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Can [Fat Acceptance] Be Positive?

Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
edited June 2017 in Debate and/or Discourse
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Time.com - The Weight Loss Trap: Why Your Diet Isn't Working

This recent Time magazine article summarizes why losing weight is so difficult for most people.

- Different people seem to respond better to different diets, for both physiological and psychological reasons.
- Weight loss is accompanied by a lowered metabolism and a heightened appetite. A study of 14 former The Biggest Loser contestants found that on average the contestants metabolisms' were burning 700 fewer calories per day than before their weight loss, resulting in 13 gaining weight back (an average of 66% of the weight they had lost) and 4 ending up heavier than when they started.
- The same meal can have wildly different effects on the blood sugar levels of different individuals, with new research strongly suggesting that blood sugar levels are linked to the bacteria population in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Many people are motivated by unrealistic weight loss expectations, with most people who succeed in long-term weight loss instead motivated by a desire to improve their health.
- Internalized weight stigma has a negative impact on a person's ability to lose weight.

This has led many experts to shift perspective, putting less emphasis on getting their patients to an ideal BMI and more on making healthier lifestyle choices in general. Though it would be ideal to get everyone into the healthy weight range, the reality is that the current approach isn't working. As of 2017, forty percent of American adults are considered "clinically obese", but fewer people are reporting a desire to lose weight.

This "fat and fit" approach is having a bit of mainstream approval, with weight loss shifting from being the main goal to a side-effect of eating better and exercising.

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BBC.com - Fat and Fit: The Plus-Size Model and the Running Magazine
Women's Running magazine featured plus-size model Erica Schenk running on its August cover. The shot started a conversation about what it means to be athletic.

The image marked a departure for the athletic US magazine genre, which usually portrays ultra-fit models who represent an "aspirational" ideal.
Body image expert Harriet Brown, author of Body of Truth and Brave Girl Eating, says the photo of 18-year-old Schenk offers a different kind of message.

"This cover will empower and remind so many women that they don't have to be slender with six-packs to get out and do something positive for their health and well-being," Brown said. "The cover sends an unambiguous message that runners come in all shapes and sizes."

The overwhelming reaction from social media affirms this idea. Twitter user shookie326 wrote: "I almost cried when I opened my mailbox and seen a thick girl like me ON THE COVER. Thank you @womensrunning".

Another user wrote: "@womensrunning Makes me wonder if I can run...? Maybe it's time to stop worrying what others think and just do it?"

According to Brown, if an image of a plus-size model running inspires other women to exercise, that can only be a good thing - even if weight loss doesn't happen.

"There's a ton of evidence that physical activity is good for you no matter what you weigh, and whether it leads to weight loss or not - and for some people, it doesn't. If we really care about people's health, we'd encourage people of all body sizes to be active."

Though its increasing mainstream acceptance is a recent development, the idea of the "fat and fit" approach isn't new. The organization "Health at Every Size" ("HAES") has been promoting it since the 1960's.

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"HAES" is only part of a greater "fat acceptance" (sometimes alternatively referred to as "size acceptance") movement that aims to fight weight bigotry, or "fatphobia", in society. Though it technically applies to both women and men, the greater societal pressure on women to adhere to standards of beauty has led to fat acceptance (itself now a subset of the "body acceptance" movement) becoming tightly interlinked with feminism.

Fat acceptance, like other social justice movements, has gained steam with the advent of social media. Self-described "fat activists" form online communities and produce content aimed at supporting other fat people (mostly fat women), such as by finding common ground in shared negative experiences (such as trying and failing to lose weight multiple times, being ostracized for their weight by both strangers and loved ones, having difficulty believing that their partners could find them attractive, etc) as well as helping boost one another's body image and self-esteem, such as by producing plus-sized clothing, modeling for "fatshion" photos and videos, giving advice for healthier eating and exercising as a fat person, and sharing examples of positive representation of fat women in the media. Euphemisms such as "full-figured" or "big and beautiful" are discarded in preference of reclaiming the word "fat" as a neutral descriptor, one that is featured in social media profiles along other descriptors such as "queer", "WoC", etc (words such as "overweight" and "obese" are also frequently discouraged as being inherently negative).

Though it is still considered an anomaly by many, fat acceptance has made some in-roads into popular culture. Actresses such as SNL's Aidy Bryant and This is Us's Chrissy Metz have made comments in support of fat acceptance. Though the latter is trying to lose weight (and has lost 100 pounds), she also says she wants to enjoy her life now, not waiting to be in a hypothetical thin body.

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Fashion has also been influenced by fat acceptance. Several years back model Tess Holliday became the largest woman to be hired by a major modeling agency. She's also active on social media as a "body positivity" advocate, popularizing the hashtag "#effyourbeautystandards".

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Even comic books have been affected by fat acceptance. For a time Invincible's Atom Eve became decidedly plus-size, with the character's insecurity with her new weight being comforted by her husband's attraction to her fuller-figure. A fan's letter complaining about how unhealthy he thought Eve looked now was responded to by creator Robert Kirkman thusly: "...a 'healthy body image' is about mental health, and not torturing yourself or feeling ashamed of your body.… if a little girl is overweight, we’re not saying she shouldn’t try to lose weight, but telling her there’s something wrong with her, or making her feel ashamed of herself… is pretty despicable." Other notable examples are Faith, a superhero series by Valiant that made headlines for starring a fat superheroine, and the character Penny Rolle from Bitch Planet, who creator Kelley Sue DeConnick has referred to as both a woman of color and a "woman of size".

