Polimicks

Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Women’s Bodies and Disordered Eating

Christina Aguilera. So she's not a stick thin teenager anymore. So, what?

So, today I saw this on my Yahoo homepage, with the link title “Christina Aquilera defends body.”  Basically, she’s getting blasted by the tabloids for being “fat” and is saying, “So, what?” which is amazingly refreshing. I just hope she can keep it up.

Trust me.  I know how hard body acceptance is for any woman in this society, let alone a woman who doesn’t conform to our fascist beauty standards in any way, particularly in the realm of weight.  This is why eating disorders are so prevalent.  In fact, I would go so far, as has the author of one of my favorite blogs, as to say that Every Woman Has (or has had) an Eating Disorder (while the address is the same, she’s amended the name to “Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder?”).  Not all women, in fact I’d say most don’t, fall below the weight required for a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa, but then again, how much sense does it make the the exact same behaviors practiced at one weight, suddenly make you sick if practiced at another?

I’m serious.

This article in the New York Times talks about the fact that as of right now, the only way for someone to keep weight off once (if) they’ve lost it is to engage in food-related behavior that is right out of the eating disorder handbook:  food journaling, measuring everything you eat, exercising more if you eat “too much,” obsessively counting calories, developing food rituals.  But apparently according to the doctors that are overseeing the weight “maintenance” of these people, these behaviors are perfectly ok in the service of remaining esthetically pleasing to the bulk of mainstream society.  These same behaviors, exact same behaviors, are considered symptoms of eating disorders in people who fall under an arbitrary healthy weight.  The article I linked to at the beginning of this paragraph details why people can’t keep the weight off without resorting to obsessive, life consuming food rituals, but then the author says that she’s not giving up hope, because she just knows she can do it, and isn’t being fat just sooo embarrassing?

Sigh.

Really.

No, I don’t think being fat is embarrassing.  Being an asshole, now that’s embarrassing.

Now, this study gives me hope that we just might be able to bring some actual sanity into the weight-v-health debate.  Essentially, when fat or obese people have shit habits, they do have a higher mortality rate than skinny people with shit habits.  However… when fat or obese people have healthy habits, the same healthy habits as thin people (not smoking, eating more veggies, exercising, etc…), there is no appreciable difference in mortality rates between thin and fat people.  The fat people stay fat, but are healthy, and are half as likely to die as skinny people with shit habits.  So this study kind of backs up what the Health at Every Size (HAES) people have been saying for years:  If you eat well and exercise, regardless of weight gain or loss, you will be healthier.

Essentially the weight thing is purely esthetic.

And the problem with pushing that esthetic as healthy is that when fat people, who are told they have to be thin to be healthy, do all the healthy things, but don’t ever get thin, they get discouraged.  I mean, you can’t be healthy without being thin, and they aren’t thin, so obviously no matter how hard they try it isn’t going to work, so they should just give up.

This is categorically bullshit, and must be stopped.

You can be fat and healthy, and thin and healthy, and thin and unhealthy, and fat and unhealthy.  The only thing that correlates to “health” here, is health.

So can the concern trolling, and every other form of trolling you troglodytes get up to.  I am distinctly disinterested in hearing it.  Nor do I need to hear about how you don’t want to fuck me or any fat person, or any of that nonsense.  I don’t care.  And I will grade you on reading comprehension if you bring it up in the comments.

 

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One comment on “Women’s Bodies and Disordered Eating

  1. Ann
    March 9, 2012

    There is a book I would like you to try to order and read if you get a chance – you won’t be able to find it in a bookstore, it’s a little-known British author. It’s called “Fat” by Rob Grant. The plot follows three stories only very loosely connected – one is an overweight, angry TV chef, one is an anorexic teenage girl, and the third is a good-looking couple who meet while working for the government to promote a state-sanctioned fat camp. Their debate over what really causes people to be fat and what doesn’t, I think, would entertain you, and the story about the teenage girl has alternately humorous and heartbreaking moments (which is surprising for a middle-aged male writer, but Grant has proven with previous projects he can write). Grant himself is fat, has been for a long time, and takes a dim view of those who feel it’s easily fixed or that it matters all that much – for men or women.

    Like

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This entry was posted on January 9, 2012 by in Fat, Featured Articles, Misogyny.

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