Fat-shaming, body love and weight loss: the unpopular view

About the whole big body love thing which is so en vogue just now, I'm going made a very unpopular statement. It's unsafe to accept your body regardless of size. Okay, while you're choking on your coffee and firing off a rant-storm, hear me out. 

I advocate positive self-image no matter what size you are. Making fun of a person's weight, shape, color, characteristics, gender, etc is just mean. But conversely, ignoring obesity (or anorexia at the other end) is dangerous. Accepting the fat makes it easier to gain more weight. It snowballs the more you ignore your growing body. 

And about beauty in obesity-- I may believe that I am beautiful at 100 pounds overweight. But I don't have the right to insist that others call me beautiful. And that seems to be the expectation of those who advocate body love. 


Clearly we all deserve acceptance as humans regardless of body size. But is obesity attractive--that's in the eye of the beholder and the obese person. Most people do not feel attractive carrying a lot of extra weight around. Is that because they have been body-shamed by others? It could be part but it's not all. 

When you are morbidly overweight you are not as healthy. You feel more sluggish and less energized. You're tired all the time and get sick more often. It's not- fat-shaming to say that. These are incontrovertible biological facts. You might say, well anorexia isn't healthy either which of course it isn't. But this isn't an either-or situation. Both an eating disorder and obesity are dangerous. 

And as such, neither are attractive. If you look at me when I was 100 pounds heavier, you can see inflammation in my face. My features are hidden and bloated.  I had skin problems from psoriasis with weight gain. You could even hear the fat in my voice (fat around organs and facial structures makes it harder to breathe and creates respiratory problems). 

It is unrealistic and delusional to insist that others call us beautiful no matter what we look like.  When we genuinely feel good about ourselves we don't need others to constantly affirm it. It sets me up for disappointment and hurt if I say I'm fat and gorgeous and folks have to agree--and they don't. People don't like having opinions shoved at them. They tend to come out nastier than they intended. Plus if gives fat-shamers leverage to mock with. 

So what should we do if we are overweight--hide  in corners and wait for permission to speak? Do we need to lose weight to make us valuable. No and No. We should work to develop self-confidence within ourselves which will give us the impetus we need to take care of ourselves. We should behave as beautiful people, giving to others, caring and reaching out to those in need. 

And then, as the genuine confidence grows, we find the mojo to work at weight loss. And weight loss helps boost the self-esteem. I gain confidence knowing that I have the power over food addictions and eating habits. And we grow stronger, more empowered and capable as our bodies grow healthier and lighter. It's a symbiotic relationship building confidence through healthy weight control. 




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