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health is not a moral virtue

tw: eating disorders, discussion of weight loss, discussion of body shaming

not to try to be a psychiatrist or anything but i have a theory:

maybe if we weren’t terrible to fat people, fewer people would develop eating disorders.

super original concept right?

this post is motivated by the “Insatiable” trailer that so many people all over the internet are upset because of and rightfully so

if you haven’t seen the trailer, don’t worry. it’s every other story about a fat person losing weight by unhealthy means (in this case getting her jaw wired shut) and then finally being happy and getting revenge.

i’m not going to be writing specifically about the trailer but rather about my personal life philosophy.

let’s discuss beauty standards, shall we? *i’m still sitting in a chair like a youth minister*

i’m of the belief that rather than expanding beauty standards we should abolish them. i also am a person who is mildly annoyed by overuse of the term beauty standards but that’s a topic for another post.

when i say abolish i don’t necessarily want to insinuate that the persuit of perceived beauty is morally bankrupt or anything, just that beauty shouldn’t be a factor in measuring ones value, ya know?

anyone who has lived in a place where you can consume media (you’re probably one of them because you’re reading this) may have noticed the pressure on everyone to “lose weight for summer” “tone up” “eat for your blood type” and my personal favorite “lose those last 5 pounds”. it’s never the last 5 pounds. once you lose them you wanna lose 10 more.

i mention the pressure to lose weight or as it’s known colloquially “diet culture” to note how beauty standards can lead to palpable pressure being put onto others to change.

i know that this post is very obvious so far, i’m getting somewhere.

this pressure manifests in a very insidious manner, especially recently.

BE HEALTHY

DO KETO

GAIN MUSCLE NOT FAT

60 CALORIE BREAD

LISS AND HIIT

EAT CAULIFLOWER RICE

do any of these ring a bell?

now, i’m not one to discourage a healthy lifestyle. my favorite food is literally oatmeal, i’m pretty healthy.

what i find disgusting is the implication that ones health is morally righteous.

as though people with high blood pressure can’t volunteer.

another important thing to note is that when people treat health as a moral virtue they only seem to direct their criticism toward fat people rather than extending their opinion to the reasonable end in which they would (in order to not be hypocritical) have to make similar statements toward those with say… STDs.

this oversight is clear proof that these people who say anyone over roughly a size 12 shouldn’t post photos online out of fear of “glorifying obesity” don’t genuinely care about health because they’d say we shouldn’t allow activists with an STD platform to speak out of fear of “glorifying illness”.

i’m gonna stop with the gotcha and discuss some statistics and lived experiences so if by chance a body shamer is reading this post i may change their mind.

in my life i have always been a larger kid, taller and never the thinnest in the room.

i now have a restrictive eating disorder.

this is no surprise because:

  • 30-50% of ED patients suffered depression and/or anxiety prior to the ED
  • About 1 in 3 ED patients suffered previous obsessive compulsive symptoms
  • 89% of girls have dieted by age 17
  • 15% of young women have disordered eating
  • 42% of girls in grades 1-3 want to lose weight
  • 45% of boys and girls in grades 3-6 want to be thinner
  • 51% of 9 and 10 year old girls say they feel better about themselves when they are dieting
  • 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat
  • 9% of nine year olds have vomited to lose weight
  • The rate of death for women with ED is 12 times higher than other women of similar ages
  • About 1,000 women die each year from ED due to malnutrition, heart attack and suicide

these stats are taken from the body image center, who got their stats from ABC news and nationaleatingdisorders.org

i don’t believe that it is righteous to require statistics in order to treat others better but i have a sneaking suspicion that these people don’t care all too much about how others feel.

your health does not make you a morally better person and losing weight does not increase your moral weight.

this post is cluttered like every other post on my blog but i hope you get the point. i also hope this post isn’t upsetting for my followers with EDs. 

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