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Though many fat people report being positively impacted by fat acceptance, gaining the confidence and self-love to feel more comfortable in their skin, date, dress nice, and adopt healtheir behaviors even if they never end up skinny, there is also a major backlash against the movement. Critics say that being "fat and fit" is a myth, and that people who accept their fatness are unlikely to make a significant positive change in their health. According to them, the movement is all about comforting fat people with feel-good rhetoric that downplays or denies the negative health impacts of excessive body fat, with fat activists trying to frame the issue as one of fat people being unfairly marginalized for having bodies that society has arbitrarily decided as being ugly.

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Varous fat acceptance advocates have received criticism for positions like "fat people can be fit" and "fat bodies can be beautiful". Aside from run of the mill internet trolling, many opinion pieces have been written about how Tess Holliday and others like her "glorify obesity" by modeling as fat women. Activists such as Lillian Bustle and Kellie Jean Drinkwater became objects of ridicule for their Ted Talks (with the latter being the subject of bogus "Fat Activist Dead of Heart Attack at 34" articles). Chrissy Metz was criticized for a photo shoot she had with Harper's Bazaar.

NY Daily News - Actually, No, Those Harper's Bazaar Shots of Chrissy Metz Are Not Sexy
What's sexy about being in a coma or in a coffin anyway?

Bazaar is clearly trying to exploit the "I love being overweight" trend sweeping the American digital world, even though it's simply a justification by and for the nearly two-thirds of Americans who are fat.

Allure fired back at this article:

Allure.com - Stop Fat-Shaming Chrissy Metz in the Name of "Health"
Stasi is not a doctor. She’s not privy to Metz’s medical records. Yet, as is the case with any concern troll, Stasi is playing judge and jury on determining what is "healthy" in order to disparage Metz's beautiful pinup shoot — and does so with an argument disproven time and time again. Quite frankly, it's tiring — possibly as tired as the cliché phrases Stasi spouts. (At one point, she mockingly writes, "Fat is the new black," really?)

There also seem to be a few schisms within the fat acceptance community. For example, many are pro-weight loss and believe that being fat is a possible health risk, while others believe it is usually unneccessary and that the negative health impacts of being fat have been exaggerated by fatphobia in the medical field and the diet industry (for example, fat people getting worse medical care due to biases in doctors against fat patients). Some are happy for the success of models such as Tess Holliday, while others believe that most plus-size models are "acceptably fat" (that is, with hourglass figures and relatively thin faces as opposed to women with prominent double chins and bellies). There are also radicals that are annoyed with fat people feeling obligated to demonstrate that they are "good fatties" by showing how they eat relatively healthy and exercise, calling this "healthist discrimination".

So, is fat acceptance a possible positive force that can help overweight and obese people, or is it misguided?

Hexmage-PA on
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Posts

  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited June 2017
    No desire to not be too reductive, I feel it is a little bit of both.

    Society needs to get over giving such extreme preference to people based on their weight. A heavier man or woman is looked over for promotions, public speaking, and all sorts of other activities / opportunities.

    On the other hand obesity is a fucking epidemic and we need to figure out how to fix that because lots of excess weight is very much linked to chronic health issues.

    Edit: in short, we need to stop treating fat people like second class citizens, but we also need to figure out how to address the core issues that have lead to obesity being this much of a thing.

    syndalis on
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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    The idea that, ideally, people shouldn't be overweight, is distinct from the idea that people shouldn't be dicks to overweight people in social settings, but the two are routinely conflated.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2017
    syndalis wrote: »
    Edit: in short, we need to stop treating fat people like second class citizens, but we also need to figure out how to address the core issues that have lead to obesity being this much of a thing.

    From what I've seen the best chance of reducing the rate of obesity seems to be to prevent people from becoming obese in the first place. Once someone has already been obese it is very, very difficult, both physiologically and psychologically, to get someone back to a normal weight and keep them there. Settling for getting people from "really fat and sedentary" to "still fat, but at least exercising and eating less junk food" may be the best that can be done for at least some.

    It is interesting (and worrying) that we've reached the point where many people hold "Fat" as being as important to their identity as their race and/or sexuality.
    japan wrote: »
    The idea that, ideally, people shouldn't be overweight, is distinct from the idea that people shouldn't be dicks to overweight people in social settings, but the two are routinely conflated.

    That's because shaming people for being fat (or "fat-shaming") is believed to be a motivator to lose weight when it's really just bullying that doesn't help anything. For example, one of the arguments I've seen against plus-sized clothing is that getting to wear nice clothes incentivizes fat women to lose weight, and making dresses for size 22 women gets rid of that incentive.

    Hexmage-PA on
  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    I've been fat basically my entire life, and the abuse i got in grade school and high school for it still lives with me to this day, 15+ years later.

    I know it's bad, I hear it from literally everywhere. You don't need to tell me.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Edit: in short, we need to stop treating fat people like second class citizens, but we also need to figure out how to address the core issues that have lead to obesity being this much of a thing.

