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Going around FB... empowering or cop-out? Are u proud to be "curvy"?

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Old 12-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default Going around FB... empowering or cop-out? Are u proud to be "curvy"?

I don't know if any of you have seen this little poem going around on facebook, but it reads:

When you’re plus size woman, people like to say "yeah, she's cute in the face", as if being full figured is such a disgrace. Honey, I’m cute in the face, and I’m thick in the waist. I look good whether I’m in cotton, leather, or lace. I’m beautiful, vibrant and above all, smart! And there's more to me than my weight, I also have a heart. Yes my clothes maybe a bigger size, that just means you have access to a bigger prize. We all are not self-conscious about our weight, and we never have a problem getting a date. So don’t think your small frame gives you more pull, I’m a hot, sexy, curvy woman with a figure that's full.

The particular person that posted it on my FB (not my wall, but as their status) is morbidly obese, had WLS about a year ago, has lost about 20 lbs and admits she still finds ways to take in too many cals, and doesn't feel like sticking with whatever her doc has been telling her. She admits this on FB!...anyway...

I find this post not empowering, but more self convincing. While I am currently not over weight, I spent my entire childhood being over weight / obese (not to be confused with chunky, oh no I was bigger than chunky) , and most of my adult hood over weight, and after my kids, obese.

I was married later in life, but I can definitely say being fat did make it hard for me to get a date. I had no problem making tons of friends, many of which were guys, but I had very few that had a romantic interest, but maybe I'm blaming my weight...

I don't know why, but this status update really, really urks the crap outta me. I have sweated through the last year, not just literally with running at the butt crack of dawn on mornings when I'd rather be sleeping, but figuratively. ALL of us on this site, are working hard to lose weight or maintain our loss.
Counting calories, warding off binges, stay low carb, no carb, no sugar, high protien, WW, south beach, navigating the holiday cookie trays, food pushing family, working through our emotional ties to over eating or comfort eating, or not feeling deprived when we skip dessert, learning to cook healthier, eat healthier, and LIVE healthier. (Ok up on soap box now...) We eat, sleep, and breath our new found ways. We fall off the wagon, learn to forgive ourselves, climb back on and vow to KEEP climbing back on (ok, cue nation anthem in back ground) we learn to change our habits, figure out what works and what doesn't, pave new roads to meet our goals. We earn every pound we lose, and learn from even pound we gain, so we can be wiser in our future attempts at losing weight. Not just to look good, not just to get more dates, but for our bodies to be healthier, our minds to be happier, and our lives to be longer!!!!

And when I read these post from people (you don't know the particular women that posted this status on my FB) who's lives are a reflection of why bother (way more to it then weight here, if you knew them personally) I hear in their status "I'm going to throw it in your face that I love being "curvy" because it sooo much easier to post a FB status then work on losing the weight"...well, I've busted my butt for this "small-frame" and know what, for all the hard work and dessert-less nights I've endured, it damn sure better give me more pull. (I know it gives me more pleasure in the fitting room!) I did not see this post as empowering for plus size women. I have read empowering statements, and watched this awesome video on youtube, (search fat rant to see it), THAT was empowering. I found this statement to be a cop-out.
Don't hate me if you disagree! Maybe its because I know the women personally that posted this, and that effected how I took this little poem.

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Old 12-03-2011, 07:00 PM   #2
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I'm conflicted. See, even when overweight, I was never "curvy". I was a 32B when my son was 3 days old, when most women are spilling out at DD+, I have never had curves and I never will. I'm sure many women don't realize this, but when people brag of being 'curvy' rather than smaller/slim/skinny whatever you want to call it, it sort of leaves us "non curvy" fat girls (well, former - I am a maintainer now) in the dust.

We aren't skinny... we aren't curvy... so we're just, fat? Square lumps? Nothing to brag about?

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Old 12-03-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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Hi, I think your response is right on. I'd be proud to be curvy, but not proud to be unhealthy or obese. I think people write that as a way to talk themselves out of all the hard work it would take to get fit. If someone was truly happy being "curvy" they wouldn't have to announce it all over FB and try to find people to agree with their position. But, misery loves company. For me...I will keep moving and try to keep inspiring everyone I know to get healthy (no matter what size that turns out to be).
Just my 2 cents.

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Old 12-03-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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I'm not anymore proud to be curvy than I am proud to have brown eyes. Both are genetic. I can be thin or heavier but I'm always going to be somewhat curvy.

I don't like any kind of body shaming, putting down people who are fat or thin.

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Old 12-03-2011, 07:36 PM   #5
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I think people (I have done this in the past) internally (and sometimes externally) rationalize their size. I used to tell people, "yeah, I am overweight, but I am happy so I don't worry about it". Truth is I was too lazy to worry about it and I was not happy at all. Still not happy but I am working on it. I think your take on it is correct.



