self acceptance both after and during the most obsessed decades with this subject in history. But what kills women more around weight is probably the absolute misery that can perpetuate it further.
    On a real note- most fat people will never feel fully comfortable, even secretly, with all the body positivity in the world. And the world still hates fat people. So you go ahead and try to tell it like coping with the problem mentally is hurting people more than its helping- i actually think the positivity movement is the best potential for a bridge out of this problem that ive observed in history thus far. Just my opinion

  41. The Real Cie (@therealcie)

    You sound like a real kind and compassionate person–so not.
    As to bigger people all being “greedy and lazy,” this big woman often works more than 40 hours per week and also gives a lot to charity. The “lazy” stereotype is incredibly hurtful and is untrue.
    I don’t really give a damn of what you might think of the way I look. The fact that you’re cruel is far worse than any amount that I, or anyone else, weighs.

  42. GratefulGran

    So funny to hear all the moaning and groaning about fat people. Why do you care if someone is fat or not? Getting thin is not going to cure all ills and thin people are NOT immortal. I know a lot of thin people with diabetes, high blood pressure, bad knees, etc. They, however, get TREATED for their conditions and not told to, “Just lose weight and you’ll be all better.” Imagine that. Maybe if fat people were treated for their actual health conditions and NOT for weight loss while their other conditions were ignored, there wouldn’t be “all that money” spent on them. Suck it up. Fat people exist. Get over it and quit having YOUR feelings hurt by our existence. #Skinnysnowflakes

  43. Elle

    Shut your fat shaming lil mouth up! Can’t believe people have the audacity to post stigmatizing, rude, dehumanizing bullshit like this. You are the problem.
    E

  44. Anonymous

    Um…..OK. Instead of asking why people are fat, why not ask why you’re so scared.

    Sure, we live in a “free” world, but just because one *can* say something doesn’t mean that one *should* say something.

    Bad manners aside, my Buddhist teaching (and graduate studies in cognitive psychology) state that what you hate most in others is what you hate most about yourself.
    So, this means that for you to have this level of disgust thinly veiled as “concern” with fat people, you must also have an overwhelming fear of becoming fat yourself.
    I don’t generally pay attention to people who act from a place of fear because in this state they are not really in control of themselves, so this will be the only comment you will see from me; but campaigning against a population because of *your* psychosis will only enhance your own mental ill health.

    Do fat people deserve the shaming? Is there “thin privilege”? I don’t know-but someone with your level of hatred is as unhealthy mentally as you think fat people are physically.

    Lay off the gym and find a good therapist.

  45. JDOuellette

    Are you aware that women in the 25-29 BMI category live longest and, as a category, health-related risks only start at BMI 35?

    Exercise is more correlated to health than weight – and making weight loss the goal of exercise leaves people feeling like it’s futile and they stop.

  46. JDOuellette

    Your concern trolling is touching. Not.

    Two huge drivers for obesity? Weight stigma and dieting.

    Please stop.

  47. K

    This is writing reads as though the author has never battled serious weight issues. Though she says she does it lacks the empathy of someone who has been through the experience. You can love your curves and still hate that you aren’t as healthy as you want to be. To look at me you’d never know that I can outswim, out lift, and out distance my best friend who is 120 pounds and wears a size 3. Health can not be judged by appearance. BMI is crap. If you feel badly work harder to not feel badly. Save the judgement, no one needs that. We’re all of us walking around with the worst critics in our heads so we don’t have time for anyone else’s “concern”.

  48. Snorre Rubin

    Thank you for a week written piece. I’d wish that you differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as type 1 is in no way caused by unhealthy lifestyles…

  49. Anonymous

    Were you bullied much by heavier women? Find yourself endlessly drawn to them but only spurned?
    Put that anger away! It’s okay, let the tears out, friend. It’s a safe place.

  50. Maciej Muszalski

    You ain’t no “plus size”… you are fukcing fat. I ain’t no “a bit fluffy” … i am fucking overweight. Bullshit language makes “alt-right” outta nazis and “plus size” outta fat asses.

  51. Debbie

    Shame is what is killing women. Overweight women who are shamed tend to put on weight. You don’t change people by shaming them. Shame doesn’t work; just the opposite. Body positivity tries to reverse that. Women need to accept who they are and love themselves and then they are more likely to succeed at making healthy changes. That’s how the beauty and fashion industries make their money-by shaming women and making them feel bad about their bodies. If you want to battle obesity, stop shaming women and then trust them to do the right thing by themselves. I’d suggest the author listen to Brene Brown’s audiobook The Power of Vulnerability and rethink her approach.