    From what I've seen the best chance of reducing the rate of obesity seems to be to prevent people from becoming obese in the first place. Once someone has already been obese it is very, very difficult, both physiologically and psychologically, to get someone back to a normal weight and keep them there. Settling for getting people from "really fat and sedentary" to "still fat, but at least exercising and eating less junk food" may be the best that can be done for at least some.

    It is interesting (and worrying) that we've reached the point where many people hold "Fat" as being as important to their identity as their race and/or sexuality.
    japan wrote: »
    The idea that, ideally, people shouldn't be overweight, is distinct from the idea that people shouldn't be dicks to overweight people in social settings, but the two are routinely conflated.

    That's because shaming people for being fat (or "fat-shaming") is believed to be a motivator to lose weight when it's really just bullying that doesn't help anything. For example, one of the arguments I've seen against plus-sized clothing is that getting to wear nice clothes incentivizes fat women to lose weight, and making dresses for size 22 women gets rid of that incentive.

    I don't think this is as surprising as you'd expect. You give people shit for something long enough and a good portion are going to have this reaction purely out of self-protection and/or spite.

  • knitdanknitdan In ur base Killin ur guysRegistered User regular
    I don't have a problem being called overweight or obese in a medical setting. It's a useful descriptor there.

    Socially, just don't be a dick to me and we're cool. I don't need people to embrace my fatness or hold a parade or anything. You're not a bigot if you don't want to fuck me.

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2017
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Edit: in short, we need to stop treating fat people like second class citizens, but we also need to figure out how to address the core issues that have lead to obesity being this much of a thing.

    From what I've seen the best chance of reducing the rate of obesity seems to be to prevent people from becoming obese in the first place. Once someone has already been obese it is very, very difficult, both physiologically and psychologically, to get someone back to a normal weight and keep them there. Settling for getting people from "really fat and sedentary" to "still fat, but at least exercising and eating less junk food" may be the best that can be done for at least some.

    It is interesting (and worrying) that we've reached the point where many people hold "Fat" as being as important to their identity as their race and/or sexuality.
    japan wrote: »
    The idea that, ideally, people shouldn't be overweight, is distinct from the idea that people shouldn't be dicks to overweight people in social settings, but the two are routinely conflated.

    That's because shaming people for being fat (or "fat-shaming") is believed to be a motivator to lose weight when it's really just bullying that doesn't help anything. For example, one of the arguments I've seen against plus-sized clothing is that getting to wear nice clothes incentivizes fat women to lose weight, and making dresses for size 22 women gets rid of that incentive.

    I don't think this is as surprising as you'd expect. You give people shit for something long enough and a good portion are going to have this reaction purely out of self-protection and/or spite.

    Yeah. While researching for this I saw a number of comments along the lines of "I'd rather be fat, self-loving and as fit as I can be rather than constantly yo-yo diet and hate my body for the rest of my life." What's troubling is that some people left off the "fit as I can be" part, which is one of the reasons people criticize fat acceptance.

    Hexmage-PA on
  • AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    I am overweight, and have been most of my life, but I'm also a medical person and I see every day the debilitating effects of life-long obesity, especially as you get older

    My thoughts are:

    - Thin people, don't talk shit to fat people, they know what they look like and don't like it.
    - Fat people, being fat is unhealthy and dangerous to form an identity around, don't try to own it.
    - Hollywood, attractive women come in sizes other than size 2

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Edit: in short, we need to stop treating fat people like second class citizens, but we also need to figure out how to address the core issues that have lead to obesity being this much of a thing.

    From what I've seen the best chance of reducing the rate of obesity seems to be to prevent people from becoming obese in the first place. Once someone has already been obese it is very, very difficult, both physiologically and psychologically, to get someone back to a normal weight and keep them there. Settling for getting people from "really fat and sedentary" to "still fat, but at least exercising and eating less junk food" may be the best that can be done for at least some.

    It is interesting (and worrying) that we've reached the point where many people hold "Fat" as being as important to their identity as their race and/or sexuality.
    japan wrote: »
    The idea that, ideally, people shouldn't be overweight, is distinct from the idea that people shouldn't be dicks to overweight people in social settings, but the two are routinely conflated.

    That's because shaming people for being fat (or "fat-shaming") is believed to be a motivator to lose weight when it's really just bullying that doesn't help anything. For example, one of the arguments I've seen against plus-sized clothing is that getting to wear nice clothes incentivizes fat women to lose weight, and making dresses for size 22 women gets rid of that incentive.

    I don't think this is as surprising as you'd expect. You give people shit for something long enough and a good portion are going to have this reaction purely out of self-protection and/or spite.

    Yeah. While researching for this I saw a number of comments along the lines of "I'd rather be fat, self-loving and as fit as I can be rather than constantly yo-yo diet and hate my body for the rest of my life." What's troubling is that some people left off the "fit as I can be" part, which is one of the reasons people criticize fat acceptance.

    Mom had a undiagnosed brain tumor for a long time because people kept assuming she was just fat and unfit. She dropped 30lbs recently without trying and the doctors were pleased (medical pro tip: sudden unexplained weight loss is *bad*. In her case it was mostly muscle). In the single most unhealthy time of my life, the only thing people commented on was that I was losing weight.

