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Speak Up: Which is More Socially Acceptable?

Obesity among women residing in the U.S. has become socially acceptable, mostly because more than one-third of women ages 20 and older are obese.

Obesity among women is a new "social dynamic" that is reportedly becoming more socially acceptable nowadays than in the past. Medically speaking this trend appears to be a dangerous one because of its connection with type 2 diabetes, cancer and other diseases. However, psychologically, it may provide relief to know that you are not the only one packing on the pounds.

Jeez, and all this time I thought being grossly skinny was socially acceptable... So I am curious what you guys think about this whole thing -- Which is more socially acceptable, being too thin or being overweight? Speak up and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I do need to remind you to please be nice in sharing your opinions as people of all body types will be reading this and we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.


Join The Conversation
amber_castaldo amber_castaldo 9 years
It's true I have observed that it's much more socially acceptable to be thin. It is not however my opinion. Thin is in but concave is out. I am all for just being healthy for your body type. Whatever that makes you, thin or big.
laluna27 laluna27 9 years
I think that it is more socially acceptable to be skinnier than larger
jojobear13 jojobear13 9 years
I believe that it is definitely more socially acceptable to be obese today than it is to be too skinny. As a girl suffering from an eating disorder for over three years now, I know what it is like to be underweight and to be scrutinized for it by complete strangers who dont know anything about me or the reason for my low weight. Obese people, at times, are almost looked upon with pity or are felt sorry for by others whereas people who are underweight are looked upon with scrutiny or the like. Dont get me wrong, I know that people who are overweight get scrutinized too, but with the emergence of "plus sized" stores and modeling agencies, obesity is beginning to be looked upon as beautiful or as the new word is "curvy". In my opinion, since my eating disorder is caused by my own criticism of myself and not from what others thought of me since I was never by any means overweight, I dont think that a persons weight should be of any concern to strangers. In my case, my being underweight is a concern of my family and friends, but it does not make it easier for me to recover when complete strangers make snide remarks about my weight and what I eat. As people, we should try to make people feel good about themselves instead of commenting on their weight whether it be the excess or the lack there of. NONE of us should judge others until we can look into the mirror and find nothing wrong with ourselves. Too all the women out there (and men too) we are all beautiful in our own way, big or small, and the beauty on the inside is what shines through more than anything.
Crimson Crimson 9 years
I think that the opinion of the population depends on what the majority of the population is itself. In WV where I live, I am critisized for being "too skinny" (I am 5'4", 118 lbs aka healthy) The population here is quite obese. And it's getting much, much worse for children here. *I will not rant about this here* I think it's obvious that where most are thin *even if it is considered too thin to some* obese or even slightly over weight would be considered social unacceptable. In areas like wonderful WV where the obesity levels are epedemic... even healthy thin people are seen as anorexic. It's all about perspective.
sweetk8ty76 sweetk8ty76 9 years
That's surprising to me. I'm always reading about how obese people are treated unfairly, I would think that being too skinny would be more acceptable.
sweet_potato sweet_potato 9 years
I guess because I am living in Canada (and a large city, Toronto), I rarely ever see any overweight women. Being thin, and even too thin, is way more socially acceptable here. Larger people just aren't around...and if there are overweight women they really are not the norm. I'm sure it would be more accepted in an area that had a higher percentage of overweight women in it....just like a heavier woman would be more socially accepted in a group of women around her own weight.
junkinmytrunk junkinmytrunk 9 years
BMI has nothing to do with health. Obese, within range or being too thin has nothing to do with health.
