Jul 5, 2010

i've had it.

welcome to rebekah's rant of the day...

What's Been Bugging Me Recently!

ok guys, i figure by now, you pretty much know who i am. you know my struggle with health, weight, and boys. you've seen my ups, and you've seen my downs.

so you know where i'm coming from when i say... i've had it with weight discrimination!

i am so tired of everyone complaining about their weight and how people judge them for it. everywhere you turn, be it on TV, the paper, or the blogosphere, somebody's whining. somebody's always offended. i've had it!

let's check out the facts here, ok?

1. thin does not automatically equal healthy. seriously, how many skinny people do you know who live off Splenda, diet Coke, and Dunkin Donuts? that couldn't walk a mile? that smoke like a chimney?

being thin is no more an indicator of health than being in the garage makes you a car.

are you thin from balanced exercise and nutrition? wonderful! but otherwise, be it genetics, anorexia, or what have you, just "being small" does not mean you are healthy. thin people must exercise, eat right, and take care of their bodies just like the rest of the population. it's called being a responsible adult.

2. being overweight does not mean you are lazy, disgusting, or ignorant. how dare someone even say something like that!

you know that lady you've seen walking down the street with a little bit of a belly? who knows, she could have just had a baby, struggle with binge eating, been sexually assaulted, or just started exercising for the first time in her life. being overweight has its consequences, but it doesn't take away the benefits of doing plenty of things well - if you are exercising regularly, eating well, and loving your body, you are amazing regardless of your weight!

3. hate solves nothing... i wish i could shout this from the rooftop - if we are trying to make this world a better place, pointing fingers is only tearing us apart! honestly, people who discriminate against those who are overweight make me want to punch them... do you really think anyone believes you are concerned about their health? really? i don't express concern by mocking someone... but maybe that's just me.

likewise, telling someone who is thin "go eat a sandwich!" or "get out of the gym!" certainly doesn't help their self-esteem. it only makes them feel rejected and singled-out. and because of that, attacking their food choices only highlights something that is none of your business to begin with. it's their body! who are you to judge them?

4. and neither does getting offended. you know how in middle school, bullies said hurtful things to get a reaction out of you? this is the adult version of that. anyone who attacks you, for anything? lame, and not worth your time. they want to see you cry. don't let them get to you.

there is a difference between genuine concern and assaulting someone.

yes, obesity costs everyone. health care is crazy expensive, and many diseases could be reduced if our weight was reduced as well. it's heartbreaking how many people struggle with diabetes, heart disease, and even premature death because of something as "simple" as extra pounds.

yes, magazines/modeling agencies/celebrities are only making us more self-conscious, unsatisfied with our bodies, and more detatched from reality. runway models are dying of anorexia, and celebs are setting up young girls for a lifetime of disordered thoughts.

yes, girls are cruel and insecure, and tease each other about their bodies.

yes, guys can be pigs and make us ashamed for not being a Victoria's Secret Angel.

yes, people judge you by what you look like.

but seriously - if we want to change this, complaining and getting offended is not the answer. and certainly, attacking someone doesn't exactly encourage positive change!

i've been reading a fair amount of body-image blogs recently, and i am a bit disturbed by the amount of "fat pride" being displayed. don't get me wrong, i totally agree with what they're saying! your weight has nothing to do with who you are as a person, and how dare anyone criticize you for it. but really, is attacking them back solving anything?

i've also followed a handful of "healthy living" bloggers for a while, and i think that plenty of what is passed off as "healthy" is really disordered eating in disguise. when someone lists their "food rules," tries to justify the amount they eat, or continually posts fad-diets/workout plans/filling low-cal foods, that is not healthy eating. i am incredibly blown away by how many amazing stories there are out there of bloggers who have lost weight, changed their lives, and run marathons, but that doesn't mean you are emotionally healthy. next time you read some of the "big blogs," make sure that they are loving themselves as-is, not when they were X pounds, before whatever marathon, or in a different pant-size, ok?

as far as the magazines and modeling industry is concerned - it's been twisted and warped for a long time, and it's not gonna change quickly. there are amazing things being done to promote healthy models, celebs, and role-models, but things like that take time. until we all learn that thinness is NOT the answer to everything in life, it will stay just like it is. the industry isn't gonna change until people do.

