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To not understand why being underweight is considered by many to be 'dangerous', while being overweight is considered 'curvy'?

(103 Posts)
EnterWittyNicknameHere Wed 30-Jan-13 11:49:46

This has something that's really annoyed me recently.

In newspapers/magazines i see artcles about dangerously ill supermodels/people because they are underweight.

In the same newspapers/magazines, i see articles glorifying overweight people for being curvy.

My weight has fluctuated over the years between 8 and 12 stone. For my height, a healthy bmi is a weight between 8 1/2 stone and 11 1/2 stone. So i've been half a stone over and under before.

During my 'under' days, almost everyone would criticise me for my weight, saying i was unhealthy and a bad influence on dd. I was sacrificing my health, i could drop dead with heart failure etc. I need to stop being selfish.

I was eating very well, had cut out all chocolate/sweets/white bread etc and was exercising daily. I wasn't starving myself at all, just being stricter than usual.

During my 'over' days, people were complimenting me on my shape. I heard comments like 'it's better to see a bit of wobbly skin than bones', 'you're setting a good example to dd that looks aren't everything/you can be curvy and attractive', 'you look much better now than before.' 'be proud of your body.'

I just don't get it!

I'm now a slightly wobbly size 12, almost 11 stone, so considered a healthy weight. However, i am extrememly unfit and untoned.

I mentioned last night to my friends that i was thinking of starting up my old regime to lose a stone, and they totally freaked out.

My two best friends are overweight. One posts those picture things on FB almost on a weekly basis such as 'real men like curves', or pictures of a skinny supermodel next to a plus size model which reads "i know which one i'd rather be."

It just feels so confusing and unfair. They're really being hard on me for wanting to lower my weight, yet when i mention their weight they make out that they're happy, and being curvy is better than 'looking like a boy'.


irishchic Wed 30-Jan-13 11:53:33

hmm. I think this is because being overweight and fit, (as opposed to morbid obesity) is healthier than being underweight, for all sorts of reasons, some of them down to having a better immume system if you are carrying a few wxtra pounds i think.

forgetmenots Wed 30-Jan-13 11:53:35

YANBU, although you could also rephrase this saying 'AIBU to wonder why underweight women are considered beautiful and overweight women are considered ugly?'

Women are wrongly judged on their appearances, whatever their size someone will be sniping at them. Turning on each other won't change it.

forgetmenots Wed 30-Jan-13 11:55:05

Also, the same newspapers berate women for gaining a pound, so the 'curvy' girls don't win, in the end. The misogynistic press do sad

NotHerRealname Wed 30-Jan-13 11:57:17

Well its obvious that neither extreme is healthy isn't it? I would worry more about the strain that yo yo weight loss and gain can cause to your body.
Your overweight friends may be in some kind of denial. Of course they want to glorify being overweight (or curvy). It makes them feel its acceptable.

Let's be clear that being overweight or obese is never healthy. But then neither is being underweight.

Also in my experience, suprisingly men don't all go for the same type of women. Just like women (shock horror) I have found that they go for all different body types. The ones worth being with go for a lovely personality!

Branleuse Wed 30-Jan-13 11:57:39

it has always pissed me off too.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 30-Jan-13 11:58:14

Being a little overweight is not as dangerous as being underweight so YABU. Being underweight is more akin to being obese in terms of it's affect on your health.

NotHerRealname Wed 30-Jan-13 11:59:19

Also just to add, your overweight friends may not have your best interests at heart. Maybe they want you to join their club.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:00:53

Do you think they are jealous that you can lose weight so easily and envious of you when you are slim.

Unfortunately you put that your friends "think they are happy" which i predict is going to turn this thread into a "your size doesn't dictate your happiness" argument. And "how dare you say curvy people aren't happy!" That's my guess anyway.

Personally i agree with you. People in general have lost sight of what a normal healthy size is so when they see slim they think you look ill. My weight has gone up and down over the last few years due to babies etc but when I've been slimmer I've had lost of compliments from people except from one person who said i look gaunt. That person is obese. I did wonder if it was jealousy that i was able to lose the weight of it was just her view of what healthy should look like.

Out of interest how tall are you?

Just be the size that you think is right for you. Don't discuss it with others if they are going to react in a way you don't like, and if they comment anyway just say that you don't recall asking for their opinion on your body. Or less confrontational would be to just look uninterested and ignore, walk off or something. You don't have too convince anyone else of anything, your choices are yours and theirs are theirs.

creighton Wed 30-Jan-13 12:01:43

i don't believe overweight people are glorified in the press. most pictures of women are of thin celebrities who are praised for having 'bikini' bodies. there are few pictures of fat people and there is no praise alongside them. the only time thin people get negative comments is when they are thin to the point of looking ill. other than that, thin is seen as good.

EnterWittyNicknameHere Wed 30-Jan-13 12:03:23

I'm just dreading the inevitable comments my weight loss will bring. I'll still be within a healthy weight range if i lose a stone, but apparantly (in their eyes) i'll look 'ill' and 'anorexic'.

