The technical definition is “to be grossly overweight or fat.” The first thing you probably think of is TV shows like The Biggest Loser and My 600-lb. Life.
You’ve probably looked up your Body Mass Index (BMI) a couple of times just to see if you’re in the “average weight” category. Your heart probably dropped to the floor when your BMI actually read higher, just like mine did.
Now, I don’t consider myself obese in any way. I know that I am overweight, and I fully admit that, but when the word obese was used to describe my body weight, it made me question the defining characteristics of the word itself. According to Medical News Today, you are obese if “your BMI is equal to 30 or higher and your bodyweight is at least 20 per cent higher than it should be.” So you can imagine my surprise when my BMI read 30.1. Who makes the rules saying what weight anyone should be?
Adolphe Quetelet, the Belgian man who created the BMI, specifically said it should not be used to measure the level of fat in any individual. The formula was originally produced to measure the degree of obesity in the general population.
Scientifically, the formula just doesn’t make sense to measure an individual. It doesn’t take into account anything other than weight and height; not the amount of body fat you have, not the amount of muscle you have, or how strong your bones are. Muscle and bone both weigh more than fat. That is a well-known fact. This would mean that people with strong bones and people who are very fit, like athletes for example, will have a high BMI.
Does that make them overweight or obese? It is completely ludicrous. Why do we use a calculator that doesn’t account for any of the things that it should to measure our body mass?
The BMI calculator blatantly states that there are distinct areas of weight that are considered underweight, average, overweight and obese.
It’s nonsense. It suggests that all of society should conform and say that every woman or man should look a certain way. Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who think that. The world is definitely getting better, but people need to stop being so judgmental.
People look at you and judge you no matter what. As much as we are supposed to live in a world where people are accepting of most things around them, it doesn’t mean that people don’t get judged based on the way they look or dress.
Speaking of the way people dress, shopping when you’re bigger is a pain. You can never find clothes your size, and if you do they are almost double, if not more, the price as “regular size” clothes. For what? Two or three extra inches of material? If you don’t find what you’re looking for, most of the time you settle. You settle for things you don’t necessarily like the look of just because they actually fit you properly. And, because something is labeled plus size it automatically becomes more expensive.
When I look at a pair of jeans from Addition Elle and they cost $92 it makes me very upset, especially knowing that the girl standing next to me could have almost the exact jeans from a store like Old Navy for only $40.
When I look at a blouse at Penningtons, I see the price tag and can’t even fathom paying $109 for a simple black blouse, even though I know it will fit me properly.
Sure, it’s amazing that there are plus size stores out there, and that more and more keep popping up, but is that not a sign that maybe you should integrate the plus size clothing in with the other sizes and make plus size women feel more comfortable in their skin and not so segregated?
How would you define obesity now?