Sunday, 26 September 2010

Flab aint Fab

Since when has morbidly obese become more sociably acceptable than size 0?

Being 5ft 10” and a size 8 I have gotten used to people telling me that I am “too skinny”. I am never sure how people expect me to respond to this. I am not a healthy eater, I know that much, but not in the way these people seem to think. I eat far more than is healthy, and the food that does go into my mouth is often junk food. I have never limited what I eat and have never had to worry about it, but if I ever try to explain this to people they simply will not believe me. What annoys me most is that people are more than happy to criticize those who are skinny. If I turned around to someone and told them they were too fat everyone would think I was a callous bitch.

The size zero debate that has been going on for years now has set me thinking about those role models that lean in the other direction. The Gossips lead singer Beth Ditto, for example, may be this. The ultra-controversial punk rocker that is loved across the world, but she is unhealthily large.

Being that size and such an influential position can only be seen as irresponsible to be setting such an example. At 5ft 2” and weighing in at 15 stone her BMI is dangerously high at 38.4. A BMI of over 30 counts as obese. This seems to me to be just as bad an example to be setting for young girls as the size zero phenomena. Yet she is celebrated by fellow celebrities, journalists and designers alike, not just for her talent but also in a few cases as a muse, getting to sit front row at Jean Paul-Gaultier and Chanel at Fashion Week. How many industries bigwigs got moved to second row to accommodate such a ‘large’ personality?

I understand that at least if girls follow by Beth’s example they will not be making themselves ill and will learn to be happy with their body’s whatever size and shape. I can’t help but expect if they looked into the health issues related to obesity then they might drastically change their opinions. Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes are just a few of the associated risks; nowadays obesity is considered a long-term disease.

This seasons London Fashion Week was met with the usual mixed reviews, when British designer Mark Fast sent a size 14 model down the runway. Some say it was time that bigger girls showed that fashion wasn’t just for the tall and thin.

Lets face it, high fashion is one of those things that will never truly be accessible for those over a certain size - so why bother?

Although being skinny is considered unhealthy, the fact of the matter is, that being obese is a disease.  The size zero debate will continue to be a constant battle but what many don’t turn their ignorant heads to is how Britain has become the biggest country in Europe.

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