3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > Support Groups > 100 lb. Club

People's perception of obesity

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-07-2010, 10:16 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
paris81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,381

S/C/G: 252-255?/ticker/145

Height: 5'6''

Default People's perception of obesity

Hey all! This is a bit long, please indulge me!

So I'm wondering about what experiances you have with people's perception of what obesity looks like (specifically non-obese people). Here's the scenario that's confusing me:

I've started online dating. I have a two pictures of myself on the site, one that is a full body picture. I'm sitting down, but you can certainly see my large thighs and my wide body! (gotta be honest, it's what I look like right now!) In fact, the picture was taken a few months ago when I was at 235lbs. So in this picture, I'm obese.

There's a rating system on the site where if you give someone 4 or 5 stars and they give you the same rating (based on pics and profile), then you get a message telling you that the other person rated you highly. There are also many, many questions that people answer, one of which is "Would you date someone overweight?" It's multiple choice.

So the confusing thing to me is that I'll often get the high 4 or 5 star rating from someone who answered the question saying that they would date someone who was overweight, as long as they weren't obese. But they've seen my picture!

So do people not realize what obese means? do they assume that it's much heavier than it actually is? I mean, I was surprised to find out that at my height, I'm obese at anything over 185 (I think that's the number somewhere around there anyway).

Experiances with this? thoughts? Comments?
__________________
No binge since 5/10/10
Mini-goal #1: 1st 10 lbs: 10/07/09
Mini-goal #2: 10% of body weight: 4/28/10 (Finally!)
Mini-goal #3: 211 lbs (my all-time adult low): 1/26/11
Mini-goal #4: 20% of SW (202lbs):
Mini-goal #5: Onederland!:

Overall goal
paris81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 10:34 AM   #2
Healthy is Beautiful
 
ThicknPretty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 719

S/C/G: 214/144/160

Height: 5"8

Default

I didn't realize what obesity "looked" like until I realized that I, at 214 pounds, was obese. I was baffled. Obese is such a...scary, serious word. I had always thought of myself as a fat, chunky, overweight, but by no means obese.

I don't think that many people, especially those who have not struggled with weight, have a good idea of what obese is. Most people picture someone over 300 pounds riding the motorized cart in Wal-Mart when they picture obesity...in fact, so many more people are obese than we realize!
ThicknPretty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 10:35 AM   #3
Which round am I at now?
 
souvenirdarling's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 809

S/C/G: 158/see ticker/130

Height: 5' 5-3/4"

Default

Hmmm. I think that when I use the word obese, I usually mean morbidly obese. I do find it hard to distinguish the difference between healthy weight/overweight/obese/morbidly obese, which may be because of my own distorted view of my own weight.
__________________

Please msg me and ask what I'm up to!
MyFitnessPal: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/souvenirdarling
souvenirdarling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 10:38 AM   #4
Calorie counter
 
Eliana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,679

Height: 5'4.5"

Default

Yeah, I agree that I don't think anyone has a good picture of obese. I stopped feeling obese around 200 pounds (size 16) and felt like I looked just overweight. Now here I am still 25 pounds overweight and I feel like I look normal.

The trouble is that our bodies know what our eyes do not.
__________________
Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html
Eliana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 11:43 AM   #5
Rosebud
 
Justwant2Bhealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,944

S/C/G: 30/Goal Met:L-XL/relosing some

Default

I agree that there is great confusion over these labels; and I think that too many people are called obese when they are really just overweight. The new thing today is to call everyone that is overweight, "morbidly obese"; and I hear way too many people here referring to themselves as such, when they are not.

Medically, morbidly obese is usually referring to anyone at least or more than 100 lbs overweight, when in the past it referred to those who were hundreds of lbs overweight and/or deathly ill. So it is no wonder society at large is confused by the terms being used today.

Fortunately, many more men today actually don't mind or even prefer someone with some cushioning on their frame; but like they said, they don't mind some -- but just not a whole lot ...
__________________
ONE-STEP-AT-A-TIME PHIL 4:13 " I CAN "
YA GOTTA HAVE FAITH KEEP ON, KEEPIN' ON
= 10 lbs ...
115 lbs + 16 Single Sizes Gone Forever! -- 100 lb tumor = ONEDERLAND!
Progress Pics: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/look...ml#post4361876

Last edited by Justwant2Bhealthy : 08-07-2010 at 11:45 AM.
Justwant2Bhealthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 11:44 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,294

S/C/G: HW:300 Pregnancy: 160/167/185

Height: 5'5"

Default

There is "social obese" (and"social overweight") and "medically obese" (and "medically overweight"). The first is a function of a particular individual/cultural context: the second is more objective.

