Can Fat People be Happy?

February 23, 2007 · 0 comments

in plus size issues,size acceptance

I’m sure regular readers of this blog will be shocked by this post title, or better question! How dare I pose such a question? Well it’s the topic that is raising a lot of discussion over at Big Fat Deal. Anne’s post yesterday pointed to an article which appeared in the Daily Mail yesterday entitled “Why you can never be fat and happy“.

Her descriptions of the way fat people, although occupying a great deal of physical space, actually become ‘invisible’ – to the shop assistants who stare through them to the men who pretend you don’t exist – made me realise that the best thing I ever did to lose weight and keep it off was to stop beating myself up about it.

But there’s more…

It shouldn’t – but fat demeans you, even in your own eyes…I was already divorced, but it is at this stage that many people turn away from their partner, and turn instead to the fridge. Outside my family, the closest relationship I had was with a packet of Hobnobs.

When you’re fat, you dread getting dressed in the mornings because you hate all your fat clothes, and you dread going to bed at night feeling a failure because you’ve eaten a Malteser.

Although I have to admit that the article is quite realistic, in the sense that feeling and attitude do hit home. It’s what many overweight people experience and go through due to society’s stereotypes.

But that does not mean that one should succumb to these stereotypes and plainly rule out that fat people cannot be happy just because society decided this is so. It’s a matter of turning these thoughts around, and instead of succumbing, learning to love and accept yourself the way you are. Being fat and happy is possible. It is not an easy ride, it’s a constant struggle sometimes I admit, but I know and also know a lot of other plus size people who are happy about their body shape.

Also, in light of all the hot debates that have been going on about skinny models on the runway and role models for teenagers, to me it seems very unprofessional to publish an article with such a demeaning title.

One step forward. Three steps backwards.

What do you think?


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Enigma February 23, 2007 at 9:10 pm

What the lady does not understand that it is taking care of yourself that makes you happy. Daring to do what you want to do that makes you happy. I am exercising now and watching what I eat a lot more than I used to. However, it was the decision to take care of myself wholly that got me there. Her thinking is a little skewered.

Jen February 26, 2007 at 8:43 pm

I think you can be fat and happy. I do what I love. I avoid junk food and eat healthy. I have great fitting plus-size clothes that make me feel fashionable. It’s all about being happy with who you are. It’s been a long, long process for me to accept myself as I am and decide to take care of myself. Taking better care of myself makes me happier. Being happy makes me want to take better care of myself. It’s a Catch 22. You just have to start somewhere.

Judith February 27, 2007 at 12:54 pm

I so agree with the two other readers who commented. Taking care of yourself and valuing yourself is what makes you happy, not being skinny.

I met a woman years ago who was in the really large category. I was impressed by how she dressed, and I said to her how beautiful she looked. She said she loved being who she was and how she looked.

I suspect that a really large woman is going to have some health issues that might make her wish she were a bit smaller, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t be happy nevertheless.

Doctors are often amazed when they look at my low blood pressure. They expect that because I am fat I will have high blood pressure. It doesn’t occur to them that many of us do not spend our lives in front of the television with a box of twinkies. We eat healthily and exercise. We are fat but also fit.

dd1650 March 5, 2007 at 7:21 pm

I hate that title too. Of course fat people can be happy. I’m one of them. (smile) And as my daughter always says, ‘beauty doesn’t end at size 10.’

I also think it’s a shame that people are given a platform to tout how proud & happy they are since losing weight… but we don’t hear from these people five years down the road, when most of them have gained back all the weight plus additional pounds. I just wish someone would do a documentary or study about dieting — and tell the truth. It doesn’t work on a long-term basis. Even Oprah with all her money is still having a hard time dealing with her weight.
I think she’d be much happier if she could just accept herself as she is. She’s a beautiful person inside and out.

Brightsmile March 9, 2007 at 9:11 pm

I have personally been a plus size my entire life and learned at an early age that the way you perceive yourself is the way others perceive you as well. I am very active and work a 9 to 5 job without complications. I have never had any serious health issues and have even given birth without any compliations. Being happy is a state of mind. How often do we see thin people turn to drugs, sucicide or other means of destruction because they are simply unhappy? Everyone must remember, we are made in the image of God,not man!

Fashionista, Size 14. March 14, 2007 at 3:09 am

Certainly no one would deny that fat british royolty were happy before it become unfashionable to not be fat.

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