• Fat Shaming, The Obesity Epidemic, and a Sizeless Beauty Standard

Fat Shaming, The Obesity Epidemic, and a Sizeless Beauty Standard. Original blog post by www.letter2self.com

I recently posted this article about Tess Munster to my Facebook page. I love Tess Munster and it has nothing to do with her size. She is beautiful and it has nothing to do with her looks. She is a genuinely awesome person who wants people to be able to love themselves no matter where they are at and to throw societal beauty standards away. She started the #effyourbeautystandards movement, has overcome an insane amount of bullying and abuse (she had to quit school because of it) and withstands hundreds of mean comments about her body on a daily basis. This woman is amazing and I hope her confidence spreads like fire.

That being said, once I posted the article, I received this comment:

Tess Munster Link Comment on Facebook.com/letter2self

You can go to my Facebook Page if you were looking to see my actual reply to this comment, but I wanted to write a formal reply here, as it’s something I’ve been thinking about NON STOP for days. Seriously, I can’t get it out of my head.

First of all, I normally ignore comments. Why? Because they are almost always foolish and a waste of time. ‘Throwing your pearls before swine’ and so on. The one word comment followed with a link… don’t do that! It’s so freakin’ annoying. Seriously. If you have an opinion or something to say, then SAY IT. Don’t just put a Bible verse, link, youtube video, or a “yes/no” reply with no commentary. You look like an idiot, so just don’t. Easily one of my biggest social media pet peeves of ALL TIME. (Second only to people who bash their significant other on social media, but that’s another post for another time.)

That off my chest, this reply can be split into two section: Health and Beauty. Contrary to his oh-so-detailed comment, this dude clearly doesn’t distinguish between these two things. If he deems her unhealthy then apparently she can’t be beautiful. So, let me break it down.


Beauty

Fat Shaming, The Obesity Epidemic, and a Sizeless Beauty Standard - original blog post by www.letter2self.comEvery single person on the planet is beautiful in some way. I promise you that. We often classify people into categories of “traditional”, “ethnic”, “old-hollywood”, and “unusual” beauty (just some common terms I heard while modeling). But, eew to being pigeon-holed in such a category. Why can’t people just be beautiful because they are people – and alive, and vibrant, and hand-crafted to be unique. And why is beauty tied to size, that’s so stupid! Like, “Oh, I hit size 12 – I’m no longer allowed to be beautiful anymore, so excuse me while I put a bag over my head and sit in a corner until I starve myself back down to a size 6.” Stupid.

So, YES Tess Munster is beautiful. I am beautiful. YOU are beautiful. I don’t care if you are a double zero or a size 20. Your beauty is not tied to your size, and neither is mine, and neither is hers.

Fat Shaming, The Obesity Epidemic, and a Sizeless Beauty Standard - original blog post by www.letter2self.com

Health

Beauty is also not tied to health and it’s ALSO stupid to say that. Some people can’t help that they aren’t healthy, think of a cancer patient. My Aunt Helen had to get a double mastectomy because of breast cancer – and you know what, she was never more beautiful than when she had the strength to go through that. Some people are depressed, or grieving, or have a chemical imbalance… or a million other things that could go wrong with them. Do they lose their ability to be beautiful because they are struggling through something, or are they more beautiful BECAUSE they are working through something?! (Side note, I am in no way commenting on Tess Munster’s health – which I know nothing about, except that she says she works out with a trainer, hikes and goes for walks. This is a general statement.)

Fat Shaming, The Obesity Epidemic, and a Sizeless Beauty Standard - Original Post by www.letter2self.com

Now, speaking about the YouTube video that he posted. She makes a few points I want to address. (The quotes are paraphrased).

“Obesity is an epidemic.” 

Fat Shaming, The Obesity Epidemic, and a Sizeless Beauty Standard - original blog post by www.letter2self.comYes, obesity is definitely an epidemic. There are a lot of contributions to this; toxins, chemicals in our food, lifestyles that don’t leave us as many opportunities to be physical, the development of new diseases, etc. It is an epidemic that we can (and are) all work towards fixing. Have you seen that fast food sales have fallen drastically over the last few years? People are wising up to the crap in our food and if we, as a whole, work towards forcing healthy food offerings… we can eliminate the epidemic.

“Your obesity is everyone’s concern.”

So… I’m just going to blatantly disagree with this one. She brought up the cost of health care and blah, blah, blah. The truth is, your health is no one’s concern but yours and your doctors. once we start saying we get to comment on everyone else’s health, where do we draw the line? You don’t know how someone got to where they were, you don’t know where they are on their journey, and you don’t know what’s going on inside their head or their body. So, no – you have no right or reason to comment on someone else’s body. Period. So, don’t.

