The World is Anti-Fat: Exploring the Unexplored Prejudice

overweight-womanBe honest — Are you anti-fat? Do you subconsciously discriminate against overweight and obese people?

Anti-fat discrimination may be one of the least explored and certainly one of the least challenged prejudices worldwide.There are very few laws against weight discrimination and cultural norms encourage people to covertly discriminate against the overweight.

Not Discrimination

To some, anti-fat discrimination isn’t discrimination at all — it’s simply a healthy preference for people of a healthy weight. They believe that societal discouragement of overweight and obesity helps people become, and stay, healthier and happier.

This thinking misses the mark: anti-fat discrimination makes weight issues worse as people who feel discriminated become depressed and eat to soothe themselves. In addition, anti-fat discrimination encourages deadlier conditions such as anorexia and bulimia.

But most anti-fat prejudice is subtle and can go unnoticed even by the person with the prejudice. It only shows up as a mild or strong preference for thinner people. This sort of anti-fat prejudice is exhibited by a diverse group of people, from pre-teen children to physicians.

Why People Discriminate

One aspect of the thinking behind anti-fat prejudice is, “Your weight is your responsibility. If you’re overweight you’re lazy and lack self-control. It’s your fault.” Unlike gender, perceived race, and disability, weight is viewed as something that is mostly, if not entirely, under an individual’s control. So why should anyone feel bad about preferring people of a healthier weight?

A larger part of anti-fat prejudice is fear. Fear of being overweight and fear of being shunned for being overweight. This fear is unknowingly turned against other people who are overweight.

Men and Women

women-compete-weightWomen have it harder than men when it comes to weight discrimination. They are at risk of anti-fat prejudice if they are even moderately overweight, and face prejudice at a lower body mass index — a measure of healthy weight based on an individual’s height and weight. In fact, a man is unlikely to face fat discrimination unless his body mass index puts him at well past clinically obese.

Both men and women discriminate against overweight women. In addition to general weight discrimination, women compete with each other over their weight. An overweight woman is stigmatized or simply ignored. Other times she is pitied — women know that in the Competition of Women being overweight puts you far behind.

Obese women are less likely to date or be in a relationship. Men respond negatively to a potential female date who is overweight. In one instance, more men responded to a dating advertisement where the woman is described as having past drug issues than one where the woman is described as obese.

Self-Examination

Clearly being overweight or obese affects a person in multiple areas of life. But have you ever wondered if your own thoughts and actions add to anti-fat discrimination? Many of us, if we are being honest with ourselves, have some form of anti-fat bias.

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78 thoughts on “The World is Anti-Fat: Exploring the Unexplored Prejudice

  1. Change the words “fat” to “short” and change all your gender references around, and your post reads essentially the same.

    In the world of “short”, it’s men who have it a lot harder.

    With one exception … a guy who is on the short end of the stick, can’t do anything about it. If you are a shortie, you are just plain out of luck when it comes to many opportunities in the world. And unlike a “fat” person, there is no gym in the world that will help, no diet will increase a guy’s height to the magical 5′ 10″ – 6-4″ requirement that appears in many women’s list of non-negotiables.

    When I was doing online dating, I just flat out lied. Because a woman who is ever so offended if anybody dares inquire about her weight, has absolutely no problem stating her “height ” preference as some sort of “requirement” … even if she stands 5’4″ in heels.

    I stand maybe 5’8″ in shoes … and after a brief while doing online dating, I just changed it to 5’10” on my online dating profile. For whatever reason, 5’10” stood out like some sort of magic number .. 5’10” turns out to be just MILES taller than 5’9. So I just decided I was 5’10”. I swear I never would have gotten married had I remained 5’8″.

    What astonished me was so many women’s attitude that it was not shallow in the least to require a potential suitor to stand a head taller than she was … “it just makes me feel smaller and cuter, that’s all” was something I heard so many times.

    The reason I ended up lying about my height was because of the time I met a woman via Match.com … and then we talked over the phone and she asked me flat out “okay, I’d like to meet you, but can you tell me exactly how tall you are, because you didn’t include it in your profile. Now in case you are wondering, I’m not really shallow or anything, but some guys don’t tell the truth about how tall they really are and honesty is like so important to me”. And I responded … “sure, I’m like 5’8″ … and I’m also not really shallow or anything, but can you tell me exactly how much you weigh, because some women don’t tell the truth about their weight, right?”. And then I was told that such was the rudest question I could possibly ask, little wonder I was single, and that this conversation was over”.

    So it was at that very moment I went from being 5’8″ to 5’10” … and I’m so very glad I did.

  2. Rob,

    ‘Change the words “fat” to “short” and change all your gender references around, and your post reads essentially the same.’

    *falls over dead*

    I was waiting for someone (read: a guy) to say that. I really was. 🙂

    Oh, the Short Man’s Plight. I sympathize.

    I do have a height preference. Or, should I say, a height attraction. I have no problem stating this flat out as I mentioned in Attractive Features in Men. It’s not that I’m never initially attracted to men who aren’t tall (which to me is anything below ~6’0″). It’s just that a man being taller adds to my initial attraction significantly. That’s a personal preference though — to most women I know, the men I’m attracted to are too tall.

    However, most of the men I’ve dated have been well under 6’0″! And many of the guys I’ve dated haven’t been visibly taller than me. So preference doesn’t seem to have much to do with who I date in real time, at least when it comes to height. I expect it’s similar for a lot of women — they state a preference but they find their preferences are forgotten when they are otherwise attracted to a guy.

    To weave this into the actual topic — can the same be said for men who state a preference for thinner women? Can their preference be overriden to include an overweight woman, as long as she has everything else going for her?

    ‘I stand maybe 5’8″ in shoes’

    Wow, same here (5’9″/5’10” in everyday heels). 😉

    “What astonished me was so many women’s attitude that it was not shallow in the least to require a potential suitor to stand a head taller than she was”

    I’m sure they know it’s shallow, subconsciously. But people are shallow, so it doesn’t seem like a big deal to them. Do men lament or seriously mull over their preference for women of a perceived healthy weight? Serious question.

  3. Hey Rob,
    Thanks for that perspective. Even though women are held to a MUCH higher physical standard than men, I get that stuff like this stings for everyone.

    I love this post because I am so B-O-R-E-D with post on other blogs over concerned with “bigguns” and especially how black women are overrepresented in that group. When I see folks that are really heavy, and it is clear that their weight impedes their movement, I feel bad for them. When I see the folks who have the “apron” (where the abdominal muscles are so weak they don’t contain the tissue and it looks like a sagging apron) I feel BAD because having your core so weak spells trouble for your back and your general well being, and that takes so much effort to reverse. But I am not going to hassle them about it. First of all I need to be consistent in my working out, and then always talk about how “exercise is medicine” and “strong women stay young”. I exercise because I want to feel good and be strong for the journey.

    And now for complete disclosure, I am 5’7″ and 177 pounds.

  4. Sherry,

    ‘I love this post because I am so B-O-R-E-D with post on other blogs over concerned with “bigguns” and especially how black women are overrepresented in that group.’

    I’m glad you liked the article. But I understand where other posts are coming from. I think some women should aim to become more fit (not necessarily thin) for their health and well-being, and to boost their self-esteem. Being obese (not so much overweight) does have serious adverse health effects and I can’t pretend that I don’t see that.

    In general, I approach social discrimination from two perspectives: what can be done to change things, but also, what can the people being discriminated against do to change their situation.

    “And now for complete disclosure, I am 5’7″ and 177 pounds.”

    I’m unsure why you mentioned this, but I wouldn’t consider this fat.

  5. Rob,

    There are many things I want to say here (but I have to call my mother, lol), so for now, I’ll just say this:

    And unlike a “fat” person, there is no gym in the world that will help, no diet will increase a guy’s height to the magical 5′ 10″ – 6-4″ requirement

    Eh. It’s not that easy, Rob. No gym in the world can make someone’s hips smaller, or even her butt. And these are important markers of “fatness” in some cultures (mine, for example). So as someone who’ve heard all those “go to gym! Do something about yourself!” “gentle” tips, and who’ve seen all the looks of shock and pity when people realize that it’s the body shape that’s the “problem”, I can assure you it’s not that easy. Sometimes, it’s impossible.

