I had another pet peeve, something I saw in Boston (and New York, and regularly here in the Corning area), but wanted to separate it out. I have another post I am working on related to my own observations from being both very fat and very thin as well as ‘normal’ – but I decided not to clog that up with this issue. So instead you get a quickie*** on something that I have thought about for nearly 40 years since I first heard judgments passed against me based on my size and shape: Fat Shaming and Thin Privilege.
One thing that came out of the comments in the pet peeve post was something Harold said about “the general lack of people being courteous to other people”. That is very true, but I am talking here about one of the last ‘acceptable’ forms of discrimination – Fat Shaming.
But first …
Yes I know there is ‘body shaming’ for being too thin.
Suz wrote about some harsh comments she received in which she was told that the person KNEW she had an eating disorder, I know Lauren has also heard theses things, and anyone who is thin and eats very light in public has either gotten ‘looks’ or had something said to (or about) them. That sucks, and being judged and having your feelings hurt really sucks.
But as noted in this article, personal emotional impacts simply are not the same as oppression.
Most People Reading This Have No Idea What it is Like to Be Obese
I know many folks have dealt with weight loss, and some started running and healthy eating to help control weight. But I had it put in perspective for me by someone I worked with for 10 years, during which time I got back to 220lbs once and 240lbs another time. She said after reading one of my posts that “I had no idea you struggled with weight.”
Because gaining and losing 20 – 40lbs on a body that has a healthy weight of ~190lbs or so is really not a big deal. I might look at pictures and think I was fat, but it never impacted things the way it did when I was >275 a couple of years ago, and especially when I was over 375 lbs and pushing out of a 48 waist pant size (for reference I now wear a 30).
The reason I note that most people I know who are runners have never been obese, is that they generally benefit from ‘thin privilege’, and having never ‘seen the other side’, chances are they don’t know.
What IS Thin Privilege
To say that the treatment from strangers is different when you are 375+lbs compared to 185lbs … is an incredible understatement.
If you look at my food posts – my huge ice creams are celebrated on Instagram, and also in real life. I got one at a recognition lunch that was way too large for its description and everyone was enjoying checking it out and there was nothing uncomfortable or judgmental. And at our department boat trip I wanted to have dessert and share it, and when there was some left one person noted that the calories ‘were like rounding error’ for the amount I burn on my runs (remember- these are all math geeks like me!).
At this point I am lean, apparently look like a runner, and people treat me differently than I ever have been in my life. I am reaping the full benefits of ‘Thin Privilege’.
Here are some examples of Thin Privilege from this article:
– You’re not assumed to be unhealthy just because of your size.
– Your size is probably not the first thing people notice about you (unless you’re being thin-shamed – the opposite of fat-shamed).
– When you’re at the grocery store, people don’t comment on the food selection in your cart in the name of “trying to be helpful.”
– Your health insurance rates are not higher than everyone else’s.
– You can expect to pay reasonable prices for your clothing.
– You can expect to find your clothing size sold locally.
– You can expect to find clothing in the latest styles and colors instead of colorless, shapeless and outdated styles meant to hide your body.
– You don’t receive suggestions from your friends and family to join Weight Watchers or any other weight-loss program.
– When you go to the doctor, they don’t suspect diabetes (or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other “weight-related” diagnoses) as the first/most likely diagnosis.
– You don’t get told, “You have such a pretty/handsome face” (implying: if only you’d lose weight you could be even more attractive).
– People do not assume that you are lazy, based solely on your size.
– You’re not the brunt of jokes for countless numbers of comedians.
– Airlines won’t charge you extra to fly.
– You are not perceived as looking sloppy or unprofessional based on your size.
– You can eat what you want, when you want in public and not have others judge you for it or make assumptions about your eating habits.
– You can walk out of a gas station with a box of doughnuts and not have people yell at you to “Lay off them doughnuts, fatty!” (This actually happened to one of my friends.)
– People don’t ask your partners what it’s like to have sex with you because of your size.
– Your body type isn’t sexually fetishized.
– You’re more likely to get a raise or promotion at work than someone who is fat.