For many people, frankly, I think obese means "fat past the point of sexuality", where ever that cut off might be for them personally (people have the same idea about what "old" means--however old you are, "old" are all those people older enough than you that you can't think of them sexually).

It also varies by location. I call myself "Texas normal" these days because in TX, at the age of 33, I am really very, very normal. I would be overweight on a beach in France, or in a park in Colorado Springs.

Part of the reason people dislike BMI is that it only describes your medical status (and that somewhat inexactly). It does not describe your attractiveness, your social weight. The fact of the matter is that someone who is 10 lbs medically overweight may look absolutely smoking hot (especially if they are proportional), but studies do suggest they would be slightly healthier if they lost those 10 lbs. Someone in a normal BMI range would not benefit from losing 10 lbs in the same way. So they are medically overweight but not socially overweight.
Shmead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 12:08 PM   #7
Oneder Bound
 
ShellydeFlores's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The beautiful and warm, Arizona
Posts: 416

S/C/G: 287/ticker/150ish

Height: 5'7"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThicknPretty View Post
I didn't realize what obesity "looked" like until I realized that I, at 214 pounds, was obese. I was baffled. Obese is such a...scary, serious word. I had always thought of myself as a fat, chunky, overweight, but by no means obese.

I don't think that many people, especially those who have not struggled with weight, have a good idea of what obese is. Most people picture someone over 300 pounds riding the motorized cart in Wal-Mart when they picture obesity...in fact, so many more people are obese than we realize!
This is exactly how I see it as well. People see obesity as a the "weeble wobble" person with cankles who needs to get around the grocery in a motorized chair. At my highest (287) I was morbidly obese. When I asked a couple of my trusted friends whether I looked fat or obese, they would say chubby. Of course this was to save my feelings from the word fat but the point is their view of obestity was askew too.

It's unfortunate but our vision of overweight and obese has been messed up for years so I can't expect much from others if I didn't know that I was obese too.
__________________
Shelly de Flores
Journey Began May 24, 2010

ShellydeFlores is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 12:08 PM   #8
Member
 
LLH2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 50

S/C/G: 132/131/118

Height: 5'2"

Default

You have to think that nowadays being overweight is kind of the norm. That's what we are used to seeing. So when we see someone overweight we think they're normal, obese and we think they're overweight, correct weight and they must be anorexic. That's a little exaggerated but pretty much correct.
__________________
LLH2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 12:39 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
paris81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,381

S/C/G: 252-255?/ticker/145

Height: 5'6''

Default

Thanks for the feedback! It is so interesting that people just really have no idea what these terms mean medically speaking!

I like what you say, Schmead, about social weight. I guess these men who rate me this way while answering the question in a contradiction don't see me as obese, just overweight. It's so strange, and makes me feel a bit conflicted, but I guess as long as they think I'm attractive the way I am, the label isn't terribly important.

Plus, I'm working on not being obese anymore anyway!
__________________
No binge since 5/10/10
Mini-goal #1: 1st 10 lbs: 10/07/09
Mini-goal #2: 10% of body weight: 4/28/10 (Finally!)
Mini-goal #3: 211 lbs (my all-time adult low): 1/26/11
Mini-goal #4: 20% of SW (202lbs):
Mini-goal #5: Onederland!:

Overall goal
paris81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 01:26 PM   #10
Burn It!
 
Aclai4067's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 2,550

S/C/G: 337.4/326.2/155

Height: 5'8

Default

I think your social circle is also a big factor. In my group of friends I'm probably "social overweight" but in my sisters group I'm like "social super morbidly obese." Not that they are mean to me or do anything to try and make me feel that way, but seriously they think Miranda Lambert is fat. Here are pics if you don't know who that is (I hadn't heard of her til I moved to Nashville): http://www.zimbio.com/Miranda+Lambert/pictures/pro
__________________
Ashley
Mini Goal 1- 5%


Overall:
Aclai4067 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 01:57 PM   #11
Calorie counter
 
Eliana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,679

Height: 5'4.5"

Default

Also, we don't wear our weights on our forehead. Obviously these men do find you attractive, and why not?!

