With the recent BBC Two reality show/documentary ‘Who are you calling fat?’ still looming fresh in my mind, being a ‘woman of size’, I have a lot to say about the issues and debates raised in this programme.
The format follows a reality show where nine people living with obesity are placed together to live in a house. All with differing views, it makes great viewing and sparks the debate off nicely.
The two main camps were the body positivity crowd on one side and those on the other who believe in the medical implications and risks of staying obese.
I fall into the latter. Whilst I am all for loving yourself and accepting you for you, I don’t think that should shut out the possibility of change.
One of the body positivity crowd, namely Victoria, whom works as a body coach mentor, really peed me off! When Jack asked her if you could be part of the body positivity movement and still be on the path of trying to lose weight, she replied ‘no, because it’s a political movement’!! Basically, you are celebrating, nay, advocating fatness! I just cannot agree with this. How can you be loving yourself when you’re not taking care of your body? The two do not seem to go together in my opinion. I couldn’t actually believe what she was saying! How anyone would want to put themselves at risk of all the known medical implications is just madness to me!
Babs had a row with Courtney because she said she didn’t think her body was beautiful. I felt sorry for Babs because she was so down on herself for being obese that she really struggled to love herself. She was seen talking to Victoria and saying something along the lines of ‘I would make a terrible client of yours because you need to accept your views just don’t work on me’.
As much as I can empathise with Babs, I have to agree with her, not just about Courtney’s body but any fat body! Fat is not beautiful! It’s got nothing to do with how the media portrays skinny as best, nothing to do with the magazine industry’s airbrushing, or the fashion designers who want stick thin models because it’s all about the clothes and not the body showing it off. Nothing to do with this day to day conditioning we live with. Fat is just not nice to look at! Beauty isn’t only skin deep to coin a clichè and I don’t wish to sound shallow but I cannot celebrate a fat body!
You could say in the annotated photo of myself I’m basically body shaming myself. Or am I just calling out the truth of where I’m at right now? Me as an obese person, no point sugar coating it, it is what it is!
However much I don’t like the way my body looks right now, I’m not disgusted with it. I can look in the mirror and be confident in the positives - a pretty face, big eyes, full lips, high cheekbones. I love the shape of my body, the curves, my height, how everything is nicely proportioned. Not forgetting my sparkling personality! Being blessed with creative talents, my introvert deep thoughts, possessing a modicum of intelligence edged with a self-deprecating sense of humour. I am confident in being me. I have accepted my fat body because I know I’m trying my hardest to change it! I just cannot bring myself to love the fat when this is something I am reconciled to get rid of.
Another point in the programme where Victoria peed me off was when Jack brought in a friend who had suffered a leg amputation for not paying attention to his type 2 diabetes. Victoria refused to listen and waltzed off muttering about it being scare mongering. I feel she is so far in the clouds with celebrating fatness that she isn’t willing to listen. I feel she must be delusional to ignore the facts and just write them off that easily. That, to me, is scary.
She also calls weight loss surgery ‘stomach amputation’. Strong words! She believes this type of surgery should be outlawed! Again, utter madness! Everyone should be given a choice. It’s like certain people of Christian faith saying no one should be allowed to abort their child because they believe it’s murder. As a Christian myself, I don’t like abortion but I would never dream of taking that choice away from somebody. Until you walk in someone’s shoes, you cannot judge them. Everybody lives with different circumstances and for some, weight loss surgery is the last resort that can be a life saver. Del in the house had had it and explained he’d gone through years of unsuccessful dieting. At 25 stone, he needed it to change his life for the better.
All in all, it very much reminded me of a year ago when obese Supermodel Tess Holliday did THAT Cosmo cover. I even did a vlog in reaction to Piers Morgan’s Tweet where he stated: ‘Sorry, but 5 ft 3 inch and 300 lbs is NOT a ‘positive body image’ to celebrate on the front cover of a magazine as Britain suffers an ever worsening obesity crisis’. My thoughts were pretty much the same then as they are now. Accept where you are right now but be open and willing to change. ‘Nuff said. You can check out the vlog below.
There is one last thing about the programme that deserves a mention as it was very poignant and made me cry! Victoria, Courtney and Babs all stood together in the high street in their swim wear, blindfolded and invited people to come and draw hearts on their bodies. It was very emotional with Babs saying ‘I’m glad I’ve got the blindfold on as it’s soaking up the tears!’. It was lovely to watch but there were certainly mixed reactions from bystanders. Some saying they were brave to do it, how wonderful it was etc. But others highlighting the realities of living with obesity.
So, where do you stand? Do you think the body positive movement is an excuse not to change? Are they really kidding themselves that fat is beautiful? Is hearing about the risks scaremongering or just a way of keeping yourself informed? Would love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment or feel free to message me privately!
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I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my shop and Etsy shop.