So yesterday I posted a photo of some grapes. I took the photo of a snack that I had eaten earlier that day. Why? Because I love grapes. I love fruit. I love vegetables. I’m vegan for crying out loud- of course I do! So what am I so annoyed about? I’m annoyed about who reblogged that photo. It started out innocently enough but somehow got picked up by a slew of thinspo and thin praising blogs. Blogs like “fitspo”, “skiinny-fit-beautiful”, “skinny-healthy-happy”, “skinnyandfit”, etc etc. You see the pattern. These blogs are all featuring women who are supposedly fit (though many of the photos there’s no way to tell- they’re just thin which doesn’t indicate fitness level), and who are, of course thin. So let’s look at the false stereotypes that these blogs are using my photo to promote:
Healthy = thin
fit = thin
grapes = something for thin/fit people
Firstly, let’s deconstruct the myth that healthy = any particular body type. One of the great things about science is that it’s always changing. So if you’re going on information that you learned when you were a kid about body size and health then you’re way behind. Let’s play catch up. There’s a mounting pile of evidence that shows that body size and health are mostly independent of each other. More so, body weight is far more complex than we’ve ever thought in the past. Firstly, you can be fat and fit and weight cycling (the constant loss and gain of weight from chronic dieting) is detrimental to health in and of itself including mental health. What’s clear is that weight (whether it’s thin, fat, or in between) is mostly genetic and that many genes are involved, although stress, depression, pollution, food chemicals, food scarcity and illness can all play a role.
So I pointed out one article that showed the falseness of the fit = thin myth, but let’s take a look at some very fit fat athletes.
Dancer from the fat ballet. Ballet takes muscle strength, dexterity, and balance. This dancer is en pointe and has beautiful form (according to an actual ballet student I consulted with)
LuAyne Barber, 252lbs, US size 22. Pole dancing requires incredible core strength and stamina. Dancers include strength training in their regimen.
Kelly Gneiting ran and completed a marathon at 400lbs and no, he wasn’t the last person to finish.
Cheryl Haworth is a US Olympic weightlifter [photo]
Ragen Chastain, national dance championship winner. 5’4” and 284lbs [photo]
Fat people- as athletes, dancers, weightlifters, marathon runners… done with your ridiculous notion that you have to be thin in order to be fit? Good. Because I want these people to leave my grapes the hell alone. They’re my grapes and I posted them because I, as a fat person, ate them. How that justifies posting them all over thinspo sites, I have no idea.. but get a clue- plenty of thin people eat unhealthfully and plenty of fat people eat healthfully. Fruit, vegetables, salads, tofu.. they’re not just for thin people- they’re for everyone because they’re awesome and tasty not because you’ll lose weight if you eat them, even if they’re the only things you eat. Not that I’m pretending I only eat salads- you all have seen that I eat a variety of foods and you should have picked up that those types change depending on my resources including time, money, emotional well being, etc. Yes, I could probably lose weight if I ate 500 calories a day, but do you know what that’s called? An eating disorder. Something I’ve had in the past and I’m not playing around with. Yes I go to the gym and workout (when I’m medically allowed- I’m currently on medical leave) and yes, I’m healthy. I’m just going to eat my grapes in peace and try to forget that there are assholes out there who will try to equate them or health or fitness with the culture of thin.