    I sympathize with the problems short men face. I am a short girl, and I know it’s nothing like as being a short guy. Being short is a huge disadvantage for a man. But please don’t think losing weight is something people can control easily (especially if the standards of beauty are constructed the way it is in my culture).

    Excellent post, Alee. I’ll have more to add in a moment.

  6. It’s absolutely been my experience that many women who prefer taller guys can be pretty quick to compromise if other things line up with a particular guy. And it’s equally true that if a guy prefers smaller women, such is quite a bit less negotiable.

    This sort of goes back to the discussion of women often marrying men who didn’t exactly push their magic buttons the first time they met. So when it comes to “profile” dating which is what happens in online dating, I think guys should simply add a few inches to their height checkbox. I mean it’s not like the woman who ended up as my wife brought a tape measured along on our first few dates. And by the time were together with our shoes off it hardly mattered anyway at that point. And sadly this doesn’t hold true for women and their weight. Because at some point there is a point where there is literally nothing that can be hidden. And because guys are just more visual, ultimately shallower creatures, it’s not worth hoping that a guy who chases fashion models will change his preference once he gets to know a bigger girl. I do think a womans “requirements” are ultimately more flexible.

  7. Rob,

    So what you’re saying is if I change the genders around and change weight to height, the same wouldn’t hold?… Oh. 🙂

    “This sort of goes back to the discussion of women often marrying men who didn’t exactly push their magic buttons the first time they met.”

    Not exactly.

    You can have a preference for men over 6’0″ but find yourself, on the first date, tremendously attracted to a guy who is 5’7″. Like I was with my longest boyfriend.

    What I was saying is that actual attraction might not match up with ideal attraction.

    “So when it comes to “profile” dating which is what happens in online dating, I think guys should simply add a few inches to their height checkbox.”

    Well, if you’re okay with being dishonest, and possibly being called on it later, and possibly losing the woman later (for being dishonest), then sure. 🙂

    One or two inches might not be noticeable, but several inches will be. And I’ve heard lots of experiences with women in online dating say, “He lied about his height. That was a major turn-off”.

    “And because guys are just more visual, ultimately shallower creatures”

    …This notion to be written about in the distant future.

  8. @Rob and now I’ll keep associating you with Kim Yong il..

    Not really fat and I don’t have anything against them… unless they sit next to me on a plane. Hubby is great for such occasions, put him as a buffer against the flesh spillover…

    I’m probably a bit anti-fat. I just don’t care to much TBH as long as it’s not bothering me.

  9. Nkosazana,

    “Not really fat”

    That’s a serious understatement. 🙂

    “I don’t have anything against them… unless they sit next to me on a plane. Hubby is great for such occasions, put him as a buffer against the flesh spillover…”

    : X

    “I’m probably a bit anti-fat.”

    I probably am as well. I can be honest and say I have some anti-fat tendencies.

    Not that I hold anything against them; I don’t think anything negative when I see a larger person and I treat them as I would anyone else. But I’ve noticed that in the physical appearance department, I won’t find a clearly overweight person as attractive as a person of a healthier weight, all things being equal. I think it’s the bone structure — bone structure is the framework for beauty, IMO, but it’s mostly hidden when a person has excess weight. But I have found overweight people to be attractive, if I perceive their face to be really beautiful.

  10. Sorry Mira (actually I’m not sorry!), but Rob’s right. One CAN lose weight. Lack of height in a male?. Poor guy has very very very very limited choices, so he better be a gazillionaire.

    I’m anti-fat. Extremely so even. Most fat people are just bloody LAZY and get on my effing nerves making excuses as to WHY it’s so hard to WORK out and EAT HEALTHLY to lose weight. The main reason I reached this “extreme” stance, is because, FAT WOMEN SEEM TO LIKE ME!. I figured out why though: I’m an huge womanist. Would defend us and generally put myself, my money, voice out there. They eat this up thinking they can have me in their corner, but our “relationship” end up with them being fustrated with me because I don’t do fast food restaurants, run a lot, chant, generally don’t like carrying baggage that CAN be got rif off with hard work, and will call a spade a spade.
    You know as well, I suffered during these short relationships with these women (there were only two, but goodness!!!). THEY ridiculed EVERY thing I did to keep in shape. Even calling me a bulimic, which I’m not, or lacking self confidence because I liked staying thin and fit. I ran out of a restaurant in tears once because of such an attack and decided after meditating that I will get rid of these two fatties as I can’t help them and they certainly can’t help me. In fact, these two women are why I’m such a forceful “hater” of fat women.

  11. foosrock,

    “I’m anti-fat. Extremely so even.”

    You don’t say? 😉

    “Most fat people are just bloody LAZY and get on my effing nerves making excuses as to WHY it’s so hard to WORK out and EAT HEALTHLY to lose weight.”

    Not really. Besides a person’s genetic inheritance, there are also general personality differences. Some people eat when they are stressed or in order to calm themselves. It doesn’t mean they necessarily eat unhealthy foods, just that they eat more than they burn.

    And some people don’t get excited at thought of a 5k. I wouldn’t call them lazy, as I wouldn’t call a person unintelligent because they’re not as interested in the sciences as I am. They just have different interests.

    “You know as well, I suffered during these short relationships with these women (there were only two, but goodness!!!). THEY ridiculed EVERY thing I did to keep in shape. Even calling me a bulimic, which I’m not, or lacking self confidence because I liked staying thin and fit.”

    That’s the other side of the coin. Some larger people, and even people of an average weight, will put thinner women down in order to counteract anti-fat discrimination. But neither is very productive.

    ‘these two women are why I’m such a forceful “hater” of fat women.’

    You shouldn’t hold all overweight people responsible for the actions of those women. They have nothing to do with that. And I don’t think most fat people would ridicule others that way, since they’ve probably been in the position of being ridiculed before.

  12. You know, I say, overweight, obese people, should be put in the same category as alcoholics and drug users. Which category is that, you smartie young people should expound upon as I’m toking too much on the good stuff at the mo…….!

  13. One CAN lose weight.

    You can lose weight but you can’t make your hips smaller (your bones). And in some cultures (mine), it is what is considered fat, too.

  14. I’ll admit I subconsciously discriminate against fat people. When I’m at the workplace and I see one, my initial reaction is usually along the lines of that person being undisciplined and lacks motivation. Either that, or their happy where they are in life and have no motivation to move forward.

    As far as dating goes, fat women are not even on my radar. They don’t turn me on physically, so whats the point. Fat women with their clothes off are just not appealing in anyway whatsoever to me. I can’t imagine why how any woman could be attracted to a fat man either, but I guess looks aren’t as important to women as men.

    About the height thing, I can see how some women discriminate against short men like men discriminate against fat women. But I honestly think a better comparison would be “nice guys” to fat women. These two groups actively repulse each other, and unfortunately America is full of both categories.

  15. Ok, now my longish reply. (And I am sorry to see this thread first got a heavy derailment (= troubles short men face), and now it’s seems like overweight people bashing).

    In my culture, being thin is an imperative. A man who is overweight is considered unattractive, but for women, the standards are so strict you wouldn’t believe it. It’s much worse than in the US! A woman who is considered average weight and attractive in the US can easily be seen as fat (and ugly) in my culture. Women like J Lo or Beyonce, for example.

    So, anti-fat prejudice is strong, quite strong (but all prejudices are strong in my culture and people are not afraid to openly state it). Still, I am not sure if this American concept of “fat = lazy” is what is believed here. People don’t really think about it. They just think fat = ugly. But the things are changing and the idea of fat = lazy is becoming popular these days, I think.

    I don’t know if I have an anti-fat bias. I guess I do, because I don’t like to be called fat and I don’t like when people point out how big my hips/butt are, thankyouverymuch. So I guess I do associate fatness with negative connotations. But I don’t think I discriminate against fat people. I’ve never dated a guy who was fat, though. Does that count?

    but I guess looks aren’t as important to women as men.

    Is this really how you guys perceive us?

    PS- I am 157 cm tall, 55 kg (It’s 5’2″ and I don’t know how to convert weight, but my BMI is around 22. Which is normal).