– Friends don’t describe you to others using a qualifier (e.g. “He’s kind of heavy, but REALLY nice, though”).
– The media doesn’t describe your body shape as part of an “epidemic”.
– You can choose to not be preoccupied with your size and shape because you have other priorities without being judged.
How Fat Shaming Becomes Oppression
Fat Shaming is a well-enough known term that I don’t have to elaborate, but it is quite simply ‘active discrimination’ based on your weight or body shape (which also applies to thin shaming) … it is only one type of shaming, and people will get judged for pretty much everything. But Fat Shaming is a ‘special case’, because not only is it common (see ‘Fat Shaming Week’), it is held as acceptable to society. In fact, and as shown through many advertising campaigns, it is often seen as more than acceptable – it is seen as a GOOD THING, because some believe that fat shaming will lead fat people to stop being so fat. And if not, then they DESERVE what they get … at which point it crosses into oppression.
Oppression is a very strong word, but look at the definition:
Oppression involves “the systematic subjugation of a group of people by another group of people who have access to social power, the result of which benefits one group over the other, and is maintained by social beliefs and practices.”
Another Everyday Feminism post looks at the oppressive aspects of Fat Shaming:
1. It is pervasive.
It is EVERYWHERE in our social and societal institutions, to the point of becoming something of a shared consciousness. An example of this is fat jokes – everyone gets them immediately. Heck, there are TV shows based almost entirely on fat jokes.
2. It is restricting.
In the same way gender discrimination limits the paths of women, and racial discrimination limits opportunities for minorities, so too does fat discrimination limit opportunities for larger people .. just look at the ‘thin privilege’ list for a few.
3. It is hierarchical.
In much the way that the old discrimation joke said ‘I always pick the best person for the job … it isn’t my fault that the best person is always white, male, Christian and Republican’ … so too do we see areas where someone who isn’t thin has an inherent disadvantage.
I mean, it has come up before, but ask yourself – would you hire a fitness coach or nutritionist who is 50lbs overweight? Is their knowledge and expertise somehow lesser because they are fat? No – but because they are not fat we are allowed to pass judgment that they are unskilled (otherwise they would be thin, right?)
4. The dominant group has the power to define and name reality.
The terms “normal,” “real,” or “correct” are defined by the dominant powers. They define what is average, and what is ‘preferable’ or ‘desirable’. The problem is that the inverse – what is abnormal and undesirable – becomes obvious, and is accepted for scorn, pity and discrimination.
The article closes by noting how Fat Shaming as oppression differentiates from being made fun of for having scrawny legs, as one example that was used:
When you have hurt feelings – legitimate as they are – it isn’t the result of subjugation.
The negative attitudes toward you as a privileged person aren’t pervasive, restricting, or hierarchal.
You aren’t losing out on anything just because someone’s words, actions, or beliefs had an emotional impact on you.
Fat Shaming is EASY
We all know that body shaming – or shaming anyone for ANY reason – is wrong … but in many cases it is easy.
Take grocery stores – as noted at XOJane, “because I am fat, the contents of my shopping cart — and anything I put into my mouth, at that — are open to public scrutiny.”
I am very sensitive to fat shaming and public ridicule, and am generally very good about not judging others as an overall rule. Several of us have talked about how elements in our childhood play into things we like, dislike and are sensitive to as adults. This is one for me.
Yet I am not perfect … I have noted that my running, losing ~110lbs, and so on have been ‘inspirational’ to people at work and I had several people come up to me in 2012 as they were on their own journey, and also last year in Kentucky. The problem is when you have someone ask for advice, talk to you about their issues … and then you see them engaging in self-sabotage. It is hard to NOT judge, and I hate myself for it.
*** OK, reading through I see I planned this as a ‘quickie’ … um, totally failed. Oh well, you guys know me better than that by now! 🙂
What are YOUR Thoughts Fat (and Thin) Shaming, Oppression and Anything Else?
This is awesome. Thank you so much. I have been in both positions. Obese and healthy thin and healthy thin is definitely treated differently by people. One thing I noticed was that when I was healthy, fit thin, people at the gym talked to me freely. Real conversations. Once I gained all my weight in the last year, I noticed that those same people found a way to avoid talking to me. I became invisible. This really came as a surprise to me.