what's the answer to discrimination?

first of all, everyone calm down!

when you give so much attention to a single issue, you make it seem more important than it is.

i'm not saying that it shouldn't be addressed. when something unfair happens, it shouldn't go unnoticed! but sometimes, it goes from addressing it, to complaining about it, to beating a dead horse, until everyone is numb to it because it's been overdone.

if everyone stopped wasting time obsessing about plus-sized models, we could put some effort into started changing the way we view our OWN bodies.

if everyone would stop obsessing over miley cyrus/megan fox/jessica simpson's weight, we could step back and see how shallow that is - they're just people. real people. that eat. and have issues. and have "fat days." and lose weight. and experience emotions. whatever!

if we stopped fat talking, we could maybe start to see the positive things about our bodies, and how beautiful we truly are.

see what i'm saying? getting all fired up about ignorant people is solving nothing. don't waste your precious time and energy! i know sometimes you need to vent, but can't we move past that now?

instead, we need to channel that energy into encouraging ourselves and those around us to treat our bodies with respect, eat healthfully, move our bodies, and take care of ourselves, because we are worth the effort.

trash-talking someone, regardless if they are plus-sized, anorexic, mentally handicapped, asian, white, blind, ADHD, jewish, latino, or purple is so worthless. it's wrong, it's hurtful, and all it does is generate more hate.

i'm not saying we can change everyone, because stupid, hateful, judgemental people will always exist, but i'm going to be one less person to join them.

i'm going to make sure my friends and daughters know that they are PERFECT just the way they are, and that at no weight will they be more special to me than they were the pound before. i am going to support and encourage those who are trying to be healthier - whether that's losing extra pounds, overcoming an eating disorder, seeing beauty in themselves, or trusting God. and i am going to be extra careful about what i say and how it could effect others.

i am so proud of you all - regardless of what you look like. weight can be so touchy, and loving yourself, unfortunatey, can be a huge challenge! when everyone else is slamming their bodies, feeling food-guilt, and trying to discourage you, saying screw you is tough! but never give up. never stop fighting. keep rising about the drama.

if you are struggling with your body, please shoot me an email. i would love to encourage you, and help if i can! rrn2139(at)email(dot)vccs(dot)edu.

how do you guys feel about "fat pride?" or the fashion industry?
do you guys ever feel weight discrimination?
do you think we are doing the best we can to promote positive body image?
- rebekah


  1. Aww, Rebekah! This is such a lovely post. :) My body is by no means perfect but as long as I know I'm taking care of it anyone who has judgments to pass along can keep those to themselves.
    Fat pride annoys me, simply because no one should be proud of being unhealthy. I totally respect positive body image for all sizes, and I think that if you are unhealthy, you should love yourself but as a part of loving yourself, do what's best for your body! Losing weight or gaining it; whatever makes you and your body happy and healthy. A lot of the fat pride that I've seen (not all of it, mind you!) has kind of come off as stubborn. Like, "I'm fat, skinny people are anorexic bitches, DEAL WITH IT." (If you want to see some good body image stuff, go here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ProjectLifesize Meghan Tonjes, the creator, is one of my favorite YouTubers and is sosososo beautiful.)
    But on the other hand, being proud of being underweight and emaciated is just as bad (the whole "bones are beautiful" thing for example), and I think that it also hurts womens' self esteems when underweight girls flaunt their stuff. ESPECIALLY when the fashion industry seems so hung up on the Kate Moss's and all that. They make it seem normal, as though that's what beautiful is. And while I'm on that topic, can we PLEASE get rid of the term "plus-sized model"? They're all models, regardless of their size. Seriously.

    Huh, I guess that was a rant of my own. :P
    But again, beautiful post! <3

  2. Girl, you seriously have some of the most beautiful and uplifting posts. I love how you're so passionate about spreading the word about loving ourselves the way we are, regardless of weight. I see a lot of "healthy living" bloggers that spend hours in the gym and come home to "refuel" with an egg white omelet and a few veggies, and it breaks my heart... especially because they're trying to pass of an unhealthy/disordered mindset as a healthy one, and a lot of people who aren't familiar with disordered eating will buy into it.

