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: