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Old 10-16-2010, 03:10 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
8,588 posts, read 5,962,651 times
Reputation: 14597
Default Fat versus thin - the new "normal"?

I was fascinated by a recently closed thread about thin women getting flak from their larger counterparts. I think there are legitimate issues here and I hope to approach these in a less confrontational way in this new thread. First, the disclosure: I am a 66 year-old male, diabetic, and I struggle constantly with my weight (currently 6' 1" and 190 pounds).

When I think back to my childhood in the 1950's, there just were very few obese people; the contrast with the present is quite striking. It is a natural human tendency for people to group together based on commonalities; alcoholics choose heavy drinkers as friends so they can feel like it's just "normal" to drink heavily.

So now let's consider in this light the complaint of the mother of a normal-weight 13 year-old daughter who lamented in the closed thread about her daughter being labeled "anorexic" by her over-weight friends and their over-weight mothers. This is quite striking and very sad, it seems to me, but at the same time very understandable. Denial is so human. By turning the tables on the normal-weight girl, the others manage to deny that they are the ones with the health problem.

I have great sympathy for the over-weight and the difficulties of their struggles, which I share. And I think we all know about the unfortunate negative factors in modern society which contribute to this. But now, sadly, we have a new, and very dangerously unhealthy, "normal". Americans tend to believe in progress; through science and technology everthing is supposed to get "better". Well, in a lot of ways, everything is getting worse, and rather than marching towards a bright new future, we are marching towards a future (heck, we are already there!) of enormous and intractable problems which were unimaginable in the days of my childhood.

 
Old 10-16-2010, 05:33 AM
 
Location: eastern pa
1,037 posts, read 2,089,271 times
Reputation: 1306
very well put. I also read the other thread before it was shut down.
I agree with you. When I think back on how I grew up, there were no "super- sized" meals, we ran around and played outside all the time, walked to school, had gym class where we ran and were physically active many days a week, etc etc. I myself am thin and have a thin daughter. SOME people have no hesitation about commenting if they think I'm TOO thin. I have always weighed the same. I maintain the same lifestyle I grew up with. I walk where I can walk, climb stairs when there are stairs, do my own yardwork, blablabla. Anyway,I understand what you're saying and do agree. It's a shame.
 
Old 10-16-2010, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Back in Melbourne.....home of road rage and aggression
402 posts, read 624,533 times
Reputation: 497
I agree, and feel that weight/size bias on either end of the scale is just bad.

I have recently become interested in the Size Acceptance movement, along with HAES (Health At Every Size). I don't say Fat Acceptance, because I feel that it's not just fat people who are abused and unaccepted......although I do think that fat people cop it far more often.

Still, what's the difference between thinner people making fun of fat people, and fat people poking fun at thinner people? None. Size bias is size bias.

I myself am guilty of this. When I lived in the US, I worked at an Avenue store. Naturally, as it is a retail plus size fashions store, the majority of the employees tend to be of the larger sizes. No brainer.
But we did have one little gal, who was not only normal sized, she was quite tiny. She wore Juniors size clothing, even though she was fully grown and had 2 kids of her own. it was nothing for us to make her put her whole self into one leg of a large set of trousers. Or drape her in a sweater that literaly swallowed her whole. I talked one day about how I hated going certain places because of the looks, giggles, comments, and laughter I'd get....and imagine how bad I felt when she said, "I know what you mean. Every time you ladies make me put on some of our clothes and then laugh at me, I feel like I want to fall through the floor. I've spent my whole life trying to wear anything but kids clothes."

Not quite the same, but did it hit me that it wasn't just fat people that got it regarding size. We never did it to her again.

I also think that while people are in control of what they eat and how often they exercise, I don't think anyone has control over their genes and how they present when their bodies are piled up with chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavours and colours, and unnatural substances. Not the least of which are MSG, nitrates, High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Kids (roughly age 12 and under....at a guess?) can not really be held accountable for their dietary habits--but their parents should be. the kids will eat what they are given. You can't expect kids to NOT get fat if being fed fast food, chips, cookies, HoHo's, Twinkies, sugary soft drinks and juices on a regular basis, and then let them spend the afternoon watching cartoons and playing video games, instead of playing sports and running around burning it off. And then of course, besides the sugar and fat, God only knows what all the additives were doing to their systems anyway.

In other words, I didn't make myself get fat as a little kid. My genes, combined with my parents child feeding habits and lethargy approval did. However, once I became self aware and able to decide what and when I'd eat and exercise, then I became responsible for the outcomes of my choices. That I have struggled to get my weight under control is of no matter here--I am still responsible for my eating and exercising.