  16. “Is this really how you guys perceive us? ”

    Still important, not as important. In general, I think women are slightly more forgiving of weight all else being equal than men. This applies more to Americans. I know most European women in my experience are much more averse to fat men than American women.

  17. Well, they say (and I can’t confirm it) that there are more obese Americans than Europeans.

    I think you- and anybody else who thinks women don’t pay that much attention to a man’s physical appearance- fail to notice an important thing: what women feel and how they act is not the same thing. Society encourages women to date men who are not conventionally handsome the way it never encourages men to date women who are not conventionally attractive.

    This doesn’t mean women are less shallow: in areas in which society encourages them to be, they are. Take height for example. Women are told to give a chance to bald guys, guys that have less than “perfect” features, etc. But it’s not the same when it comes to short men. Women are “allowed” to discriminate against them, and they do.

    So it doesn’t mean women don’t notice those things, or that they’d rather date an interesting chubby guy than a Brad Pitt. They are simply made to act differently than how they feel, and to seek for more than certain physical features in a man. Men are never encouraged to do it; they are told to go after whatever is considered generically hot at the moment. In fact, they are often ridiculed if they like women who are not conventionally attractive. (And what is conventionally attractive is not objective but culturally constructed).

  18. Oh, and for what its worth (probably nothing), I would consider 5 ft 7 177 pounds as being fat. 125-145 pounds for that height would be ideal, depending on shape and tone.

  19. “Well, they say (and I can’t confirm it) that there are more obese Americans than Europeans. ”

    I can confirm this absolutely.

    I’m just saying that I’ve seen more overweight guys with top notch girls than I have overweight women with top notch guys. Though I agree, these women would no doubt take a thinner version of their man if asked.

  20. I’m just saying that I’ve seen more overweight guys with top notch girls than I have overweight women with top notch guys.

    Oh, but I bet you’ve also seen more hot woman/average (ugly) man couples than ugly woman/hot man ones. And more older man/younger woman ones. Right?

  21. Yup. Though I’m told the older man/younger hotter woman thing is much more common in Europe than it is in America. Here alot of people look down on that kind of thing.

  22. Old man / young hot woman = golddiger (in my culture). But it’s quite common. If a guy isn’t wealthy, then it’s seen as a bit strange, but it’s not a rare thing. The opposite (older woman/younger man) is what people don’t support as much (though it happens). But it’s just my culture.

  23. Yeah, I know its usually goldiggers in both countries. But lets say if George Bush or Barrack Obama where single and then they married a hot 20 year old girl. In America that would be political suicide, but in some places in Europe I’m told it wouldn’t be as bad. Like Italy for example.

  24. Italy has Berlusconi, and he can’t be taken seriously for anything. But I think it’s the main difference: it’s not rare that nobody takes some European politicians seriously. But it’s not common in America. It happened to Bush junior, and it was seen as something out of ordinary. Here, we’re used to politicians making fools of themselves.

    But I think we’re getting off topic. The point is, men and women are socialized differently. It doesn’t mean women are less shallow when it comes to physical appearance, or that they don’t pay attention to looks, or (my “favourite”) that women are not visual beings. (Riiiiight).

  25. Alee,

    You really think it counts as “dishonesty” for a guy’s to add a few inches to his height in the online dating world, as a way of making himself more appealing to women who often get extra picky when deciding who they should even talk to? Because such is exactly what happens online. It’s so often the case that a woman won’t even speak to a guy who indicates they are under 5′ 10″ … I mean they won’t even say “hello” out of principle. OK, maybe it’s a little white lie to add a few inches, but I kept my fingers crossed the WHOLE time, really I did.

    I mean, what about if this deceiving untrustworthy shorter-than- average guy shows up wearing RichLee shoes? (do a google search). Because that’s what I would do … I bought two pairs ten years ago, and they are really great and I’m only sorry I didn’t know about them earlier in my life. Three extra inches … like magic … nobody ever knows except when you take your shoes off, and as I said, by the time you get together without shoes it hardly matters any more. I mean, if a guys is wearing elevator shoes is he “dishonest” … any more dishonest than a woman wearing a certain color to hide some extra pounds, or putting expensive cosmetics on her face to make her appear more youthful? Alee, you can’t be serious, calling the platform wearing guy “dishonest”, right?

    Anyway, sorry to drift off topic. Back to attitudes about overweight women. What I think is sort of sad is how many men won’t even FLIRT with a heavier female … I mean so what if they ask her to dance, so what if they use one of their practiced smooth “lines” … so what if they just talk to her at a party? But so many guys won’t even say ONE WORD to an overweight girl at a nightclub, or at a party, or at a Starbucks. Not one word, like somehow they will be violating some unwritten “guy code” that only women who resemble a waitress from Hooters is worthy of their precious bandwidth.

    I remember quite vividly hearing an ex girlfriend’s roommate, a somewhat pudgy and more plain jane type, coming home from a party crying “would it kill these guys just to FLIRT with me a little bit, I’m not asking for a ring here, nor a boyfriend, not even a date, but a harmless bit of flirting would be nice sometimes”. And it really struck me how right she was, and how shallow guys really can be. Actually from that moment forward, I always tried to flirt more with overweight women, not really out of “pity” or anything, but just because it’s so very easy to do, and I think it really can make somebody’s day just to be flirted with sometimes.

    The first post of yours that I read was you complaining about how some PUA hit on you, blah blah … and obviously there are tons of women out there who never have any sort of “annoying” thing happen to them like a guy trying to hit on them, lots of overweight women who don’t get random attention from guys, and who would be overjoyed just to be NOTICED. Weight is a real complex issue for men and women, obviously , one full of contradictions … I mean it must be a real drag to be hit on when you are buying shampoo … but obviously it’s much worse to never be hit on and a lot of women have that exact experience, or lack of it. Nobody ever “bothers” them, and it hurts.

    So for any single guys reading this … I mean .. it really won’t kill you to flirt with an overweight woman from time to time … harmless flirting can just be something you do for fun.

  26. “………. anti-fat discrimination makes weight issues worse as people who feel discriminated become depressed and eat to soothe themselves”.

    Show me the statistics that prove this theory.

    I believe most who become fat/obese are simply greedy and lazy. End. Then you have those who do have mental issues and over/under eat (or ABUSE alcohol or drugs or insert some destructive vice here).
    I’m sorry if fat/obese people feel attacked. The thing is, they have an issue but they make it OURS. That aspect alone pisses me off. While I’m not attracted to either fat/obese men/women, I do not go out of my way to make them feel bad about their appearance. BUT, if you ask my opinion, well then…….. I mean, I don’t get offended if someone calls me bony as that’s the state I like my body in, so if fat/obese people are truly comfortable with themselves, by the same token, why must I walk on egg shells around them?!.

    Look, it’s an issue, a very dire one too. Either they should seek out help or die young from the consequences, but please, don’t blame society and don’t try guilt tripping society into feeling sorry that you ALLOW yourself to reach such a state. I’m reserving my sympathy for those who truly deserve it!.

  27. Okay, lots to reply to here. One at a time. 🙂

    I meant to add re: the fat woman/short man comparison. This a very bad comparison. Terrible. Why?

    Because most of the time when people talk about “short men”, they’re not even talking about men who are short!

    5’6″-5’8″ is not short for a guy if the average man in America is 5’9″. It is average. There isn’t a noticeable height difference in a person who is 5’7″ and one who is 5’9″. I know because I am the former and my best friend is the latter, and people always think we are the same height.

    There are few men in America who are below 5’6″:

    Sample of Height Distribution in American Men.

    7/100 men are below 5’6″. Thus a mere 7 percent of men could be genuinely considered “short”! This in no way compares to the percentage of overweight and obese women (65 percent), especially given the responses here which indicate that women are more flexible when it comes to height in men than men are with weight in women.

    And really, the “What About Short Men?” argument is a common derailment used any time someone mentions possible discrimination against women. That’s why I knew it would be mentioned.

  28. that guy says:

    “I’m just saying that I’ve seen more overweight guys with top notch girls than I have overweight women with top notch guys.”