Thanks Ann – I know you mentioned the gym story on your blog, and it really is shameful! And worse yet, when you are not feeling great, having people avoid you makes you feel even worse about yourself .. fun.
Great breakdown of what separates oppression from other types of insulting/shaming etc. I find this hard to explain but you’ve done it really well. I completely agree that fat shaming is oppression, and people use the “health” card to rationalize it as acceptable, which is totally ridiculous. Sad that it comes from doctors too. It’s a big hot topic and gets me really angry because people just don’t seem to see anything wrong with it. We even have a family member who openly laughs about how “fat people” are “lazy and disgusting” and it takes every fiber of strength I have not to punch this person in the face (amongst other reasons.) Major pet peeve to say the least!
haha – yeah, Michele, I assume that isn’t the only ‘punch-worthy’ thing that person says. 🙂 Thanks for the comment … and yeah, I have read about doctor comments – and once again, I think it is worse for women.
I was never heavy enough to be the brunt of direct weight comments, but I did notice that since I’ve lost weight people treat me differently. It was almost like when I was in my heavier (for me) stages, I was invisible and now I get talked to a lot more by strangers. It’s a weird feeling.
The Thin Privileges…I never even realized most of those things. That was incredibly eye opening. As for that tweet, someone needs to knock that guy out.
That guy who tweeted that stuff … don’t remember what happened to him, but it didn’t go well. As for the thin privileges … they are things I still notice all around. And it is sometimes weird for me.
I wonder what the basis is for the invisible/visible thing … hmmm.
Thanks for the comment!
I agree and absolutely respect what you are saying, but I also think that it goes the other way–skinny shaming is very real as well. I am very petite. But that does not mean that I do not take care of myself. “skinny” comments can hurt just as much as “fat” comments, and I have gotten both. I have not been obese, but I have been overweight. I have also been painfully thin. Neither were my choice, but nowadays, people are starting to make the same assumptions regarding skinny people (that they are unhealthy, that they have major psychological problems) that can be made regarding larger people.
Extremes in either direction are unhealthy. But that said, I know many in the middle who are just as unhealthy internally as the extremes. Health and wellness should always be the focus. And judgment has no place in it.
Absolutely agree – which is why I put that section in the early part of the post 🙂 Through running and blogging I have met many people who are disordered, recovered from disorder, or just naturally petite and treated like they are disordered.
Body shaming – or ANY kind of shaming – is NOT OK. Period. 🙂
Completely, I misphrased that first sentence. WHoopsy
I also find it disturbing that thin-shaming is becoming more and more common and accepted. I mean, shouldn’t ‘body acceptance’ be universal?
Suz – one other thought after reading Rachel’s comment – the Biggest Loser is a great example of the difference between fat & thin shaming. Last season’s winner was very thin at the end and there was a big debate about whether she was too thin or looked great … but either way there was no question that it was better than when she was fat. No question at all – because thin is ALWAYS better. So while thin-shaming is starting to gain ground, it isn’t on the same order of magnitude … I mean, while people debated whether the girl was too thin, no one even questions the inherent assumption of the show that fat = bad. Know what I mean? Not saying it is acceptable – as I said before, no shaming is acceptable.
Absolutely. I think that the Biggest Loser was a great concept in the beginning–it showed people that anyone could change their life. Then it became this crazy thing. I still agree with you that thin is glorified, I just wish there could be a balance. I felt very bad for the girl that won–she played the game, and she won. And it just showed how broken the system is.
Not arguing against your point, just expanding it.
I used to be a fan of the show The Biggest Loser because I thought it was inspirational to watch the contestants overcome challenges and lose the weight they had been wanting to lose. I’m disillusioned with it now after learning of behind-the-scenes controversy after last season. However, I still like their page on Facebook (and maybe I will “hate watch” a few episodes of the new season…) and they recently announced the contestants for the new season. They are calling this season “Glory Days” and all the contestants are former stand-out athletes. I read most of their bios (I was bored at work…) and I was really put off by the fact that they seemed to be framing weight gain as the worst thing that can happen to a person. I get that the show has always talked about weight as something that “needs” to be lost, but I don’t think the comparison between “glory days” (i.e. being thin…) and being obese was as stark as before, and it makes the show seem even more problematic than usual. It’s sad that a show that perpetuates stereotypes about weight and encourages judgement and fat-shaming can be as long-running and successful as it has been.