However, if i were to put on a stone - putting myself in the overweight category - i'll be complimented.

EnterWittyNicknameHere Wed 30-Jan-13 12:06:33

I'm 5'7.

Sorry, i didn't mean anything negative saying that they make out they're happy. It's just because i know they aren't always. They go through stages of dieting/gym etc, but after a few weeks stop and say they're happier being curvy.

carabos Wed 30-Jan-13 12:06:42

So much of this is down to aesthetics. Some people prefer the skinny / thin / slim aesthetic and others prefer the fat/plump/curvy aesthetic. Both groups look to spurious "medical" or "health" claims to justify their preferences.

Fact is, there are many, many more unhealthily overweight people in the UK today than there are unhealthily underweight people. It's quite hard to become unheathily underweight, and unhealthily underweight is really very thin indeed, whereas unhealthily overweight is surprisingly "unfat" iyswim.

As has been said before many times on this forum, we are normalising obesity at enormous cost to our health and to NHS resources.

PrincessBellaBoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:11:43


Neither extreme is healthy. I have always been skinny despite eating like a horse. I have filled out a bit since I hit my 30s though and actually didn't think I looked good in my really skinny phases so I'm glad to be a size bigger now (an 8 instead of a 6).

It could be that you do look better with a bit of weight on you (like me) or it could be you look so great skinny your mates are just envious?!

Also overweight and curvy are two different things. A size 6 can be curvy as can a size 18. Curvy is about the ratios between your bust, hips and waist IMO so just carrying excess weight does not make you curvy!

As long as you eat healthily (but not extreme) and exercise (but not extreme) who cares?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:13:34

Seeing as they try to lose weight themselves and fail then i would say their comments are most likely jealous.

ScentedNappyHag Wed 30-Jan-13 12:14:19

I see the occasion ridiculous picture trying to convince everyone that 'curvy' is better than skinny, but in all honesty, my experience is the opposite for the most part.
I get far more snide comments about my appearance now than I did when I was slim. The overwhelming majority of media and peer opinion is that Skinny=Attractive.

WorraLiberty Wed 30-Jan-13 12:15:32

You have some very vocal judgy friends OP

I'd shed them before your weight.

Birdsgottafly Wed 30-Jan-13 12:16:31

I have found the opposite to be true.

I was serously ill (i nearly died) and dropped underweight, i was in hospital, the doctors were concerned, my body did not have the resources to heal itself.

I always look heavier than i am, so i was still around a size 10.

Everyone, outside of my medical team was saying how well i looked and my illness had done me a favour.

Now i am overweight, partly because of my health.

My doctors tell me not to worry about my weight, it does not effect my long term health in any way. Everyone in my personal life (and on here if you read the "fat threads" has a different opinion.

Being overweight does not mean reduced health, it is individual, but underweight is always a cause for concern.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 30-Jan-13 12:16:38

My BMI is 20.5 and I feel great.
The people who say I am too thin tend to be fatter and much less fit than I am.
I ignore them.
When my Yoga teacher tells me to stop losing weight I listen.

Europe and the USA have developed a very distorted view of what a healthy weight (in humans and their pets) is.

Size ten jeans have a waistband four inches larger than they did 30 years ago.
its all kidding ourselves that fat is good. But its not. For us or the planet.

PrincessBellaBoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:21:04

Also yes I do hate the way it's acceptable for my size 14 friends to say I look too skinny / ill ....... But if I dared to say that I think they look overweight all hell would break lose!

And men like different things. Some like skinny, some like plump......

A slightly overweight friend of mine always reminds me that "men don't like skinny women". I think that's a rude thing to say to someone size 6/8. I would never dream of saying men don't like chubby women!!!! I always remind her that I am skinny and have never struggled on the boyfriend front

wanderingcloud Wed 30-Jan-13 12:21:16

I don't think you can win this one OP.

Whatever weight you are there will be some people looking to criticize and who make ill-judged remarks on it.

This is said as someone who has been every size from a 6 to 22 over the years. Now somewhere in the middle and just ignoring everyone's comments. Oh and I NEVER read magazines, they totally mess your body image.

pourmeanotherglass Wed 30-Jan-13 12:24:20

maybe your overweight friends are jealous?

MarianForrester Wed 30-Jan-13 12:27:36

YANBU. I am a naturally sturdy type, but would never dream of commenting in the way you describe.

I really dislike the way it appears to be ok to remark negatively on thin people.

Magazines in particular are bad: I have stopped reading those in which Celebrity X "celebrates her curves", which is really just mag speak for "look at the fatty"

All horrible.

I would not wish people to comment on my weight, and it must be really soul destroying to get this all the time.

PiggyPlumPie Wed 30-Jan-13 12:28:35

Have to agree with Princess , I have a pal who always used to greet me with "Hello you skinny bitch!" Wish I'd had the balls to say "Alright you fat cow!"

I am 5 ft 10 and weigh 9 and a half stone. My Dad is like a skeleton with skin. I can't help it!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:45:43

Princessbella and Piggy. That's so rude!

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