    The fat acceptance movement comes out of shit like that, and the generalized crap fat people get. And in my experience most of the backlash ends up being "but I should be able to make fun of fat people"; it's not an honest health concern at all.

  • HakkekageHakkekage Space Whore Academy summa cum laudeRegistered User regular
    First, I didn't know about that Women's Running cover, and I love it.

    Second, fuck the people who routinely crawl out of the woodwork to declare that public shaming is both sufficient and necessary to induce overweight people to commit to weight loss. Go fuck yourselves.

    Third, I gained some weight between last year and this year and I'm about to start training for the New York Marathon, and all my time pouting and agonizing over my jiggle is time wasted, because fat is fit is healthy is go fuck yourselves, haters.

    AND YET, despite knowing this intellectually, decades of social conditioning condemns me to agonize over my belly fat and my thighs and my big ass, because destroying women's self-esteem over every imperfection is a more powerful force than a vague desire to be 2 seconds per mile/pound of weight loss faster. On net, fat shaming is counterproductive and produces more long term human misery than the unclear, unsubstantiated assertions that enforcing a social expectation of ideal (skinny) beauty whenever a fat person dares to be fat in public compels them to do something about it and therefore makes society healthier.

    Obesity is a major health issue, yes. But obesity is caused by a metric fuckton of factors that are largely environmental and difficult to change, especially in a modern lifestyle where the routines that would allow for a healthy active lifestyle and diet are difficult to come by both if you have money (you're working all the time, who has time to cook?) and if you don't (I'm trying to survive out here, who has the money to eat only good food?). The ideal health lifestyle comes when you have Money + Plenty of Leisure Time, and people in America seldom have both. So in the mean time, shut the fuck up, you don't know MY LIFE

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  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    As someone that's been fat most of my life, I'm extremely skeptical of attempts to normalize obesity. It strikes me as akin to the normalization that smoking had, or that drinking still has.

    Not to say that people should be treated poorly because they're fat. It's a medical condition...like drug addiction. Not to be hated, but not to be lauded either.

  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited June 2017
    I don't think being grossly overweight is healthy.

    But I also don't think it's my job to harp on overweight people about how unhealthy they are (or may become).

    I mean it's not like they don't already know.

    RT800 on
  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    edited June 2017
    The golden rule (don't be a dick) applies in that you should not make fun of or treat overweight folks like shit because they're overweight.

    I also support anyone being active at whatever size because it's good for your health and I can imagine its really Fucking hard and anxiety inducing to be somewhere trying to be active while quite overweight.

    My only "concern" over the fat acceptance stuff is that people may take that to mean that whatever I do and whatever size I am is fine.
    The problem with that is that heart disease isn't going to bully you or hurt your feelings, it's going to Fucking kill you.
    Your family will accept you, as you are, right into the ground at an early age.

    I think however that this isn't anyone's business but your friends and family. A stranger should not be offering an overweight person advice unasked or mentioning diabetes etc...
    It's a private conversation and should be had in support of someone's health, not their "image"

    Aridhol on
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    I used to be 40 pounds lighter at 170, but I also had untreated anxiety and felt extremely ill just about everyday. I could barely get out of bed, I wasn't sleeping, and I hated how I felt. I'm now 210 and overweight but there's no question that I'm far healthier now than I was when I was skinnier. The medication I take that's so improved my life is also associated with weight gain, and I have generally struggled with my weight for my entire life.

    but you can't see that i'm healthier. I just look fatter. so to just about everyone who sees me I'm less healthy than I was. This is the big problem with weight to me, it's highly visible - painfully so - so that's what we focus on. Being overweight can have serious health consequences, but so can dozens of other behaviors that are functionally invisible. A sedentary lifestyle, a horrible diet, drug addiction, untreated mental illness - these can all be just as or more devastating than being fat.

    I don't have numbers for this but I would guess people that have the most distaste for 'fat acceptance' are people that have not really ever been overweight. I also don't know the purpose of hatred of fat acceptance is - am I going to lose weight if I'm subjected to slightly more vitriol and shame based on my appearance? I really doubt it. Fat people are well aware of how unpleasant it is to be fat, and they probably more versed in the health risks associated with fatness than you given that they've actually experienced them.

    Fat acceptance is, at it's core, saying - 'hey, I get it. I'm fat. I've tried literally my entire life to not be fat and all it's done is made me miserable. So i'm just going to try to be healthy in other ways and maybe if you could allow me to exist in public without shaming my appearance, that would be super.'

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited June 2017
    Kamar wrote: »
    As someone that's been fat most of my life, I'm extremely skeptical of attempts to normalize obesity. It strikes me as akin to the normalization that smoking had, or that drinking still has.

    Not to say that people should be treated poorly because they're fat. It's a medical condition...like drug addiction. Not to be hated, but not to be lauded either.

    No one, does, though.

    I've never in my life been complimented on my physical self.

    EVER.

    But lots of people love to tell me I'm fat.

    It's a total red herring. The argument that people who are overweight need to be 'helped' or Saved From Themselves(tm) is pure distraction. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that people that argue against the fat acceptance movement for health reasons are simply trying to make their desire to belittle others acceptable. For years making fun of fat people really never got anyone any kind of criticism and now that it does, they cannot stand that they are being held to the "Don't be a dick" standard.

