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.