The Different Degrees of Body Shaming

I understand the posts about body shaming. I know it’s wrong. There really is no wrong way to have a body. However, there is a difference between being unhealthy and being overweight/underweight.

You can be overweight and still be healthy. Because of the stupid BMI calculator (the single most piece of shit in medical books ever), most people are overweight. People can look completely normal and still be in the “overweight” category. People can be in the “underweight” category and still be completely healthy. You can also be at an unhealthy range of “overweight” and “underweight”. Those become a problem when you can’t do day-to-day activities without the help of a scooter or when you think you can always lose more weight at 5’10 and 98 lbs. That is unhealthy, and that is no way to live. These people need help.

What is wrong is making someone feel like utter shite because they are ashamed of how they look and feel. Yes, people should feel happy about their bodies. The funny thing, even the people who are saying that they are proud of their bodies are pretty miserable with theirs, too (I’ve seen several admit this). Everyone has self-esteem issues. Everyone. I cannot stress that enough. The easiest (and most hilarious) way I can show this is with a clip from the movie White Chicks. I am pretty sure that every girl out there (and a lot of guys) has thought this at least once in their life. It happens. People get depressed, they gain weight, lose weight. Every body is different on what is healthy and what isn’t. A generic range isn’t going to work for everyone.

I have severe health problems caused by me being overweight. And I use that term to be nice to myself. I am obese. My blood pressure is really the only thing that’s been normal on me since I got over 200 lbs. I was pre-diabetic as of a year ago (I haven’t been to the doctor in so long because of moving and not having insurance), one test away from being declared diabetic. I have poly cystic ovaries; I am very near being infertile. I am bipolar II. Being obese made all of these worse. All of them. I get depressed easier, I ovulate less, and storing fat doesn’t help my body process insulin correctly (I am insulin resistant because of the PCOS).

Over the past few months I have been exercising more, eating better, fitting into my clothes better. I’ve been buying smaller clothes than the size that I am because I am losing the weight. I am working hard towards something. I can now hike for HOURS without getting tired. I can probably break cheek bones with a single punch now. I don’t shake when I get really hungry anymore (a sign of low blood sugar that most diabetics get). I have goals, I am achieving them, and I feel better about myself (slowly, but surely, I am getting happier). Making me feel like attempting to be happy with the way I am, just like how you say you are happy with the way you are, is a bad thing is not what “no body shame” should be about. Yes, you’re happy and accepting that you are the way you are. That’s fine. You are all making me feel like the hard work I put in is useless because I should just be happy with the way I am.

I am not like that. I cannot just settle for being the big girl, being out of shape, being tired all the time. You go ahead and be happy with the way you are, but don’t talk down to me because I want to be healthy. There is an unhealthy way to have a body. You wouldn’t tell a starving kid in Africa that they should just be happy with how they are, and you wouldn’t tell someone that weighed over 400 lbs that they should continue living the way they do.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Char
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 14:41:41

    Very well said! I am super proud of you for all the hard work you have been putting forth toward YOUR goals. And that’s what actually matters – how YOU feel and what YOU want for yourself.


    • Missy Q.
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 14:54:10

      <3 Thank you so much, Char! I know people are trying to get that across, but they posted it like they were talking down to everyone who was trying to make themselves better and be happy. I had to post a response because of that.


  2. Jen (@daharaDreams)
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 22:46:41

    Dude. I am predisposed for depression, diabetes, and gall bladder stones (attacks/removal). I have two out of three in fucking spades. I will not think I am less than because of my current shape or size. I will however, thing twice about what I put into my mouth now because of my gall bladder attacks and depression/anxiety. Which, let me tell you, is no hour long hike of fulfillment. So I run. So I do weights. So I do yoga. So I meal plan. Because I don’t want to be cut open because I couldn’t say no to delicious, delicious ice cream/cheese/butter/more cheese. I love cheese.

    I think part of the message that keeps overlapping but gets ignored from the two related-but-distinct camps, is the fact that we *cannot* hate ourselves. We *cannot* deny ourselves happiness. But we also must acknowledge what it takes to be HEALTHY. At any size. At any clothing tag number.

    To which I say, go on with your bad self, Missy! Hike the shit out of those mountains and take care of YOU. And yes, FUCK BMI. There are billions of people in every socio-economic lifestyle. If you think one chart can take all of that and determine what is healthy for you, you are fooling yourself.


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