You may or may not know this but I am 100% bi-sexual. Me and a girlfriend of mine got into a debate about what is pretty and what is not. So as I often say now, "OFF TO THINK ATHEIST INTERWEBS TO ASK RATIONAL PEOPLE!"
So here I am with a few questions:
I will be at work most of the day but I will be able to read most of your responses on my phone.
You're making the point I've been trying to make. To be fat and healthy is WORK. Eating right, getting adequate exercise. So, to be fat and healthy isn't a natural state, it's an artificial one. It's far easier (and thus more natural) to be healthy by maintaining a "healthy" weight, which coincidentally results in a person who tends to be closer to accepted standards of attractiveness. It is overweight people or people obsessed with food and body image who believe that "thin = healthy." Of course, as I've observed many times, many of those same people see a thin person and almost automatically assume anorexia or pre-anorexia, whereas many thin people also have to put up with judgments about them based on their body type. I recently witnessed a discussion about this topic in another forum in which several of the female participants who happen to be thin/slender rattled off comments about their weight that others in their lives had felt bold enough to put forward. While perhaps more women fight to keep weight off, there are indeed women who can't seem to put it on.
I do not think that it is WORK to enjoy healthy food and enjoy moving my body at all...being able to do these things is, in fact, one of the supreme pleasures of life!! Unfortunately, "fat" people are too often "told" that they are not entitled to these pleasures (unless, of course, they are doing so with grim purpose and intent to lose weight). Also, a person can maintain a "healthy" weight (whatever that means) and still not actually be healthy because they eat a crap diet, don't exercise, smoke etc yet the fat person who adheres to a healthy lifestyle is judged (or pitied or fretted over) while the thinner person who adheres to a crap lifestyle gets a pass.
Cecilia, while it may be "possible to be overweight and healthy," I'm sure that being overweight and healthy involves both exercise and attention to what one eats. Most overweight people get minimal exercise at best and eat whatever the f*** they want.
Most overweight people are not nearly as healthy as they could be, and most are probably not particularly healthy at all.
All cultures have idealized images, physical and otherwise, which not everyone can meet. This is by the nature of an ideal, paradigm, or standard. They will always be with us and always beyond the reach of most. Today, slenderness may be part of the ideal. In the past, being plump ("rubinesque") was the standard, and I'm sure the women who were naturally thin due to their genetics felt pressure then.
There is little point in wasting efforts complaining about something which isn't going to change. Another approach needs to be taken. I advocate that of making girls stronger rather trying to isolate them from ideal images.
Yes and you make them stronger by teaching them to value themselves and their bodies just as they are and for what they can do, not what they look like. And we absolutely do not do that in this culture, indeed, quite the opposite and it is fact that images girls see in the popular culture impact how they feel about themselves which impacts in turn how they value themselves which impacts how willing they are to take care of themselves and respect themselves, etc., etc. Remember the "doll test" that was cited in Brown v. Board of Education? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_F._Poussaint I know it is counter-intuitive but these images of the ultra thin ideal are not only linked to anorexia (where women/girls become dangerously thin) but also to bulimia (where women/girls may maintain a "normal" weight but become dangerously malnourished) and to compulsive overeating (which leads to overweight and malnourishment). I agree you can't "isolate" girls (or any of us) from destructive images (which is precisely the problem) but you can speak out against these images and how harmful they are and demand new images that celebrate all women and girls regardless of how closely they conform to an impossible ideal. These images are part of the problem of why girls do not feel strong in our society and so they absolutely must be complained about: silence = acquiescence.
Then we agree. It has to be done "at the girl" end by helping girls be strong enough to resist these forces since the forces aren't going away.
Bear in mind that there's alot of slack that;s not reflected in the Body Mass Index. Supposedly, at 6'2" and 245 lbs, I am overweight, bordering on obese. In reality, I have pretty dense muscle & bone structure, and the bulk of my weight is in my shoulders, not my (nonexistent) beer belly. I wouldn't mind slimming down a little, but I'm hardly fat.
The BMI is useful for the average person, but there are outliers that make it much less useful. Famously, many U.S. Olympic athletes were shown to be considered obese by the the BMI one year not long ago. I don't think it invalidates the BMI, but it is a reminder that not everyone can be lumped into the average.
At one time I weighed 220 lb and a BMI told me that at my 5'10" I should weigh about 165-170. My doctor looked at the number and at me and said "I don't believe you can lose 50 lb." Then he used another test involving pinching my soft tissues and by that standard calculated I should be at 200, which is where I am now.
It is well established that being overweight is unhealthy. This doesn't mean that there is only one body type and a narrow weight range that is considered healthy. So, while I detest such narrow standards of beauty, I equally detest the "fat pride" movement that seems to encourage people to at peace with their weight problem. While I don't view obese people as simply being weak willed as some do, I do think that if one is over weight that it should concern them. If all the studies and medical information isn't convincing, then think about how many elderly people you know who are obese. I have never known any.
Why am I almost the only guy that responded that even mentioned this?
Perhaps you're almost the only one that doesn't find her attractive or is somehow offended by her appearance.
Regardless of the special effects, what we all prefer, in reality, may be completely different than this photo portrays, and most of our significant others likely do not look like this.
Do these questions or responses say anything about whether we enjoy white wine or margaritas?