    EDIT: Even when I could bench nearly 400 pounds I never once heard anyone say that I looked good. I was and am fat, and all other things stop mattering.

    Nova_C on
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    Shit, I'm not fat and nobody tells me I look good.

    :(

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    I should amend: WHen I was 5 years old I wasn't fat. I remember being told I would be a heart breaker one day. That stopped super fast as soon as I was a year older and started gaining weight.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    Shit, I'm not fat and nobody tells me I look good.

    :(

    People are uncaring assholes.

    Do they pick one thing about your appearance, harp on you about how you need to change it, it's for your own good, they're only trying to help, but goddamn are you fat?

  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    If your physician says you're healthy and not at serious risk for something then that should be the end of it.

    The post above saying being skinny and sedentary being unhealthy is spit on.

    Being skinny or overweight isn't the only or best indicator of health.

  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    I should note that I've also lived most of my life in areas of the South where I can be considered 'good looking' and get complements on my appearance and even have medical professionals tell me I'm 'not fat' while being obese and unhealthy with it.

    Obviously things would be very different for me in that regard if I were female.

  • VanguardVanguard But now the dream is over. And the insect is awake.Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2017
    I used to be 40 pounds lighter at 170, but I also had untreated anxiety and felt extremely ill just about everyday. I could barely get out of bed, I wasn't sleeping, and I hated how I felt. I'm now 210 and overweight but there's no question that I'm far healthier now than I was when I was skinnier. The medication I take that's so improved my life is also associated with weight gain, and I have generally struggled with my weight for my entire life.

    but you can't see that i'm healthier. I just look fatter. so to just about everyone who sees me I'm less healthy than I was. This is the big problem with weight to me, it's highly visible - painfully so - so that's what we focus on. Being overweight can have serious health consequences, but so can dozens of other behaviors that are functionally invisible. A sedentary lifestyle, a horrible diet, drug addiction, untreated mental illness - these can all be just as or more devastating than being fat.

    I don't have numbers for this but I would guess people that have the most distaste for 'fat acceptance' are people that have not really ever been overweight. I also don't know the purpose of hatred of fat acceptance is - am I going to lose weight if I'm subjected to slightly more vitriol and shame based on my appearance? I really doubt it. Fat people are well aware of how unpleasant it is to be fat, and they probably more versed in the health risks associated with fatness than you given that they've actually experienced them.

    Fat acceptance is, at it's core, saying - 'hey, I get it. I'm fat. I've tried literally my entire life to not be fat and all it's done is made me miserable. So i'm just going to try to be healthy in other ways and maybe if you could allow me to exist in public without shaming my appearance, that would be super.'

    I was listening to NPR in the recent past and they ran a story about some studies that showed being overweight is actually not in itself unhealthy; most the commonly associated risks are actually from the behavior that might lead to someone being overweight (poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, drugs). Which explains why people can be overweight according to where they fall on the BMI but not be at risk for things like heart disease. It also underscores your point that one might not see that you're healthier because we have been taught that skinny is the image of health, and this just further underscores the need to me for body positivity (which is my preferred term rather than fat acceptance; "fat" has too much negative baggage IMO).

    Vanguard on
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Why does the OP only have pictures of women in it?

    Whether acceptance of womens' fatness is good or bad is somehow up for us to decide because women's bodies are to be evaluated and judged, but men's bodies are a complete non-issue?

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
  • Mortal SkyMortal Sky queer punk hedge witchRegistered User regular
    i do notice that even among "fat acceptance" groups, plus-size models are still near-routinely a very fortunate sort of "thick", to use the slightly crude vernacular term. the rubenesque figure, an hourglass taken to the nth degree, with plump thighs and a well-sculpted torso (not necessarily busty, so much as no unfortunate lines). when the reality is that, of course, not everyone carries fat in places so aesthetically marbled and thus marketable. that said, if the OP is any indication, it looks like that trend does have a few good exceptions to the rule? see also: ellie from borderlands, who is decidedly realistic for someone of that size

    also, if you look at "acceptable" standards for fat men it's a similar pattern of the "bear" being the dominating plus-size body type - sculpted, with some extra barrel-tude to everything.

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    if i felt better about myself, if i had a sort of hope that i would be attractive in a body that made me happy, i would probably be be making myself​ throw up after eating something​ like most of the time. i honestly have no idea what i weigh, because the idea of getting on a scale is scary.

    I'm probably between 160-170 at about 5 9.5.

    fuck anyone that thinks society should be making people feel bad about their bodies. there's too much of that already.

    They moistly come out at night, moistly.
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2017
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I was listening to NPR in the recent past and they ran a story about some studies that showed being overweight is actually not in itself unhealthy; most the commonly associated risks are actually from the behavior that might lead to someone being overweight (poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, drugs). Which explains why people can be overweight according to where they fall on the BMI but not be at risk for things like heart disease. It also underscores your point that one might not see that you're healthier because we have been taught that skinny is the image of health, and this just further underscores the need to me for body positivity (which is my preferred term rather than fat acceptance; "fat" has too much negative baggage IMO).

    I've heard various conflicting arguments about this, with most people saying body fat itself can be dangerous, some saying that excessive body fat is a symptom rather than a cause, some saying you can be fat and fit with little risk, etc.