“Loving your body is okay, but being honest about someone else’s condition is not fat shaming.”

This felt really confusing to me in the video. She was clearly back and forth on this topic. She was saying it’s not okay to have Tess Munster, or other larger models as role models because they are unhealthy – but they need to love themselves too. Did it feel as if this was contradictory to you as well? Why do we have to base our role models on size or physical health?! Some of the biggest role models of all time fall outside of our society’s standard of what is healthy.

Fat Shaming, The Obesity Epidemic, and a Sizeless Beauty Standard - original blog post by www.letter2self.com

Also, being thin doesn’t make you healthy. I know many plus size women who are more fit than some of the thinnest women I know. Tulin Emre is a great example. She’s a fitness coach and is plus size. She’s on a journey. She is amazing. This isn’t a war on thin women or being pro-plus size women. It’s being pro-body acceptance. If you love your body, you will treat it well. Period. If you love your body, you will put good food into it, but not beat yourself up when you have something delicious and unhealthy every now and again. If you love your body, you will be active. If you love your body, you will dress in a way that makes you feel good, and you will feel attractive, and sexy, and wonderful. Life is short, why would you want to live any other way?!

My last point is this, everyone who has commented on Tess Munster’s body, my body, or ANY body has made assumptions. They have assumed they know how or why someone got to be where they are at, they assumed that the person doesn’t know what size they are, and they assume that they know more about that person’s health than the person whose body it is. People know what size they are, they know (probably) how much they weigh, and whether or not they are content with that size and weight is totally up to them… why make it about you when it’s not?

So, what am I saying? Basically… beauty has no size or health requirements. Period. Everyone is beautiful if you just take a moment and actually look… not through society’s judgmental glasses, but actually look at the person for the awesome and unique beauty they are… think of how much happier the world would be if we did that every day.

XOXO,

Danie

Leopard Print and Warmer Days by www.letter2self.com

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11 thoughts on “Fat Shaming, The Obesity Epidemic, and a Sizeless Beauty Standard

  1. Michelle Bengtson

    Real beauty has nothing to do with a number on the scale, the size of our clothes, or the whiteness of our teeth. I know of no-one who doesn’t dislike something about themselves. If only we would learn to see ourselves as God sees us, and accept others just as He accepts us.

    Reply
    1. Danie

      And God sees us as beautiful, hand crafted creatures! How amazing would it be to find our identity in Him!! I love what you said! So powerful! Thank you for commenting! XOXO

      Reply
  2. Anita Ojeda

    Amen! Beauty comes from inside. It’s important to strive to be healthy–for our own sake–not to meet someone else’s ridiculous stands but because we know that that’s how we feel best. And we should always give a kind word to a sister–no matter if her body looks like us or differs greatly from us. We are all in this together. How can we expect men to respect us if we don’t respect each other?

    Reply
    1. Danie

      Amen, Anita! You are so right! We are all in this together, what a great world would it be if we all lifted each other up instead of tearing ourselves down!! Thank you for commenting!

      Reply
  3. Krysten

    This is beautiful and I LOVE this. Beauty is not about size. Oh my gosh there is SO much more to it than that. You can be stick thin and be the ugliest person in the room. It involves your heart and who you are and the way you act and carry yourself.

    Reply
    1. Danie

      Absolutely!! It’s so easy to focus on the outward appearance and make judgement calls, that we forget the most important part – the heart of the person!! <3 this comment!

      Reply
  4. Chrissy Z.

    Beauty isn’t about size. Why can’t people finally accept that? Being big doesn’t equal being lazy or leading an unhealthy life. Some are just bigger than others. Why does this always have to be a target for others? I was never skinny. When I was a teenager I was bullied at school for my body and always felt ashamed of it back then. Always trying to hide it. Now, looking back with a clear sight of things I can see that my body was just perfect the way it was! I should have been proud of it and not let others tell me differently. Being skinny doesn’t always mean that you’re beautiful or healthy either. Why not just let everyone be the way they want to be and we could all get along so much better!
    Good for you for speaking up and writing this post! I am looking forward to many more!
    Take care!
    Chrissy xxx

    Reply
    1. Danie

      Thank you for sharing your story Chrissy! You are absolutely right, your body was perfect the way it was! I had a similar experience in High School, I look at pictures now and I see that I was young and fit and I couldn’t even see that in myself… because I was bigger than the other girls. I wish that I had been able to appreciate my body then like I do now, but such is life – right? That’s how we learn. :-)

      XOXO,

      Danie

      Reply

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