Which is Healthier: Being Thin or Being Narcissistic About Body Acceptance?

Stumbled upon this Flickr account today.  I don’t even know where to start.

This girl is curvy, probably not unhealthy, but that’s not safe to say that others who may be bigger than her aren’t at risk of health concerns for being overweight.  Not everyone should accept their body if they are dangerously overweight or morbidly obese.

Also, sure, her BMI is pretty close to being overweight and she still looks pretty awesome, but not everyone is so lucky and proportional — nor does every curvy girl have such great skin, facial features, clothing and camera skills.

Here is something she says that gets to me,

Every morning I wake up and clench the fat that I let accumulate on my stomach. Sometimes I just am so happy with myself that I don’t care. But some days like today…I get a little discouraged. PLEASE do not think that in anyway that I want you to feel sorry for me. DO NOT think anything like that. I’m just trying to show you how I feel about myself right now through photos. It just shows me how much I want to be healthy and change. (which I am doing good with it so far. ;D) Problem areas in which make me a little disturbed: under arm flab, cellulite on the back of my legs, indents on the front of my legs, all of my stomach. I just want to tone up the areas. Like I said….I don’t want to be skinny. My mind is absolutely crazy right now! (bright bright, grainy photo)

This girl has such a fear of getting skinny that it is ridiculous — she even says she “lets” the fat accumulate — what does that even mean?  I legitimately question if she doesn’t go to the gym or eat healthy as often as she should because of this fear of being thin — although it is highly unlikely she’ll just wake up one day and be a 110 pound twig by starting a diet and exercise program.  As long as she keeps guzzling her hormone laced milk after workouts, I doubt she’ll be losing any substantial weight anytime soon.

I’m sure that I’ll be getting some interesting comments on this one — I’m not bashing body acceptance, I’m more on the subject of body dismorphia — where if you truly are overweight or unhealthy, you shouldn’t convince yourself that being fit and healthy is a lie by the media and an impossible goal.  Sure, being a twig may be as unhealthy as being obese in some cases, but being naturally thin is still healthier than being naturally fat.  You dig?

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5 thoughts on “Which is Healthier: Being Thin or Being Narcissistic About Body Acceptance?

  1. While I’m not with you on the vegetarian thing, I am with you on this. Viewing yourself in a positive light is great, but it doesn’t change eons of human physiological evolution. The body does not function properly when carrying around “flab”. The natural state of the human body is lean. It really is that simple.

    And this has nothing to do with anyone’s value or worth as a member of human society. I’m just stating that fooling yourself about your own body composition is about as “healthy” as continuing to believe that Obama is a progressive. In both cases, you’re in for an unpleasant wakeup when reality finally catches up.

  2. I don’t think there’s any evidence that being naturally thin IS any healthier than being naturally fat. My brother is naturally thin, he has more health problems than I do, and I haven’t been thin since puberty.

    Also, the natural state of humanity, evolutionarily speaking, is lean because populations grew to the edge of what they could support and any changes beyond that led to starvation. Food has traditionally been prohibitively expensive in time, calories burned, and simple availability due to circumstance. The ability for 99% of the planet’s population to overeat didn’t exist until the industrial revolution, and even now it’s impossible for a majority.

    Also, random comment: OMFG HORMONAL MILK?! Yes, accuse her of that without having any verification. Maybe she’s drinking raw milk from a local distributor. Maybe not.

    • I don’t think there’s any evidence that being naturally thin IS any healthier than being naturally fat. My brother is naturally thin, he has more health problems than I do, and I haven’t been thin since puberty.
      Entirely non-sequitur. You can be “thin” and still not be lean. You can be thin and smoke. You can be thin and eat nothing but sugar. You can be thin because of health problems.

      Also, the natural state of humanity, evolutionarily speaking, is lean because populations grew to the edge of what they could support and any changes beyond that led to starvation.
      I’m not sure what your point is here. Any particular reason for it from a social perspective (or any perspective) doesn’t change the fact that it is.

      And I’m not saying that you or anyone should be discriminated against or treated as a second-class person for being overweight. I’m saying that this new cultural paradigm of overweight not having any detrimental effects is denying reality.

  3. My point is that his natural metabolism allows him to put off gaining fat. Fat is just your body efficiently storing resources for a time when you don’t have enough. My point is that your weight doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your health, and I’ll also point out that BMI has been altered a few times to adjust for social considerations; it’s no longer an accurate measurement of obesity.

    Also, my remarks concerning thinness were directed toward the original post; I used thin to address Stacy and lean to address you to differentiate. I suppose I should have been more clear.

    My point is that people weren’t traditionally lean because that was the healthy thing to do. They were lean because they worked their bodies hard and could only afford enough food to survive. Don’t confuse is with ought.

    The trick is, I’m considered overweight by current BMI standards, and was recently considered obese, but I’m in great health, and I came away from my last checkup in the top 95% for various blood draw numbers, such as cholesterol, vitamin content, and the like.

    I get what you’re saying about people who suggest that fat is the new normal, but the girl in the pictures, for example, isn’t fat. She’s just been conditioned to think she is, and it bothers her. It’s not any more serious than all the girls with eating disorders who think that they always need to be skinnier than they are. I was a little shocked that Stacy would be making comments like that.

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