I have to remind myself about not wearing my weight on my forehead. I'm at a point where I think I'm heavier than I look so I have to let that number go.
__________________
Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html
Eliana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 02:25 PM   #12
Simply Filling Technique
 
pamatga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Atlanta GA
Posts: 1,352

Lightbulb So Many Good Comments Here

Again, it is really social perception. I am aging myself here but when I first gained weight over two decades ago, I was really alone in my being overweight or actually obese. I had a hard time finding attractive clothes etc. Now, the interesting thing is that society or our country anyway has caught up and now obesity is almost the norm. Recent stat was that 60% of the U.S. population is obese. Now, that I am on the way down, I have such a different perspective. I keep trying to remember where my goal is. I am expecting some anoxeric remarks when I am but honestly I will finally be in my normal BMI range. How strange is that?
__________________
pamatga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 02:25 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 82

S/C/G: 276 / 259 / 150

Height: 5' 6"

Default

My experience has been that men generally have no concept of female weight, let alone what is considered obese haha.

Maybe it's just me, but I've never met a guy who was a good and fair judge of weight. I think men, and most people, judge weight subjectively and not from a health/medical standard. I think they take other factors such as their own preferences into consideration when judging someone's weight. And I think often times obese is used as an ugly term for large people who they aren't particularly attracted to, rather than an actual term to measure weight. Or maybe just anyone overweight. It's used so loosely and so often now days that I wouldn't be surprised if most people thought it literally means "fat" in any sense.

I wouldn't question it though if guys you like don't consider you obese. It's a good thing!
ChubbyBun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 03:23 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
paris81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,381

S/C/G: 252-255?/ticker/145

Height: 5'6''

Default

Yes, I suppose I shouldn't question it! I guess it all comes with the social weirdness and extra bad body issues that come from being obese...gotta get over it! And I can, at least on the surface if I think about it objectivly. But when I really think about, I just don't understand why they'd be interested, which I suppose is where my concerns come from!
__________________
No binge since 5/10/10
Mini-goal #1: 1st 10 lbs: 10/07/09
Mini-goal #2: 10% of body weight: 4/28/10 (Finally!)
Mini-goal #3: 211 lbs (my all-time adult low): 1/26/11
Mini-goal #4: 20% of SW (202lbs):
Mini-goal #5: Onederland!:

Overall goal
paris81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 03:24 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,361

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

I think people in the dating context (both men and women) are using the word in a different context. The don't mean obese in the clinical sense (they're not using it as a medical term). Rather, they mean obese in the sense of "(s)he's too fat for me." That is their definition of obesity is the line (often very subjective) they personally draw between attractive and unattractive.

It's much like the definition of art or pornography for that matter for many people, "I'll know it when I see it."

I have a friend whose BMI puts her in the clinically obese category (weighs 225 lbs at 5'8"), but not even a medical doctor would call her obese by looking at her. She's extremely fit (she has arms I'd kill for), a kickboxer and runner. Her body fat percentage I would guarantee doesn't hit even the clinical obese category (but her BMI does), though she does carry some padding in her boobs and thighs. She could in theory lose that weight, but I don't understand why she'd want to (I can't imagine health or beauty reasoning). She's "dense" obviously (far more muscle than fat).

Then again, maybe I'm biased (though I'm in good company, because I'm not the only person male or female who's asked her why she calls herself fat).

Fat really is in the eye of the beholder.
__________________
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)

http://www.dreamstormdesigns.etsy.com
etsy link by permission from 3fc! Want to add yours? Ask them!

Last edited by kaplods : 08-07-2010 at 03:30 PM.
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hygeine and obesity, does fat = smelly kaplods General chatter 31 07-03-2015 11:12 AM
Obesity causes cancer Suzanne 3FC Weight Loss News and Current Events 18 12-23-2009 03:58 PM
From this morning's Chronicle... MrsJim Weight and Resistance Training 15 03-11-2004 10:36 PM
LWL #119 - Week of 7 Sept 2003 MrsJim Weight and Resistance Training 141 09-15-2003 05:46 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:36 AM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2