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?