    Mira says:

    “Oh, but I bet you’ve also seen more hot woman/average (ugly) man couples than ugly woman/hot man ones. And more older man/younger woman ones. Right?”

    that guy says:

    “Yup. Though I’m told the older man/younger hotter woman thing is much more common in Europe than it is in America.”

    Mira says:

    “Old man / young hot woman = golddiger (in my culture). But it’s quite common…The point is, men and women are socialized differently. It doesn’t mean women are less shallow when it comes to physical appearance, or that they don’t pay attention to looks, or (my “favourite”) that women are not visual beings. (Riiiiight).”

    @ Mira — Bingo.

    If women were simply less shallow than men, we wouldn’t see such variation in their behavior and thoughts on appearance, depending on their culture/country of origin.

  29. Rob,

    “You really think it counts as “dishonesty” for a guy’s to add a few inches to his height in the online dating world, as a way of making himself more appealing to women…?”

    Do you really think it counts as “dishonesty” for a woman to take off a few pounds from her weight in the online dating world, as a way of making herself more appealing to men…?

    Just wondering.

    ‘It’s so often the case that a woman won’t even speak to a guy who indicates they are under 5′ 10″ ‘

    Again,

    It’s so often the case that a man won’t even speak to a woman who indicates she is over 150 lbs.

    …So should she say she is 135 lbs instead? Do you think when the guy meets her he won’t think he’s been deceived when he finds out she is really around 165 lbs?

    You seem to be telling me that it’s not dishonest to be… dishonest? Please help me out here. Because that makes no sense.

    ‘I mean, if a guys is wearing elevator shoes is he “dishonest” … any more dishonest than a woman wearing a certain color to hide some extra pounds, or putting expensive cosmetics on her face to make her appear more youthful? Alee, you can’t be serious, calling the platform wearing guy “dishonest”, right?’

    …Don’t attempt to red herring me.

    It’s not going to fly. In fact, I should make that a commenting guideline: Please refrain from using obviously fallacious arguments.

    I never said anything about platforms, colors, or make-up. Whether I think the use of any of those is dishonest has nothing to do with this conversation.

    ‘The first post of yours that I read was you complaining about how some PUA hit on you, blah blah … and obviously there are tons of women out there who never have any sort of “annoying” thing happen to them like a guy trying to hit on them … I mean it must be a real drag to be hit on when you are buying shampoo’

    Again, you need to stay away from fallacies.

    I was not “complaining”. I was simply telling a story as a way to introduce the topic. I was planning to write about PUA anyway, but I simply added my personal experiences with it.

    You’re attempting to make me out to be some stuck-up brat who doesn’t appreciate the attention she gets from men (however depraved, manipulative, and ill-meaning they may be), when other women get none… Don’t bother.

    And if I were overweight I wouldn’t want a guy to flirt with me if he didn’t like me, just to have “fun” and make me feel good about myself. That’s pointless and misleading, IMO.

  30. Yes, I have some anti-fat prejudices. Kind of along the line of Foosrock!, but not as strong, lol

    In general, I don’t think I look at a fat person and immediately go EWWWW, BUT, my issue comes in when I constantly hear said fat person complaining about being fat, yet doing nothing to attempt to lose weight. Or that person is on the latest diet trend (cabbage soup, Jenny Craig, medical weight loss clinics, plain ole exercise) for about one week and then drops it and makes excuses.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on the women — yes, mostly white American ones — who were about 5’4″ and 100 pounds who spent every waking moment talking about how “fat” they were. And they weren’t actually fat, obviously… but I find the practice of talking about fat (whether by fat people or non-fat people) to be a very passive-aggressive fishing for attention action.

    And don’t let me get started on their whole, “Ewww, you need to eat a sandwich” remarks… If I ever hear that directed at me, oh it will not be pretty!

    And yes, like you, I knew someone would bring up the “short men” derailment tactic. 😉

  31. that guy,

    “Oh, and for what its worth (probably nothing), I would consider 5 ft 7, 177 pounds as being fat.”

    Well, you’re tactful. 😉

    On a serious note, would you consider Beyonce to be fat? How about Melyssa Ford? Because I’ll bet they have about the same BMI as a person who is 5’7″, 177 lbs (~26).

    Beyonce I know for certain has to be around that BMI because she and I have remarkably similar body types and heights, and when my body looked like hers I was around that BMI.

    Not saying that a person who is that weight and height will have a body like theirs, but you can’t presume a person is (clearly) “fat” if they’re only around 5-10 lbs overweight.

  32. foosrock,

    “Show me the statistics that prove this theory.”

    The most recent study was lead by Rebecca Puhl of Yale, a long-time researcher of weight discrimination:

    “Participants who believed that weight-based stereotypes were true reported more frequent binge eating and refusal to diet in response to stigma”

    Internalization of Weight Bias: Implications for Binge Eating and Emotional Well-Being

    “I believe most who become fat/obese are simply greedy and lazy. End.”

    I don’t disagree that many who are fat eat more and are more sedentary than others. And I agree that many could lose weight (even if it is quite difficult if they are well into the obese range), and a short guy can’t as easily become taller.

    However, you’re simplifying the issue. There are numerous factors that contribute to weight.

    Weight is becoming more and more of a societal issue, i.e. society contributes to people becoming overweight. When you have lots of cheap, easily accessible food which is full of fat/carbs, and you live in a city or work a job which doesn’t require much physical activity, it becomes easy to gain weight. Before you realize it, the 20th pound is creeping up on you. Many advanced societies have large or greatly increasing numbers of overweight people.

    “I’m sorry if fat/obese people feel attacked. The thing is, they have an issue but they make it OURS…While I’m not attracted to either fat/obese men/women, I do not go out of my way to make them feel bad about their appearance.”

    Well then, that’s fine. But how do obese people try to make their issue everyone else’s? Surely you don’t think most obese people try to guilt trip others into feeling sorry for them?

  33. …but Alee, that guy is stating his opinion on what he considers fat. Like many things in this generation Y world of digital, disloyal and divas, what’s considered “fat” has been skewed. Let’s not get all semantic about it. Beyonce’s sexy beyond belief, but I prefer my own skinny body. She’s got too much butt/thighs. I’d feel heavy carrying that around. My B cups are heavy enough as is!. But, she’s fit and I don’t see any fat rolls and when I watch her on youtube sometimes and my eyes are glued to her sex appeal…….so to each their own.
    Here’s my summary of weight measurements using famous people as references:
    Beyonce/Janet Jackson are a bit chubby, ie could lose a couple more kilos to fit MY ideal.
    Zoe Saldana/Naomie Harris are my ideal.
    Jill Scott’s fat
    Gabourey Sidibe is Obese

  34. “Well then, that’s fine. But how do obese people try to make their issue everyone else’s? Surely you don’t think most obese people try to guilt trip others into feeling sorry for them?”

    Yes I do. I’ve experienced it.
    Bunny 77 also wrote:
    “…….my issue comes in when I constantly hear said fat person complaining about being fat, yet doing nothing to attempt to lose weight. Or that person is on the latest diet trend (cabbage soup, Jenny Craig, medical weight loss clinics, plain ole exercise) for about one week and then drops it and makes excuses”.

    This is what I mean by “guilt tripping”. Because one does want that fat/obese person to win this fight and one encourages with suggestions, which ends up backfiring and then the issue is turned into “well, you’re skinny because you eat like a bird, or stick your finger down your throat………”.

  35. Bunny,

    “Yes, I have some anti-fat prejudices. Kind of along the line of Foosrock!, but not as strong, lol”

    That reminds me that I was meaning to ask you some questions about running. But I’ll ask later.

    “In general, I don’t think I look at a fat person and immediately go EWWWW, BUT, my issue comes in when I constantly hear said fat person complaining about being fat, yet doing nothing to attempt to lose weight.”

    I think this is normal. Most people will get annoyed if someone constantly complains about something yet doesn’t do anything to change their situation.

    ‘And don’t let me get started on their whole, “Ewww, you need to eat a sandwich” remarks… If I ever hear that directed at me, oh it will not be pretty!’

    You don’t need to eat a sandwich! Your weight looks fine to me.

    And, yes, I also find it annoying when people make disparaging remarks about people who are thinner.

