Reader Melissa clued me into Swedish Mannequins slightly larger than the typical size 4 that we see in the United States that have started a crapstorm of people falling all over each other to wring their hands and shriek about “promoting obesity”.
We’ve already discussed the thoroughly ridiculous idea of promoting obesity and it’s just as dumb now as it was then.
Also, I’m actually fat – right at this moment. I’ve not the inclination toward nudism and over-sized burlap sacks chafe, so I find myself with a need to buy clothing in my actual, right at this moment, size. It would be just dandy if the mannequin modeling those clothes could even fit into the smallest size at the store, let alone my actual size. I don’t believe that this would make me fatter, I do believe it would make me more likely to try on clothes that I ultimately buy while becoming less homicidal throughout the shopping process.
I think that it is vital that we stop calling these ideas, derived by rectal pull as far as I can tell, to be valid public health interventions just because they say “anti-obesity,” as if that’s some kind of magical password that renders science, research, logic, and basic human respect irrelevant and unnecessary.
Where is there good research to suggest that very thin mannequins lead to thin people or to healthy people (remembering, of course, that these are two separate things?) Where is there good research to suggest mannequins in a size 8 somehow cause people to become larger? How is it logical that fat people will become happier, healthier and thinner as long as they never see people or inanimate objects who look like them? Basically this entire idea – that the best thing we can do for fat people is purposefully create a world without positive representations of them - is an unsubstantiated claim rooted in size bigotry.
Even if this research existed, the idea would still be problematic – is it ethical to try to make people healthier by creating a world that is designed to make them hate themselves and feel hopeless about their future unless they are able to change their body size? Then, of course, there is the added layer of the fact that the vast majority of those who try to change their body size fail? Among those who succeed, even if their physical health was better, would their mental health ever recover?
This is why I think it’s so important that we put representations of ourselves out there using the means that we have at our disposal – Facebook, blogs, forums, media appearances, wherever we can get ourselves out there. It can also be extremely affirming to look at images of people who look like us to remember that what we are spoon-fed by the media is a stereotype of beauty that is artificially narrow and limited and, thanks to digital retouching, is unattainable by everyone – often including the people in the pictures. Here are some places where you can check out awesome fatty images – if I’ve missed any (and I’m sure that I have) please feel free to add them in the comments!
The Fit Fatties Forum video and photo galleries (look around and feel free to add your own!)
The Adipositivity Project (NSFW unless your W is super cool)
The More Cabaret Gallery (FSFW – fairly safe for work)
This post (check the comments for lots of amazing pictures of fat people doing awesome stuff from belly dancing to hammer throwing).
Works of Peter Paul Rubens (NSFW)
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