Thanks Rach – and I totally agree. Reality TV shows such as Bachelor/ette show warped relationships, any of the ‘Real X’ shows show distorted realities, faux-real life shows (like the ‘Hills’ show Suz mentioned yesterday) tweak what is real vs scripted and show unreal everything … and biggest loser enforces warped norms of size and shape. It is sad they are popular. Really …
Thanks for the comment 🙂
More Bachelorette bashing! I think we need to require you to watch the next season (with farmer Chris as the Bachelor) before further bashing so you can see the small redeeming points. Some fame whores sure, but I really think some people who legitimately want to find love…
Maybe they should be looking for love in red-light districts, strip clubs and at Mardi Gras like other people do … haha
I try to be as judgment free as possible since I’ve been on the thin shaming pole and it sucks (as does hearing, “well you run a lot so you can eat whatever you want” mm no I can’t. I eat whatever I want because that makes me happy. It has nothing to do with running). The only time I really have a problem is when I see someone I love (or don’t for that matter) doing something really unhealthy to lose weight (ie a juice diet composed of nothing but fruits and veggies that was found on the internet for a week). I get where the drive comes from, but 1) it’s not worth it when you don’t have weight to lose and 2) there are so many other ways to “get healthy” if that’s what you want. Even then I really try not to judge, but I won’t keep my mouth shut when asked my honest opinion either ha.
Thanks Caitlin – body shaming is really hateful and judgmental and unacceptable no matter what. When it comes to health / weightloss / whatever – there is no single ‘right way’ to do it, so I try to keep my mouth shut unless asked, and only ever advise a moderate approach, because extreme approaches can be very dangerous.
My opinion might get me in a bit of trouble, but I’m going to share it anyway. First, I completely agree that any type of body shaming is unacceptable. I also agree that fat shaming is different than thin shaming for the main difference you noted – the oppression aspect. That being said, I can’t help but feel like some of the items you mentioned on the oppression list aren’t really oppression so much as logical business decisions. For example:
– You can expect to pay reasonable prices for your clothing: Shouldn’t clothing that uses more fabric cost more? There is a big difference in the amount it takes to make a medium vs a 3x.
– Airlines won’t charge you extra to fly: While I understand the embarrassment that comes with something like this, I don’t understand why someone who would require two seats should not be asked to pay for two seats. I fly all the time and it’s extremely frustrating to have some of my already tiny allotted space taken up by someone else.
I certainly think it’s unfair to discriminate against someone solely because of their size, but as someone who has owned their own business (and sold t-shirts for my blog and therefore had to buy those larger sizes at the higher rates), I understand why companies pass extra costs along to the consumer. I don’t think that has anything to do with shaming, which is never ok.
Thanks Danielle! No trouble for you at all 🙂
Actually I totally agree with you on the price thing – this is true for even the marching band shirts our kids had to order last night – the 2X and 3X were $2 more. And last spring my wife arranged a shirt order for the drama dept for the school musical – and the basic cost of the shirt is $2 higher.
Same for airlines – I mean, even slightly underweight, I am still not a small guy, so when I feel squeezed on a flight by someone next to me, it isn’t fun! If you are so big that you need two seats, you are using two seats and should pay for it!
A very sensitive topic. Shaming people for any reason isn’t nice. I used to be skinny as a kid ( there wasn’t a lot of money and we ate tiny amounts of food compared to what I eat now) but I was never fit. Now I’m a bit overweight and have been for the last 10 yrs. now I know how hard it is to lose just a little bit of weight, but I haven’t been obese ( medically speaking). I am a surgeon and it is my job to explain to people, where appropriate, how their weight may be affecting their health, in the same way I might mention about smoking or alcohol intake. So if you are a smoking diabetic, that will influence the choices you have for breast reconstruction, your risk of a failed operation, your risk of complications if your wound doesn’t heal. I’m not ‘fattist’ I have done some ops on people who are fat but fit that I know that others wouldn’t have done, and colleagues have drawn in their breath and said ‘ I would have asked them to lose weight’ , but you know that isn’t going to happen so if there’s no other problem I go ahead. People really appreciate being accepted as they are, I find. On the other hand if you are so overweight that you need a breathing machine (c pap) in bed, then no, you are too high risk for anything other than life saving surgery.
