Well, have I got something for you tonight! This article was published in the Courier Mail (Brisbane, Australia) today with the dramatic title of “Plus-size Models Doing Big Girls No Favour”.
In it, the author, Susie O’Brien suggests that the increase in plus-size models in the fashion market are not a good idea because it gives the impression that it’s ok to be fat. She also criticises television shows like Drop Dead Diva and the fact that retailers are starting to provide fashionable clothing for plus-sized women. To quote her directly:’
But there are also many larger people who are just plain fat, and who would be better off being encouraged to lose weight rather than always be told it’s ok to be overweight.
Now firstly, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never experienced being “always told it’s ok to be overweight”. ALWAYS told that Ms O’Brien? I am wondering where you got that idea. Perhaps it was the people on the street who yell encouragingly at fat women “Go for it sister!! Rock that hot fat body you sexy thing!” Or the constant news pieces about how AWESOME it is that there is an obesity crisis going on in our country. Maybe it’s those doctors that tell us that our wonderful fat bodies protect us from disease and illness?
Oh hang on… that’s in the reverse universe! Silly me. *eyeroll* Ms O’Brien dear, back to this universe hmmm?
She then goes on to say:
But it’s time to get real – fat people may be happier but they’re also digging their graves with a fork, and we’re all paying for it.
Firstly, last time I looked I was a tax payer, in fact a taxpayer that has one of the highest quotas in relation to my income, because as a single, woman without children who works full time, and has private health cover, I’m not collecting anywhere from the Government for the tax I pay. So am I not entitled to a piece of my tax dollar coming back to me? Fat people pay tax too y’know Ms O’Brien.
And secondly, here we go again, the old fat people shame trick. All of us fatty pigs that are going to die and make the rest of “normal society” pay their hard earned dollars for us to be happy and fat.
Now, they didn’t publish my comment that I left on this article, probably because it makes sense, but what I asked is this – If shaming and pressuring people into thinness actually worked to make the “obesity crisis” go away, wouldn’t we have seen evidence of this by now? After all, Westerners have been heavy into the diet thing for some decades now. I know that my Grandmother has been dieting and felt shame about her weight all my life, and as you know I’m past 35. I daresay she was doing so before I was born. It was really the 50’s and 60’s that saw the diet/body obsession culture kick off, and then it kind of went nuclear in the 80’s. So if all these decades of shame and body obsession and thin = beauty actually worked, wouldn’t the levels of obesity in our culture be decreasing, not increasing? Wouldn’t the average be smaller than in the past, than larger?
Perhaps, just perhaps, by empowering people with confidence, strong self esteem, and a sense of achievement and a place in society, they’re more likely to be productive, healthy members of that society? They’re more likely to have the confidence to take on a productive role in society, to be active and willing participants in life rather than shutting themselves away in shame and embarrassment.
I certainly think so.
But what I think sums up Ms O’Brien perfectly is this sentence.
Losing weight is hard work. It takes sacrifice and effort. As a mother of three in my late 30’s with a new gym membership, I know this first-hand.
I think I understand. Perhaps Ms O’Brien doesn’t like her own body. If she doesn’t like her own body, how dare anyone that she considers fatter than her like theirs? Everyone should put in all that sacrifice and effort that she is. Let alone all that money she spent on her fancy gym membership. Perhaps if Ms O’Brien stopped worrying about how everyone else is living their lives, and focused on letting go of her own body issues, she might realise that it’s none of her business.