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Old 12-03-2011, 08:58 PM   #6
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I think PP is correct, you are either curvy or your not. When I lose weight, I keep my curves, but I'd rather be healthy than bigger, curves or no curves.

Not only do I want to eat healthier, I want to get smarter about what I put into my body!
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:39 PM   #7
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"Curvey," and "Overweight/Obese," are two completely different terms, ones that your friend needs to learn to seperate. I am proud to be curvy. I have an hourglass shape. But again, your friend posting is obese. She may have curves but what shes stating as such, is fat. I don't like when women think their shape is better then anyones. Everyone has their own thing going and its insulting that she assumes people with a smaller frame think there better(I do not have a small frame for the record) This whole thing is an excuse for her own issues shes having with her body. Shes apparently not comfortable with what she has because people who are, don't feel the need to bring something like this up. IDK...

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Old 12-03-2011, 10:22 PM   #8
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I totally agree with you. Saying that you're proud to be curvy when you mean fat is just dumb. Are you really proud that you're fat? I don't think any of us here are...that's why we're working our butts off to be healthy.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
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The fact that some people do not want to lose weight, and even are proud of their obesity, doesn't irk me at all. I'm not even sure that some of them aren't right. Maybe to them being fat isn't worth the effort it takes to be less so.

It's a bit strange and maybe even self-deluded, but we're such an open-minded culture with almost everything else, why should we care so much about what people think about how much weight is too much, and what weight is ok to be proud of and which weight isn't?

And the poem doesn't say anything about wanting to be fat, and intending to stay fat - just that it doesn't have to be a barrier to all good things in life - including men.

To be honest, the poem pretty much describes how I feel about myself. I dated less than my thin, outgoing friends but a lot more than my thin, shy friends. I also had better luck dating great men, because I was pickier - and I wasn't self-conscious about my weight (well not much, anyway). My weight was just one small part of me. It wasn't something I was proud of, but it also (from the time I became smart enough to realize it) wasn't something I was ashamed of either.

And I have met thin women who thought they had more sexual "pull" just by virtue of their lower body weight - to the point that they would make fools of themselves falling all over my dates - obviously thinking that they could easily take my date away from me - because after all they were thin and I was fat. Luckily, I always dated classy men who never made me feel like these women were right.

The funniest example was when my husband and I first were married, and a woman in the Walmart was fawning all over my husband in my presence, casting looks my way to clearly show that she thought I was no competition. I wasn't threatened in the least, so I didn't think anything of going about my business and letting my husband take care of it (he's better at it, and funnier). As I was browsing the next aisle, I could hear their conversation, and as soon as I was out of her sight, she offerred my husband her phone number, and my husband played dumb and said, "you'd better give it to my wife, I would never keep track of it," or something to that effect. I almost snorted, when I heard her harumph and stomp off.

It does get tiresome as a larger woman to be looked at by some thin women as if I have no right to the man standing next to me (and that he's a pretty big guy himself doesn't seem to change the "game" they play of "can I steal your husband?") They seem to believe that just by the virtue of their thinness, they deserve my husband (or when I was dating, my date) more than I do.

Unless you've experienced it, you may not understand what that feels like - to have some stranger try to attract your date/significant other, right under your nose, assuming they can do it, just because they're thinner.

I don't have to be ashamed of my weight, to want to change it. And I don't have to believe that I'm not attractive, exactly as I am. I can be proud of all my attributes (and even the curviness and even the ampleness).

I do personally think that women with a little "extra" are more attractive, but that's a personal bias, and I don't know what that will ultimately mean for my goal weight, or why it should matter to anyone but me. Will I stop losing at 170 or 180 because I don't want to lose my curves? It depends. Maybe. If my joints aren't bothering me, and my health stats are all great, maybe I will (although I'll still be overweight or even obese). And I'll still be annoyed by thin, young things who find it fun to try to seduce my husband out from under me, just because they think they can (although I do find it highly amusing watching him turn them down).
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:08 PM   #10
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I agree with you. I mean, I'm naturally curvy whether I'm 130, 150, or 170+. Curvy isn't the same as overweight/obese. And I don't think being seriously overweight is anything to be proud of. At the same time, I think it's a part of American culture-- the food, the advertising, the contradicting standards. So I don't "blame" anyone for being overweight either. But I cringe when I see these sort of things on FB; it's not something to be super proud of in my mind.

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Old 12-03-2011, 11:14 PM   #11
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Kaplods, that was an awesome post.

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Old 12-04-2011, 12:11 AM   #12
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kaplods, why are you always the voice of reason? I wish to be as wise as you someday.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by princessgina00 View Post
kaplods, why are you always the voice of reason? I wish to be as wise as you someday.