  52. Anonymous

    I think I’ve found the key to understanding articles in this magazine – they are contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. Could this be because most of Areo’s authors appear to be individuals who have been marginalized in some way in their respective fields and/or identities?

    Also, the writing is overall rather tedious and the superfluous word choices betray the fragile egos of the writers.

    This shit gets old real fast.

  53. The Heretic

    Wrong. Plus size lines certainly do exist, but they actually never do well with obese customers. There’ve been a few started and then they fizzle out. Worse, the customers themselves are simply nasty to the retailers selling the clothes if the wares aren’t totally up to their standards (which are: super-cheap, fits perfectly no matter how lumpy or misshapen the body of the customer, and makes them look skinny and beautiful), to the point where I’ve actually heard that some designers are deeply regretting their decision to even try to please that niche and others have been scared away from the idea. There’s one line that crashed disastrously recently but got crowdfunded back to life, but time will tell if plus-sized women actually buy enough of the clothes to keep it afloat. They weren’t interested in it the first time, after all.

    Me personally, I’ve learned my lesson. I wouldn’t ever actually buy a smaller size from a line that caters to plus-sized women. I’ve done it before and the clothes don’t hang right, the waistlines are always off, and I look like a kid wearing her mother’s clothes even when the lengths and sleeves are correct. And I’m not a twig by any stretch. I’ll stick with clothing lines that are made for women who aren’t obese. Sizing plus sizes down works as poorly as sizing straight sizes up. IMO a line looks best when it’s designed from the ground up for the size of woman intended to wear it. I’m all for obese women having nice clothes and at one time was interested in trying to design such a line, but the customer support simply isn’t there.

  54. Anonymous

    You do know statistically that addicts don’t normally recover, right? That’s why you’re probably still fat after trying to lose weight. CICO is simple; follow it and you will lose weight. People who lose weight and then gain back more are people who have relapsed into their addiction (weather it be sugar or whatever other type of food).
    Thinking you’re some sort of exception to the rule is the main part of your problem. If you have become obese (or morbidly or super obese) then you suffer from disordered eating. Once you cross that line there is no way you can go back to “eating whatever you want”. You have to completely change your relationship with food. It is 100% possible to maintain a healthy weight post obesity. It just takes dedication and constant regulation.

    This is common sense.

  55. Anonymous

    You’re right, maybe part of you is actually healthy. That fat though, isn’t healthy. You really think all that fat/grease in your body is ok? That’s a joke.

  56. Anonymous

    You’re lashing out at an article that proves points. “Statisticly, gain that weight back.” Because most people who are overweight, don’t want to change their lifestyle for the better. They’d rather cram 4 sticks of butter in their mouth and call it a meal. Hey, fact, being just in the normal body fat percentage actually makes me healthier then someone who isn’t.

  57. Anonymous

    Just because you didn’t enjoy something doesn’t mean it wasn’t working or you weren’t healthy. I don’t run 5ks(most are healthier then you because they exercise), but I do get a HELL of a lot more exercise then most people. You’re specific scenario is a joke, it doesn’t even correlate to the argument

  58. Speshul_sn0wflake

    As someone who dealt with anorexia for ten years, you sound like a triggered fatass making excuses. Sorry, but not eating third and fourth breakfasts’ doesn’t make it an eating disorder.

    I love how all these complacent pigs try to act like body positivity is great, maybe in theory it is but the level of insanity you she-hogs have brought it to is just crazy.

  59. Speshul_sn0wflake

    looks like another convex, whoops I mean “curvy” woman was triggered because it was told the truth. You can’t be morbidly obese and healthy, and before say that BMI is bullshit, the waist to hip ratio is even less forgiving than that and would class you as an even bigger monster than you are now.

    Enjoy dying early with your fat acceptance, as long as I don’t have to subsidize your Healthcare I’ll consider that a win.

  60. Speshul_sn0wflake

    Seriously, you can always tell the butthurt fats. “You know you’ll gain the weight back and then some right??” Then they site that b.s. study with skewed results and think they’ve accomplished something. Actually, most don’t gain the weight back – that isn’t true and is something that fats tell themselves so they can feel better about being disgusting and complacent. Most studies done with the obese that aren’t done in a controlled environment are skewed because they lie about how much they eat (underestimate) and then they do the same with exercise, only they grossly overestimate. Nobody eats 500 calories a day and gains weight, not even in their precious “starvation mode” which they will never experience… ever.

