I’ve wanted to say this for a long time.
Someone’s going to hate me for this and let me be clear that I’m pro body confidence and anti body shaming - just as I am against any reductive stereotyping used to box people up and tell them how to live and what they can do.
However, being overweight/obese is unhealthy. That’s not a lie that a marketing team came up with. It’s science fact. And there are very few people in the world who can truthfully claim their weight is so out of their control that they can’t help being overweight.
Yes you can be big and beautiful, yes who you are is not what you look like, and yes society treats fat like it’s worth its weight in guilt.
But there are a myriad of health problems and complications that result from being overweight and eating badly. Diet is actually a huge problem in our culture. And these things literally decrease your life-expectancy. I think we get so caught up in fighting society’s perception of big people that we forget we also need to promote healthy living in a positive way. It’s not enough or actually right to tell people that if they’re overweight/obese that they should just stay that way and society should adapt to that. Why should society have to do anything if you aren’t willing to help yourself in the most essential way? Society isn’t kind.
This is the controversial part: It’s a very Western idea that we should just accept being overweight even though it’s also a very Western idea that it’s gross. I don’t doubt there are genuine people who are earnestly fighting for realistic and healthy body expectations and I support them 100%. But there is an element to this acceptance that has to do with justifying the excess of our cultures. We have so much and we have it so readily. We have TOO much. Obesity is a growing issue in Western society going on right now and you probably don’t realise how screwed up our diets are. And for the VAST MAJORITY of overweight/obese people that is a lifestyle choice they have made. Some people are made curvy, not overweight and obese. I’ll reiterate that there are very few who have such limited control over their weight.
And it’s a very hard line to find but while we should be encouraging positive body image and the breaking down of expectations forced on people, we have to recognise what is unhealthy and also a problem.