The Fat Acceptance Movement Needs To Be Stopped, Obesity Is Not Healthy

The Fat Acceptance Movement Needs To Be Stopped, Obesity Is Not Healthy

The fat acceptance movement enforces dangerous ideas that could influence obese or overweight people to just give up.
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In the depths of the internet there is a movement that has been slowly growing. Like a dark creature, rearing its ugly head and snarling at any opposition. It's called the Fat Acceptance movement, and it sounds pretty harmless, right?

According to Wikipedia, the fat acceptance movement is "a social movement seeking to change anti-fat bias in social attitudes." The movement is essentially trying to change stereotypes and stigmas surrounding "fat" people. It also expresses the idea that you can be healthy at any size.

I admit, it sounds pretty harmless when it comes in a nice pretty package like that. But this movement enforces dangerous ideals that could potentially lead many people to believe that being obese is perfectly natural and healthy.

Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes, and some people have a genetic history of diabetes, high cholesterol, slow metabolism, or all three, making them prone to obesity. You can never judge someone's struggle with their body just by looking at them, because everyone's struggle is their own and unique. I also don't condone body shaming for obvious reasons. That being said, the idea that you can be healthy at any size and to just complacently accept your body at whatever stage it is, is just wrong. And, people should not be forced to change their preferences to consider morbidly obese people attractive to avoid being labeled as anti-fat.

I have no problem with people being happy with the stage their body is at and loving who they are no matter what. But, you can love your body and still wish to change it at the same time. The fact of the matter is, being obese is not healthy. According to Stanford Healthcare, obese or overweight people are more likely to develop heart disease, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, cancer, and a slew of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. But you already know that. Most people are aware that being obese is toxic to your body. But the fat acceptance movement is trying to make it seem like it's not all that bad, when in reality, it is.

Especially in America, a country where more than a third of adults are obese, do we really want to be sending this message? The Center for Disease Control reports that "the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight" and that "the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008."

If you really loved your body for what it was, wouldn't you want to add a couple more years to your life and avoid a preventable death by exercising and trying to be fit? There's a difference between loving your body but wanting to be healthier and thinking that you're healthy when in reality you're morbidly obese. The message that we should be sending to Americans and anyone struggling with their body is that people are different and their body struggles are unique, but no matter where you're at, you should always strive to exercise and be fit.

But even more than that, you shouldn't force others to change their personal preferences for you. The Fat Acceptance movement claims that there is an anti-fat bias that results from society idolizing "skinny" people, so anyone that doesn't find fat people attractive has an inherent societal bias against fat people. This is simply not the case.

Our reasons for why humans in general find fat people unattractive stem from biology and evolution, not from society. In essence, our sole biological purpose in life is to reproduce and produce viable offspring that are healthy. That means finding a mate that is also healthy so the resulting offspring will be healthy, thus continuing human life. Obese or overweight people are evolutionarily unattractive because they are not healthy and thus not a suitable option for a mate. So, society portrays mostly skinny models because that is what most of the population find attractive, and in turn, this also acts as motivation for people to lose weight.

Instead of forcing people to find obese people attractive and calling them anti-fat if they don't, how about setting goals for your body? We all know that it's hard to lose weight and that it's a long struggle. But going to the gym once a week or even occasionally working out on the couch can get you places. No one's body is perfect, and we're all on a journey to become the best version of ourselves. But if accepting yourself is consenting to the fact that you're going to die of a preventable disease nine years earlier than normal people, I don't stand by it.

To get started, here are 10 Exercises You Can Do In Your Bed.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram / @theashleygraham

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To The Father Who Chose His Girlfriends Over His Children, I Wish You Well

After many moments spent in therapy, I don't resent you or hate you, I wish you well.

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I have written and rewritten this article a thousand times over and over and the words never really ever came out right.

As a kid, you have this image in your head of what you think the perfect life is supposed to be like. Usually somewhere along the lines of a nice two-story house, with two parents, that both love you and love each other, with a few siblings, some family vacations, etc. you get the point. Obviously, as you grow up, you realize not everything is going to be like this perfect image that is in your head.

As a kid, I thought you were a great dad.

You spent time with me, took me to the movies, out for dinner, on vacations, and other things that I thought you were doing specifically to be able to spend time with your daughter. Sure, you had your faults like any other dad but I always thought they were never deal breakers until they became a deal breaker.

When you and my mother split up, I believed that is was my mother's fault for tearing apart my perfect little family. She was the one that moved out and took us away from you so it had to be her fault. And you never let me believe it wasn't either.

When you first got a girlfriend right after you and mom split, I didn't think anything of it. I mean at that age, she just seemed like another sister to me.

At the age of fourteen, after you chose your eighth or so girlfriend over your own flesh and blood, that was the moment when it became a problem for me.

That was the moment when your unableness to function without another female in your life, really affected how I see the world.

I watched you yell at your daughter, the daughter that you chose to raise as your own by adoption, and tell her that if she chose to talk like that to your girlfriend, then she would leave. But I also chose to leave. However, I, unlike my sister, chose to never go back.

After that happened a lot of things made sense for why we did a lot of things as kids.

Your partners were the reason for just about everything we did. If we ever went to the movies, it was because they wanted to go. If we ever went out to eat, it was either because they didn't know how to cook or because they wanted to go. If we ever weren't allowed to come over for our every other weekend, it was because you had plans with them. If we ever went on vacation, it was because they told you to take them somewhere.

It was never about us and always about them.

As a kid, you don't care so much as to why you are doing things, but you are just grateful to be doing them. But as a young adult with their own developing mind, you start to care why you are doing things.

I realized that day that your kids would never be the first thing for you to consider, we would always be second to last.

After many moments spent in therapy, I don't resent you or hate you, I wish you well.

You are the reason the phrase, "but they're still family" has no meaning to me. That day was a giant lesson to me about how to carefully choose who I let accompany me in my life.

As a kid, I saw a man who constantly needed another woman to take care of him and who could not ever manage to be alone. I will say that is partially the reason that I choose to never need someone, and to live my life how I choose, and to never let the actions of someone else dictate my life.

I wish you well. You find no discomfort in the life you live and I doubt you ever will and that is OK because it is your life and not mine. I am not writing this for you to read it and change your life and find a new way of living. No, I am writing this as a child who was treated as the last option and who refuses to be treated as the last option again.

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