Swangeese Swangeese 9 years
------------------ You can't be fat and healthy. Every single pound of excess fat you carry increases your chances of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, infertlity, sleep apnea, ect... If your BMI is not between 18.5-25 you're not healthy (unless you're a bodybuilder). -------------------- Of course you can. My BMI is 27.4. I run five days and week and eat healthy foods for most of my meals. However my body is built to carry a little extra weight around my hips and thighs. No big deal. BMI does not say jack about how healthy a person is. It just simply measures mass and the threshold has been consistently lowered throughout the years. If I were to achieve a "healthy" BMI, I would be deathly ill. My collarbones stick out already as it is. Not to mention that your body needs fat in order to maintain healthy functioning. Everyone's set point is different. A recent study reported that subcutaneous fat isn't deadly like visceral (internal) fat is. Yes too much visceral fat around your organs will kill you, but the fat on your thighs will not. And guess what?! Thin people can have high amounts of visceral fat as well. Losing weight can reduce the risk for some and I'm all for living a healthy lifestyle, but making a sweeping judgment based on one index is absolutely ignorant. While I fail the BMI, I pass all other indices like waist to hip ratio with flying colors. Perhaps you should start listening to your patients rather than projecting your bias upon them. And of course being thin is more socially acceptable. Just look at all of the diet ads out there for example. You don't see a thin person aspiring to be plus-sized.
luvlygurl luvlygurl 9 years
I think that those who have a super low self-esteem feel comforatable around bigger people, just like some people date uglier people than them, its so they can look hot and skinny next to them. its mean and cruel but thats how some people are. I think that people obviously like to look at thin people but most can be intimidated to become their friend or whatever if thy have like a perfect body. make sense?
silvergirl silvergirl 9 years
Here in Europe obesity amongst young women is rare (although the rate is climbing) and it clearly is something very discriminating. It is nothing special to see very thin women here. When I went to the US I saw so many fat people it was unbelievable!!! You never see people that big over here, never ever have ...
Choco-cat Choco-cat 9 years
First, we need to define what society we are talking about. I believe there are differences to how a person's size is viewed depending on the groups' ethnic background. That said, I come from a predominately white, middle-class background and there are endless studies done by many different universities about how the overweight are ostracized in this society. There is no question in my mind that being "too thin" is currently more socially acceptable than being "too big". And I have to add that many of the above comments, I feel, support what I'm saying.
BatKitty BatKitty 9 years
dominiqueatrix,isn't that simplifying the whole problem a wee bit?
KimmieChronicles KimmieChronicles 9 years
I think it's terrible that either extreme would be socially acceptable. It's this type of mentality that makes people ill! Instead of saying, if you're a size 0, then you're gorgeous, or i'm fat, but that means there's more to love; we should say that a healthy weight is beautiful. There isn't anything beautiful about either extremes.
dotsca dotsca 9 years
I think that for the most part, it is more socially acceptable to be underweight rather than overweight, though I do feel that this depends largely on where you might live. Coming from Southern California, even those of us at a healthy weight often feel the pressure to drop some not-so-extra pounds just to fit the norm. Obviously, what is socially acceptable should not be what we are concerned with, but it's definitely hard not to draw comparisons when we're our toughest critics. Personally though, I think that neither extreme should be embraced. People who are significantly overweight or underweight are harming themselves, and should be encouraged to take on a healthier lifestyle, for their own good.
pixelhaze pixelhaze 9 years
I like what the first poster said about it being more "comfortable" as opposed to acceptable. And it seems like everyone her has had different experiences. To tell the truth I'm not sure which side I'm on since I've also experienced it both ways. And it's weird, because what other people tell you can really distort your own body image. Personally, I think it has become un pc to call a fat person fat, but not necessarily "acceptable". Although some posters say they have seen it happen, I think it's mostly behind the person's back (not that that's any better). Although it does vary by region I think. I've never been overweight, but when I went to college I gained weight. This was in LA, and people would seriously stop me and be like "stop eating that, you've gained too much weight." Actually it was only guys that did that, the girls were all like "oh eat some more, you can afford it!" To be honest I was glad for the weight gain, I could never pull off the thin look like some girls can, but it was still hurtful to hear the comments, especially since I was nowehere near fat! Thin girls also get called out. Sometimes with insults (Hey beanpole, eat a sandwich!) but especially through action. Everyone around you will try to force you to eat. Or they'll make snide comments (Oh, you're ordering the whole grain pasta? why are you doing that, the last thing you need is to lose weight!). Just because you eat healthy it doesn't mean you're TRYING to lose weight! It's called a healthy lifestyle. . . . geez. And for people who are naturally very thin (my younger sster is like this) people will actually try to stuff food down your throat. She is lucky that she has an amazing metabolism and can take all the food they dish at her, but isn't there something wrong with this mentality? Why do we feel the need to sabotage anyone? And why is it that if we have a friend who says she's trying to lose weight, the first thing you do is order a pizza and ask her if she wants any?
