why is glorifying obesity okay but when someone glorifies anorexia it’s totally wrong ?
i’m hoping the-exercist will drop some knowledge on any peeps who reblogged this…..
*bursts into thread with citations in hand*
Anorexia is a disease, not a body type. This word cannot be used synonymously with “skinny,” nor is it the opposite of being fat. People can be both obese and anorexic at the same time. And in fact, many people are. It’s a common misconception that a person can only be anorexic once they’re “thin enough.” It’s that mentality that actually prevents many people with eating disorders from getting proper treatment. So please, please do not ever talk about obesity and anorexia as if they exist on opposite ends of some spectrum.
But to answer the question:
When you glorify anorexia, what you’re doing is praising a fatal disease. You’re feeding into the idea that thinner is inherently better, even if a person literally dies in the process of losing weight. You’re praising people whose daily life includes obsessive dieting, an intense fear of weight gain, a distorted body image, self-disgust, frequent lies about their eating habits, compulsive exercising past the point of exhaustion, beliefs that denial and self-control are the only ways of attaining perfection, and/or an intense need to reach an “ideal” weight before they can love themselves. Glorifying anorexia is telling people that all this shit is perfectly fine, because at least they’ll be skinny! Yay! :-/
However, obesity is not a disease. It’s simply a measurement of how much fat is on a person’s body. It is not inherently reflective of their lifestyle, health or value as a person. Obesity is not a psychological problem or a mental health issue, nor is it inherently linked up with any particular behavior. People can be obese while still maintaining perfect health. Obesity is not a homogeneous condition.
When you glorify obesity, you’re telling someone that their body is worthwhile and valuable just the way it is. You’re saying that someone is worthy of being loved and respected no matter what they may look like. You remind people that they are wonderful, no matter their size, shape, health or appearance. They’re awesome simply because of who they are. Glorifying obesity is a way of fighting back against the unattainable beauty standards that are forced upon women every day. Glorifying obesity is a way of saying “I love myself enough to know that if I don’t want to change, then I don’t have to.” In most cases when people are accused of “glorifying” obesity, all they’re actually doing is displaying their bodies without shame or guilt. They’re choosing to exist rather than hide themselves. That’s all.
Glorifying anorexia is encouraging people to actively kill themselves through denial and fear. Glorifying obesity is telling people that they’re gorgeous and worthwhile human beings. You tell me why one is okay while the other isn’t.
I’m not sure why this showed up on my dash, and I normally just skip stuff that irritates me, but I’m gonna give my non-medical opinion on this, inclusive of the medical opinions of people who study this sort of thing. You know. Doctors.
First of all, neither anorexia nor obesity are awesome. And I agree it is incorrect to classify these conditions as opposite ends of the spectrum. Neither of them are body types, and anorexia is not the same as simply “being skinny.” However, obesity IS a medical issue. I’m not talking a bit of chub or lack of a thigh gap. Being obese can kill you. Will it definitely kill you? No. Neither will anorexia. But they both are deadly.
If you actually read the sources provided, http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/overweight-and-healthy-the-concept-of-metabolically-healthy-obesity-201309246697, you will find that the concept of metabolically healthy obesity is tenuous, at best. And there are caveats to who will be healthy, and what is dangerous. The article specifies no more than a 40 inch waist for guys and a 35 inch waist for women. Look at pictures of that. That is the low end of being obese. Take a look at webmd. More artery plaque is evident in obese people. This article also mentions the metabolic differences in “healthy obese” people, and that it won’t last, but rather represents a transitional stage. “Metabolically healthy obese are in the minority”, the report states, from a study done in Australia.
This study even goes so far as to explain how the reports of “healthy obesity” were poorly structured, resulting in skewed conclusions, such as not comparing them to lower weight individuals, or only using the criteria of weight and blood pressure.
What this means is that, no, you are not healthy if you are obese. You are not healthy if you are anorexic. Stop trying to promote unhealthy and (purely my opinion in this moment) unattractive lifestyles. Neither should be glorified because both are dangerous.
