Being a Plus in a Minus World

It is so funny; when I was in math class, back in middle school, I learned that all numbers had significance and value in the world. However, when it comes to a person’s size, particularly a female, this is not always true. Many people look down on you if you are of the larger variety, some even ignore you and try to pretend you are not part of their world. As if your mere presence somehow reflects poorly on them.  

It really doesn’t matter why a person is a plus-size, anymore than it matters why her skin is its color or how she developed her religious beliefs. What does matter is that the inaccurate generalizations and assumptions that people make about plus-sized people are hurtful and lead to discrimination and prejudice. Ignorance is one of the most dangerous weapons on earth and the only way to fight it is through awareness and education. So, it is time to clear the air and educate people. These myths simply cannot continue to spread like a virus. 

The first myth in dire need of clarification is that overweight people are lazy. Yes, some overweight people are lazy, however, there are people of all different shapes and sizes who are lazy. Being a larger person does not mean you are lazy anymore than being an average size person means you are athletic. 

Another myth that seems quite common is that people who are overweight simply do not try hard enough to lose weight. This is blatantly false. Look at the market and you will see millions of diet and exercise programs. However, there is no magic formula that works for everyone. In fact, many overweight people focus more time and energy on weight loss than anything else, only to fail in the end. There are countless reasons why a person is overweight and it is not always the black and white issue that society assumes it is. 

Additionally, not all overweight people overeat. I know it is difficult to believe, but some overweight people do exercise portion control and will-power. Yet, their weight continues to fluctuate and ever increase. So, stop playing food-police when you go to restaurants and see the guy at the next table eating a salad, as if he is just pretending while he is in public. Not that it is anyone else’s business, but that salad may be the only thing he eats all day. 

Contrary to popular belief, fat can be healthy– (gasp) You heard me! There is much research that suggests it is healthier to have a stable weight, even if it is a high weight, than to jump around to a barrage of yo-yo diets. Size and weight are not determining factors in a person’s overall health. A person who has high blood pressure and cholesterol, but maintains a healthy body weight is not better off than someone whose only issue is her weight. 

While this is only a small sample of the many myths polluting the minds of people today, it is important to dispel them piece by piece. It is not possible to change everything at once, but little by little, through increased awareness, people will begin to change their perspective and that is when progress happens.