To help make the days go faster, my coworkers and I love to tease each other. One of our favorite ways to do this is to call someone “fatty” whenever they eat, well….anything. Today, a girl lamented that she had gained two pounds (there goes her anorexic figure, lol), and my immediate response was, “it must be all those cupcakes we’ve been eating lately, fatty.” The nickname’s harmless, and since we’re all skinny no one takes offense, but it got me thinking about how society has conditioned us to view our bodies.
A health teacher asked my class once: “Would you rather have cancer or be fat and unable to lose weight?” I couldn’t decide. Neither could my skinny friends. We’d been skinny our whole lives. The thought of being anything else was frightening. In our society, thin=beautiful and fat=disgusting. Even today, I’m not sure I can make that choice. Of course no one wants to have cancer or to be morbidly obese–that’s a death sentence in and of itself–but I can’t even imagine being chubby. In fact, I think I’d rather be anorexic than a little overweight. Scary.
The worst part about all this is, I know I’ve been “brainwashed” by society to think this way. Being obese is a sign of poor health, but there’s nothing wrong with being a little chubby other than that our society thinks it’s ugly. Being thin is probably a bigger health hazzard. And yet, the thought of gaining just 5, 10, or 15 pounds is enough to make me cringe and gag. Sigh. Gotta love what modern society has done to us.