Obsessity: Being obsessed with weight and how to be thinner, especially when armored with advertising, stereotypes, junk science, images in the media, and fear as motivators
And the problem is that obsessity DOESN’T happen only to fat people. It happens to my girlfriend who is a size 4, but won’t wear shorts because “her legs are fat.” It happens to teenagers who pinch imaginary blubber from flat stomachs. That’s not to say that it doesn’t also affect plus size women and men. Of course it does. Many women who wear a size 20 “dream” of wearing a size 14. My point is that obsessity has become the norm in our culture, where it’s encouraged for people to tell each other how terrible we feel about the way we look. And size acceptance is a dirty word.
That’s crazy. Khloe Kardashian comes to mind; she’s 5’9″. A few months ago, on national television, her mother scolded her for being “fat” and not upholding the image of their brand “QuickTrim.” This actually tells us a lot about both obsessity and dieting (because the two are very related). It turns out that Kloe WAS a size 8, and she dropped 10 pounds out of embarrassment from her mother’s insult. So now she’s a size 6. And yet, she’s constantly referred to as the “big sister” (and no one is talking about her height). And then, in a blog post, she wrote, “My weight is my biggest lifetime struggle.” Wow. She doesn’t struggle with how to be a better person through patience or kindness, or with letting go of the past, or with learning a new hobby or art. She struggles with keeping her weight at a level that’s acceptable to the other people in her life. She struggles with size acceptance.
And then, of course, since she’s a celebrity who has someone else to cook for her (at every meal) and access to a high-powered gym (with lots of extra time to work out), she loses 10 pounds. But guess who gets the credit? A diet pill. Of course. And then those of us who have to cook for ourselves and can hardly find time to even do that believe that the diet pill will be our miracle answer. Or we give up spending time with our families so we can do “2 a days” at the gym. THAT’s what I mean by crazy.
Size acceptance is a fundamental step in improving our self-esteem. If we can truly embrace the idea that size is just a number, and that what matters is that we’re healthy, happy, and active, and that all body types are NOT the same, then we can get past obsessity.
Here’s my anti-obsessity challenge: Next week, for just one week, stay off the scale, only praise yourself when you look in the mirror, and focus each day on one part of your body that you love. And then tell me how you feel!
For the rest of the week, I’m going to talk about other aspects of self esteem, and why loving ourselves the way we are now is so important. I’ll get back to size issues again next week.
Find out more about our size acceptance charity blogathon.
Shop for all kinds of plus size lingerie at AboutCurves.