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
tralalala- I also have a thyroid problem, and I AM on prescription meds for it, and have been for some time. While I am not overweight, I work ridiculously hard just to MAINTAIN what I am. I have a personal trainer and have lost only 2 pounds in one year (and yes, I worked out constantly before getting her, and I work-out outside of my sessions and and eat very healthily.. thankfully I enjoy eating healthy and don't miss sweets). All of us have different experiences, and many people with thyroid conditions CAN lose weight once on medication (I know someone else who starting taking synthroid and dropped 30 pounds with no change in diet or exercise... that biotch). I guess my point is just that we can't generalize people's experiences.. I really can't "lose" weight because of my thyroid. I can drop a pound or two, but anything more than that is not happening with any type of exercise/diet regimen that wouldn't put me in the hospital.
tralalala tralalala 9 years
Ahhh the tyroid thing drives me insane. IT'S NOT AN EXCUSE. I have hypothyroidism. Yes it affects your metabolism. Yes it makes it harder to lose weight. However! It doesn't make it impossible to lose weight, you just have to work harder than other people. And if you don't want to work harder, there are pills you can take. There's a good possibility you'll be on them for the rest of your life. Taht's not necessarily a bad thing, because you feel a lot better, right away. But just so you know, if you get off your ass, and lose the weight, a lot of times that can help you self regulate your thyroid. A lot of people use their thyroid as an excuse, when really, a lot of the time the thyroid is a symptom, caused by being overweight. I've said this in other comments I know, but I'm going to keep saying it until people stop bitching about how they can't lose weight because of their thyroid.
tjzchouse tjzchouse 9 years
Wow! I don't think I've ever seen this many lengthy comments on any previous topics. It's just reality--attractive people are treated better than the unattractive, with obesity being a major factor. I was thin until after having two children. Plus, in addition to young children, I had my own small business (and still do). Being self-employed means never really having any downtime--can't just deligate, and forget about calling in sick. For years I only got 4-5 hours sleep at night. Of course, now the relationship between lack of sleep and obesity has been made, but at that time it hadn't. Just one more lifestyle factor to consider. Anyway, I really hated being heavy, but it wasn't until my children were old enough that I could comfortably leave them alone while I went to the gym that I was able to turn things around. I've never used babysitters, and the main reason I started my own business was so that my kids wouldn't be in daycare. Plus, my husband has erratic work hours, so it was difficult to coordinate with his schedule. To his credit, my husband has never treated me any less lovingly one way or the other. He's always been athletic and thin, and our boys are also athletes (with bottomless stomachs!). Now, fast forward . . . My boys are 16-1/2 and 14. The oldest has a driver's license and an AmEx, so I'm more superfluous by the minute. Business has long since stabilized. I went from 236 down to 160, and that's where I've been for four years. Was it easy? No! Worth it? Yes!! I felt like I found my true self again, after years of being "on hold." No one can succeed if they're always dieting--it has to be a lifestyle change. Oh, and one last thing--everyone who's 24 (or so) and complaining about your metabolism being slower, just wait until you're 44. Gotta love it, ladies--let the good times roll!
