This post has been swimming in my head for a while now and to be honest, I’m afraid to post it. I’m afraid there will be back lash, I’m afraid there will be ugliness but I’m confused and feeling conflicted and looking for more thoughts and opinions on this subject. The subject of the politically correctness of the plus size.
Before I get into the meat of this post, I’d like to say this:
- This is in no way a judgy post
- Up until a year ago, I myself was obese and tipped the scales at 118kg’s
- At my largest, I wore a size 44/22
- I, myself was very much plus sized
- In many circles, at a size 34/36, I’m still very much considered plus sized today
- My BMI is 26… I’m still considered overweight
- This post is in no way my way of saying overweight women/people cannot also be beautiful
And just in case you need a reminder…. this is me, this is my truth, this is my constant battle with food, with sugar addiction and with my own personal body image and weight:
You can read my full journey and never ending battle of the bulge and struggle with food here: Banting
So, this Tweet is really what got me to write this blog post:
You should go and read her Twitter feed, I was HORRIFIED at the vile and revolting responses she received. Everything from saying she is wrong in her thinking, to insulting her vagina – yes, even her vagina got attacked, to saying she is uneducated and has an unhealthy mouth. Some even went so far as wishing harm to her. People’s responses shocked me.
And here’s why…
Because I agree with her. There I said it.
I do. I agree.
The model is beautiful and no one would deny that. But she is obese and with obesity come all kinds of health risks. Surely that statement should not come as a surprise to anyone? Surely that is just logic and decades of research into the effects of obesity and medical science?
And here’s why I agree with her? Because I used to have a BMI of 38. When I weighted 118kg’s and wore a size 44, I was clinically obese and I was displaying a long list of the health risks that go hand in hand with obesity.
- Insulin Resistance and was on a downward spiral to Type 2 diabetes.
- I had high blood pressure
- I had high cholesterol
And those are just a few of the medical conditions I had been diagnosed with. Over and above that, I also had insomnia, painful joints, lacked energy, had digestive problems, had perpetually sore feet and knees and I struggled with back problems. So I know, first hand, what obesity can do, because it did it to me.
Does every obese person walking the planet have these issues? Maybe not now, but they will eventually. My experience is that obesity is very much a disease and not just a condition, it’s not just a way of looking. I know, I was there, I am still embroiled in that struggle with my weight and my health daily. Not to mention the love/hate relationship I have with my body, with my self image and with food.
My obsession with my weight has way more to do with my health than it does with the way I look.
But sometimes I worry we’ve become a society so obsessed with, at times misdirected or misguided, political correctness that we often miss the important issues. Should this woman or any woman, or me, be respected and seen as beautiful, in spite of what the scale says or what the clothing size label says? With out a doubt yes. Should society and by extension ourselves, place less value on what the bathroom scale says? With out a doubt, yes. But can we also be honest and call a spade a spade and say that obesity is very much a disease that ravages ones health? YES!
And that these two issues, while separate are linked? That while ones beauty and ones value and ones intellect should not be judged by what the scale says? YES! But that what the scale says and what the mirror reflects, no matter the beautiful package and the gorgeous plus sized clothes, can and are health risks?
And once again, remember, I am NOT judging anyone, let me remind you of where I come from and what I struggle with daily? Each time I’m faced with a biscuit or a cake or a potato or a slice of bread, I struggle, I know…. I know what its like to live in a world obsessed with external beauty and that fat is rarely seen as beautiful:
I’ve never been more aware of this than what I’ve been on my journey over the last year. The way I’m treated. The way I’m listened to. The way I’m respected. The relationships that I have. The attention I’m given. EVERTHING has changed since I lost weight, so I get it, I know first hand how society views and judges obese people. I really do get it. And should not be this way. But the fact remains, obesity IS unhealthy.
Surely we all agree on that?