Ahahah, I lured you in didn’t I. Didn’t I?! In all seriousness, though. One of my friends posts on Tumblr about being thin vs being heavier and the under or overrated issues that plague them both. So here’s my two cents.
As cliched as it’s going to sound, I don’t care about if you think you’re heavy or thin. Victimizing yourself from either side is a little peevish at times, because of the fact that you’re implying the other side has it easier or at least it’s their fault whereas you’re unable to control the situation.
On both extremes of the spectrum, there are physical and biological reasons why a person can or can’t control their body weight. This can bea metabolism alteration or a psychological state that induces a certain kind of behavior.
And that means it’s not their fault, guys. It’s bad enough to say that a person is fat because they do nothing and laze around all day without the incentive to exercise…it’s equally as horrible bitching about someone who’s thin and claiming they’re anorexic or they shouldn’t complain because they get to be thin.
Both sides have disadvantages. Anyone outside the average to a substantive amount has issues. Let’s take clothes as an example. A friend complains about not being able to find pants in their size (let’s make it a her just because I’m a her and I know how sizes work for hers >>) because they’re overweight. Either the pants are never flattering in the appropriate size, or the person is also tall and thus doesn’t find anything that would adjust both to their waist and their ankles appealingly. So jeans are out of the question, as the fit can be awkward when it’s not perfect. Now let’s pan over to her friend, who’s on the other side of the scale and weighing in as almost “questionably” thin to the onlooker. They complain that they can’t find anything that fits either, but for the opposite reason. Or even similar ones, maybe. Consider this: in general, the thinner pants get, the shorter they become. So this friend is really thin, but also tall. So they can’t buy in petites, and size 0’s are relatively short for any girl over the average height. And then let’s take into account that annoying size variation per company’s standards. So she can fit in a 0 at one store, but at another store even a 0 is too big. And she loves the pants but they just look loose and oversized.
So the friends have been bitching now about these obstacles, when all of the sudden the thin girl says “wait a minute, at least there’s always something IN your size! (let’s assume the “heavier” girl is oh, a size 10-12?)”. The heavier girl is infuriated by this insensitive comment and retaliates with a “Oh yeah, well at least you can say you wear a size 0 and you look good in everything”. But both girls are in the wrong.
Let’s use my experience as an example (and I want to emphasize that I am NOT using this as a forum for bitching and victimizing myself. These are just feelings that I have, and I in no way want to imply or DO imply that anyone else’s issues concerning this subject are any less important or legitimate): I feel little guilt in saying that I am a naturally small person. Part of it might be my heritage, and all of it is biochemical and biological in nature. I am 100 pounds and 5’5″, wearing on average a size 0-2, sometimes a 00 if the store’s size fits. I’ve always been thin. I’ve always been able to stay at around 100 without gaining or losing much weight. Now let’s PRETEND I’m the thinner friend who was just told that at least I get to say I wear a size 0. But now let’s take into account the connotations that come with being a size 0. While on the outside it might seem like the idel body shape (and I suppose in many instances it is), there’s a lot of subtle glaring going on in the back for jealousy or whatever other reason. So I don’t want to flaunt, perse, that I wear a size zero or that I weigh what I do. This is because the responses I get are of complete and utter shock and awe, to the point that it makes me feel uncomfortable. I imagine this is equally as unpleasant for anyone who feels they are on the other side of the spectrum, and neither side is deserving on this treatment.
Okay so now let’s pretend I want to exercise (I promise I did want to at one point…><). I mention to friends who consider themselves average or even a little overweight or whatever their perception of themselves is that I want to start working out when I go to college to stay in shape. I get sneers. I get a lot of “don’t even talk to me” snarls headed my direction. And my heavier friend is over talking to some other people now about how she could really go for a slice of pizza right now and a bag of chips. Now everyone talking to her gives her looks as if to say “really? Do you really need that?” and all of the sudden she’s wishing she had said she had a craving for a salad, just to save face.
And one of my friends mentioned the other day how there’s so much more than just controlling food intake and pants sizes that determine if a person is fat or thin, in shape or out of shape. The term “big boned”, while slightly humorous, is in part true. You can only be as thin as your body lets you, and sometimes that appears to be more or less than others. And let’s not forget muscles as a factor, because they add a significant amount of weight on the scale. I have no muscle and I’m completely out of shape. But I’m told to shut up about exercise because I don’t need it and to the naked eye I seem to be in prime shape. But that’s not the case at all, and I can tell you this from experience, haha.
Now let’s pan to yet another friend, who maybe is only a 5-6 in pants size (from my experience, anything above a 4 seems to be something to complain about…?). She looks a little heavier, a little meatier, than me. And when she mentions pizza she gets judgmental looks and people WISH she’d go exercise. Little do they know, she’s exercising almost to an unhealthy point. 10 miles on the treadmill a day and more on weekends, plus additional core exercise.
So let’s be honest here. This person exercises more than I think I have in my lifetime, but she’s still considered heavier because of her appearance. But when talking to her, you learn that she’s “bigger boned” and her family might naturally be “larger”. And then you learn that she’s lost as much weight as safely possible and that most of the “bulk” is, in fact, muscle. Let’s then push her farther and make her anorexic. She now follows this strict regiment and eats only an apple a day, if that. By the time she’s borderline hospitalized, her skin is hanging off of her bones and you can see the definition in every single muscle in her body. Her lowest weight is now 110. Now let’s take me, just roaming around aimlessly being lazy and clueless, eating pizza and drinking soda and not exercising daily, weighing at maximum 105.
This isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s not my fault, it’s not their fault. It’s just the way we were built. A size 4 isn’t bad, guys. A size 6 isn’t bad, as far as I’m concerned. Really, no size is bad. What bothers me (on both sides) is when the person can do something, consciously, and chooses not to. Or most importantly, doesn’t even want to consider the effort. It’s one thing to try really hard to exercise and eat healthy and not progress as quickly as possible. It’s another thing to just complain about it and scoff at the idea of taking initiative. It’s equally as annoying when someone who’s thin complains about not being able to gain weight, while watching them eating nothing more than a salad each day.
So this has been a long post, and I’m sure there are plenty of reasons for you to jump down my throat about what I’ve said, but I really do feel like it’s become a huge them vs them that shouldn’t exist.
I don’t think either is worse than the other. I don’t think I’m any more a victim of my 100 pound body I can’t necessarily control than a 300-pound body with equal difficulties. Both sides have to deal with obstacles and disapproval, and both reserve an equal right to bitch about their situation.
So. Now I’m tired and I’m going to collapse and not exercise, even though I should because I could do with some muscle mass. But grocery day is fast approaching, so that’ll probably be my time to heave-ho and collapse in my pile of food xD
- Food as Pants Multiplier (isthispants.com)
- To be or not to be skinny? (sanctimoniouslyyours.com)
- Thin is good, fat is bad. (20somethingfitness.wordpress.com)
- Boning Up on Weight-Bearing Exercise (everydayhealth.com)
- What size are you? (strong-is-the-new-beautiful.com)
- Easy secrets for body confidence (mindfulmod.com)
- What We Eat Can Alter The Brain Regions That Regulate Body Weight (medicalnewstoday.com)