A number of years ago I took note of the growing movement online to end fat shaming. Overall I think this was a good thing. While it is possible to use fat shaming as a tool to “encourage” someone to get in shape, normally it serves as a psychological weapon to make people feel bad about their bodies. Women in particular, with the generally higher standards of physical appearance our society places on them, tend to get hit hard with fat shaming, since being evenly slightly pudgy can trigger the online trolls. The pressure to remain skinny and avoid fat shaming can drive people to very unhealthy behaviors such as anorexia, and even though fat shaming will never fully go away I think we’ve made at least some progress on curtailing it.
More recently I’ve learned of the Healthy At Every Size movement. Their message of being healthy no matter your size concerns me. I realize that we live in a relativistic society where anyone can identify as anything and you’re labeled a bigot for refusing to recognize a person the way they want to identify, but there’s simply no escaping reality. Being obese is not healthy. Period. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and a myriad of other health conditions that are linked to obesity could care less about how healthy you’ve convinced yourself that you are. Getting away from fat shaming was a good thing, but we’ve gone too far now and lost our balance with Healthy At Every Size. Yes, we shouldn’t fat shame people, but we also shouldn’t lie to them and say that any lifestyle choice can be healthy.