    The current consensus, though, is that being obese, especially around the abdomen, is dangerous.

    I personally don't find fat people ugly (unless they're, like, so fat it is clearly impeding them or causing ill health, and even that is more out of concern than disgust), and I don't want to concern troll, but I also don't want the idea that weighing 300 pounds is a purely superficial issue and not a cause for concern to spread.

    Hexmage-PA on
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2017
    credeiki wrote: »
    Why does the OP only have pictures of women in it?

    Whether acceptance of womens' fatness is good or bad is somehow up for us to decide because women's bodies are to be evaluated and judged, but men's bodies are a complete non-issue?

    As I mentioned in the OP, I've primarily seen fat acceptance linked with feminism to the point that I can't recall seeing fat acceptance talked about from a male perspective.

    I'll amend the OP if I find something.

    EDIT: Just made a brief Google search. The top results are Reddit posts about how fat acceptance is a Feminist double standard where fat women want conventionally attractive men, with the pro fat acceptance articles asking "where are all the men?"

    Hexmage-PA on
  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    edited June 2017
    Atomika wrote: »
    I am overweight, and have been most of my life, but I'm also a medical person and I see every day the debilitating effects of life-long obesity, especially as you get older

    My thoughts are:

    - Thin people, don't talk shit to fat people, they know what they look like and don't like it.
    - Fat people, being fat is unhealthy and dangerous to form an identity around, don't try to own it.
    - Hollywood, attractive women come in sizes other than size 2

    Pretty much this.

    It should definitely be more about collective biomarkers than just BMI. If that lady on the cover of the magazine is running regularly, she isn't overly heavy, she is probably pretty healthy!

    OTOH the most visible person in my group of friends that is a part of this movement mostly just lives a sedentary lifestyle while occasionally making half-assed attempts at starting an exercise regimen while she gets heavier and heavier and it's eerily reminiscent of my mom who died in her forties largely from obesity related complications. :(

    I was overweight for most of my adolescence, went twig thin when I hit adulthood and I've gradually been gaining weight again since my mid 20s as my career got more sedentary. Knocked some off but then had some (unrelated) health problems that made it hard to keep up with my routine (rock climbing and archery mostly) put it back on again over the past year. I kinda hover between 220 and 230 and that's just where my body seems to be at if I'm not active all the time. It's not so bad, but I want to get fitter before age catches up to me too much so that'll be a major project the next few years. I'm still reasonably fit. Not great at running but I can hike and move freight like a motherfucker. But I know I'd be healthier at a lower weight.

    There was also some research a few years back (that Google wouldn't turn up for me just now) that indicated that peer groups are a major factor in how much weight people carry which seems to track based on my observations traveling to various places; so the fat positivity movement worries me a little bit. Obviously we shouldn't be being assholes to fat people but I worry that we're just gonna collectively let ourselves go and more people are gonna die young like my mom. :(

    Giggles_Funsworth on
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck lonely, but not unloved dreaming of faulty keys and latchesRegistered User regular
    fat shaming probably bad idea for a bunch of reasons, but notably:

    f89qnirtfovh.png

    http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797617696311?journalCode=pssa

    also recent headlines saying "fat but fit not possible" would be worth checking

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2017-05-18-fat-but-fit-still-at-higher-risk-of-heart-disease/

    roughly; not all obese people are equally unhealthy, but there is still some evidence that obesity itself might cause problems. so at a minimum "fat but not that unfit"

    also everybody should be lifting weights anyway

    obF2Wuw.png
  • AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    also everybody should be lifting weights anyway

    um, as a fat girl, just getting out of bed counts as lifting weights

    fyi
    hth

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    credeiki wrote: »
    Why does the OP only have pictures of women in it?

    Whether acceptance of womens' fatness is good or bad is somehow up for us to decide because women's bodies are to be evaluated and judged, but men's bodies are a complete non-issue?

    As I mentioned in the OP, I've primarily seen fat acceptance linked with feminism to the point that I can't recall seeing fat acceptance talked about from a male perspective.

    I'll amend the OP if I find something.

    EDIT: Just made a brief Google search. The top results are Reddit posts about how fat acceptance is a Feminist double standard where fat women want conventionally attractive men, with the pro fat acceptance articles asking "where are all the men?"

    Part of it is that in our society, what women look like is judged much more publicly than what men look like.

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Blight on Discourse Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    if i felt better about myself, if i had a sort of hope that i would be attractive in a body that made me happy, i would probably be be making myself​ throw up after eating something​ like most of the time. i honestly have no idea what i weigh, because the idea of getting on a scale is scary.

    I'm probably between 160-170 at about 5 9.5.

    fuck anyone that thinks society should be making people feel bad about their bodies. there's too much of that already.

    Dude, having seen you in person you are not a bad looking dude.

  • VanguardVanguard But now the dream is over. And the insect is awake.Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2017
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I was listening to NPR in the recent past and they ran a story about some studies that showed being overweight is actually not in itself unhealthy; most the commonly associated risks are actually from the behavior that might lead to someone being overweight (poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, drugs). Which explains why people can be overweight according to where they fall on the BMI but not be at risk for things like heart disease. It also underscores your point that one might not see that you're healthier because we have been taught that skinny is the image of health, and this just further underscores the need to me for body positivity (which is my preferred term rather than fat acceptance; "fat" has too much negative baggage IMO).