    My sister has a naturally athletic body type, so now that she’s gotten back into running (former track star), she is very thin and appears even thinner. People (mostly black ones) make comments like “Are you sick?”, knowing fully well she is not. But it doesn’t bother her because I’d say she is somewhat anti-fat herself…

    Attempting to make people on either side of the weight spectrum feel insecure about their bodies is not the way to go.

    “And yes, like you, I knew someone would bring up the “short men” derailment tactic. ;)”

    Someone had to. There’s just no way they couldn’t.

  36. foosrock,

    “…but Alee, that guy is stating his opinion”

    I realize it’s his opinion. I’m simply asking him to elaborate.

    “Zoe Saldana/Naomie Harris are my ideal.”

    Your ideal is underweight? Zoe Saldana is squarely underweight at 113 lbs and 5’7″.

    I used to be around that weight at a similar height and doctors were worried about me later having fertility issues.

    “Yes I do. I’ve experienced it.”

    Well, that doesn’t make it true. 🙂

    I don’t have that experience. My experiences with obese people are that they try to be as unobtrusive as possible and never mention food or weight around people. But that’s just my experience and it doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality of everyone else’s experience.

  37. You don’t need to eat a sandwich! Your weight looks fine to me.

    Thanks Alee! Actually, this statement makes me think of something else… guess my anti-fat prejudice runs deeper than I thought.

    I got the disparaging remarks from my female family members. While they were not terribly bad and while my family members probably thought they were being lighthearted and joking, they thought it was “cute” to make little comments about my weight.

    Meanwhile, I am the ONLY female member of my family that is not overweight. My brother lost a lot of weight as well and they joked about him… I was thisclose to saying, “Maybe you should be asking for tips instead.”

    While I love being small, I also consider every year that I stay tiny as another “victory” over the folks who attributed my small size to being young or whatever. Well, I’m 33 now and still not fat, so HA!

    I’m sure the next thing will be that I’ll blow up after having a baby or two or three, but I’m determined to spite them by staying little, tee hee.

    With every 5K I run, they seethe… and I will keep going. Take that!

    Your ideal is underweight? Zoe Saldana is squarely underweight at 113 lbs and 5’7″.

    While I think Zoe is a bit too thin, I admit another bias… I’d take being underweight any day over being overweight. I have been underweight before and while I worked to gain it back, I wasn’t all that stressed about it. At least with being underweight, you have room to gain, versus the other way around.

    I dunno, I think a whole lot of American BW who are overweight would be MUCH better off being underweight…

  38. rob,

    “would it kill these guys just to FLIRT with me a little bit, I’m not asking for a ring here, nor a boyfriend, not even a date, but a harmless bit of flirting would be nice sometimes”.

    Yes, I know about this and I’ve experienced it. Still, everybody wants to be desired and wanted because they’re genuinely liked… Not because they’re unattractive and thus an easy target. You’re right about men ignoring unattractive women. Ever seen UK show Coupling? There’s one episode addressing this issue in a hilarious way.

    So yes, unattractive women do want to be wanted and flirted with. But the key word is here: wanted. Nobody wants to get attention from someone who does that just because he perceives her as an easy target, or becuase he’s bored.

    I don’t know about the US, but guys here have a common “trick” when approaching a group of girls. When hot girls are with their unattractive friends, they will approach the unattractive one. They’ll chat with her and gradually move to the attractive friend. It’s so mean. But it’s easy to see what those guys want. The thing is, sometimes a girl is so lonely and she wants to experience at least a bit of it, so she goes with it. But once she realizes how disrespectful that is… No way.

    Same goes for sex. Some men believe unattractive girls are an easy target because they don’t have the luxury to say “no”.

    These things are hardly

    I advise men not to approach girls they find attractive, and I sure advise them to go with whatever THEY might find attractive, be it in line with current beauty standards or not. But please don’t approach girls out of pity (and I know you said it’s not out of pity, but it sure looks like it, or, even worse, as an ego boost for you, not her).

    PS- What is considered short and tall is, obviously, culturally specific. In my country, average for a man is around 5’11”. For us, tall starts around 6’2″. Short is anything under 5’10”. So yes, a 5’8″ guy is considered short in my culture.

  39. I don’t think Zoe is underweight. But I am biased: she’s what is considered “normal weight” in my culture. Anything more than that is “girl, watch out, you don’t want to get fat”. Once you get to J Lo figure, you’re fat. And anything more than that is obese.

  40. Ooops, I did it again!

    Here’s what I meant to say: These things (flirting with an unattractive friend, approaching fat girls because you think they’re easy) are hardly what overweight (and other women perceived as unattractive) want. And it’s hardly what they mean by “I want someone to flirt with me”.

    It’s more… You know you’re plain or unattractive. You know it. You learned to live with it. But you also know there are some good things about you, even your physical appearance: and there’s always something. You might have beautiful hair or beautiful eyes or beautiful smile, or large breasts (like many overweight women have).

    You know men notice other women while you are ignored. You know it, and you understand it, and in a way, learned to live with it. You learn you need to go an extra mile to get someone notice you, and that your intelligence, quick wit, or anything else don’t matter at all, and that most of the guys will still go after an attractive woman. You know all of it.

    But you are a human being. And you want to be wanted, at least for once. For a guy to approach you – YOU – honestly, without an evil plan – just once. Yes, you know all those attractive women will always have men approaching them more than you, and it’s ok; you just want to be wanted and desired for once.

    Note I mean on genuine desire; not a planned approach from a player who targets you because he thinks you’re unattractive and therefore, desperate. (Even if you are desperate, and we all are sometimes).

  41. “Your ideal is underweight? Zoe Saldana is squarely underweight at 113 lbs and 5’7″.

    That’s not underweight, Alee. Perhaps in the USofA, but not here.

  42. Bunny,

    I seriously don’t see why they would think you need to gain weight. You’re weight looks thin-average to me. It’s not like you’re a Zoe Saldana (Even though I’m fine with her weight too, even though it’s under).

    “While I love being small, I also consider every year that I stay tiny as another “victory” over the folks who attributed my small size to being young or whatever…I’m sure the next thing will be that I’ll blow up after having a baby or two or three, but I’m determined to spite them by staying little, tee hee.”

    Ha. When you have babies, make sure to send me photos (of the babies, not you, lol). 🙂

    “While I think Zoe is a bit too thin, I admit another bias… I’d take being underweight any day over being overweight.”

    I have this same bias. But only if we’re talking about clearly overweight, not a Beyonce, few pounds overweight.

    “I have been underweight before and while I worked to gain it back, I wasn’t all that stressed about it. At least with being underweight, you have room to gain, versus the other way around.”

    But being underweight comes with its own health issues. When I was underweight I was a weakling of epic proportions. All I could do is sit and look cute because it wasn’t like I exercised to be that way; I couldn’t lift a weight to save my life.

    I’m lucky I didn’t get osteoporosis, anemia, or a weakened immune system, which are common with people who are as underweight as I was.

    “I dunno, I think a whole lot of American BW who are overweight would be MUCH better off being underweight…”

    🙂

    Well, not underweight, that would just be trading one group of health issues for another. But a healthy weight, and possibly more on the thinner side.

    Mira,

    ‘What is considered short and tall is, obviously, culturally specific. In my country, average for a man is around 5’11″. For us, tall starts around 6’2″.’

    You people are tall!

    America isn’t that tall. The average man is only 5’9″. So a 5’8″ guy isn’t short (even if he isn’t tall). My father is around that height and I’ve never heard anyone call him short. He’s taller than most women, after all.

    I consider 6’1″/6’2″ish to be the beginning of “tall” too. But people think I’m being too stringent with that criteria.

  43. foosrock,

    “Your ideal is underweight? Zoe Saldana is squarely underweight at 113 lbs and 5’7″.

    “That’s not underweight, Alee. Perhaps in the USofA, but not here.”

    …No, it’s considered underweight, globally. Body mass index (BMI) is a globally used indicator of fat and healthy weight. According to BMI, she is underweight:

    BMI Chart.

    Now, some people might not perceive it to be underweight, according to their perceptions of weight that are skewed towards the thinner side. But it is.