    I definitely don't think we're doing all we can to promote a healthy body image... we're doing all we can to promote a lifestyle (dieting/exercise) that will "allow" us to achieve a healthy body image... The sad thing is, that that's never the case. No amount of dieting/exercise will allow us to be at peace with who we are. We need to accept and love ourselves the. way. we. are. instead of the way we think we should be.

  3. awesome post :) made my day...recovering from an ED (which i am) makes one's body image plummet.

  4. i really love your posts. they really are touching and i hope everyone can learn something from you!!! it's great!! keep them coming!...this is a really sticky situation, I hope one day if I bring a daughter into this world...we'll have some body peace. you know...I wonder how long this body image drama has been going on??? do you think our g-mas had this problem???..if they didn't we should look at what they did!!! :)

  5. Rebekah,
    you are truely a GREAT and IMPORTANT person. You are a resource, and a beautiful soul.

    We need to realize that change start with each single one of us. We have the power to change how we value and view ourselves, and other people.
    If we believe we are more than our appearance, we must find the strength to apply this attitude in practice.
    I will never look like anybody else, I was born me, I want to live like me.
    It is time to stop fighting our individual bodies, and start loving them instead. Our bodies have done nothing wrong, all they have done is to be unique. Why not start value this incredible variation we find among humans, just as we appreciate the variation we see in other species?

    Ah, I could go on and on about this, but you have a way with words and a passion that are amazing, so I will just nod my beautiful head to every single piece of this post.
    You have my support. That, and my love.

  6. can I just tell you I freakin' love this post!!! It is one of my favorites :D so true!!Just because someone is skinny doesn't mean they don't eat ! And I agree with you about some "healthy bloggers" and disorded eating. much love

  7. I really make it a rule never to comment on someone's body size, even if it may sound like a compliment. I stick with "nice hair" and "that dress is so cute".

    It hurts my feelings a lot when people say I am so skinny/too skinny, whatever. They don't know the reasons why I am like I am, or that part of it is just how I am. I get offended, which I think is OKAY, but I am trying to work on not letting it get me down or change what I am working on - they don't know the whole story!

    I do hear you about not equating a body type with health. My sister, for instance, is a curvy girl but she is very strong. She practices great moderation in her diet, she has run two marathons, and is very active. I cringe whenever I hear someone look at her funny when she says she is a runner, like they think all runners have to be skinny. I think she is an amazingly healthy person with a healthy lifestyle.

  8. UNBELIEVABLE post, Rebekah!!!!! (Love the spelling of your name btw.)

    It doesn't matter the size you are, health comes in all sizes...and I agree, someone very "skinny" can be extremely unhealthy. We are all unique, and society places way too much pressure on being thin & placing this cookie cutter image on health! I have had my share of battles with my body image..happy to say that I have a different approach now..hoping to inspire others to get out of the calorie counting mentality.

    ..this post is SUPER inspiring, YOU GO!!!!

  9. exactly! when u put too much focus on one thing u end up giving it more energy, making it beyond powerful, more than it needs. its insane how even when we get on track and feel really confident, we can have days that destroy us because our thoughts become too much to handle sometimes that we just give in to them.

    wow i loved this post so incredibly must. u have to save this and link to it for people to read later on. you are freaking amazing and your words jump out at me!!! <3

    thank you love!!

  10. you guys are TOO sweet. seriously, amazing! thank you guys so much for your thoughts. you guys have beautiful words to share!

  11. Oh my do I have a lot to say about this topic..

    I cant begin to comprehend why are society is so fixated on thin being healthy?! I mean there is tons of scientific proof that bodies can be healthy and un healthy at ALL DIFFERENT sizes. Seriously, why is this so hard to understand? It makes me so sad to see people look to a certain pant size as a world wide indication of health. It is so wrong and it will make so many people un healthy and feel bad about them selves. I just dont get it. With so much focus on 'health' in our society we do a pretty bad job of showing people how to achieve it..

    So glad this world has people like you!!!

    Dana xo


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