I have watched this hashtag play out over the last day or so with a fair deal of interest. The original flashpoint came, it seems to me, from someone opening their mouth and engaging their brain without considering the consequences. That’s never a good idea, and will inevitably end in disaster. The fact remains, that there is no ‘traditional’ size or figure for women, there is only an average. There is what companies believe is an ‘average’, or commentators, or your mates in the Pub on a Friday. What nobody ever, EVER considers is what people believe they should be inside their own minds. It is perhaps inevitable that, as a society, when media pushes people to believe that ‘thin’ is what matters more than ‘happy’ that so many people decide that the latter remains more important. This is EXACTLY what should happen. People need to be happy before they look and feel comfortable to begin with.
I have my own view of this that I’d like to share, if I may.
I’ve been trying for a very long time (about 14 years) to lose weight back to the point where I was before my kids were born. I’ll grant you, I never tried very hard until now, but as I find myself nearing my goal, I’m very glad I didn’t stay overweight. It made me ill, it exacerbated my asthma and frankly, it made me unhappy. I am well aware that I am not in the thrall of society when it comes to how I look, and the only person in the end to whom my body shape matters is me. For that reason alone, I needed to lose the weight. Not to evangelise, or to cast aspersions at anyone else who makes their own choices based on a set of decisions that are only relevant to them. The key here is the individual and not a ‘group’ and I think this is where all the ‘X says being size Y is bad’ stuff falls down. You don’t have the right to judge what is beautiful, or what is right, you only get a chance to comment, and you should do that politely when it happens. When your mouth opens, consider how much damage you can do if you don’t understand every single person on the planet is an individual.
Because they absolutely are.
Venus, in 1486, had a tummy, and really small boobs, and is incomparable. Beauty is not the concern of the modern world, the strain on health services is, because everyone sees large and assumes unhealthy. Then you’ll get articles like this which now suggest that actually, it’s the food we eat at fault and not the people eating it. So you’re saying it’s not that people eat too much it’s the food companies who should be taken to task for the way stuff is both made and marketed? Should this not be the moment we wheel in the fact so much food is wasted in Western Society and never even gets eaten anyway? Playing the Blame Game is not wise or sensible in this day and age. The answer is to appeal not to the masses, but the individual, to make each person think and be responsible for his or her health and well-being. That’s the key here. Not tarring everyone with the same badly made brush.
Which stupid people seem to enjoy doing with gay abandon.
My husband has now lost four stone after being diagnosed with Type Two Diabetes. He has significantly reduced the need for medication as a result of this, and is undoubtedly happier than I have seen him at any point in his life. He cycles regularly and will be doing London to Paris in 24 hours on a bike in June. However, he’s not here as an example of why being ‘thin’ is better than being ‘fat.’ He’s an example of what happened to one person when they were diagnosed with an illness and how they dealt with it. More importantly, he’s also an example of knowing what needs to be done in order to make an individual happy. Why does this always get overlooked in situations like this? Is it because the thin girl looks at the fat one and assumes that because she’s happy then that poor girl must be utterly miserable?
Because if that is the case, that’s stupid beyond belief.
Stop assuming you know how other people feel, media. Don’t promote narrow-minded and dangerous thinking when it comes to what is ‘normal’ either, because that’s a path you don’t ever want to walk down unless you’re 100% confident you could win any argument with good grace and actual facts. Mostly, I think TV shows should stop having anyone on who’ll open their mouth without thinking first. Maybe, actually, you could find some more REAL women to talk to rather than the ones you think look good on a screen.