    Nkosazana,

    I’m not making any value judgments. I’m just stating facts. Being underweight does increase your risk of infertility. That doesn’t mean underweight women won’t be able to conceive — obviously they can.

  44. Alee – please tell me how to do the italics thing, when responding to a previous comment – ty.

    You asked “Do you really think it counts as “dishonesty” for a woman to take off a few pounds from her weight in the online dating world, as a way of making herself more appealing to men…just wondering?”

    It’s dishonest to lie about your marital status, or your job, or to withhold the fact that you are due to serve hard time. But no, I don’t remotely consider changing one’s online dating profile a little bit to occur to others as more “attractive” as behavior that I would label dishonest – to me it’s “dating fibbing” – and I’m happy to give somebody a 5% fibbing forgiveness factor. So if a girl weighs 150lbs and wants to say she weights 140 … and she keeps her fingers crossed when she says it … it’s allowed. If a guy stands 67 inches tall, and wants to say he stands 70 inches, that’s in the range. If she is 32 years young, and wants to pretend that she is still 29, whatever. All such fibs are made in the name of vanity, all done to appear more attractive to those equally shallow as myself … and thus I will forgive and forget such “sins” and have yet to find a woman who would really dump a guy for rounding up his dating profile so that he passes her totally arbitrary height requirement. Your mileage obviously varies, and you may consider such rounding up a high crime … so let it be written … so let it be done … but you really are in the minority if this is how you really feel.

    Regarding me making you out to be a “stuck up brat”. Well, that’s reverse name calling. I said no such thing, I meant no such thing, and I’m sorry if my words occurred to you that way. I picked the wrong example to make the point about heavy women who don’t get hit on very often.

    And for the record, I don’t think you are stuck up at all, quite the opposite 😉

    Mira, I think flirting is just plain fun – in my mind flirting is really just a grown up form of “play” – and I guess when I got over the need to “play” with only those women who occurred to me as very attractive, I started enjoying going out and socializing a whole lot more than I did before. It’s not about pity, nor is it about ego, it’s just fun to flirt with strangers sometimes, and it’s especially fun if the other person doesn’t have a big defensive attitude about it. The older I became, the more incredible it seemed to me that some people think nothing of going to crowded venues, packed wall to wall with other human beings who physically differ from one other by only a few inches maybe in the face, or stomach, or height, and use such as a metric to routinely ignore one another and treat each other as if they were standing around with statues or something. So if you happen to weigh more than the average woman, well don’t you deserve to talk to people and have fun interactions with guys, just as much as the Hooters waitress? Are you telling me I shouldn’t ask a girl to dance, because she has three extra inches of padding on her butt and therefore not as attractive to me? That’s so weird to me.

  45. Rob,

    “Alee – please tell me how to do the italics thing, when responding to a previous comment – ty”

    You use html tags. Described on the Commenting page under Formatting.

    “But no, I don’t remotely consider changing one’s online dating profile a little bit to occur to others as more “attractive” as behavior that I would label dishonest”

    Well, you seem to have a precarious relationship with honesty and dishonesty. Just going by straight definitions. 🙂

    ‘Regarding me making you out to be a “stuck up brat”. Well, that’s reverse name calling. I said no such thing, I meant no such thing, and I’m sorry if my words occurred to you that way…And for the record, I don’t think you are stuck up at all, quite the opposite’

    It did come across that way since you said I was “complaining” and “bothered” about something other women would be “overjoyed” to have even a small taste of.

    But I understand tone is hard to read online. So if I was mistaken, so be it.

    “but you really are in the minority if this is how you really feel.”

    I highly doubt that.

    From my experience most people don’t like being liked to (or “fibbed” to, or whatever you’d like to call it) in online dating, or in offline dating. But I’m too busy right now to look for surveys on this matter. Maybe later (and on a more relevant post).

  46. I have this same bias. But only if we’re talking about clearly overweight, not a Beyonce, few pounds overweight.

    I think my issue is that the people who were sooooooo worried about me being underweight (or underweight at that time when my weight was fine) is that they were very much overweight, if not borderline obese.

    Which typically seems to be the case… so the talk of who’s “underweight” usually comes off as being rather ridiculous when you consider the source!

    That being said, you are right about the health issues. I was anemic as well and probably had a weakened immune system… and now, I don’t have either problem. I used to be smaller than I was in the picture you saw, but I gained about 10 pounds through weight training. I love my size now, but some people think anything under say, 130 (for my 5’4″ height) is underweight.

    So I choose a healthy weight any day… but I think I was in much better shape healthwise being about 5-10 pounds underweight than my relatives were being 30+ pounds overweight!

  47. Bunny,

    “I think my issue is that the people who were sooooooo worried about me being underweight (or underweight at that time when my weight was fine) is that they were very much overweight, if not borderline obese.”

    You really took to heart the worries from obese people about you being underweight? Interesting. 🙂

    “So I choose a healthy weight any day… but I think I was in much better shape healthwise being about 5-10 pounds underweight than my relatives were being 30+ pounds overweight!”

    Probably.

    Re: your female family members. Black America has the most “unique” ideas of healthy weight, I have to say. I wouldn’t take their ideas as being reflective of any other group or “normal”. When I went from Zoe Saldana size to Beyonce size, black people (men and women) congratulated me like, “Hips! Finally, you’re normal!”… I hear people say Jennifer Hudson used to be a “healthy” girl and she lost the weight unnecessarily… A size 16 is healthy? More than likely not, even if she is on the taller side (5’9″). She wasn’t obese, but I doubt a physician would use the world healthy to describe her weight.

  48. …No, it’s considered underweight, globally. Body mass index (BMI) is a globally used indicator of fat and healthy weight. According to BMI, she is underweight:

    Hmm, then I guess she and I are underweight. And to think my GP never mentioned I should put on weight (rather she advised me to keep my weight in check as since I’m close to the big 5-oh, it’ll start getting more difficult to lose it!!!) and I get yearly checkups and am not anemic, walk up 12flight of stairs every morning, without breaking a sweat, when I get into work, jog 5 kms at least 3times a week(I manage 4times max), hike once a month, don’t eat meat or poultry, but that’s because menopausing caused my body to reject it, ie, I feel nauseous, fish I can stomach though. Yeah, think that chart is great as an indicateur, but I mostly listen to my body and I feel good, really really good being at my weight and like Bunny77 says, would rather be underweight any day, than over weight. It’s easier to gain…..
    Look, we have a different concept of weight here in Switzerland. I hesitate to say Europe as I’m sure Nkosazana can attest to the Nordic Europeans being somewhat on a “larger” scale, like the Germans. Not fat, mind, but certainly not “underweight” according to the chart….

    I think my issue is that the people who were sooooooo worried about me being underweight (or underweight at that time when my weight was fine) is that they were very much overweight, if not borderline obese.

    Which typically seems to be the case… so the talk of who’s “underweight” usually comes off as being rather ridiculous when you consider the source!

    Exactement!.

    You use html tags. Described on the Commenting page under Formatting.

    Thanks!. Gotta read through your blog to find more tidbits!

  49. foosrock,

    “Hmm, then I guess she and I are underweight. And to think my GP never mentioned I should put on weight (rather she advised me to keep my weight in check…”

    Yes, it really has to do with the person and their culture (not that physicians haven’t been shown to have anti-fat tendencies…). It seems like in places in Europe they shift the BMI chart one over — underweight is healthy, healthy is overweight, overweight is obese, etc. That happens here too. In Manhattan or LA here, your/Zoe’s weight would be considered perfect weight. If she lived in the rural South here, people would presume her to be sick or on drugs.

    And I know you and Nkosazana would be considered underweight, but as long as you don’t have any health issues, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    I’m just presenting both sides. Just as being overweight can cause health problems, (but an overweight person does not necessarily have to have health issues) being underweight can also cause health problems (but an underweight person does not necessarily have to have health issues).

  50. There was an article in one of the daily gratis brain fried trash newspapers where the headline read: “Swiss women are the slimmest in Europe”. Was bloody headline news, mind!!!. I just googled the article (it can only be found in German) and it says that women here have the lowest BMI, ie, 24 and French men have the lowest at 25. The fatest Europeans are Turkish women and Tschechisen men.