Here's my theory: It seems like the biggest part of the obesity rates are centered around people born in the late 60's on throughout the mid-80s, and also prevalent in their own progeny.
The processed food industry kicked into high gear in the late 60's and 70's and then into overdrive in the late 70's and 80's.
It makes sense to me that if these people grew up on this crap (I know I did!), that it would also affect their children as well in a genetic fashion.

We grew up on this stuff....because it was made cheap, readily available and the All Powerful All Knowing FDA determined that this was perfectly safe and perfectly fine.......and perfectly profitable. I have a whole conspiracy theory that encompasses the FDA, the general government, pharmaceutical and medical industry and it's love affair with the Almighty Dollar, but I think I've rambled enough!
 
Old 10-16-2010, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
8,588 posts, read 5,962,651 times
Reputation: 14597
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerlillydownunder View Post
Still, what's the difference between thinner people making fun of fat people, and fat people poking fun at thinner people? None. Size bias is size bias.
I'm not sure the word bias is the correct word to apply here. Racial bias, for example, is applied against people on the basis of something they can do nothing about. And while I do not approve of making fun of people, which is just cruelty, I do see a difference between thin making fun of fat and fat making fun of thin. Being thin is biologically normal, and being fat is not; that is one difference. Also, the obese are costing the general population plenty by raising the cost of health care, which is another difference. (Remember my caveat about the morality of it all: I am not excusing tormenting other people, which goes beyond rudeness and which is inexcusable. I am just saying that the abnormal making fun of the normal is more irrational than the normal making fun of the abnormal; while there may be a moral equivalence, there is not the rational, or factual, equivalence.) I freely admit that my own excess flab is disgusting and revolting to look at, and that I am guilty of raising the cost of health care as well as slowly destroying my own body.
 
Old 10-16-2010, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Oregon
1,205 posts, read 2,272,653 times
Reputation: 1051
Cool The new "norm " ~~~~

Count me as one who agrees that overweight is now the majority and some even consider it the norm ! How distressing is that !!!!!

Even a very close friend recently referred to me as "skinny" to which I replied ............ "Hello - this body is NORMAL"

IMHO people who are overweight do not understand that they can also change their bodies into normal weight simply by educating themselves in nutrition and taking control of what they eat. NOT DIFFICULT
 
Old 10-16-2010, 06:41 PM
 
1,821 posts, read 2,173,751 times
Reputation: 1269
There was a recent study published in one of the major psych journals showing how attractiveness (including weight) is highly correlated to income & financial success. But to show how society still has a double standard when it comes to body size in men versus women, while fat & obese males earn $7k to $14k more than average, fat or obese female actually earn $9k to $19k LESS.
 
Old 10-16-2010, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,238 posts, read 25,086,417 times
Reputation: 10538
A size 12 is normal--I don't think of it as "fat" at all.

Also, you don't find too many women that weigh only 100 pounds or so with DD's. If you're attracted to DD's, then you will probably be attracted to heavier women.
 
Old 10-16-2010, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Retirementland
1,234 posts, read 1,390,476 times
Reputation: 829
I've actually had friends who were overweight or obese stop talking to me because I'm a size 3. Said I was anorexic, disfigured, etc. I'm 120lbs and 5' 4", that's hardly abnormal.
 
Old 10-16-2010, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Texas
75 posts, read 107,185 times
Reputation: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
A size 12 is normal--I don't think of it as "fat" at all.
And I think it depends on height/bone structure. I'm 5'7", 129 lbs and I wear a size 6. I would say I'm on the slim side of healthy. However that doesn't mean if someone my height or taller was wearing a size 12 I would think they were "fat". But if someone 5'2" is a size 12, that's pretty darn heavy.

By no means am I some skinny mini, but I often get slack from my coworkers, most of whom are bigger, when I'll do things like choose healthier options for lunch or when I turn down dessert (hello birthday cake parties). They act like I'm a poor starving child and I get comments like "No WONDER you're so skinny, since you never eat!" ...I just turned down dessert in the middle of the day! I didn't say I hadn't eaten for a week! It gets extremely uncomfortable when they won't let it go, and several of them chime in with "are you SURE you don't want to eat something? It's so good!" and then I just want to hide under my desk. I love food, I know it's good! But I know if I ate what I wanted, in huge amounts, all the time, I'd gain weight. I imagine a bigger person having the amount of food she IS eating, or her food choices pointed out over and over would be embarrassing too..
 
Old 10-16-2010, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,238 posts, read 25,086,417 times
Reputation: 10538
Maybe I should have phrased it differently.

A woman with a 36" to 38" hip measurement is not "fat". I don't know how far down she'd have to go to be "skinny".
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