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Beauty, Health, and my BMI

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:04pm

My BMI is around 25. I recline on the line between what is defined as "normal" and "overweight."

What does this mean?

It means I am unattractive.

(because no one anywhere near my proportions exists in movies, ads for cars, in magazines, and this, my friends, is a picture of a "plus" model: )

It means I am unhealthy.

(because our society believes , wrongly , that weights above that magic number are inherently unhealthy)

It means I should be ashamed.

(in casual conversation it is not only normal to put ourselves down for going up, it is a compliment to tell someone they've lost weight no matter what the original weight)

But here's the truth: I am beautiful, I am healthy, and I'm proud.

I've seen what the low end of the BMI scale does: it kills, it maims, it mangles, it tortures.

Our society's fixation on weight is not about health or virtue. It is about aesthetic bigotry, period.

And the first thing we need to do is stop connecting weight with beauty, health, or virtue.

Our healthy body size and shape is genetically determined. Mucking about with the mechanisms to change our appearance is like chopping off the top of our head to make ourselves shorter: it doesn't work, and what are we going to do with half a brain?

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