My husband is an abdominal surgeon. Operating on obese people is technically very challenging, and for a small person like me if your arms aren’t physically long enough to go over the abdominal fat and reach, say into their pelvis or behind their liver, it’s not going to be an easy op! Even as a breast cancer surgeon, having to lift and hold a heavy breast out of the way for an op can leave your arms aching.
Being overweight, gaining weight in your 40’s especially is a risk factor for developing breast cancer. Obese people often have higher stage cancers at diagnosis, worse prognosis, poorer survival, but can improve their survival by losing weight ( this is as effective as some chemotherapy regimes). So yes I do explain to people why they should be trying to lose weight. I’m not trying to shame anyone, I’m trying to help them to make informed choices about how they manage their lives and their health. I mean why would I purposefully say something to upset someone? I’m only human, at the end of the day I want my patients to see me as a ‘nice’ person who cares about them, doesn’t everyone want to be liked? But if we care about someone we try to empower them to do the best for themselves. We don’t let our children find out that fire burns and is painful by getting them to put their hand in the fire, we teach them not to. In the same way, we shouldn’t let them find out that being obese damages their health through experience. But we need to do this without shaming people or judging their choices. How do we do this? Does anyone know?
Just a by the by, I have a couple of friends who are overweight and they are both really stylish dressers, with a much better eye for colour and what suits them (and me!) than I have. One of them loves going to the US because there is a much wider variety of stylish clothing in bigger sizes, she says how she loves it and it makes her feel ‘normal’ . Just to say, fat or thin, it’s no guarantee of looking great or awful in your dress!
Wow … thanks for this incredibly detailed and thoughtful comment!
And I think that is the bottom line – there are physical realities of being severely overweight, stuff you have to deal with … and there is shaming. Reality is reality … but shaming is unacceptable.
I love all of the surgical details – and it is very much reality! Never thought about the arm length thing … haha
Ha ha thanks! I spent most of my sons mandarin lesson writing that! However I think that I’ve now discovered my pet peeve – people thinking that doctors are just a bunch of killjoys stoping people from doing the things they enjoy because they like to be mean!!!☺️☺️
haha – the reality is that like all problem-solving professions, you never have the complete picture, and need to use direct and indirect measurements as well as drawing inferences. But unlike me in a lab or on my laptop with loads of data, parts and measurement equipment – you have people 🙂
There are two times I can think of anyone speaking about my weight. Once was my grandfather (who could be quite blunt) who told me I’d put on some weight, and he was right. I was bloated from my alcoholism. The second was when a friend from AA said I looked too thin, can he too was right. I weighed somewhere around 85 lbs. in both cases, I felt terribly defensive because I wanted to protect the terrible coping habits that I’d adopted.
I tend to stay away from ever commenting on someone’s weight unless it seems that they have suddenly drastically changed in one direction or another. Mostly I worry about whether their health is ok.
I think our appearance – thin or heavy – is definitely accentuated when our body is under stress. I notice that in friends with cancer, as well as those with alcoholism, heavy smokers, and and so on. Interesting.
I also try to avoid talking about weight – same with doing hte ‘pregnancy guessing game’ (even though I am apparently very good at it) … because I have watched people ask ‘are you pregnant’ and the other person (not pregnant) get very upset. Don’t ever want to be THAT person 🙂
This was an extremely thought provoking post-thank you! I have to say, I enjoyed the comments just as much as your writing!
I try not to comment on peoples weight or judge a single thing about it, one way or another. You never know what someone is going through and i hate hurting people’s feelings.
Isn’t that the whole thing – there is so much about life that we don’t know, good and bad … so why should we be so quick to judge others?
