24 June 2014

Come Gather 'Round People Wherever You Roam; And Admit That The Waters Around You Have Grown

If you've followed this blog for a while, you probably know by now that sunflowers are my favorite. I received this set from ASOS's main range, and was so pleased that their straight-size UK 18 (US 14) actually fit. Because ASOS's sizing is sometimes inconsistent, it's difficult to know when something will fit nicely/be way too tight/fall off entirely. Because I am so in love with the pattern, a mix of sunflowers and polka dots (two very me things), the fact that some good, old size experimentation paid off makes me very happy. I have so many plus-size friends who refuse to try different sizes, but it just goes to show that even within the same brand, size inconsistencies exist. Thus why I always encourage trying everything.
This morning, I woke up to a comment from a public health professional, on a photo of myself and some fellow bloggers. It read: "I think society pushes size acceptance over health and wellness. Every size is beautiful, but every size is not healthy. Obesity puts people at a greater risk for preventable diseases." She left this comment on a photo that was just of some plus-size bloggers together, having a laugh -- it wasn't even a body pos, or "fat pride" post. It was just four women together, who happen to be plus-size, smiling together.
What I said: "I believe it's unfair to judge people's health based on a photo. I know plenty of men and women who are categorized as obese by a medical textbook, but are infinitely more active than some of the thin people I know. Health and size aren't always correlated, and making that assumption when you know nothing of a person's diet, health or exercise habits isn't justifiable. I understand you work in public health, so I am sure you know there are plenty of things that put people at a greater risk for preventable diseases: smoking, drinking, tanning. But that doesn't mean everyone who smokes, drinks or tans is unhealthy or destined for disease."
And I also had to say this: "Society isn't as a whole a size accepting place. The whole reason plus-size women began blogging was to try to bring some body positivity to an otherwise predominantly judgmental, bullying society. If society were accepting, people who are different in any way from the pre-approved norm, be it people who are fat, people who wear glasses, people are are Goth, wouldn't be judged and made to feel inferior everywhere they go. Individuals need to stand up for size acceptance, because 'society' surely won't stand up for them."
A side note to conclude my rant: I'd like to point out that Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, the 25-year-old Icelandic strongman who plays The Mountain in Game of Thrones weighs over 400 pounds, and I guarentee he is fitter, and probably far more "healthy" by medical terms than anyone I know in real life, fat or thin. I leave you with this:
 Get the Look (Mine, of course, not Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson's):
ASOS Sunflower Hair Garland, $8, ASOS
ASOS Double Layer Crop Cami in Patchwork Sunflower Print, $34, ASOS
ASOS Shorts in Sunflower Print, $60, ASOS


7 comments:

  1. A kind and well thought out response to the photo comment. The scale is not the only tool by which we measure physical health. As a society we tend to not even look at things like emotional and mental well being when we formulate an idea of how healthy someone is overall. I am one of the larger people in my group of friends, but I am also one of the strongest with the most stamina when we are doing things like hiking and swimming and such. I get sucked into trying to meet media standards as much as the next person, so thank you for the lovely reminder that my body is strong and able, even it is not small.

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    1. Thank you, Bridget. I tried to be polite to the person who sent those messages, because I don't think she meant to sound as belittling and hateful as she did. I find it so distressing that people have stubbornly decided scale is always an indicator of health. And like you said, that health has become synonymous with how thin and fit you are, as opposed to your psychological health and well being -- which I personally find far more important. I can only see your small photo here, but you look beautiful, and I have no doubt you are a strong person. Thanks for proving that people of all sizes can be strong, fit and happy!

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  2. I typically ignore people like that because it's too upsetting to me to try and deal with it. Kudos for your calm response!

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    1. I try to ignore people, but I'm no good at it. I always think about what they've said and turn it around and around in my head even when I know what they're saying is BS.

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  3. I love that you're standing in a garden for these photos. You look like a sunflower yourself, perfectly at home in the garden bed. The bleached tint creates the perfect mood, too.

    Your anecdote about the "heavy isn't healthy" comment is interesting, especially since it seemed like such an unnecessary , inappropriate time to make the comment. I understand how body-positive posts can spark that type of reaction, but that just the existence of a plus size body can trigger it is alarming. Your response was civil and controlled, especially your analogy to other vices. We don't suspect every person we see having a drink is an alcoholic. Why then do so many people assume that being overweight is automatically linked to being unhealthy, a drain on the health system, etc.? Thanks for your thoughts!

    <3 Liz
    www.withwonderandwhimsy.com

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    1. Thank you liz! Hehe I tried editing the pictures so it all looked a bit Secret Garden-ish. So I'm glad the tint works.

      I appreciate what you've said regarding my comments to that person. I don't even think she meant to sound as ignorant as she did. It's just that those ideas are so engrained in society people don't question them -- and that's the bigger problem!

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