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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fat acceptance

On Monday, Lena Dunham put this picture of herself in lingerie on social media:

These days, "fat acceptance" is in vogue, and we hear quotes like, "There is no such thing as a fat girl. Every girl is beautiful in her own way." (This from Niall Horan, of One Direction, who evidently wants to promote his record sales.)

I certainly agree that as long as people are fat, they ought to be at peace with themselves.

But redefining beauty is a tricky thing. We're all told it's in the eye of the beholder, blah blah blah. But the fact is, very few guys are attracted to obese women. That's just human nature, and that can't be changed, anymore than someone's sexuality can.

The same people who say that homosexuals can't be blamed for their sexuality -- which I completely agree with -- will often imply that men who prefer slender women are somehow morally wanting. But heterosexual men can't help what they desire any more than gays can.

As far as the peace of mind goes, I'm certainly all for that. But for fat women to achieve this, they have to come to terms with being ignored by most men. And they should understand that blaming men for ignoring them is as silly as blaming gay men for not being attracted to them.

This logic seems to escape the more vocal feminists.


Steven said...

I think fat shaming is more about insulting fat people. I agree with the general sentiments though.

Some women are considered attractive by almost all men. They would get an average rating of 9. Then there are 4s. There are objective reasons why. There ARE differences of opinion, and individual compatibility differences, but beholders are genetically related and usually attracted to similar things for objective reasons. Certain waist hip ratios, certain BMIs are signs of health and fertility, while symmetry shows health and average facial are even and display a lack of harmful mutations. Not to mention how we can read hormone profiles off features and bodies.

Being a little overweight can still be attractive to many men but after that, the fatter you get the less attractive you will be to most men. A normal BMI is wonderfully but not coincidentally both healthy and attractive. Underweight is as unattractive as overweight.

Don't 'fat shame' people but don't go to the other extreme of saying its totally fine to be fat because its not healthy and its not a desirable state of affairs for society to have many fat people. There are very serious health issues related to fatness.

We shouldn't be mean and we should encourage people positively but we also shouldn't tell lies that are transparent to most people (really obese people are physically beautiful/attractive- no they aren't). and not helpful if they stop people from changing.

Steven said...

To be fair, Lena Dunham level of fatness can still be sexy. I'd say she's a little overweight rather than obese.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Agreed on your first comment. as far as your second (especially the first half), we'll have to agree to disagree.

Steven said...

I think the basic principle is that the further away somebody goes from a normal/healthy body fat percentage, above or below, the less attractive they will be or the less people will find them attractive.

I guess my cut off point is just a little higher than yours. She's about my cut off point. I wouldn't like any fatter but I actually quite like her body in that photo.

John Craig said...

Steven --
You're a better man than I am.

Anonymous said...

She remembers me of a renaissance woman. Look at this picture:

Besides the different height she pretty much has this kind of body (maybe a bit more chubby then Venus herself). I think her biggest disadvantages are:

- ugly face
- short hair
- tattoo
- small breasts (fat woman look better with bigger breasts imho)

Anyway men like what they like. Complaints and propaganda won't change that. Same goes for women too.


John Craig said...

Sebastian --
Yes, that's a good comparison (though flattering to Dunham). A lot of those Renaissance paintings featured women who were Rubenesque (though they all pre-dated Rubens).

And yes, all true. Our instincts are our instincts, they can't be legislated or propagandized away.

Anonymous said...

for your entertainment

i love heartiste. he sounds like the perfect sociopathic character - a great court jester who commits no violent or emotional crimes. like a greek fury he only torments and harasses criminals and monsters....

John Craig said...

Anon --
I wonder sometimes myself if Heartiste is a sociopath. He's vicious, and seems to be constantly brimming over with hostility, a trait that many sociopaths have. On the other hand, pretty much everything he says is true. (I know a young guy who uses the type of game he recommends, and does extremely well with women.) And he's always been skillful at pointing out the lies that women live by, though he hates them for it with that passion that doesn't seem quite warranted.

Who knows, he's fun to read.

Anonymous said...

Lena Dunham looks better dressed (as do most people). I don't mind that she's a little overweight (chunky types can be attractive people, depending on their body type, and especially when they have good, pleasant personalities), but who really wants to see a woman like this in her bra and underwear. What is she trying to accomplish? Another thing, I question why I'm commenting on this. LOL.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
Everything is interesting, if you're interested in it. Yes, tastes vary.

I think what Dunham is trying to do, and this is basically what stirred me to write about it, is redefine beauty. She is saying, I'm just as beautiful as those thin models, and if you can't see it, it's your fault. That's sort of the subtext here, and it's utterly ridiculous. Yes, it's all in the eye of the beholder, etc, but most beholders have relatively similar tastes, as all sorts of studies have shown. for Dunham to plop herself into the discussion and imply that she is beautiful in a different way strikes me as an exercise in silliness and, frankly, futility.

Anonymous said...

Some men really really like fat women alot

Fat Bastardo said...

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Fat girls have nearly 4 times the rate of STDs.

MarieCurie said...

Some women gain weight for the express purpose of having men ignore them.

Men may do this to sometimes (to avoid being seen as a sexual object). Imagine why they might do that.

John Craig said...

Marie Curie --
I get the impression that particular motivation is more common among women than men.

I also get the impression that motivation overall is only responsible for a small minority of cases of obesity, and that self-indulgence is the far more common cause. (And I'm aware that different people have different numbers of fat cells, and that we all have "set points," and that losing weight is harder than most skinny people realize. Still…..)

Aquarius Moon said...

I don't understand the trend where people strip down to their undies or bikinis to prove a point. What point, exactly? To seek validation?

Fact is, not everyone will find everyone beautiful, save for the genetically blessed and people would do well to be realistic and make the most out of what they were born with.

And... just keep those clothes on.

John Craig said...

Aquarius Moon --