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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'.


fridgepants Fri 01-Feb-13 00:14:10

A size 16 is a 40in bust. That's not huge, really - it's, what, a DD or E cup? Sizes are just measurements - there's no way to say that someone is large or small based on dress size alone.

I feel for you, Kewcumber - I take quetiapine and it makes you tired, hungry and feel like eating all the things.

fridgepants Fri 01-Feb-13 00:10:29

I'm an hourglass shape. I've been underweight, and I'm now overweight - more than I'd like to be, to be honest. My 'curvy' shape stays the same, it's my size/measurements and my body weight that class me as overweight.

Clothing measurements have definitely changed - compare dressmaking patterns, for example. I take a 20 or 22 in vintage patterns but a 16 on the high street. Part of that is that I'm tall and my bone structure is such that I will always be a bigger than average person (I took a 14 in Topshop even at a stone underweight) but also I am a lot larger than the average 1950s woman.

Size zero is a UK4, isn't it? Gap used to do a 0 in the 90s as they ran on US sizing.

FlorriesDragons Thu 31-Jan-13 18:24:12

Your friends are jealous and afraid that you losing weight will reflect badly on them.

Anyone who posts those rubbish posts about being "curvy" is probably insecure about their size or why would they even mention it?

Kewcumber Thu 31-Jan-13 18:02:09

No countrykitten this wasn't about people who are ill - hence my comment "not that its relevant to this thread."

But in reality the op appears to be not underweight herself but objects to her fatter friends deluding themselves that "curvy' is better than slim. It really doesn't matter why you are overweight or underweight in the vast majority of cases within the normal bmi range is healthier than outside it.

ErrorError Thu 31-Jan-13 17:02:59

I make a point of never passing comment on anyone's weight. I had a 'friend' in school who was naturally tall and slim, was complimented a lot on her figure, who never exercised and had an appalling diet (know this to be true as we used to be close and spent a lot of time together.) Whereas I fluctuated between size 8-12, played sports regularly, ate healthily and drank plenty of water, but as soon as I picked up a biscuit in front of this 'friend', she'd be right in there with some barb about me "eating so much crap, no wonder you've got thunder thighs."

I shed about 9 stone when I eventually dumped that friend!

Anyway, I don't have any fancy research to back up my claims, but the point of my story is that slim people are not always healthy, and some who look overweight are not necessarily unfit. Anorexia and morbid obesity are two extremes I don't have enough knowledge about to get into discussion, but obviously neither of those are healthy ways to be.

On a side note, I have another naturally slim friend who goes to the gym regularly and looks really fit. She knows she wouldn't necessarily pile on the pounds if she stopped exercising (some have told her she 'doesn't need to exercise' as she's skinny enough already), but she's also wise enough to know that she can't rely on good genes as she gets older. It's about inner well-being too.

countrykitten Thu 31-Jan-13 15:58:28

Was the discussion centred around ill people though? It was more to do with people who are at either extreme of weight I thought. If you have ignorant and rude friends and family then don't bother with them - if they know a person is on steroids and then make comments about their weight then they are not to be tolerated full stop.

FanFuckingTastic Thu 31-Jan-13 15:00:48

Considering the steroids I get are to help with joints, it's no wonder I've ballooned, but I am on the wagon again and doing something about it. 4lbs off this week, and loads of physiotherapy done at the pool. People see you fat and think - they are lazy - how the heck do you know they aren't on the journey to health already and that your comments aren't going to be a major setback for them.

Kewcumber Thu 31-Jan-13 14:55:57

I was on 75g of prednisilone for some time I find it hard to believe anyone could NOT put weight on at those doses. mind you I found the exhaustion of steroid withdrawal almost as bad.

I think I too put on about 3 stone in 6 months.

Not that any of that is relevant to this thread and I was hardly sylphlike to start with. just wanted to commiserate - steroids are a (life saving) bitch!

ShephardsDelight Thu 31-Jan-13 14:42:06

People who make comments about peoples appearances are arrogant and badly brought up, its a hugely inflated sense of importance that what you have to say overrides someones feelings.

LapsedPacifist Thu 31-Jan-13 14:33:56

Kewcumberm My DH gained 3 stone in 4 months last year whilst on steroids and he was already overweight to start with. He is doing really well losing weight now by eating and excercising sensibly, but has been utterly miserable and depressed about his health and shape. A lot of it is because of awful judgemental remarks and 'jokes' that friends and relatives have been making. He still refuses to go to the gym or swimming because he's so ashamed of his appearance.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 31-Jan-13 14:31:33

I didn't realise how much i weighed!

LapsedPacifist Thu 31-Jan-13 14:24:07

Many people do not realise how much they do weigh and how much fat they are carrying and therefore how ill they will be later in life.

What utter bollocks. Women are NEVER EVER allowed to forget about their body-image from the time they are children. Show me an overweight woman who 'doesn't know how fat she is' and I'll show you someone who's lived under a rock without a mirror all her adult life. She might not want to gratify you by crying into her latte about how ugly and miserable she feels, but she bloody knows.

