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Fat Shaming Is Bad, So Is Obesity OK?

10/06/2016 8:35 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
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A generic stock image of an overweight woman in Bristol city centre.

"Fat-shaming" and "body-shaming" are like the most millennial terms ever! They are among the most used terms among social media activists these days.

"Fardeen Khan gives a fitting response to the trolls who fat-shamed him"

"Amy Schumer has the perfect comeback for the jerk who fat-shamed her"

"Kim K gives the finger to her body-shamers with her latest nudes"

These are the types of headlines we see every single day. If you happen to read the comments on these posts, you will see that they are, predictably, heavily divided. On the one side, we have the "you do you!" supporters and on the other side, we have the extremely concerned "fat is bad" folks with their unsolicited advice.

As someone who has been overweight (veering from slightly to a bit too much) his entire life, I'm not really sure which side I'm on!

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I recently watched this quirky, romantic high school comedy-drama called The Duff. It's about a girl who realizes that she's the Designated Ugly Fat Friend (DUFF! Get it?). Now, the actress who played the "duff" is, by normal standards, a skinny and attractive woman! But according to Hollywood, she's supposed to be ugly and fat!

People shame people, people shame themselves. This leads to a generation of unhappy, unsatisfied, whiny little humans!

Although the movie ends on a positive note with everyone realizing "duff" isn't something to be used in a literal way, it just means "outcast" and then everyone in the movie was like "I'm a duff too" and yadayadaya, it's not wrong to say the beauty standards set by the entertainment industry are extremely unrealistic.

Everyone, both girls, and boys, are taught from a very young age that they need to look a certain way. From Barbie dolls and He-Man toys to the supermodels in the underwear ads, they have all been helping society to keep expectations higher than Willie Nelson on a Tuesday. And if puberty doesn't show mercy on them and they don't meet those expectations, the bullying and the shaming begin! So when these people are famous or celebrities, it all becomes public. And anyone who watches all of that starts to take a good look in the mirror and starts shaming themselves. And thus begin the body-image issues!

So yes, it's a real thing. People shame people, people shame themselves. This leads to a generation of unhappy, unsatisfied, whiny little humans!

We tell everyone they are perfect the way they are, we tell ourselves we are perfect the way we are... Everyone's a perfect little snowflake! But is everyone healthy?

So it's only natural that everyone who believes in individuality, mostly liberals, tries to change this. We tell the world, it's okay to be yourself, don't be ashamed, don't apologize. We tell everyone they are perfect the way they are, we tell ourselves we are perfect the way we are. This leads to a happier and more accepting society that sees a person as something more than their body or how they look. Everyone's confident, everyone's happy. Everyone's a perfect little snowflake!

But is everyone healthy? Umm... That's debatable.

Full disclosure! I'm a couch potato. I don't run, I don't go to the gym and I eat a lot. Like a lot, a lot! I'm young but let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if my heart calls it quits tomorrow! So I'm not really the one to talk about being "healthy."

Having said that, I would be lying if I said I don't find it a teeny tiny bit difficult to accept the fact that, maybe, just maybe, we are glorifying obesity.

Yes, fat-shaming or body-shaming or any kind of shaming of anyone for being who they are is plain wrong. Absolutely no doubt about that. With all the growing support everywhere, even I feel like I'm not obese, I'm just being my true self!

With all the support everywhere, even I feel like I'm not obese, I'm just being my true self! My BMI calculator tells me I should be worried, though.

My stats on a BMI calculator tell me I should be worried, though.

So I feel like there should be a line drawn somewhere. Along with encouraging tolerance and acceptance and ending bigotry, we also need to encourage being healthy.

Because the world would be a much better place if everyone is unapologetically themselves -- and healthy!

Ok, I'm done with my holier-than-thou article. Let me go find my running shoes. It should be somewhere in the pile of running shoes I buy every year when I have epiphanies like this!

This article was originally published on the Millennial Introvert

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