    You want to lie to yourself and think you’re beautiful looking like a waddling rhino, that’s fine. Don’t attack people who have lost weight that call you out on your body positive bullshit. I love how when people destroy the logic behind the “FA” movement you all say “It’s about us being accepted, reeeee!!” but go to any of your tumblr accts and it doesn’t take long to see the truth. You shame humans and human sized people while you all take provocative, half naked pictures and support each other’s gluttony. I wouldn’t mind, but as long as we subsidize your Healthcare for when your “great numbers” tank, then we will have a say. You can’t be morbidly obese and healthy, and if you believe you can be you’re ignorant and part of the problem.

  61. Kristin

    Also, “Fatty Burners,” I would take your info a bit more seriously if it was not riddled with grammatical errors.

  62. Kristin

    Yeah I lost 60+ pounds too and got to the point where I had an eating disorder. That was 13 years ago. My weight has been all over the place since then, and my body image is worse than ever.
    The purpose of body positivity is to focus on the NOW instead of comparing to others and longing for what you don’t (and may not ever) have. Yeah, I know what photoshop is. But knowing doesn’t mean that seeing covers of magazines with “perfect” looking models makes me hate my body less.
    All women need help in accepting they are ok with who they are now (as long as there’s not an immediate health crisis. Side note- show me the research that shows obesity causes diabetes, HBP, etc). Just because someone is obese does not mean they are unlovable or unworthy to be on the front of a magazine. It’s a breath of fresh to see a size 12 model on a magazine and think, “wow, she kinda looks like me.”
    How about you start helping others instead of berating what they’re so desperately needing: acceptance?

  63. Anonymous

    I think the point of the body positivity campaign isn’t actually to encourage obese or unhealthy women to continue their lifestyles – but rather aimed at the average teenage girl? Coming from an all girls’ school, I’ve seen what girls do to themselves as a result of expectations from the media as to how they should look like. There’s really way too much self-hate and eating disorders which was only compounded by victoria secret models and the things we see in the media. And the girls who were affected were never actually obese; they were just average and healthy. So I think it misses the point to say that it is “encouraging obesity” – yes that could be the body positivity campaign swinging too far to the other side of the spectrum, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is an important and refreshing change in media images that will hopefully help young girls (and maybe guys) worldwide.

  64. L'esprit de l'escalier

    I think there is no easy answer to health issues. I think most everyone knows how hard it is to maintain a “healthy” lifestyle and how easy it is to fall into the trap of laziness and gluttony (and all those grey areas in between). I think some of Holly’s points are valid. We shouldn’t glorify morbid obesity. We shouldn’t glorify heroin chic. Those are two very unhealthy ends of a very wide spectrum. We also shouldn’t tell ourselves that just because someone is within a “healthy” weight range (a nod to “what the what” for pointing out that our BMI chart was created by insurance companies and not at all a good measure of “normal, overweight and obese” weight calculations) they are healthy and just because someone “looks” to be an “unhealthy” weight that they are unhealthy. That is much too simplistic and we human animals are way more complicated than that. Our bodies are way more intricate and complicated than slapping a “healthy” or “unhealthy” label on an individual based on a calculation, scale number or visual cues. Certainly generalizations are needed and helpful in many a circumstance but health really can’t be one of them. Genetics makes that all way too messy. I do believe we should glorify healthy food and exercise in the way we should glorify living your best life. We should put out the message that it is important to take care of your body as well as those of your children, as you are their guardian for their formative years. Feed them well and show them the joy that can be had from physical activity by example (up to whatever limits you as an individual must accept – we are not all capable of achieving the same goals). And finally, don’t shame anyone. If you have taken time out of your day to shame someone, shame on you. Shame doesn’t motivate anyone. We teach by example not by harsh criticism and judgment. In the end we can only be responsible for ourselves but it would do us well to remember we are a community here on this earth and we should aim to take care of each other, not take each down.

  65. John H.

    As a trained biochemist who understands nutrition and a bit about the health implications of obesity, and who, by the way, lost and kept off 100 lbs over ten years ago, I disagree with the self-righteous and confident tone of this article.

    To know whether we’re killing women with body positivity, we need data, data that shows that the overall effect on women’s health is negative. I think it’s possible that body positivity is saving women.

    For one, the implicit assumption of this article is that body positivity will cause women to keep weight they might otherwise have lost. I don’t know that’s true. In fact, the evidence seems to indicate the opposite, since making people feel “bad” about being fat has been shown to cause people to gain weight, not lose it. See the following for support of that:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25212272

    For another, body positivity might help women who are fat feel better about themselves — and that’s very significant. Depression and stress are involved in the etiology of more diseases than obesity is.