And I agree – so many great comments going on. I really thought this might just get passed over, but once again amazing thoughts.
This post is really thought provoking and I always enjoy your insight. I used to work with students who had eating disorders. I don’t judge people from a blog because you don’t know the full story. That being said, there are plenty of people I am worried about but is it my place to say? No…
I’ve been “skinny shamed” before and I’m 130 pounds and 5’7 (So I’m not a rail). I think people are always looking to compare themselves to others to make themselves feel good. What needs to be remembered is there is always someone else on the other side that you are comparing too.
It does come back to a common theme – when someone says something it is more about them than about you.
Thanks for the comment 🙂
I have read your post and comments with great interest. Shaming is never ok. Have you seen the public service announcement that has been floating around Facebook in the last few days showcasing a man wheeled into the OR having a heart attack? You then see his relationship with food all the way back to when he was a baby. There is some debate as to whether or not this is fat shaming. I’ll try to find it again and post it to my blog. I have my opinion both as someone who has struggled with weight and food issues for the last 30 years and as a nurse.
I haven’t seen that one – would love to look at it. And I think that looking at our relationships with food is incredibly important – but like that campaign over obese kids in Georgia, there are better and worse ways to handle things. So I’d have to see it.
Thanks for the great comment !
This one might have been part of that campaign in Georgia. I’m not sure. I had never seen it before, but it does come out of Atlanta. I just posted about it. This topic definitely stirs up the emotions.
Thanks for that … and as you said, it brings up many conflicted feelings and thoughts …
Here is the post for others to see: http://amazinginmotion.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/rewind/
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I’ve never weighed more than about 20 pounds more than I do now, but I do notice when someone comments on something related to my eating/running. I spent a lot of time this week with an attorney in NM who knows I run. I also don’t eat super-healthy when I’m traveling for work, but it surprised me to the extent he commented on it. I had about 4 biscuits with gravy for breakfast, and then a cheese enchilada plate at lunch (not the lunch enchiladas, but the full plate, complete with rice, beans and sopapillas for dessert). I had run about 10 miles that morning (gorgeous pics I will share when I get around to posting on my own blog instead of just spending hours reading your posts and comments!), and he made several comments about how someone so small could eat so much, and that I really had a hearty appetite and it wasn’t fair because I “ran it off.” He’s lost 12 pounds recently giving up sugar and he’s working on eating more healthily, but it was just odd the way he shared all that with me, like I was entitled to have an opinion or give advice, and that he so freely commented so much on how much I ate.
Two other thoughts from this post to share.
The point about shaming shaping behavior is something I think about. Many interactions, particularly as kids, shame us into “acceptable” behaviors or molds (not picking our noses, wearing deodorant, etc.), so it’s an interesting balance.
I wonder if “thin-shaming” is becoming more prevalent as a higher percentage of the US population is categorized as overweight or obese — an attempt to normalize larger people/standards? I wonder about historical data in general, how much fat shaming occurred (and thin-shaming) in say the 50s, or the 30s, when I would think a smaller percentage of the population was overweight or obese (though I could be wrong about that)? I wish there were some way to go back in time and just see how someone who weighs 300 pounds encounters the world in 1938, 1952, 1976 and today for example.
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I used to be 210 pounds. That is 65 pounds over my ideal body weight at 5’9″. It is medically considered obese. Inever was called insults at that weight. In fact, I split my pants in public one time and I was coddled and protected- “Don’t worry, you are beautiful.”
I lost 110 pounds in a short period of time. I was medically classified as anorexic. My first eating disorder therapist (on the plump side) toldmme I look like a flat chested little boy. She sent me to an eating disorder psychiatrist because, as she put it, she would not treat me unless I saw a doctor. I said fine and went.
That doctor told me that if I didn’t go into his program, and take medications for bipolar disorder, he would call child protective services on me. At that point, I was between 120-130 pounds still and I never once, in my life, fainted. I didn’t even faint when I weighed 99 pounds.
