Created on: October 01, 2010
The fat acceptance movement did not evolve out of a desire to glamorize obesity, but rather out of anger and frustration that being overweight seems to make you a legitimate target for abuse and discrimination. There is a great deal of pressure on men and particularly women to conform to a particular size, which isn’t helped by the media’s fascination with ultra-slim models and celebrities. Instead of promoting diversity and encouraging healthy living, there is a sense that it doesn’t matter how you stay thin, as long as you don’t become fat.
Of course, the media would like to portray the fat acceptance movement as glamorizing obesity and encouraging followers to lead an unhealthy lifestyle, when really it is about accepting yourself the way you are. You don’t need to be skinny to be comfortable in your own skin, so what is the point of starving yourself to emulate the celebrities you see in the magazines? You need to learn to love your body as a whole, rather than becoming preoccupied with what you perceive to be flaws, as this will increase the likelihood that you take better care of yourself.
Indeed, being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean that you lead an unhealthy lifestyle. It is entirely possible that you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Of course, the fact that you’re ‘fat’ suggests that at some stage you began to consume more calories than you needed and have continued to do so. Eating too much may have become a habit and one that you’re not prepared to break with, since it seems to be doing you no harm, which may be the case if your weight has stabilised. It’s another matter altogether if you continue to pile on the pounds.
Genetics also has a role to play, though, and so you shouldn’t discount the fact that coming from an overweight family makes it more likely you will be overweight yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to stay healthy, but it does mean you probably shouldn’t become too preoccupied with the number you get when you step on the scales.
There seems to be an assumption that being skinny automatically makes you healthier, which is far from being the case. There are plenty of skinny girls who use cigarettes and pills to keep their weight down, which is hardly the way to go about maintaining good health.
The fat acceptance movement is about learning to appreciate your body and not tolerating the negative stereotypes and flagrant hostility that can be directed at you because of your size. The movement doesn’t aim to glamorize obesity, but it does want to promote acceptance and tolerance, which is surely no bad thing in such a superficial and judgemental society.
Learn more about this author, Michelle Wilkinson.
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