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Love your body!

If anything I ever write gets me hate mail, it’s going to be this one. Let’s get into it, shall we?

We all should be comfortable in our own skin as much as possible. The media portrays really distorted images of what is attractive, natural, and healthy. Changing just because society says you should is bullshit.

I agree with all of those statements, to a point.

There is definitely something to be said for people accepting that they are healthy and can be attractive even if they may not have chiseled abs, or a thigh gap (a function of bone structure more than weight in most women – many cannot achieve this at any body fat level) or whatever the current thinspiration/weird shit that the internet has decided is attractive this year. It can be hard to look in a mirror and be happy with what you see if it doesn’t reflect what we get bombarded with every day in our day to day lives. I struggle with this myself.

However.

I think that the current movement that is pushing hard and fast away from “skinny is beautiful” towards “the more of me there is to love the better” is misguided and taking things way farther than it should.

Yes, curves are beautiful on a woman. But ladies, curvy does not mean obese. Curves are not rolls, and you can and should have curves without being overly fat. If you are 10lb or even 20lb heavier than what the media portrays as ideal or attractive, you’re probably just fine. But if you have a BMI well over 30, or are 50lb+ over your “healthy ideal” weight, you are probably in a spot where you really should lose a bunch of weight, even if only for health reasons. If people make jokes about you having your own zipcode, you should probably work on doing something about that.

The vast majority of men do not find women who have rolls of fat to be attractive. [Well, other than 80, but he’s just a little bit special. “Dip me in bacon grease and toss me to them”? Who says that?] Demanding that people find you attractive no matter what you look like or how heavy you are shows that you are really disconnected from what reality is actually like. And if you demand that all men who are interested in you must have six pack abs and be firefighter millionaires, you need to realize that you might need to go see a therapist who can unpack the significance of that particular double standard for you.

You may have noticed that we’re kinda big on personal responsibility here at TL&K. Being fat is a choice. Ergo, you need to accept that who you are is a product of your decisions and choices. If you are fat and happy and don’t want to change, right on, get down with your bad self, etc.

But.

You really shouldn’t scream at the top of your lungs that you are healthy and beautiful and people should just love and accept you for who you are. Basically the only person who you should really give you unconditional love is your mother. Society owes you nothing. And if you are incredibly overweight, you are definitely not healthy, and I would be willing to categorically state that you are not attractive to the vast majority of people.

And I personally think that if you are obese, your mother should love you enough to say something about it and try to help you realize your life would probably be a lot better if you did something about it.

Yes, genetics do play a role in this. Some people are more predisposed to be lean and wiry, some to be muscular, some to carry a little more bodyfat. And we all kinda hate the naturally lean and wiry folks, at least a little bit. But genetics are a very small part of it, and are no excuse for being ridiculously overweight. They are a damn good reason to not make an attempt at becoming a pro bodybuilder or figure competitor, just like genetics are a good reason to not expect that you can have a pro NBA career if you are a white male who is 5’0” on a good day. Shoot hoops with your buddies all you want, but it’s probably not going to make you a lot of money, no matter how hard you work at it.

Healthy at any weight” is a flat out lie.

On a side note, why is it unacceptable in our society for someone to say anything even remotely critical of someone who is overweight, but if someone is seen as too thin the “needs to eat a cheeseburger” comments start flying from all corners? We can’t have it both ways.

I would imagine that this is primarily a western cultural thing. I remember hearing from a friend who spent a good amount of time in China that if you were seriously overweight, you would have strangers come up to you in the street and say “you are too heavy. You need to do Tai Chi” or something like that. Of course, the Chinese still smoke like chimneys compared to the west, so there’s that, and the fat it’s probably more of an image than a health thing.

If you are fat, you put too much food in your face and probably don’t move enough on a day to day basis. These are facts, and the only one who can change them is you.

And to steal a line from Paul Carter, I don’t care if you hate me for writing this. If you do, you’re probably fat. And need to take a really long look in a really wide mirror.

I know that it’s not going to help my case, but I want to state that I am not in any way stating that people need to be incredibly lean at all times to be attractive. The magazine cover fitness model look is damn near unattainable for a lot of people, for genetic reasons, and the fact that they don’t have the ability to dedicate their entire lives to their fitness.

Guys under 18-20% bodyfat or so, and women under ~23-25% are doing pretty OK and nothing in this article applies to you.

It’s when you get into the ~25%+ range for guys and the ~30%+ range for women that you start to get into the territory I’m talking about in this article. That is the point that you start to become unhealthy and need to take personal responsibility for your decisions.

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