I was forced to take over 30 medication combinations over a 3 year period. I was tube fed because I dared to question the doctor about my treatment. I was forced to undergo ECT numerous ones. Child protective services was called on me because I dared to check myself out of his program one day- and it was a holiday, so instead of CPS, three cop cars showers up at my house while my kids were having a play date to make sure I was not alone with my children.
I, thankfully, was able to get out of the system. I no longer take any medications, as I never had bipolar disorder in the first place. Once the medications worked their way out of my system (during a pregnancy and while breastfeeding- because my period never actually stopped), I became mentally stable and functional again.
I gained weight during my pregnancy, swore of doctors, and maintained the weight I need to breastfeed. However, in the category of “normal”, I have severe foot problems and arthritis. When his baby weans, I will lose weight so I can feel better again. I just won’t be talking to any doctors or therapists about it.
Thin people are treated like garbage. Don’t kid yourself.
Incidentally, when I was thinner, I was dumped by my best friend who was all into body positivity- because she said I triggered her eating disorder. She is a fat activist- I guess she had no place in her heart for my body.
Additionally, when I was at my thinnest, I experienced strangers shaming my body. Two middle aged women of average weight followed me around a mall saying loudly about how they would “kill themselves” if they looked like me… And,”Eww. What size is she anyway.”
I gained a lot of weight due to depression in 2014 and now I am 5’5 tall and I weight 200 lbs. My husband is being so rude to me, he calls me lazy, calls me a slob, I feel so ashamed and ugly. I already lost 30 lbs but it is so hard because I am being criticized every single day. I don’t feel feminine and attractive at all. My husband wants me to have a bikini body but I am just not that type of woman, even when I was slimmer bikinis looked horrible on me because I have big natural breasts and they naturally sag a bit. I cry every day.
Concerning the photo above the main article, You may be okay with it, and modern society may be okay with it. However, from the perspective of evolutionary psychology, men cannot help not being attracted to it. It’s due to the fact that in Paleolithic hunter-gatherer tribes, men who chose to pass on their genes with women who were the most fertile, had the greater success in reproduction. Natural selection weeded out those men were attracted to women who didn’t have physical traits which indicated fertility. The mortality rate of newborns was quite high before the advent of modern medicine, and women with few ovarian eggs didn’t have fertility clinics to help them 50,000 years ago. You cannot blame men for doing what was biologically imperative to the survival of their offspring. Thin women in hunter-gatherer times indicated that they were probably not pregnant and were young, thus fertile and capable to receive a male’s seed.
As a man, I find it offensive and frustrating that women bemoan men’s evolved inclination to visually judge potential female mates for relationships (short or long term), because they are evolved to desire the most “chiefly” of men. What I mean in hunter-gatherer terms (I know – again), is that women of a tribe preferred to mate with the male who was the most dominate of the men (the chief for instance), because he could provide her with everything she could desire: status, wealth, sex, more than adequate provisions for her and children, and the respect of all the women in the tribe, and the admiration of all the men. That’s why women find alpha macho men attractive and sleep with them, even if what they say is contrary to their actions. I find this frustrating, because women who complain, they seemingly want the hottest men they can get without reciprocating by giving us what we want. Are our desires less important just because we are men? If you think that, then you are a hypocrite.
If you won’t or feel that you can’t change your appearance to what men are attracted to (you don’t have to be anorexic to be attractive- that’s just extreme female competition gone too far), then you won’t be able to get a suitably attractive man. Hot men have options ladies. You can make it illegal even, but we’ll just go to other countries to date and possibly wife up. If you want options, you have to make yourself at least close to being as attractive to the level of attractive male you desire. It’s a two way street, and I know that you can get a hot guy in America and still be fat. However, he probably won’t be a confident man who can make you weak in the knees. He’s a provider.. that’s all. And, that’s great if you like modern civilization; I know I do. But, provider men and attractive men tend to fall into separate categories based on women’s actions in my life experiences. If you want the confident attractive dominate masculine man, you have to be the confident attractive feminine equivalent. Equal but different, and they compliment each other. Please stop complaining; men see this as weakness, which we inherently deplore. Again, it’s due to biologically advantageous psychology evolved over many thousands of years through the gene pool colander of natural selection.