  51. You really took to heart the worries from obese people about you being underweight? Interesting. 🙂

    Oh no, I wasn’t worried about my size at all. I was just tired of hearing their crap! One day, I tell ya, it’s gonna get really ugly… someone’s gonna say the wrong thing… I’ve been nice for too long!!!

    Actually, I did think something was wrong with me when I was a pre-teen. After I was told all the time that I was “too skinny.” Whatev…

    It is funny though how black Americans have some odd ideas about what weight is healthy. It seems to be related to having “meat on your bones.” I remember being on a black women’s message board once and there was a post about being thin/small, and one woman who was 5’4″ and 130 answered the shout out.

    Now that woman isn’t a bad size, but someone pointedly answered, “You think you’re SMALL? Really?”

    And the 5’4″, 130-pound woman said, “Well, I guess I’m really average. But the way people talk, I always thought I was very skinny/thin.”

    When I hit 130 about five years ago, that was a warning sign for me to get it together soon, or else!!!! I just didn’t tell anyone that I planned to lose 10-15 pounds… but I did it. 🙂

  52. foosrock,

    “There was an article in one of the daily gratis brain fried trash newspapers where the headline read: “Swiss women are the slimmest in Europe”…it says that women here have the lowest BMI, ie, 24 and French men have the lowest at 25.”

    Hmmm.

    I think it says a lot about our societies that the slimmest women in Europe are clinically right on the border of being overweight, and the slimmest men are on average clinically overweight. But that’s another topic, not this one. 🙂

  53. Bunny,

    “One day, I tell ya, it’s gonna get really ugly… someone’s gonna say the wrong thing… I’ve been nice for too long!!!”

    Lol. Nice, rabbit, nice… 🙂

    That 5’4″/130 woman must be from the South or a predominantly black area! Not that there is anything “large” about that weight at all.

    “When I hit 130 about five years ago, that was a warning sign for me to get it together soon, or else!!!! I just didn’t tell anyone that I planned to lose 10-15 pounds… but I did it. :)”

    You need to share your running tips with me, in the Clouds. I have a good core with abs, but I need more strength in my legs. I’d like to know miles, hours, etc and general tips. I would ask my sister but she is scary. She runs around all day with these 10 lb weights in her hands.

  54. Interesting post, although I don’t think society should just start acting like weight that is killing people and their whole wellbeing is healthy.

    I also like that quote about not telling anyone you’re going to lose weight, and just doing it. It’s good to have encouragement but I think sometimes living up to the expectations of the masses where a weight loss plan is concerned is just too much pressure. Plus the goal I’ve read should be to enjoy the process, not focus on the end result.

  55. While I may have some form of anti-fat bias, I don’t think that it manifests as cruel or discriminatory behavior toward fat people. I’ve been fat for most of my life so I know what it’s like and I’d never want to encourage someone to feel badly about him- or herself.

    I don’t think my stance on fat is due entirely to empathy, but is rather a reflection of my strong tendency to judge people more harshly based on their actions and words instead of their appearance.

  56. Eloquence,

    “Interesting post, although I don’t think society should just start acting like weight that is killing people and their whole wellbeing is healthy.”

    I don’t think so either. But when you’re unknowingly excluding overweight people from social activities, making certain comments, paying them less, etc. That’s a little bit of problem.

    Hi schnecke, welcome, welcome.

    Interesting, do you want to elaborate?… A self-described fat person with anti-fat bias? What a tangled web we weave. 🙂

  57. I find it interesting how this “Rob” person managed to hijack a thread about how overweight and obese women are discriminated against and made it about HIM. As if the advantages of being MALE in a PATRIARCHAL society apparently have no merit. IF some women have chosen to reject him, perhaps it isn’t about his stature but his attitude of entitlement. I’d also be curious to find out the race and ethnicity of this person as I’m certain he’d have a few other litany of complaints and excuses about why he’s a failure. Men who have a wining attitude don’t belittle serious subjects, deflect into Poor little me whining. They ACHIEVE and PRODUCE. Did Napoleon allow his shortness to impede his military ability, getting rid of rivals (look up the Dumas family) or have an “epic” romance? Nope. It speaks volumes about the weakness of someone to come to a women-oriented forum and pull that mess.

  58. If it’s a manifestation of anti-fat bias to call out the bs on grossly overweight and obese people, then I am firmly in that camp and I make no apologies. I have no problem with slightly overweight people. Just those who obviously need to get it together. You know obesity is a serious problem when people think it’s normal to be carrying several times their normal body weight. Then you have the attendant health and social costs, which are no joke. Including healthcare costs when preventable lifestyle diseases like diabetes, and its relative, renal failure, manifest themselves. It is a cost to the individuals, their families (because of the unnecessary diversion of income towards healthcare), and to the State (when they run out of money to pay for their bills, or lose their jobs or some other horrible circumstance). Given all that, I am in no mood to mollycoddle anyone who obstinately refuses to get it together. Sorry. People give all sorts of excuses, like the lack of access to healthy fare and blah, blah, blah. Like I said on another forum, limited funds don’t get in the way of somebody who cares about their health. I am not swimming in money; far from it. I just finished school, and I have been living on a shoe string budget. I did not feel the need to resort to the McDonald’s dollar menu. Instead, I shopped for frozen vegetables (which are cheap as hell), limited my meat intake to poultry, bought staples like rice (cheap, filling, lasts a long time), bought store brand 12 grain bread and all that jazz. This is also available at Walmart, which poor folks have access to. I don’t have the money for gym membership. So instead, I walked/ran. If you live in an unsavoury neighbourhood, google some Pilates or Yoga videos. They are available on Youtube and can be done from the comfort of your home. So you don’t have to worry about about the street harassers, rapists and other psychos that might live in your neighbourhood.
    Next, when discussing the issue of obesity, I notice some people like to point to people on the other extreme of the unhealthy scale – the anorexics and the bulimics. That is annoying. Telling someone to lose weight does not translate in telling them to jump to the other idiotic end of the spectrum. I mean really. It’s an argument that is usually not made in good faith, but one made to derail and take the spotlight from themselves and their weight issue.

  59. I feel really strongly about these issues, because diabetes and renal failure run in my family – they are hereditary. My grandmother died from Type I diabetes. Most of my aunts have the disease. Luckily, my mother doesn’t have it. But my dad has Type II diabetes – because of his poor eating habits. Some of my aunts are also overweight, which I felt played a role in this. I’ve also lost family members to kidney failure. In one case, my uncle first developed diabtes (probably Type I). He didn’t look after himself very well, nor did his family look after him. Before long, he developed kidney failure as a result of the diabetes, and not too long after that he died. He wasted away while he had kidney failure. He was abou 100lbs when he died. I’ve seen the horrors that these diseases wreak, and I wonder why people are so complacent about them. It’s a horrible, slow death. Especially if you are broke. Trust me.

  60. Bmi isn’t the end all be all. Depending on shape, some women can get away with a higher bmi than other women. If the extra weight is in the right places and your not sagging, you can spare a couple extra points. Especially for men. I am 6 ft and 185 pounds, the low end of the overweight section according to bmi, but I have a muscular build and am not in any way overweight. Likewise a woman with a high bmi but has a great ass and tits can spare a few pounds. The problem is women with a high bmi age faster, those extra pounds might be hot now, but as you age and they get saggy its going to be a turnoff. So for the long term, I think most women would do better for themselves to stay on the lower end of the “normal weight” section of the bmi scale.

  61. Faith,

    Lol.

    If he hadn’t mentioned Short Men someone else would have. So he just had good (bad?) timing. 🙂

    And I wouldn’t say this is a female-oriented blog, although I might cover topics more pertinent to women.

    Robynne,

    “…limited funds don’t get in the way of somebody who cares about their health.”

    But having a 9-5 job, cheap and easily accessible fatty foods, and little open space might. You can have all the money in the world, but if your living conditions aren’t conducive to a healthy weight, you won’t be a healthy weight.

    Part of healthy living is personal responsibility, and I agree that an individual should make attempts to control their weight before it becomes problematic. But we have to look at the larger picture. If there is a rapidly growing trend in most countries of people to keep gaining weight, which there is, at what point do we stop looking at the individual as the source of all responsibility? Everyone is just lazy, unmotivated, etc? Because everyone is getting fatter, even if they’re not clinically overweight or obese.