I do think I'm pretty level-headed, but know that I'm not always this smart or wise in my own life, at least not all of the time. It's a lot harder to access wisdom at the drop of a hat.

Today hubby and I had a HUGE argument (throwing mean truths at each other) because we were both feeling crappy, and neither of us really wanted to go to the gym, so we were blaming each other for not being motivated to go (and so we did go each feeling we had to prove a point, but we were still a little mad at each other on the way there, through our workouts, and even a bit during the drive home).

We both got over it though.

Online, it's much easier to see "both sides" because one of those sides isn't necessarily mine.

But back on the topic of "Big Girl Pride," I think it's sometimes overcompensation for being treated as though you were something that decent people would scrape off their boots.

I think it's also often just a "stage," some "big girls" go through (and like any stage theory, some get fixated at a stage and never move past it). I know I went through it for a few years, after I first discovered FA (fat acceptance) literature. I never succeeded at dieting in the past, and I wasn't entirely sure why, and I wasn't convinced (though I did sometimes believe) that it was because I was as lazy, crazy, or stupid as our culture tends to label the fat girls.

When I encountered the FA stuff that said I had a right to a decent life, including exercise at any weight, it was heady stuff. To think that I had as much value as anyone else? That I could be beautiful, active, and sexy and that the weight didn't have to prevent me from most of the things I thought it did... Wow!

And it didn't make me love being fat. It just made me realize that I couldn't put my life on hold until I stopped being fat, because even if I did everything right (and I hadn't done that yet, in so many, many years of dieting) but if I did manage to do everything right, I still was going to be fat for some time. Why put my life on hold even for a year, if I didn't have to.

And really I think without this view of the world, I don't think I would be here 101 lbs lighter than I started. Because most of my life, I gave up everything to lose weight, and then when the weight loss slowed, I'd get so angry that I had given up everything, had no life, and now had no weight loss either... it didn't take long to decide that I wanted my life back more than I wanted to be thin. I had to learn how to lose weight, without giving up everything good in my life as well.

I also was taught to lose weight by the self-denial and self-loathing method, and I never could hate myself quite as much as it felt like I was supposed to.

The object of the "game" of self-loathing is to lose weight by punishing yourself for being fat in the first place, by depriving yourself of everything fun - reminding yourself constantly that you don't deserve to have a good time, because you're fat, and you did this to yourself, and yada yada yada... It never worked for me, because I didn't buy into the premise - that I was a lazy, crazy, stupid, or a weak, inferior, bad person. I wasn't any of those things I was just fat (and yet still fabulously smart, witty, sweet, and way sexy).

I kept trying to lose the weight, but refused to throw my self-esteem away in the pursuit of it.

In order to meet my husband, I placed a personal ad - and I made it really clear that I wanted someone who could support me in my weight loss, but who could also accept my failures along with my successes. I still don't know if I will make it all the way to my goal weights (I actually have several goal weights. My in-my-dreams weight is between 135 and 150, but if I can make it under 200 and don't get any further, I'll still be very happy).

Heck, some days I don't know if I will make it to 285 or even 391. But that's another thing that's changed. Because I'm not afraid of being a fat girl, if I think that I can't lose another pound, it no longer leads me to think "if I can't get thin, what's the point. If I can't lose any more weight, so far from goal, I might as well quit and at least get to eat what I want."

Instead, every pound matters. So that even when I think I can't lose even one more pound, that's ok - I can still maintain the weight loss I do have. And maintenance really is the same work as weight loss, so always say (even to myself when I start to forget) that maintenance is my first goal and my second goal is to try to lose "just one more."

I don't fear regaining anymore, because I'm not even tempted to give up, because this isn't about numbers for me anymore. It's not even about weight loss. I decided that I was going to stop focusing on the numbers (which always set me to feeling sick and tired of the weight loss being so slow). Instead, I decided that I was going to commit only changes I was willing to make forever, whether or not any weight loss resulted. That way, the weight loss isn't my goal - it's one of the rewards for meeting my goals (the behaviors I'm changing). Weight loss works a lot better as a reward than a goal for me. So I keep focusing on my diet and exercise changes, and the weight loss is just gravy.

To be honest, if I had lost absolutely no weight, but had gained all the health improvements I've experienced, I still wouldn't be discouraged. Because a number on the scale means absolutely nothing to me (and maybe that's been my problem all along. Food was real, numbers were abstract).

Being able to sleep more than 45 minutes without having to "flip" like a pancake because of the pain and numbness, being able to not just wash my hair once with a shampoo/conditioner, but having the strength to rinse, repeat with seperate shampoo and conditioner... being able to wash the dinner dishes without sitting at a chair to do so... to finally being able to go to the gym and swim 36 lengths of the pool (sure it takes me bleepin' forever, but I can do it)....

