Tag Archives: smoking

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

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Why ISIS Can’t Last

Don’t get me wrong, these guys are evil bastards, and while they’re brutal, destructive, and genocidal, that’s probably all they’ll ever be, and they won’t be that for long.

Let me break it down here.

I. Everyone Hates ‘Em

And I mean everyone- not just those unfortunate enough to be targeted by the group. See, the moment these guys came to power in Syria, they enacted a couple social policies, namely, the banning of music and smoking. And readers, let me tell ya, if there’s two things Syrians love, it’s music…

…and smoking.

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Had It With Litter? [The Power Is Yours!]

You gotta get on my level before we get things started. Roughly this time last year I wrote one of my shortest Shame Days [feature to reappear in good time, never fear] ever, the gist of it being that tossing your cigarette butts on the ground is unconscionable. Those who perpetrate the act themselves stick to the defence that “doing otherwise is inconvenient” and if you don’t think that’s the pettiest, shallowest, most irresponsible front then you should probably stop reading this now.

No, I don’t have patience for any of that, or the myriad of other excuses that smokers tend to put up-

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Culture War Correspondence: Healthy Living

EVAN: Tired of getting sand kicked in your face and being humiliated in front of your significant other? Well now’s the time to put down that Twinkie hambuger you’re eating [it’s just a Twinkie sandwiched in between two other Twinkies, you animal] and tune in to our discussion for today: being healthy.

Now Gordon and yours truly are both men in their early twenties, and we’re here to talk to each other and you about what it means to stay in relatively good shape, and if we’re even doing that to begin with.

GORDON: This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve covered the general topic of health- smoking, drinking, and obesity are all issues we’ve covered in the past. What really makes this one interesting, I think, is that we’re approaching it more from the angle of health, rather than health hazards. Continue reading

Shame Day: Cigarette Butts

I wrote about this a long time ago on a vastly inferior blog, and I’m going to state it again here in the first sentence of this post: I don’t want to see people throwing their cigarette butts on the ground.

Two weeks ago the image below popped up on imgur, and being pretty interested in where this conversation could go I clicked to see what the discussion was on reddit.

A good portion consisted of people agreeing that having cigarette butts all over the ground is unsightly, disgusting, and can have a toxic environmental impact. On the other side, however, were smokers complaining that things just aren’t that easy. Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: Fat People

EVAN: Alright, ladies and gents, tonight Gordon and I are going to talk about a subject that may just help blot out the memory that was Man of Steel, and that is: fat people.

It was his suggestion, so I’m going to pass things off to him and get the ball rolling [no pun intended].

GORDON: More specifically, it’s the treatment we seem to offer the overweight in this country. I’m guessing you’ve seen at least one heftier person riding around the aisles of a grocery store in those little scooter things.

EVAN: Not so much here in Canada, but yes, they are indeed around. Again, no pun intended. Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk Extra: Smoking and Society, Cont’d

EVAN: So our good friend Stew mentioned something that I should have when we first did this talk, and it has to do with second-hand smoking.

It’s something I should have mentioned because when I was in middle school a man with a hole in his throat showed up to talk to us; he’d had lung cancer and never smoked a day in his life, just been married to a woman who did often.

GORDON: I’m not going to deny the danger of second hand smoke. However, as the man you mentioned does demonstrate, for that to you happen you have to be exposed to second hand smoke in huge volumes for massive periods of time.

You can’t stand down wind of a smoker one sunny spring day and then BOOM- cancer. Besides, with the vicious regulation we have today, you can go pretty much anywhere and not have to deal with it; smokers can only really smoke in a few places. Continue reading