March 21, 2009

The other day, we calculated our BMI and the number of calories we need during the day. First, it was awkward because we were at work. Even if I’m kind of in the healthcare industry, I don’t think any of us need to calculate a number that tells us we’re fat while we’re working. Second, because BMI is such a specific calculation, people readily agree that it’s not a solid measure of unhealthiness. I felt a little like it was promoting the idea that we only hire people who look obviously young and healthy and relatively attractive.

And then the next day I watched a documentary – Thin – that followed four anorexics through rehab. It highlighted very well how much the disease is about control rather than just food. It also did a good job showing how these girls seem completely normal except when eating, and how much they’ve perfected their habits to cover their problem.

And just today, someone actually commented on how much I ate at lunch. He was apparently impressed with how much I could eat (and I didn’t even eat a lot!). It definitely caught me off guard, because who really says something like that to a girl? Much less a girl he doesn’t know that well. What’s worse is that this wasn’t the first time someone has made a comment like that. While I don’t have too many weight qualms, I keep a close eye on it just like any other girl and comments like that make me think maybe I should eat less.

It just seemed weird that this week had so many references to getting skinnier.

UPDATE: I just read this post on Google Reader: Fat shaming by way of bus stops. The ad displays your weight when you sit down. That’s terrible!



  1. That bus-stop-fat-shaming seems a bit outrageous, but it does remind me of one very realistic and politically challenging question: should airlines charge more to people who weigh more, now that airlines are charging extra for each additional (50~60lb) bag, and if so, how to set the weight threshold.

    • Speaking of airlines, I actually saw a sterwardess have to ask someone to switch out of their exit row seat because they were too large. It was awful.

  2. I personally believe that if you’re actually overweight, people around you will tend to steer away from conversations in that regard. So the fact that a semi-stranger feels comfortable talking to you about how much you eat just affirms that you’re probably on the other side of the line.

    • Thanks; that makes me feel better 🙂

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