FanFuckingTastic Thu 31-Jan-13 14:13:19

I'm on steroids too Kewcumber. It's a bitch for losing weight on them.

Kewcumber Thu 31-Jan-13 14:05:10

Random spiteful comments from strangers (or even people I knew) never helped me one jot when massively overweight. It didn't help me "face up to it" it made me miserable and contributed to my comfort eating.

What did help was a couple of very good health professionals who knew what they were talking about and some realistic targets and practical support.

Ironically as it was the effect of steroids prescribed for an life threatening illness which pushed my weight into the morbidly obese category, it was the side effects of the steroids which led to further health problems which kick-started my weight loss. None the less, reasons aside, it has been a concerted effort of me and a small handful of NHS people who have tackled it not pointless comments about how I look.

I do not think society should ignore the explosion in obesity caused by our modern lifestyles and discussed it publicly at a general levels and some excellent science based programmes do look at helpful things we can all do (thinking of last nights horizon programme on exercise in particular) but personal pointless comments at individuals isn't helpful.

FanFuckingTastic Thu 31-Jan-13 13:17:05

I don't think it is an individual's place to tell people their obesity is a problem.

Let their doctor deal with it.

Society has changed the way our bodies need to work, and we are simply in that process of change, depression/obesity are all symptoms of societal issues not quite matching up to physical needs issues. It'll simply take time to filter down and sort out the problem. Things have been leaping forwards for a long time now, so to speak, and our bodies are victims in some cases to the times.

Obviously loads of people are trying to do something about it, derogatory encouragement is just going to make them mad or upset.

countrykitten Thu 31-Jan-13 13:04:50

So why is the nation obese then? Because we all ignore it maybe?

Softlysoftly Thu 31-Jan-13 12:48:06

Countrykitten. If they are over either end of the scams to a degree where health is affected then yes a kind, supportive approach from those close is not a bad thing but I think that already happens. I disagree that we have been blind to or ignored the issue at all.

There are massive advertising campaigns, grants for healthy eating, processes in the nhs, weight taking in schools all focused on this and it's not recent. Ive worked in the food industry all my career and there were discussions and rules being put in place over 8 years ago aimed at reducing salt/sugar/fats, advertising to children, promoting in schools etc.

FanFuckingTastic Thu 31-Jan-13 12:34:17

I don't think anyone would ever talk about my fat in such a direct way as they do on here. Same as I would never be derogatory to any of my friends about their weight or shape or most anything, because it's just not... well, nice?

drjohnsonscat Thu 31-Jan-13 11:16:55

I think thezebrawearspurple proves my point exactly. According to her post fat people are couch potatoes, unhappy, jealous and sabotagers...

I would never talk about anyone like that.

countrykitten Thu 31-Jan-13 10:49:58

Softly, I am not sure that family and good friends (not strangers) do not have a responsibility to help out on this actually so I don't think I agree with you. People go around in denial about their weight issues and their loved ones are too scared of offending to say anything sometimes - not sure that this is helpful. I am not talking about being aggressively rude but gently help,support and encouragement will surely help?

Not facing up to things can often be counter productive - look at our massively fat nation as a whole. The obesity epidemic has been largely ignored until now and I fear that it's too late to fix it.

specialsubject Thu 31-Jan-13 10:38:40

neither is good. Dawn French is revoltingly fat, Victoria Beckham is revoltingly thin.

there are happy media, and there are extremes. Healthy weight is a range, but it does have limits at both ends.

Softlysoftly Thu 31-Jan-13 10:29:39

country kitten government drives should promote healthy weights as a country, medical professionals should communicate on a 1:1 level.

The press and general friends/family , people on the street commenting is rude and should be unacceptable.

Do you really think fat/thin people don't know it? Do you think having it pointed out rudely will help in any way when the issue is a mental one? It won't it drives people further into defending their feelings by blethering on about curvy/slender. You wouldn't walk up to a drinker and expect "oi alchy" to stop them drinking would you?

Why do we have to talk about it at all confused

laptopcomputer Thu 31-Jan-13 09:57:56

People do it because it makes them feel better about themselves. No other reason.

countrykitten Thu 31-Jan-13 09:55:15

I agree that the gutter press are a disgrace - but you get the press you deserve and people keep on buying the Mail so it keeps on printing the same old crap.

I think that not commenting on or facing up to weight issues us not 'bloody rude' - it is pretty silly. Calling someone 'curvy' when they are unhealthily fat is not a positive thing and calling someone 'slender' when they are half starved clothes horses for major designers is also stupid.

Softlysoftly Wed 30-Jan-13 23:52:46

I agree with procrastinating the vitriolic few on here are thin aimed at fat not viceversa yes you zebra.

I think commenting on weight at either end of the scale is bloody rude and should be socially unacceptable.

When it comes to a medical pov unhealthily underweight women are seen as having an illness yet unhealthily overweight women are seen as greedy pigs. We need to combat the issues at both ends not listen to the gutter press.

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