Monday, September 12, 2011

The Problem with Pinterest: The Fat Edition

Pinterest is my happy place.  While my blogging has been scarce, my pinning has been plentiful.  It's a way for me to unwind after a long day; a way to look at pretty crafts, pretty clothes, pretty food and pretty words.

I repinned this awhile ago:

While I am a die hard Harry Potter fan, I am also someone who has struggled with self image and the need to be thin.  Over the years, especially when I hit my late twenties, I realized that I am exactly the way I am meant to be and as long as I am good to my body, the important aspect of my life to focus on is my soul.

I read this quote and instantly realized why I love JK (the honorable JK).  She understands that there are more to women, more to people, than what they look like on the outside. 

While the media touts a certain image of what a woman should look like on the outside, no one touts what one should look like on the inside.  To me, JK's quote breaks down what women (people) should NOT look like.  It's called a non-example, people.  Essential to learning.

I am not skinny.  I am not obese.  I am somewhere in the middle and I have people near and dear to my heart who are on both sides of the spectrum.  I love them all not because of what they look like on the outside but of what they look like on the inside.  If they possessed any of the traits that JK listed in her quote, we would not be friends because I don't associate with people who behave as such, even if they are the skinniest, most beautiful person in the world.

But gin, could you please get to the point?

Well, last night I was pinning away when I noticed JK's eloquent post above.  I reread it and appreciated her even more.

Then I read the comments below and felt...a fire light inside me. 

Oh no. 

When that fire is lit, there isn't any extinguishing it until I get my say in.  Ask hubs.

Anyhow, here's how it all went down:

The link to the pin with the comments is here, if you'd like to read the live version.

I am sure all the commenters come from different experiences with size and weight.  We all have the right to express our opinions and our past will always influence our present opinions.  With that said, I am honest when I say I am saddened when another woman would come out and say that being fat is in fact, worse than any of the traits listed.  Health-wise or other-wise.

I feel sad for her.  What must her experience with size and weight be?  That she would choose cruel over fat, vindictive over fat?  How did personal appearance become so important that the stuff that our moms teach us NOT to be became acceptable?

I believe our bodies are temples and we should treat them as such.  Feeding them correctly, physically, mentally and spiritually. 

I believe that there are far worse things in this world than being fat. 

I believe that when you are presenting your argument, it's never a good idea to personally insult the words of another.  It completely invalidates what you are saying and makes you seem petty and unintelligent.

And to drive the point home, there are far worse things to be than fat. 

I said it before and I'll say it again:
If I had to choose between fat and any of the traits the honorable JK listed, I would choose fat every time, health risks be damned.
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Rachel said...

Just in case you don't see my respone on Pinterst:

If I hadn't made the dig at what’s her face would everything else I'd said have sunk in? I never once said being overweight was worse. I said that it isn't even in the same realm of thinking. I have gained 50 pounds over the past few years. I have lost all but the last 15 pounds, slowly and healthily. I found out that the weight gain was in part contributed to by thyroid issues. I am fine with my weight and body image. I am taking medicine for my thyroid and it is helping me lose weight a little quicker. I had always been naturally skinny before that, but more importantly I was/am funny, sweet, caring, empathetic, sympathetic, truthful and many more things, but I don’t want to brag too much. Haha! I honestly am very happy. Thank you for thinking of me and taking time to write a blog post about me. That’s a first for me! My mother had a massive heart attack 4 years ago and had a quadruple bypass. I used to ONLY focus on being sweet and caring and all of the other things listed because those things were important to me and my family, but after my mother had her heart attack and I did more and more research about diseases related to obesity, it is just overwhelming once you start doing that research. It made me realize, hey, things with my health aren’t guaranteed and if I keep gaining weight and keep putting harmful things into my body I’m going to end up right where she is. That's where my statement was based and that's my life story. Those traits are not good and I don't condone them, never did in any of my comments, but I don't think anyone should want to be any of those things, fat included. I didn't even want to use the word fat and I don't think that I have until just then, but that's my stance. A health condition and a mental trait are on two totally different ends of the spectrum. I can't be any clearer than that, so if I'm still misunderstood after that then there is nothing else I can say.

Nicole said...

I agree with you... In my opinion, at the worst being unhealthy will affect you and and your family. Being cruel or selfish can have world wide impacts (I'm thinking on the world leader level here).

I was hospitalized as a teenager for bulimia. And for anyone who would say that obesity is worse than those traits for health reasons, well I would rather be unhealthy for my weight and happy that be thin-ish (like I am) than have an anxiety that NEVER goes away (like I have). I am a healthy weight and engage in healthy eating now, but those feelings don't go away for me. Not sure they ever will, and it saddens me to see people make comments that just might push someone over the line from unhappy to unhealthy.

dosweatthesmallstuff said...

Oh Gin, I feel your frustration and disappointment. I know what you meant.

I, too, would choose fat over all those negative traits listed above. That's not the same as saying I want to be fat. The point here is in the comparison, and the message that what's on the inside is more important than what's on the outside.

Anonymous said...

You're right and people are dorks. There are WAY worse things to be than fat. I'm cool with fat. We understand each other. {BTW, I missh you!}

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

I spend a disproportionate amount thinking about my weight than I do thinking about who I am and who loves me, so this post hit home. This past year I have tried to focus on health (beyond weight), and in a weird way, that focus has made me more compassionate and caring. When I got healthy (without losing a ton of weight, sadly), I had energy to chase and play with my child. I had energy to be with my husband. I felt so great and positive after a workout, my work improved, my mothering improved, I loved myself more. And slowly I am starting to move away from weight obsession and focus more on being WELL.

It's sad that people spend so much time focused on weight, and even sadder that we judge ourselves and others on something so arbitrary.

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

It's funny... I am obsessed with MY weight (secretly, so don't spread it around mmmkay?) but I don't give a fig about anyone else's weight. A fat friend of mine - who would be okay with me using the F word since she uses it herself - once asked me whether I thought less of people because they were fat, and my answer was, no, just me. I only judge me.

I honestly do not get why I should worry one whit about how little or big anyone else is, especially people I don't know. I have no idea why someone else is fat or skinny. That's just them? Physical issues? Lots of exercise? Lots of Oreos? (On either side, mind - size doesn't equal health or fitness in a lot of cases). Why should I care? Why is okay to judge people by their size when it's not okay to judge people by their color, their facial features, etc.? I mean, do these same people look at someone who was burned in a fire and think "Gawd, why doesn't he get some plastic surgery or something?"

It just seems so wrong.

Kari said...

I miss you and your awesome posts-please come back to us soon.

Newlyweds on a Budget