One Size Fits Most – The Halloween Version

My blog gang is blogging about Halloween today. Fair warning – this  starts and ends with Halloween but the middle bits strayed a little…

I was shopping for Halloween Costumes yesterday.  There was one that said “One Size Fits Most”.  In small print it said that it fit women’s sizes up to 14.

That really made me think.  Every time I turn around, I hear that 60+% of Americans are overweight or obese, so shouldn’ t the tag read  “One Size Fits Less than One Third”.

Let’s be clear, I seriously question the validity of the percentage of overweight and obese Americans  because the standard for what constitutes “overweight” was set by diet companies.  But let’s pretend that it’s a true statistic.  In that case, we’re the majority in this country and yet we’re still not treated very well.

If we’re really 60+%, then why don’t lobby the media:  We want to see more positive representations of ourselves and less body hating and photoshopping or they’ll lose 60+ % of their customers?  This doesn’t just affect fat people either, studies show that 8 out of 10 women are dissatisfied with their bodies.  As the majority, I think it’s time we stand up for our thin body-dissatisfied sisters and say that enough is enough – we aren’t buying any more magazines that promise “our best bikini body in 15 minutes”.

At 60+%, we control to vote in the United States, but 25+ states have considered or are considering taxes on fat people –  despite the fact that nobody has any proven way to lose weight.  It doesn’t even matter that I have perfect health at my current size.  My picture of health doesn’t fit my state’s frame so I could get taxed for my size. (Someone’s now thinking about commenting with the VFHT – Vague Future Health Threat  – that although I’m healthy now “it” will catch up with me “someday”, don’t worry I’ll cover that tomorrow).

At the end of the day, if we want change then we have to take responsibility for claiming our power as the majority. Many people of size choose to buy into the idea that their size determines their worth and that they don’t deserve to be treated well.  It’s an easy thing to do –  we are constantly told that we are lazy, we are unhealthy, we are costing billions in healthcare and lost work.  When you look into those studies you’ll find that there are some serious questions as to their validity.  For example, the Congressional Budget Office released a report saying that Obesity WAS NOT the reason for the rise in health care costs  Using that article as a basis, the Boston Globe published an article called “Obesity’s Punch to the Gut” where they said that Obesity WAS the cause of the rise in health care costs.  How did they get from point A to point B?  They left out words in quotes, and they used those partial quotes to construct a message that was polar opposite from the source material.  I have no idea why they would do that, but they weren’t the only ones who did.

As I talked about yesterday there is no such thing as a “healthy weight” . We know that two people can fit the same profile – sedentary, non-nutritious diet, health problems – and one can be fat while the other stays thin. It’s a big, flaming sack of duh that it’s absolutely unfair to single out the one who is fat for higher taxes, workplace discrimination and poor treatment, while the person who remains thin doesn’t suffer any of those consequences despite the same lifestyle and choices.  You could say that’s all trick and no treat (you might especially say that if you were trying to fit this blog into the Halloween theme of your blog gang).

Remember that regardless of what your situation is as a fat person, there is a thin person in the same situation who just happens to have a different body size.  If you want to become healthier, I suggest that you consider the idea of Health at Every Size and make healthy behaviors your goal rather than a particular weight or size.   (You can check out Linda Bacon’s site on the subject here)

No matter what, you deserve to be treated well with respect and equality.  If those stats are right and we are the majority of the population in this country, then we have a powerful tool to implement change. So have a fun, happy and safe Halloween and while you’re searching for that perfect costume and going to those parties, know that the only thing that someone can tell by your weight is how much you weigh.

Check out the rest of the gang’s blogs:

Motherhoot

Kernut the Blond

Holly B

Elisa Croatia

Published in: on October 28, 2010 at 7:10 am  Comments (15)  

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “No matter what, you deserve to be treated well with respect and equality.”

    Thank you.

  2. 1) Your blog was my first exposure to body acceptance and you absolutely changed my life. I can now work towards improving my athleticism and nourishing my body with realistic goals and my well being in mind rather than just trying to stave off INCHES OF EVIL.

    2) google putting “Lose 1-2 lbs a day” ads on your blog is a bummer!

    • 1) Wow, that absolutely made my day, thank you. Congratulations on deciding to pursue health, I bet you will kick ass. (Also, do you mind if I steal “Inches of evil” because that’s just awesome!)
      2) I know, totally annoying. Sorry :(

  3. You know it’s interesting that in the middle ages the people who were “fat” were considered to be the aristocracy. Wonder how we managed to get away from that kind of thinking.

    As far as Halloween costumes (and clothes in general) it is hard for short people like me to get anything to fit properly. They claim there are petite sizes, but there aren’t petite costumes… and petite clothes aren’t really proportioned for short people.

    It is completely ridiculous to cater to women who are 5’8″ and 110 pounds when those women are only on magazine covers. I can’t say I see any of them when I’m shopping in our mall.

    • Yes, let’s hear it for the petite people! I end up buying capris and wearing them as pants. Because even “petite” clothes are too long! lol

      xo Susie

    • I’ve heard from friends in fashion that part of the reason that women of size are not catered to is that they always think they are going to lose weight and so are unwilling to invest in clothes that fit them now. I don’t imagine that petite people think that they are going to get taller so I don’t know what to say about that but as a short, fat woman I definitely feel your pain!

  4. For whatever it’s worth, I typically wear a size 12 -14 and according to such fine organizations as Weight Watchers (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?) I am overweight.

    • I just had this discussion with someone a few weeks ago. According to the Weight Watchers charts, a person of my height (5′ tall) should weight 100-123#. Seriously?! She was shocked. Just as I have been the 4 or 5 times I’ve attempted WW.

      xo Susie

      • When I did weight watchers my goal weight was 15 pounds less than I weighed when I was hospitalized with an eating disorder. When I mentioned it, the leader suggested that since I was a compulsive exerciser then that I might have less “extra muscle” and be able to reach a “healthy weight”. Idiot.

  5. You know what is a proven weight loss method? Crack. I’m pretty sure, anyway. Maybe it was crank. Cocaine? I donno. They all have terrible side affects, though. Or so I’ve heard.

    Joking aside, do you expect the American woman’s self image to be anything other than doomed when we’re fed a constant diet of poor self imagery and misplaced desire? “Be size 0 or be labeled fat!” “Dye your hair this color to take 10 years of your appearance!” “Enjoy this BOGO at Pizza Hut!”

    • Right, I’ve said that to – if we don’t care how we get thin, then they should just go ahead and give everybody cocaine.

      As far as I expect the American woman’s self-image to improve, my goal with the work that I do is to let women know that they choose how they feel about themselves and nobody else does. I think that it starts with us rejecting these notions and then taking our demands to the media etc.

  6. Thanks once again, Ragen, for a great post!

    xo Susie

  7. I love this post so much! Thank you for writing it! I agree ALL people deserve to be treated with respect and equality! I also believe that we as a majority need to speak up more and let companies and people know how we really feel about what they say! Thank you again!

    Amber

    • Thanks a bunch – I’m glad that you liked it!

  8. Wonderful post! The conditioning we receive starts wen we’re very small children, but it’s taken me years to see the negative effect it’s had on my life.

    My sister just told me why she won’t let my nephew watch Disney cartoons and movies: The stereo-typing of women, and men for that matter. It’s always a story about a girl, often of lower financial status, but always skinny and attractive, being paired up with a “handsome”, often financially well-off, prince. I started reviewing in my head the Disney stories of my childhood and am building a resentment against what I see as their influence in my life – even to this ripe old age of 40-something.


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