All of those are miracles mean a whole lot more than the number on the scale. And I think it's really important that we take the stigma and the power from the numbers. If you're eating healthy food, avoiding most unhealthy behaviors, being really active and can run a marathon, and all your blood tests are awesome, and you still can't seem to get below 210 lbs, whose to say that your life is less healthy and less valuable than the 110 lb, alcoholic, promiscuous, chain-smoking, couch jockey?

Sadly, our culture does tend to give the lower weight person more benefit-of-the doubt, and that's sad - but not only for the fat person, but for the thin person too. In some ways, we fatties have an advantage. Our friends, family, and doctors (or at least the media we see on tv, if we don't have anyone in our lives doing it) are warning us about the dangers of being overweight. The "normal" looking person may assume he or she is healthy, just because they look normal in a mirror.

I think instead of harping on weight, we need to be a culture that tells people that diet and exercise is important independent of weight. That even if you can't seem to lose weight and even if you have no weight problem at all, a healthy lifestyle is still of paramount importance.

In fact, I think if we ignored weight completely, and focused on healthy behaviors (exercise and an active lifestyle in general, stress management, quality sleep, high-quality, unprocessed foods), most of the weight issues would take care of themselves (because the more healthy habits you have, the less likely you are to be overweight at all, the less likely you are to be more than a smidge overweight, and the more likely you are to be healthy even if you are carrying around a few extra pounds.

Instead, we've made it all about the numbers, and then wonder why people aren't motivated by them. Numbers don't "mean" anything, and deep, down most of us realize that.

Even here, it's very difficult to make it about anything other than the numbers. We don't have tickers that proudly proclaim how much fruit and veggies we're eating, or bragging about how much time we spent resting, dealing with stressors, getting enough sleeping or moving during the day.

We're focusing on the least important aspect of both health and beauty.

Yeah soapbox time... sorry.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dharma420 View Post
Hi, I think your response is right on. I'd be proud to be curvy, but not proud to be unhealthy or obese. I think people write that as a way to talk themselves out of all the hard work it would take to get fit. If someone was truly happy being "curvy" they wouldn't have to announce it all over FB and try to find people to agree with their position. But, misery loves company. For me...I will keep moving and try to keep inspiring everyone I know to get healthy (no matter what size that turns out to be).
Just my 2 cents.

This is the perspective that worries me: that unhealthy, obese people simply show a false sense of confidence because they are too lazy to do the hard work. And, that they are trying to pull others down with them, "misery loves company."

This is a dangerous attitude because it becomes tyrannical in an unpsoken way. It spreads quickly to all sorts of minds and so becomes a social tyranny of sorts (pretty soon it could become a law that no one is allowed to be morbidly obese; if they are they will be jailed until they become thin). Also funny and ironic, it is even enforced by people who were formerly obese. It is quite a powerful idea that spreads fast.

I'd have to say:

1. Just because it is the focus/the most important thing of many lives to become healthy and attain a normal weight does not mean it has to be the focus of every life. We all have unique worries and our own issues that hold utmost importance in our lives.

2. This girl is simply trying to find her narcissism again (we are all narcissistic at heart- we want to be loved and admired) in a world that has trampled her feeling of self-worth. And so what if she wants to form a group of people that share her situation? It is nice to know we are not alone.

3. She has had WLS, but perhaps she has never really learned how to lose weight - perhaps she thinks it is hopeless, so she has decided to focus on more productive activities. Just because you understand how to lose weight does not mean she does. It also sounds like she is serious psychological issues with regard to eating.

To be honest, I think the OP feels that, because she knew the woman, the catchy little poem was directed at her to some extent, thus denigrating her own hard work efforts.

Well, OP, it sounds like you are doing great and learning how to become healthy and reach your goals. We appreciate all your hard work here (we are all going through it too and know how hard it is to lose), but your hard work is not going to be appreciated everywhere. Some people will tell you to stop, others will say being bigger is better and that you are wasting your time. I think you will just have to practice 'selective hearing' for awhile. Let it go in one ear and out the other, as they say!

One thing, just don't forget to empathize with others. Sometimes we become defensive too soon and we forget that others are suffering in their own way too.

Last edited by Unna : 12-04-2011 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:21 AM   #15
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If I were a little above the "right" weight and curvy, I'd be proud too. I think "curvy" beats "stick thin" any day.
However, like Sacha and others, I'm not curvy. I can be a fat apple or a thinner apple; I'm never curvy. Boohoo, I wish I were but there it is.

I don't think people should be made to feel ashamed or guilty or "less" for being fat, so I'm all for fat people re-learning/hanging onto a positive self-image, and yes, I do know that "obese" is such a broad term that it takes into account perfectly healthy people as well as people up my end of the spectrum but, in general terms, "proud" to be obese? Nope.

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