Tag Archives: fat

Why We Don’t Need Fat Acceptance

I swear I am not trying to contradict Kat’s every post.

Yes, we’ve had have our differences.

We locked horns over femininity and warrior-princesses. Clashed over government regulation. Faced off on the subject of pride parades.

Again, I am not- not– trying to be combative.

That said, today’s post is all about why I think Kat is wrong on the subject of Body Positivism and the concept of “Fat Acceptance”

Now yours truly and our glorious editor have both weighed in on the subject of fitness and obesity more than once, and in her defense, I certainly don’t believe that Kat is offering her blessing to obesity or anything like that.

Still, things need to be said here.

First, I want to make it clear that I agree with Kat on pretty much each and every one of the issues that she brought up. Factors of mental health, poor self-image, unrealistic cultural demands- you won’t hear me dispute these for a second. And these are, absolutely, universal problems. While largely centering on women, there’s an undeniable presence of all this among men as well.

(Granted, that might have more impact if it wasn’t being said by Brad Pitt, but the point still stands.)

My problem isn’t with any of the things that Kat brought up, but rather with the conclusions she drew (or seemed to draw) from ’em. Allow me to kick the conversation off with the following statement:

Self-Esteem Without Quality Is Meaningless

Now granted, this isn’t so much a problem with what Kat said as it is with what much of the movement seems based on: just feeling good about yourself.

There is nothing- nothing– wrong with have good self-esteem, but only so long as that esteem is tethered to something of substance. Your efforts, your accomplishments, your principles- even your noble failures. These are all worth celebrating and taking pride in. However, if you’re telling yourself to like yourself simply to feel warm and fuzzy on the inside…

…then you’re going to run into some problems. Continue reading

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Body Positivity and “Healthy” Double Standards, or Why I Need Fat Acceptance Even Though I’m (Relatively) Thin

The moment you mention “fat” and anything positive in the same sentence you get a response that’s meant to put you in your place. It will usually go something like, “I don’t believe in encouraging unhealthy behaviour” or “I’m all for self-acceptance, but…”.

I certainly do understand this sentiment. I think social stigma can be a powerful way to discourage bad behaviour. Just look at MADD’s entire campaign against drunk driving, for example.

However, I do think there is an unnecessarily strong reaction against Fat Positivity. Below I’ve outlined 3 reasons why I think that reaction is unfair.

1) We overlook healthy individuals with large bodies because they don’t fit our cultural beauty standards 

The number one criticism of fat acceptance is that it encourages unhealthy behaviour. However, there are more and more examples that prove body size doesn’t always dictate health. Olympic hammer-thrower Amanda Bingson encountered this type of assumption when she was kicked off her high school volleyball team for not losing weight. Years later and she has been able to prove that a large body is just as capable of amazing things as a small body. It’s been encouraging to see her featured in this year’s ESPN Body Issue, the magazine’s “annual celebration of athletes’ amazing bodies”.

Another large and healthy individual who has come to my attention is yogi Jessamyn Stanley. I try (emphasis on try) to practice yoga every week, and yoga is, for me, one of the few physical activities I’m actually kind of okay at. That’s why I was stunned to see Stanley doing moves I am still far away from accomplishing. It’s clear to me that Stanley has the kind of core strength that most of the slender yogis in my classes still haven’t managed to build.

I cannot do this pose without assistance. I can maybe do a headstand on a good day, but just on my arms like this? No way.

Examples like Bingson and Stanley aren’t meant to prove that all large people are healthy. Instead, they offer a great reminder that size doesn’t necessarily dictate health. While large individuals are sometimes much more healthy than they look, some slim individuals can be much less healthy than they appear. Continue reading

Re: What Guys Really Think About Your High-Waisted Shorts

I’m not really sure how to preface this post. I suppose I could state that I am a straight male who is attracted to most women, but all that would really
communicate is the obvious fact that I am a human being who has his own personal preferences, just like anyone else. There are some things I like, and others that I don’t.

The article that I’m responding to, “What Guys Really Think About Your High Waisted-Shorts”, was written by Ashley Hesseltine, and I think it’s safe to say that she makes her opinion about particular fashion trends starkly apparent from the start. The people wearing the item of clothing she’s railing against are described as:

“Girls of all ages, body types, booty types, and textual orientations have been rocking these denim doozies with crop tops, fake flower crowns, and leather boots in 3,000-degree weather because fashion.”

Which, as I mentioned from the beginning, is more or less okay. We can have our own opinions about a number of things, and if one of those things is what Vanessa Anne Hudgens of High School Musical Fame [I wasn’t a huge fan of Bandslam, sorry] chooses to encase the lower half of her body then more power to you. Hesseltine admits outright in her second paragraph that she ” couldn’t care less which unflattering clothing items from Urban Outfitters females choose to wear in their attempts to be trendy-“. Then that sentences continues and fulfills the promise of the title:

“-but I was made aware that my male friends were NOT on board with this look. So I asked for their input, and as always…priceless.”

Continue reading

The Human Barbie, Hairy Armpits, and Beauty Modifications

We’ve touched on beauty quite a few times here on CWR. We’ve celebrated when France banned beauty pageants for kids, dedicated a round table to discussing the idea of beauty and its changing standards, and, in The (Inner) Beauty Problem, even asked why we try to attribute beauty to everyone rather than giving more weight to other attributes.

So why does “beauty” as a topic come up so often? Well, probably because it’s a question that gets thrown at us every day through advertising. I for one, get this ad popping up on my Facebook every few days.

Continue reading

Culture War Correspondence: The Internet’s Disenchantment with Jennifer Lawrence

KAT: Friends, readers, earthmen, lend us your eyes for another Culture War Correspondence. This week Evan and I will be discussing Jennifer Lawrence. It may sound like a broad topic, but maybe Evan can expand for us why she recently came to his attention.

EVAN: Well, in general there’ve been a number of articles, like this one on Salon, that hint at an impending wave of internet backlash towards J-Law [I will not be referring to her like that again]. This has been backed up by comments on popular image hosting website imgur that sum up to, “still?” and/or “okay, we get it.”

But before we really delve into all of that I think it’d be good if we both answered the question: How do you feel, generally, about Ms. Lawrence?

KAT: Well, I’ve written about her in the past and my opinion tends to be generally the same. She seems authentic to me, and while I realize no one can be truly authentic in the public eye, I enjoy seeing a celebrity in the news that I can relate to.

How about you? Continue reading

Shame Day: Internet Bullying Harassment

We have all heard the stories. Here in B.C. one of the most publicized internet harassment cases was regarding Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old who commited suicide not long after posting this video.

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The (Inner) Beauty Problem

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time now, however, a picture I recently saw finally gave me the push I needed to actually get down to it.

This was not that picture:

Against Suicide Tweet

It was however, a picture very similar. Adalia Rose, the little girl in this photo, was contrasted up next to a picture of a model, the caption beneath it reading something along the lines of “Like if you think this girl is just as pretty as this model.”

Readers, Adalia Rose is not beautiful.

And that’s okay.

Because between this and my religion posts, I’m looking to get in hot water with everyone I know…

Continue reading