    I've heard various conflicting arguments about this, with most people saying body fat itself can be dangerous, some saying that excessive body fat is a symptom rather than a cause, some saying you can be fat and fit with little risk, etc.

    The current consensus, though, is that being obese, especially around the abdomen, is dangerous.

    I personally don't find fat people ugly (unless they're, like, so fat it is clearing impeding mobility them or causing ill health), and I don't want to concern troll, but I also don't want the idea that weighing 300 pounds is a purely superficial issue and not a cause for concern to spread.

    I think you're using all of these words interchangeably, which makes it difficult to read this post with nuance. The health claims around being overweight, I think, are specific to people who fall into certain ranges on the BMI. They are visibly overweight therefore people assume they are unhealthy, but that might not actually the case!

    Obesity is a word typically reserved for those who are extremely overweight; it may be likely that people who fall in this category on the BMI are going to be at risk for something, but I think it's worthwhile to distinguish between medical classifications, common usage, and the norms of what is considered attractive to make this is a fruitful discussion.

    Vanguard on
  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    edited June 2017
    I don't think I have ever seen a male model version of what is in the op. I'm not quite sure what to infer from that. I think I saw a big and tall store advertisement once?

    Jars on
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    but men's bodies are a complete non-issue?

    Because on a societal level, imagine what happens anytime guys speak up about their appearance and comfort/feelings regarding there of. Calling it a 'feminist double standard,' is a joke, of course, but y'know, reddit. Fat guys get to be the subject of humor and that's it and that's not a '-ism' bias that's the way society as a whole treats guys.

  • Donkey KongDonkey Kong Putting Nintendo out of business with AI nips Registered User regular
    edited June 2017
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I used to be 40 pounds lighter at 170, but I also had untreated anxiety and felt extremely ill just about everyday. I could barely get out of bed, I wasn't sleeping, and I hated how I felt. I'm now 210 and overweight but there's no question that I'm far healthier now than I was when I was skinnier. The medication I take that's so improved my life is also associated with weight gain, and I have generally struggled with my weight for my entire life.

    but you can't see that i'm healthier. I just look fatter. so to just about everyone who sees me I'm less healthy than I was. This is the big problem with weight to me, it's highly visible - painfully so - so that's what we focus on. Being overweight can have serious health consequences, but so can dozens of other behaviors that are functionally invisible. A sedentary lifestyle, a horrible diet, drug addiction, untreated mental illness - these can all be just as or more devastating than being fat.

    I don't have numbers for this but I would guess people that have the most distaste for 'fat acceptance' are people that have not really ever been overweight. I also don't know the purpose of hatred of fat acceptance is - am I going to lose weight if I'm subjected to slightly more vitriol and shame based on my appearance? I really doubt it. Fat people are well aware of how unpleasant it is to be fat, and they probably more versed in the health risks associated with fatness than you given that they've actually experienced them.

    Fat acceptance is, at it's core, saying - 'hey, I get it. I'm fat. I've tried literally my entire life to not be fat and all it's done is made me miserable. So i'm just going to try to be healthy in other ways and maybe if you could allow me to exist in public without shaming my appearance, that would be super.'

    I was listening to NPR in the recent past and they ran a story about some studies that showed being overweight is actually not in itself unhealthy; most the commonly associated risks are actually from the behavior that might lead to someone being overweight (poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, drugs). Which explains why people can be overweight according to where they fall on the BMI but not be at risk for things like heart disease. It also underscores your point that one might not see that you're healthier because we have been taught that skinny is the image of health, and this just further underscores the need to me for body positivity (which is my preferred term rather than fat acceptance; "fat" has too much negative baggage IMO).

    To a point, yes, being fat and being healthy are not directly or strongly linked. But eventually there comes a point where you fat cells become so large that they disrupt hormone levels, metabolic function, liver function, etc. I suspect that threshold is highly variable from person to person, but there are weights that would be unhealthy for any human being. If I had to toss out a number that I could feel confident with, I'd say nobody is capable of being healthy at 500 pounds.

    I know for me, having lost a tremendous amount of weight WHILE undergoing treatment for metabolic, liver, and thyroid disorders, the threshold sits around 260 pounds. That's around the weight where, without exercise, my liver stopped struggling, my testosterone and estrogen normalized, my blood sugar stabilized, and I showed no resistance to insulin. I've got blood tests and medical records to prove it. That's also pretty heavy still. I wouldn't be surprised if my body copes with fat better than most. My genetics bias me to being large: my great grandmother was large, my mom is large, etc.

    I dunno where this all fits into the greater conversation here. People are horrible to fat people. They're just unspeakably cruel. Damned near EVERYONE, even people who would gasp and clutch their chest if told they had a bias against fat people, treats fat people like shit. The fat acceptance movement uses lots of different tactics to get that to stop. Claiming that fat ≠ unhealthy is not exactly true, but I feel it doesn't help to try and tear that down. It's not yet in a place where its causing more harm than good, and for plenty of people, it's true at face value anyway. So I guess just keep an eye on society and let it be.

    If the day comes when a substantial percentage of the population is dying because they went overboard with body diversity and positivity, then we'll deal with that then.

