1. what other people look like (or what they choose to wear) is no one else’s business;
2. there is more to a person than what they look like;
3. you can’t make assumptions about what is going on with someone either physically, emotionally, or spiritually based on appearances;
4. external validation of a person’s beauty shold be not be given importance – what counts is what you feel about yourself, and hopefully by extension if you feel good about yourself you will take care of your health.
And on to the questions…
What feelings do you have about how fat the general population in North America is becoming? I think our overall health is in decline, and the obesity is just an extension of that. Like you said, people are more sedentary nowadays, plus people have such rushed lives that neither get enough sleep and they eat a lot of convenience foods, both of which throw your hormones and metabolism out of whack. I think a lot of Americans also have depression, stress, and anxiety, which exacerbates the problem.
Should we promote that “beauty comes in all sizes” and we should “embrace our curves”? Yes, while at the same time promoting good health and also not throwing thin people under the bus in an effort to make curvy/heavy people feel better about themselves. “All sizes” means tall, short, thin, fat, straight, curvy, having all limbs, missing limbs, etc.
Should people who are morbidly obese be considered handicapped, and be allowed to modify their work spaces or work from home, or collect disability or be able to sue businesses like buses or airlines for not having seats big enough for them? I think it is more complicated than that. People are obese for different reasons. Some might be more valid reasons for being considered disabled than others. There is also the possibility of temporary disability for people who might be in treatment for health or emotional issues.
Is it really helping kids to tell them that their weight is fine, and adjust ideas of body image to include obesity as an okay thing? I think the main thing we need to teach kids is physical, mental, and emotional health skills. I don’t think we should promote that obese is something to be yippy-skippy about, but kids shouldn’t equate obesity with being worthless as a person or worthy of ridicule. That is the message sent by society currently.
Is self-esteem building useful vs. looking at weight realistically? I don’t necessarily think the two are mutually exclusive.6 months ago