  66. Sarah G

    “Chanel, Gucci, Givenchy etc. don’t have plus size collections because generally plus size women don’t spend hundreds of pounds on clothing. If these growing numbers of avid hashtag users were so happy with their shape, why isn’t the fashion industry changing? They’re excluding 24.9% of British who are obese from buying their products. Because that 24.9% aren’t buying them. Of course, I’m pleased we’re slowly crawling out of the heroin chic of the 90s, which was the other extreme of the spectrum, but it shouldn’t be replaced with the opposite end.”

    Wow, you really have a grasp. This might be the most inane clickbait piece on the internet. Zero facts, zero research, just hatred for bigger women, who, by the way, CAN be healthy. You are ignorant, but I only have to look at your writing to conclude this.

  67. Pearly

    medical student here, and almost at every turn we’re taught about how obesity is a known risk factor especially when you’re talking about heart diseases etc. please. i believe many plus-sized women would hide behind body positivity and refuse to make changes. they would be led to the idea that it’s okay and acceptable and that they do not have to change. but they do.

  68. Fatty Burners

    Actually…people ARE dying of obesity, so much so that is is considered by NIH as an epidemic…and most of it is due to lack of exercise…and you should read more before blathering. It is you empty and perpetually offended social justice types who are killing people, and against whom this article is targeted.

    http://wvdhhr.org/bph/oehp/obesity/mortality.htm

  69. GlenysO

    Your message is not new or even remotely accurate. People are *not* actually dying in the street of obesity, rising health care costs are *not* significantly attributed to higher weights, diabetes also affects thin people, and much of the emerging epidemiological evidence shows that people in higher weight categories are living as long or longer than normal weight and underweight categories. We also know that good health behaviors impact health more than weight (e.g. having a good, nutritionally adequate diet, getting regular movement). We also know that weight stigma, which you’re helping to perpetuate here, impacts health much more negatively than actually being fat, and that it’s rarely named as a confounding factor in many studies around weight.

    If you want to see an industry that is literally killing people, look at the diet and weight loss surgery industries. Rates of eating disorders are on the rise because of a fat phobic culture. A former work colleague of mine just died of complications from bariatric surgery last weekend. She had the surgery to help with her diabetes and to become thinner; if she’d never had it, she’d still have diabetes but she’d also still be alive.

    Health and body positivity aren’t mutually exclusive. One can pursue health without needing to lose weight (and if that happens, that’s fine too). Health is also not a moral obligation and everyone gets to choose their own level of pursuit of health (and please spare me the “buh muh tax dollars!” Just spare me. We pay for all the stupid shit everyone does, all the time.)

    Dieting and intentional weight loss has never been shown to lead to long-term weight loss — check your facts, or your own weight in 5-10 years unless you manage to develop the eating-disorder-like tendencies it often requires to maintain even small losses. If there was a way to reliably turn fat people into thin people permanently, we’d have figured it out. Instead, the weight cycling industry continues to create larger and unhappier bodies with restriction-and-disinhibition cycles. Great job.

    You seem woefully uninformed on topics of health, feminism, body positivity, and social justice. But most of all, this is a boring, unoriginal article with an obviously click-baity headline. I could barely get through it, it was so boring, but I wanted to leave this comment for the women that you are harming, so they can know they don’t have to suffer at the hands of a misogynist, lying diet culture anymore.

  70. What the what?

    As I said in my comment, go watch “The Man Who Made Us Thin.” It explains just where the “guidelines” came from and why they’re garbage.

  71. Fatty Burners

    From the comments, it is clear, lot of fatty feefees were hurt.

    That’s a success for the author. Kudos.

  72. Anonymous

    Your article is full of blame, contempt, and judgment. Is this how you felt about yourself before you lost the 55 lbs? If so then I feel sorry for you. You do know statistically you are destined to gain the weight back, and then some, right? You’ve shown absolutely no link between shaming people and weight loss; in fact studies show that people who feel good about themselves and who aren’t depressed (clinical depression directly links to shame) are more likely to be physically healthy. You’ve also shown no link between body positivity and weight gain. If you want to spread super positive exercise and healthy eating inspiration to fatties, have at it, but stop projecting your negative stuff onto other people. The overweight get more than enough constant hatred directed at them. And ps don’t pretend your concern trolling is really about health…if it were perhaps we’d be seeing more anti smoking, anti sun tanning, anti drugs, and anti drinking articles as well.

