Post # 1
I was just reading the Maria Kang thread on the fitness section and it got me thinking about a few things. I’m not trying to be controversial for the sake of it or start a massive row, this is just something I’m curious about and I didn’t want to threadjack.
I know this is a sensitive topic so disclaimer:
I definitely think it’s rude to comment on someone’s weight no matter what it is and giving your opinion on someone’s lifestyle (when it doesn’t affect you) without being asked is also very rude.
That being said, why are general articles about the negative effects of obesity sometimes seen as fat shaming? We’re bombarded with anti-smoking ads and pictures of disgusting lungs on cigarette packets, or anti eating disorder ads or anti drugs ads and we don’t tend to see them as offensive.
It’s not fair that genetics don’t work the same way and so some people have to work way harder at it than others but why can we use it as an excuse when we don’t accept genetics as an excuse when it comes to intelligence? It’s alright to make fun of people who don’t understand things as complex or as quickly as we do but the minute someone mentions weight they’ve taken it too far? (ETA: It is not ok at all to make fun of someone for anything, I’m trying pointing out that this seems to be the prevalent mentality and it’s ridiculous.)
I guess what I’m trying to ask is why does obesity get extra consideration? And do you think it deserves the extra sensitivity?
I’m not really sure what I think or if I can properly justify my instinctual opinion so I’d welcome different perspectives.
Post # 3
@Chael: I’m not sure I’d call it alright to make fun of people who don’t understand things as complex or as quickly as I do.
Post # 4
I can see that this thread may become heated so I’ll throw in some humor and share that my favorite kind of shaming is dog shaming:
Post # 5
Uhm, it’s really never ok to make fun of someone’s intelligence. Who said that’s ok?
I’m not saying it’s ok to make fun of someone’s weight, but I agree w/ you that as a whole, this country (US) is way too sensitive about the topic – and about a lot of things in general, honestly. People get their panties in a bunch over the silliest things. It doesn’t help anyone to get offended – just move on if you don’t like it.
And I agree that it’s an epidemic and it should be addressed. I know that genetics play a role or medical conditions, but that’s not the reason why SO many people are obese in the US and not in other countries. Besides, it might just mean you have to work harder NOT to be obese. But there’s NO excuse for obesity, it’s never ok. I’m not saying having a few extra pounds is terrible, but obesity? Not ok. Ever.
Post # 6
@Chrysoberyl: hahahahaha I LOVE these pictures!
@Chael: FWIW, I don’t think it’s okay to make fun of someone’s intelligence. That being said, I do think we need to take off our “sensitive gloves” when talking about obesity.
It is a very real problem in our culture and I’m sick of people saying they can’t help it or that they don’t want to discuss it or getting upset because it is being discussed. I know it takes hard work but I also know it can be done. I have watched two people in my life go from being obese to a healthy weight for their body. I have also watched one friend refuse to do anything and the health problems just keep piling on.
Post # 7
Sorry, I can see I wasn’t being clear. I meant that people act it’s ok to call someone stupid but so much more offensive to call someone fat, not that it actually is. I definitely do not think it’s ok to make fun of anyone for anything. I’ll edit that.
ETA: The sarcasm doesn’t translate as well as I heard it in my head.
Post # 8
@Chrysoberyl: That’s so cute and thanks :).
I really don’t want a row I just want different perspectives.
Post # 9
@Chael: I know but it always happens. There was once a thread about someone not liking coconut water and a couple bees just JUMPED her like “THIS IS PART OF ANOTHER CULTURE! YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO SHOW YOUR DISTATE OF SOMETHING THAT IS SUCH A BIG DEAL IN ANOTHER CULTURE.”
I do like reading interesting debates on here so I want to keep it light so I can enjoy reading it. See? I’m just selfish. LOL.
Post # 10
I think a major issue is that weight is such a problem with so many people. The more people that it affects, the more people will take offense and react when someone says something about obesity. Strength in numbers!
Post # 11
“fat shaming” is becoming the new “bullying” IMO in terms of buzz words. I’m so over it. I’ve got more way more chunky in my monkey and Maria Kang doesnt bother me one bit.
Post # 12
@Chrysoberyl: bahaha these are excellent!
Post # 13
@Chrysoberyl: Gah I hope not, I just don’t really have an opinion on it and thought hearing other people’s opinions will help me (and whoever else cares enough) sort out my thoughts about it.
Post # 14
I think the obese, much like smokers and others, take offense to the fact that their bodies and health and choices are considered social issues and open for commentary by others. The very notion of “we the people need to treat this subject” is offensive and worrisome to them.
Post # 15
@Chrysoberyl: dog shaming and cat shaming will pretty much improve any life situation.
@Chael: While I don’t consider an article about the health implications of obesity to be fat shaming, I do think that fat shaming happens. I guess the issue comes down to the fact that obesisty is both a medical issue and also a lifestyle choice……sometimes more (or all) of one vs. the other in each individual person.
In this way, as a medical condition, I think we do need to be sensitive to it. A comparable would be that we wouldn’t shame women with breast cancer for not doing monthly checks or yearly mammograms….we would recommend those things but wouldn’t say that she “deserves” cancer because she didn’t do them. Likewise, an obese person that eats well and exercises doesn’t deserve to be shamed.
On the other hand, sometimes being obese is more of a lifestyle choice. I still don’t think that shaming is ever appropriate, but I don’t think it’s shaming to be honest about the person’s contributions to their own condition.
The bottom line is that the health risks/consequences can (and should) be honestly, clearly and and respectfully discussed without any element of blame/shame, regardless of the “cause” of the obesity. Being honest and being sensitive/respectful are not mutually exclusive.
Post # 16
I think our definitions of obese are off as well. According to BMI (which has been proved in multiple places to be an inaccurate measure) calls me obese. I am definately not svelte, but I wouldn’t call myself obese by any stretch. We have plus sized models who are a size 10. The average American woman is a 12. I think we’ve got issues with the definition as well as now we deal with it.