No one has claimed that obesity isn’t a medical issue. Everything can be a medical issue. What state you live in, what career you pursue, if you’re married, whether you own a cat - All of these things have the potential to impact your health in some way. However, that does not mean that obesity is a disease comparable to anorexia. It is still primarily a measurement of how much fat a person’s body contains. To make assumptions about someone’s health or lifestyle using only that information? It’s irresponsible.
So thank you, but I’ve read the sources that I linked to. If you wanted to discuss a certain aspect of the Harvard Health article, you could have simply said so: The point of linking that particular article, as stated, was to demonstrate that obesity is not a “homogenous condition” that affects every person in the same way:
Some people who are overweight or obese manage to avoid these changes and, at least metabolically, look like individuals with healthy weights. “Obesity isn’t a homogeneous condition,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It appears that it doesn’t affect everyone in the same ways.” … “Further exploration of metabolically healthy obesity could help us fine-tune the implications of obesity,” says Dr. Hu. “It supports the idea that we shouldn’t use BMI as the sole yardstick for health, and must consider other factors.”
Concerning your other links, please keep in mind that the WebMD article is a summary of a 2014 study that hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, the New York Times article confirms that it is possible to be healthy while obese (no one has claimed that “good” health will last forever, we are simply discussing the potential for obese people to be healthy), and the Time Magazine article links to the same 2014 un-peer-reviewed study that WebMD did. This isn’t a huge range of academic research. There are many more studies than these thatshould be taken into account. If you’d like to read up on them more, BigLiberty has a wonderful resource page here.
In terms of how obesity is related to health, please remember that correlation is different than causation. Just because various health problems are associatedwith obesity does not mean that they are caused by obesity. Not all health issues (related to body fat percentage) can be solved by weight loss.
But honestly, much of this conversation is irrelevant. It’s ignoring a rather important point that I posted above:
[When you glorify obesity,] you remind people that they are wonderful, no matter their size, shape, health or appearance. They’re awesome simply because of who they are. Glorifying obesity is a way of fighting back against the unattainable beauty standards that are forced upon women every day. Glorifying obesity is a way of saying “I love myself enough to know that if I don’t want to change, then I don’t have to.” In most cases when people are accused of “glorifying” obesity, all they’re actually doing is displaying their bodies without shame or guilt. They’re choosing to exist rather than hide themselves. That’s all.
Praising anorexia is often about teaching other people ways to restrict, to hide their obsessive exercise routines and to engage in anorexic tendencies more efficiently. It’s about praising unhealthy and dangerous actions, as well as actively encouraging further weight loss through radical and un-supervised means. But praising obesity is about praising a body. Regardless of what someone’s health is like, they deserve to be loved, to be respected and to be valued. Their bodies are still wonderful things that can be both beautiful and sexy. It’s not wrong for obese people to be happy. Telling people that they are wonderful human beings, regardless of their health or size, is the exact opposite of what the voice of anorexia screeches into a victim’s ear - Eating disorders tell someone that they are worthless until they can change their bodies, while self-love (including obese self-love) says that you are valuable no matter what. Because even if you are so unhealthy that you only have hours left to live, you are still a worthwhile human being who deserves to feel happy, pretty and worthwhile.
When you say that someone is glorifying obesity, I want you to think hard about what that person is actually doing. Most times, they’re just being open about what they look like. They’re dressing in a way that actually makes their fat visible, or they’re posting sexy selfies, or they’re refusing to hide themselves away from the world. Never forget that they have every right to do this - Looking a certain way does not mean that you should inherently hate yourself.
But honestly, what gets me the most about your reply is the sheer entitlement at the end - How dare you bring your personal aesthetic into this conversation!How someone else controls their body and chooses to live their life should haveabsolutely nothing to do with what you personally find attractive. Your opinion on whether or not an obese “lifestyle” is attractive or not is 100% irrelevant - Get out of here with that ego trip.