  73. Alwyn

    The root cause of the obesity epidemic – regardless of gender – in the US and other modern, Westernised coutries today is the Standard American Diet: high in saturated fat and processed foods which are calorie-dense but not nutrient-dense, low in whole plant foods which have the opposite nutritional profiles. People are addicted to fat, oil, and sugar, getting way more calories than they need and yet less nutrients than they need. Body positivity is just a reaction to that: a coping mechanism, not a cause. I agree that we shouldn’t encourage obesity or try to pass it off as healthy, but I don’t think that shaming fat people helps them either, like Megan said. It’s like shaming a depressed person for having depression instead of accepting them and giving them the support and resources that they need. The article correctly points out that many fat people are not happy with their bodies, but attacking them for trying to create more inclusive spaces for themselves to feel accepted hardly seems like the solution.

    If diet is the cause, then diet is also the solution. Where I disagree with the author is not in fact or principle, but in method: she spends most of the article going after fat people and just one sentence on what might help them instead. I think a more effective approach would be to share positive stories of success and transformation instead, like those featured on websites like forksoverknives.com. 🙂

  74. Megan

    Dieted and hated my fat like you said we should. Weight went down, then up more than before, then down, then up more before. Participated in fat acceptance and body positive, Weight went down without even trying. Focus on gaining mobility and being proud of the things my body can do. I even think people should be able to be fat and feel happy without making excuses as to why they are not dieting. Let me give you another scenario to explain this. If we said all people who don’t run 5k a day are a burden on the healthcare system and normalized running 5k so that anyone who didn’t was shamed and all portraits of non-runners in media where to educate, sell running material, mock them, or tell the story of them running – do you think that’s really reasonable? Because if you base how you treat people or if you will even allow people the willingness to be happy based on health statistics there’s a lot more reasons out there to shame people than fat. Anyone who doesnr run 5k every day should be equally shamed, or you are just picking out things based on prejudice. That is the antithesis of lazy.

  75. Speaker To Animals

    Nobody said if everyone was thin they’d be fine. Obesity is just one source of ill health – but a major one.

    Also, your objection that definitions of good health are defined by insurance companies makes no sense.

    Health insurance companies are concerned with how much they have to pay out. If obesity didn’t cause health conditions insurance companies wouldn’t have to pay out. That they do have to pay out demonstrates that obesity is a problem.

  76. What the what?

    This is not accurate at all. I suppose the answer is that as long as people are thin, we’re fine? The imposing unrealistic standard by which people are judged isn’t based on anything more than one person’s opinion. No one is the ideal body weight. The way we measure health was created by an insurance company. Check out “The Man Who Made Us Thin.” Allow people to be who they are today so they can concentrate on who they are becoming. Constantly reminding a fat person that they are fat and therefore a burden is what created the “obesity” crisis in the first place. Shaming people, like you have done here, is part of why this problem exists.

    The movement is about allowing people to just be while they’re on their journey. You have missed the point entirely.

    And fat people don’t buy high priced plus size clothing because it doesn’t exist. Not because they’re choosing to spend their money elsewhere. Seriously?

  77. WillCE

    I’m not knowledgeable about the fashion industry, but it seems like there is a movement from skinny models to more physically fit models. In my experience of losing weight and getting, moving toward fitness was way more empowering and creating more success than trying to run away from fat. I don’t care about my weight anymore, and I’m no where near the goal that i had set for myself (absolutely ripped abs and massive muscularity). I am within the healthy body fat percentage and I’m reasonably muscular, but I’m far more interested in seeing what my body can actually accomplish. I got the six pack for a month or so, and I can honestly say that squatting four plates for the first time was far more rewarding and exhilarating.

  78. Mac67

    Some very good points. The pendulum about body positive swung way too far but there is merit in the idea of undoing a lot of harm from unreasonable standards of beauty imposed on women. You get what you get in many ways. It’s no different than skin color. For example, I will never tan, even though I tried countless ways to do so as a teenager. The prospects of dying from skin cancer are very real, having had melanoma at 43.
    So now, I slather myself in sun screen, teach my kids the habit too,
    If you take the analogy of skin type , to body type, we have failed miserably. There is no diet equivalent to sun screen so we have these fat kids whose parents thought weight was something to worry about later and everyone around them has to be careful so as not to “shame” them. They will die from their obesity after huge costs to health care systens.
    We also have girls who are surrounded by playful skinny Victoria secret models and unrealistic cheerleaders giggling unrealistic ratios of boob to ass on the NFL sidelines. They will never live because in body image will consume their thoughts as they chase the unattainable.
    I just want a balance so women don’t need to identify with a body type in order to be seen, heard, or valued.

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