Is Fat A Trend Now? 2

Are fat people happy? Carrie Steele is not convinced.

Fat baby Santiago-MendozaBABY SANTIAGO WAS in the news recently because he weighed in at 40 pounds – pretty hefty for an 8 month old, that’s for sure. The most interesting part of the story to me was how he got that way. It turns out that his parents fed him every time he was upset or unhappy, which is how he ended up weighing about three times as much as he should. Interesting too, was that those smart Columbian Doctors were able to deduce that Santiago had been ‘overfed’. Well, you don’t say!

If Santiago wasn’t a baby, this story wouldn’t have made the news at all. In truth, the only thing everyone is up in arms about here is how he got fat, not that he is fat. If he were somewhat older and able to get to the cookie jar or the hotdog stand on his own, not aided and abetted by his parents, there wouldn’t be as much objection.

The world is full of people who weigh a lot more than they should, and it seems to me that these days it’s increasingly acceptable to be obese. The allure of ‘large women’ seems to be growing, if a flick through the women’s mags at the dentist is anything to go by. Kim Kardashian gets away with it. She’s one hefty mama who’s been glamorised into some sort of oversized goddess, and then there’s Jo Lo’s sizeable, much celebrated arse, which seems to have provided a lot of young women with the perfect excuse to force down another donut. Quite different to when I was a young thing, and sporting with a perky little arse of my own which bothered me no end – to the point that I recall buying some contraption from a mail order catalogue which comprised of a pair of cheap plastic trousers with a hose that hooked up to a vacuum cleaner to sweat off a few inches while exercising. Was it successful? What do you think?

kim-kardashian-fat-feetJust recently on television, Seven Sharp ran a story on fat young women. Well, it was largely (no pun intended) about blogger ‘Meaghan’, whose ‘project’ for her visual arts course was all about making fat girls feel gorgeous. She offered quite profound advice to other big girls, such as: “It’s okay to wear stripes”, and “Buy a bikini and wear it”, and more or less blamed her own obesity on the fact that she developed boobs ahead of anyone else in her class. The item focused on a group of proud ‘plus size’ girls parading in the prescribed bikinis and reportedly feeling absolutely fantastic flaunting their flesh. Meaghan, by the way, reports that her “cholesterol and blood readings” are better than the thin members of her family. Well, that’s just fine and dandy then, keep chomping. Apparently this young lady has tried dieting, but it only made her ill, and after reading ‘some literature’ that says ‘dieting doesn’t work’, she has decided that the best advice is to simply eat whatever you want.

That’s absolutely fine, eat whatever you want, get as fat as you want, but don’t expect the rest of us to stand in awe of obesity and start celebrating it, it’s not a badge of honour, it never was and it never will be. As people get larger, even the medical profession has stretched the parameters on how much ‘largesse’ is too much. Why I wonder, do they seldom seem to mention weight to anyone big, and yet are quick to talk weight with anyone who’s a little on the small side? What’s happening here? What kind of wacky reversal is going on? Someone like me jumps obligingly on the scales and next thing my Doc is writing me a script for a bone density scan because I’m on the light side and fast approaching the big 50. From ‘the literature’ I’ve read, the best indicators of bone health are a diet high in plant foods and regular weight bearing exercise, so I’m sweet there. I might just go for that bone density scan, just to prove my point, and just for the hell of it. Maybe a repeat when I’m 60, to see if another 10 years of healthy living can improve it even further, even with my ‘advancing age’.

stripesBack to baby Santiago. Acording to reports, he will be placed on “a strict diet of juice and vegetables”. Maybe that’s something those girls parading down the beach in their bikinis the other night could have a go at, if they ever decide that they’re not as ecstatically happy with themselves as we are led to believe. CARRIE STEELE

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2 thoughts on “Is Fat A Trend Now?

  • Rachel Walker

    I agree that obesity is becoming a problem for our younger generations but to tie that in with how women are perceived in the media? Come on! Women should be able to feel beautiful and secure in themselves regardless of size. Meagan has a great blog that empowers a certain demographic (and I’m sure more) and is genuinely focused on natural & organic foods. And who says that JLo’s arse isn’t healthy? The fact that magazines are actually starting to show women of all sizes is something pretty damn wonderful.

  • Gary Steel Post author

    I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with Carrie’s blog.
    On the one hand, I think it’s sad that so many people (women, especially) are conditioned to get their sense of self-worth through body image, and if they don’t conform to what society tells us is perfect size, there’s a strong sense of failure. In this respect, yeah, it’s great that media is starting to reflect a variety of sizes and shapes rather than just the pencil thin models of yore.
    But I can see what Carrie is talking about. There’s a sense that things have swung the other way, and that we’re now celebrating/normalising obesity. But then, obesity shouldn’t be confused with ‘large’. It’s pretty obvious that some people are just built big.
    But even that has a caveat: I’m convinced that apart from poor diets in general, generations of dairy and meat-‘enriched’ feeding of children in NZ has resulted in the preponderance of ‘big’ here.
    If you look at Asian countries and go back a couple of generations to when dairy wasn’t a part of the culture, and meat only comprised maybe 10 percent of total diet, body shapes were petite. Asians are getting fat now through Western junk food, high blood pressure through the saturated fat of high protein/meat consumption, and in NZ, second-generation Asians’ breast and bum sizes are mimicking European-origin Kiwis. There has to be a correlation.
    One other thing: Carrie mentions criticism of thin sizes, especially in women. This is something I’ve experienced first hand. I’ve had a few female friends over the years who just happen to be naturally thin, and they’ve constantly been exposed to criticism (envy?) – so the injustice goes both ways.
    We should forget about body size and treat people as people, and concentrate on good, plant-based nutrition and exercise. We’d still get all shapes and sizes, I reckon, but not the rampant ill-health and disease we’re currently seeing.