    “when discussing the issue of obesity, I notice some people like to point to people on the other extreme of the unhealthy scale – the anorexics and the bulimics. That is annoying. Telling someone to lose weight does not translate in telling them to jump to the other idiotic end of the spectrum.”

    But normalizing an anti-fat culture does.

    So the issue of anti-fat discrimination (not so much obesity, in general) is completely intertwined with the issue of rates of anorexia and bulimia.

  62. that guy,

    “Bmi isn’t the end all be all. Depending on shape, some women can get away with a higher bmi than other women.”

    Which was exactly my point.

    You looked at the raw height/weight given (iow, the BMI) and concluded “fat”. This is not necessarily the case. People have vastly different body types and weight distributions.

    “I think most women would do better for themselves to stay on the lower end of the “normal weight” section of the bmi scale.’

    Every woman can’t do that.

    Some (thin) people tend to think everyone can be thin, if they tried. This is false. Even if they ate right and exercised regularly, some people will never be a ~size 4-6 or below (BMI in the middle of “healthy weight”). Never. They could be a healthy size 8-10 though. But unless they ate basically nothing and exercised excessively, which is of course unhealthy, their body won’t sustain a smaller size. Just as it’s nearly impossible for some people to ever be “fat”, it’s nearly impossible for some people to ever be “thin”.

    “The problem is women with a high bmi age faster”

    I know this sounded exactly like the opposite of what I researched…

    And I was right.

    Low BMI has been associated with facial aging and increased mortality.

  63. Interesting, do you want to elaborate?… A self-described fat person with anti-fat bias? What a tangled web we weave.

    Yep, it happens. Most of the time it’s directed toward fat people who are larger than I am. When I see such a person I sometimes think, “Geez, I know I’m fat, but at least I’m not that big”. I’m fully aware how hypocritically smug such thoughts are, but I still can’t shake the feeling of self-satisfaction whenever I’m not the fattest person in the room. These thoughts seem more persistent now that I am losing a lot of weight.

    My prejudice is silent, however. I’ve never harangued anyone about their weight or appearance and have never felt a desire to do so. My prejudice displays primarily as social discrimination: who I chose to sit next to on the train, who I initiate conversations with at social gatherings, etc.

  64. schnecke,

    “Most of the time it’s directed toward fat people who are larger than I am. When I see such a person I sometimes think, “Geez, I know I’m fat, but at least I’m not that big”… My prejudice displays primarily as social discrimination: who I chose to sit next to on the train, who I initiate conversations with at social gatherings, etc.”

    Interesting. Seems like you’re internalizing anti-fat bias? It’s like what sometimes happens with members of any other marginalized group; race, ethnicity, gender, etc — the cause of such phenomenons like “I Have No Female Friends”.

  65. I agree BMI doesn’t tell the whole picture. But “healthy weight” is also individual, and it’s often not what makes you “hottest”.

    For example, I don’t feel well when I go under 52 kg (converter says that’s around 114 lbs). And I still look the same! (I have a curvy body, small waist, big butt, that sort of things), and frankly, it’s not noticeable. So people usually advise me to lose some more weight… But I just know it’s not a good idea; I simply don’t feel well! I can’t explain it.

    I’m around 54-55 kg now (118-121 lbs) and I feel fine. So I think healthy weight is individual, and has a lot to do with metabolism and not just the body shape. (I won’t even go into beauty standards).

  66. Full disclosure: I am a fat woman.

    Human beings can be shallow, irrational and lack logic and I am ok with that. At the end of the day, human beings will be human beings.

    I ’m anti-fat. Extremely so even. Most fat people are just bloody LAZY and get on my effing nerves making excuses as to WHY it’s so hard to WORK out and EAT HEALTHY to lose weight.

    While I think Zoe is a bit too thin, I admit another bias… I’d take being underweight any day over being overweight.

    I am a fat woman who lives in America and have never perceived any discrimination against me based on weight. Here in America one is bombarded with conflicting messages and for those with low self-esteem I would well imagine that life can be difficult. I know that my own thoughts and actions do not add to anti-fat discrimination.

  67. Sandy, none at all? That’s interesting. America is pretty anti-fat (despite having a large number of obese people).

  68. Sandy, none at all? That’s interesting. America is pretty anti-fat.

    No, none at all. Most people think one dimensionally and I always work on thinking in three dimensions. And yes America is very anti-fat even in the face of how high the obesity rate is.

  69. America is pretty anti-fat (despite having a large number of obese people).

    HUH?!!!. This is certainly a schizophrenic thought (yours?)?. I don’t see how the US is anti-fat. Are you referencing the Hollywood obsession with size zero?. It’s a business, ya know, they’re selling an image. Elaborate Alee.

  70. Ooooooo, you know, I went running and it’s only during my cool down that it came to mind I misunderstood this post completely as well your last comment on Americans being anti-fat despite being the fatest Nation.
    So let me back track. I’m not anti-fat. AT ALL!. To each their own conscious misery. But if you seek out my help as a mature, responsible adult, I’m kind, tender, empathic, but I want to see results, ie, one working on whatever issue they sought out my help for, not burdening me with it.
    Agree, Americans are truly anti-fat, but that shows me how “sick” this nation of people are!.

  71. America is pretty anti-fat (despite having a large number of obese people).

    This is probably true, but I think it’s much worse in my country. There aren’t that many obese people, but the idea on what’s thin. healthy and fat is quite skewed. Many Hollywood beauties would be seen as fat and unattractive in my culture. It goes as far as not being able to find clothes for yourself if you’re not super skinny. I’m not talking about special clothes for obese people, I mean on something that a girl with at least a bit of a butt or stronger legs can wear! It’s crazy.

  72. I certainly don’t descriminate because of weight, but I will admit being mystified about a drive to eat that could knowingly cause damage to your body. My mother is a diabetic and just got her license revoked because of bleeding behind her eyes that could eventually cause blindness. Yes, she still eats sweet potato pies. I have little simpathy for her behaviors, and I admit it.

  73. foosrock,

    “HUH?!!!. This is certainly a schizophrenic thought (yours?)?. I don’t see how the US is anti-fat. Are you referencing the Hollywood obsession with size zero?. It’s a business, ya know, they’re selling an image.”

    No, I’m talking about Hollyweird. They are beyond anti-fat, they are anti-normal. 🙂

    I’m talking in general. Americans tend to be very discriminatory towards overweight and obese people. They assume certain things about them, make insensitive jokes. And everyone is afraid to be fat, it’s the Ultimate Fear. I even read one survey where women said they would rather be blind or dead than be obese!

    America isn’t really fat per se. There are just more obese people than in other countries. But there are also lots of normal weight people. The average American BMI is only 1 or 2 indexes higher than most countries.

    America is sick? Hmmm, but I’d still say a person of normal or slightly overweight size is better off in the U.S. than in countries like Mira’s. The U.S. is much more tolerant of healthy weight than a lot of the European countries.

  74. Hi Christelyn,

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see diabetes as a “fat” condition.

    Certainly, being overweight increases your chances of being diagnosed with diabetes. But of the people in my family with diabetes, none are overweight! They just eat (or ate) very unhealthy. And I think that’s the real link — eating unhealthy greatly increases your chances of becoming insulin resistant, as it also increases your chance of becoming overweight. I also think there is a strong genetic component to the acquiring of Type II diabetes that isn’t emphasized as often as “don’t eat so much” is.

  75. Seems like you’re internalizing anti-fat bias?

    That’s a very real possibility; I’m working on it though. 🙂

    It’s like what sometimes happens with members of any other marginalized group; race, ethnicity, gender, etc — the cause of such phenomenons like “I Have No Female Friends”.

    Ack, not the “special snowflake syndrome”! If this isn’t motivation enough to change my line of thinking, I don’t know what is…

  76. schnecke,

    Lol. Yes, the special snowflake syndrome. With a bit of a sinister twist. 🙂

    It’s admirable to want to get your health in order and lose weight, but you shouldn’t scorn people who are on the same road as you are. Who knows? They might be getting there as well, even if they are far behind you…

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