    Donkey Kong on
    Thousands of hot, local singles are waiting to play at bubbulon.com.
  • Mortal SkyMortal Sky queer punk hedge witchRegistered User regular
    Jars wrote: »
    I don't think I have ever seen a male model version of what is in the op. I'm not quite sure what to infer from that. I think I saw a big and tall store advertisement once?

    as I mentioned above, I think the closest thing we really have is the bear build and that's certainly got its niche

  • AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    Jars wrote: »
    I don't think I have ever seen a male model version of what is in the op. I'm not quite sure what to infer from that. I think I saw a big and tall store advertisement once?

    Because in media, heavy guys don't even have to be particularly attractive to be funny/charming/dateworthy.

    The whole sitcom trope of "schlub is married to impossibly attractive wife" has been a thing since The Honeymooners

    it's basically the only shtick Kevin James knows


    and it's not a good thing! it instills a lot of shitty expectations on men and women both! stereotypes are always harmful even if they appear positive

  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck lonely, but not unloved dreaming of faulty keys and latchesRegistered User regular
    worth noting that muscle mass acts as metabolic tissue and improves insulin function

    so, specifically, when talking about diet and exercise for insulin function we are interested in hypertrophic resistance training above all else

    obF2Wuw.png
  • VanguardVanguard But now the dream is over. And the insect is awake.Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I used to be 40 pounds lighter at 170, but I also had untreated anxiety and felt extremely ill just about everyday. I could barely get out of bed, I wasn't sleeping, and I hated how I felt. I'm now 210 and overweight but there's no question that I'm far healthier now than I was when I was skinnier. The medication I take that's so improved my life is also associated with weight gain, and I have generally struggled with my weight for my entire life.

    but you can't see that i'm healthier. I just look fatter. so to just about everyone who sees me I'm less healthy than I was. This is the big problem with weight to me, it's highly visible - painfully so - so that's what we focus on. Being overweight can have serious health consequences, but so can dozens of other behaviors that are functionally invisible. A sedentary lifestyle, a horrible diet, drug addiction, untreated mental illness - these can all be just as or more devastating than being fat.

    I don't have numbers for this but I would guess people that have the most distaste for 'fat acceptance' are people that have not really ever been overweight. I also don't know the purpose of hatred of fat acceptance is - am I going to lose weight if I'm subjected to slightly more vitriol and shame based on my appearance? I really doubt it. Fat people are well aware of how unpleasant it is to be fat, and they probably more versed in the health risks associated with fatness than you given that they've actually experienced them.

    Fat acceptance is, at it's core, saying - 'hey, I get it. I'm fat. I've tried literally my entire life to not be fat and all it's done is made me miserable. So i'm just going to try to be healthy in other ways and maybe if you could allow me to exist in public without shaming my appearance, that would be super.'

    I was listening to NPR in the recent past and they ran a story about some studies that showed being overweight is actually not in itself unhealthy; most the commonly associated risks are actually from the behavior that might lead to someone being overweight (poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, drugs). Which explains why people can be overweight according to where they fall on the BMI but not be at risk for things like heart disease. It also underscores your point that one might not see that you're healthier because we have been taught that skinny is the image of health, and this just further underscores the need to me for body positivity (which is my preferred term rather than fat acceptance; "fat" has too much negative baggage IMO).

    To a point, yes, being fat and being healthy are not directly or strongly linked. But eventually there comes a point where you fat cells become so large that they disrupt hormone levels, metabolic function, liver function, etc. I suspect that threshold is highly variable from person to person, but there are weights that would be unhealthy for any human being. If I had to toss out a number that I could feel confident with, I'd say nobody is capable of being healthy at 500 pounds.

    I know for me, having lost a tremendous amount of weight WHILE undergoing treatment for metabolic, liver, and thyroid disorders, the threshold sits around 260 pounds. That's around the weight where, without exercise, my liver stopped struggling, my testosterone and estrogen normalized, my blood sugar stabilized, and I showed no resistance to insulin. I've got blood tests and medical records to prove it. That's also pretty heavy still. I wouldn't be surprised if my body copes with fat better than most. My genetics bias me to being large: my great grandmother was large, my mom is large, etc.

    I dunno where this all fits into the greater conversation here. People are horrible to fat people. They're just unspeakably cruel. Damned near EVERYONE, even people who would gasp and clutch their chest if told they had a bias against fat people, treats fat people like shit. The fat acceptance movement uses lots of different tactics to get that to stop. Claiming that fat ≠ unhealthy is not exactly true, but I feel it doesn't help to try and tear that down. It's not yet in a place where its causing more harm than good, and for plenty of people, it's true at face value anyway. So I guess just keep an eye on society and let it be.

    If the day comes when a substantial percentage of the population is dying because they went overboard with body diversity and positivity, then we'll deal with that then.

    Yeah, I was kind of hesitating to put a hard number on the threshold but 500 lbs. is probably as good as any.

    I do disagree that it's not worth picking that battle. I think there needs to be a two-pronged attack where body positivists call out the horrible, cruel ways overweight people are treated and celebrate body diversity but also have some health information back pocket for that fucking guy who swears he's on your side he just wants you to be healthy.

  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    I don't know man this stuff is complicated. I just don't want everyone to die from diabetes at age 50

This discussion has been closed.