In the United States, certain body types are classified as “acceptable” over others. Frankly put, anyone struggling with obesity is seen as sick, weak, and abnormal compared to those that are considered “fit.” As fat bodies have been present for centuries, it does seem that obesity has taken on more negative synonyms as time has progressed.
So what do you see when you witness someone who is obese? Do you see someone struggling with a disease? Do you perceive them as weak for failing to get their weight “under control”? Or do you see them like anyone else, just another ordinary human being who happens to have some extra love handles?
Personally, I’ve held mixed emotions toward those battling obesity. One, I know that food addiction is real, and something that countless people struggle with in this country. It’s not easy for anyone, obese or not, to change their diet, particularly when their bodies have become adjusted to consuming unhealthy food.
I do pity obese people, not necessarily because of their size, but because I know that shedding all of that weight is not an easy feat. As obesity has been linked to all sorts of chronic diseases, it seems like the battle is not longer a choice, but rather a requirement for living. I also believe that running, tying shoes, and being mobile are wonderful parts of the human experience. Thus, too much weight can inhibit those activities and present numerous challenges.
On the other hand, obese people are free to accept their weight and do nothing to change it. I’m definitely an advocate for self-love regardless of size or circumstance, but there is something to say about those who choose to accept their body type unconditionally.
Should we deem them crazy for choosing a life with physical challenges? Should we applaud them for going against the social body norm? Or maybe it’s not our place to comment at all.
The majority of people in the United States are struggling with some sort of medical affliction or unhealthy habit. Just because obese people wear their problems on their sleeve doesn’t mean that they’re exclusively the only ones with health problems.
How do you perceive obese people? Or if you are someone struggling with this amount of weight, how do you feel people look at you? Should we work to change social perceptions of obesity from sickness and weakness? Or are people simply calling what they see? Weigh in.