Body Positivity is a Crutch
“Body positivity” is everywhere these days, suggesting that everyone should be sympathetic to fat people.
But if we look around, what do we see?
Almost everyone has fat friends and anywhere you go there are fat people. Why? Because they have become the majority.
While “fat” may be subjective, obesity-related diseases aren’t.
If we have 40 million US adults suffering from Type-2 diabetes and another 76 million being pre-diabetic, then we can be pretty certain the majority of the adult population has supersized. The official number is 70% which means that slim (or normal weight) people have become the minority. It’s therefore misleading to talk about “being fat” as if it’s unusual.
Here’s the perspective from a member of the minority:
I have been thin for 77 years. Growing up in the 40s and being skinny the images from the concentration camps were unavoidable so I guess it was disturbing to see thin people. Back in the days, there was no “PC.” People would come up to me and make comments like, “eat something,” “put some meat on your bones,” “you’re a string bean,” or even “you look terrible.”
Of course, I didn’t like it. But there wasn’t a “body positivity” movement to make us “thin people who get pinched for having no meat on our bones” feel all better.
Being thin wasn’t a good thing. People would talk to me about nutrition and food as if I was doing something wrong. Thin people were made to feel bad about themselves.
Until somehow, “you can’t be too thin or too rich” became the mantra and what followed was a diet industry that messed up our bodies. Our waistlines exploded when “dieting” stretched out our stomachs and screwed up our hormones. Today we have an obesity epidemic.
CDC estimates that 2% of the population is underweight and most of them aren’t thin because they can’t afford to buy food. Many are models, actors, and dancers who got themselves very thin on purpose.
Of course, there are people who genuinely can’t afford to buy enough food. But most of the population is hungry not because they don’t have food.
Many millions of Americans are hungry most of the time because of insulin resistance and consistently high cortisol levels.
Being hungry doesn’t mean you need food. It’s the result of the 7 billion extra pound we’re collectively carrying around.
Let’s put things into perspective.
If you’re obese (35 inch waistline for females and 40 inch for males), you’re the majority struggling with health issues that are harming your own health and putting a strain on the nation’s resources.
When we talk about “body positivity” as if it’s the domain of some neglected minority that needs attention, we’re covering up the immensity of the real issue.
If you’re in that “large” group of “large” people (pun intended) — it’s time to realize that you’re not alone.
In fact, you don’t need any more special accommodations because they have already been made — from extra long seat belts and vanity sizing to bigger coffins and extra large operating tables — our everyday life has been oversized.
It’s time to put this “body positivity” conversation into perspective and admit that being the majority isn’t always positive. Especially when one billion people are starving.