crazy-minky crazy-minky 9 years
As for thinness, there is a lot of evidence proving that that calorie restriction actually prolongs life expectancy. Just don't be a dumbass about it and get your nutrients. I hate it when people look down at my supper tray when I eat a big pile of vegetables with only a bit of chicken on the side, while they pile on the mashed potatoes. They tell me I'm not eating enough. Wrong, I'm getting all my nutrients, moreso than them, and I still have enough energy to rule four miles. Of course people feel the need to point out thinness though. People will tell you you're a stick or too thin while they wish they were you. People don't tell the overweight to their face they're fat, they just sneer and look down on them and are generally happy they aren't them? Now tell me which is worse?
crazy-minky crazy-minky 9 years
I recently read a scientific article that stipulated that our disdain for the obese was actually evolutionary because it was so unhealthy. And honestly thin is in. Why? Because any Tom and Jane Lazy-ass can be obese. It's easy with our surplus of food. Now, if we were all in a famine, having more of a badoonkadoonk would seem more reasonable. Being thin is "difficult". You need to eat well, and exercise, and take care of yourself. I have no respect for the obese, because honestly how many of us really have thyroid problems? I swear everytime I say this people feel the need to remark "I have fat genes". So? Jessica Alba has fat genes. Fat people act like its so hard to lose weight when really some self control and exercise really work wonders. I was there once. I never made it to obesity territory but got pretty close around my fifteenth birthday. But I buckled down, did the running and went from 160 to 102. Giving up cake seems reasonable when it means I can fit into clothes and not look gross.
nutmeg21 nutmeg21 9 years
someone made a comment about 30-40 pounds not being obese.. Well that is just the problem with the way people think. & that is exactly what proves how it is more socially acceptable to be obese. Imagine if it was the other way around: If a girl who is 5'4 weighs 80 lbs, would people say she is only a little on the thin side... no you would never say that. But of course if she is 180, she's just a little curvy. No. she is obese. & why is it acceptable to make comments to thin people about being too thin but you can't say anything to someone who is overweight. it doesn't make sense. I get more criticism for being a couple pounds underweight than any overweight person I know.
aragornrain aragornrain 9 years
SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE?? Please. That's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. Being overweight is one of the few things that isn't socially acceptable. You can be almost anything you want in this country, just as long as you're not fat.
ClassicsDiva ClassicsDiva 9 years
All these stats are coming out about how Americans are so obese, and while I have no doubt these numbers are going up, I'd like to question the methods being used to evaluate this. A few years ago, my dad, who is 6'3", and a solidly built guy who swims regularly and is very strong and active in his day-to-day life, was told by our doctor, looking at a paper chart, that at 220 pounds he was obese. Not overweight, obese. He was told he should weigh between 170 and 180 pounds. He weighed 180 pounds in college, and in all the old pictures from the he looks like a heroin addict. I agree with everyone who has said that the focus needs to be on healthy vs. unhealthy, but I think the medical community needs to get on board. The doctor didn't ask my dad about his diet, or his physical fitness regimen, or even look to see if he has love handles. I know doctors vary, but the experiences of me and my family and friends indicate that many doctors (and regular people) do not approach fitness as a multfaceted concept that differs from person to person, but as a one-size-fits-all idea. People who are doing lot of positive things in their life are made to feel bad because their numbers don't match the ones on the chart. It damages self-esteem and hurts motivation. As for the original question, I grew up in the suburbs, where the general rule was the thinner, the better.
tulipsaki tulipsaki 9 years
It's more socially acceptable to be thin. Even scary, icky thin that makes you want to throw up to look at it. It's still okay to be that way, because the worst you really get is jealousy, which is a kind of compliment, because it's better to be thin. I say that as a size 4/6 feeling the pressure to go down to 0!
dominiqueatrix dominiqueatrix 9 years
neither is acceptable we all need to learn how to be healthy and.It is the American mentality of fast food.
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