Jessi’s Anti-Logic (updated 2008/04/07)

This all started with a segment on MTV Live’s (Canada). Darren introduced this story. It’s basically about an actual obese girl entering a beauty contest as an attempt to be an “ambassador for curves”. Jessi seems to think that this is a good thing. Well, click read more for my exploration on this topic.

Jessi has an obvious agenda here and her irrational behaviour on the show during this segment is a testament to that fact. In fact, when Darren brought up a reasonable “ribs bad, but so is glorifying obesity” style opinion, Jessi’s reaction was (again a paraphrase) “Do you want women to have eating disorders?!?!” This is obviously a nonsensical argument and shows her irrationality on the subject.

As a side note, this type of “arguing” is a growing problem in the world, and has reached what I would call a significant problem in Canada (more so in the US). Namely, that when one extreme is pointed out as (probably) bad the immediate reaction is to jump to the other extreme as “correct”. And if “you” don’t then “you” are by default promoting the already agreed upon “bad thing”. (More on if this level of skinny is actually bad or not later) What happened to the Canada that I used to know where people would rarely use hyperbole to make a point and never use it as a basis for an (or the entire) argument. But, I digress.

Darren also brought up the good point that having pictures of obese women with heart disease isn’t exactly sexy. Some girl in the audience said that (paraphrase), “It’s not like she’s going to drop dead.” Well, that’s true. At 17, it’s highly unlikely that this girl that entered the contest is just going to drop dead. But, that same statement canNOT be made with any certainty if we fast forward another 17 years in her life. Point of fact, people that are obese for the bulk of there lives don’t make it past 60. And even then, they’re bloody lucky to make it that far. Being obese is extremely taxing on the body.

To be clear, it is profound stupidity to replace one possibly unhealthy lifestyle with one that is arguably more unhealthy. I say more unhealthy because although it’s quite easy to gain weight, you just eat more, it can be very difficult to lose weight. Especially for those that are obese.

Now, I think it would be good at this point to explore where this nonsensical attitude comes from. I personally think that it is celebrity worship and (near) complete lack of critical thinking that has yielded this result.

So, what does celebrity worship have to do with this? Well, these are the genetically lucky people that have also taken care of themselves. They eat good food in proper portions and exercise regularly. And yes, you can get quite thin doing this depending on your body type. This of course is just an inconvenient fact that those that are overweight ignore. Because it can’t be that the people that are constantly eating crap sitting on the couch doing sweet fuck all are doing anything wrong. No, of course not. That would point the finger where it deserves to be and require (self-)critical thought. Then again, if people actually thought about things, they’d be eating and exercising and would be (relatively) thin anyway. Thus, this blog post wouldn’t exist.

Anyway, it is that people ignore what eating and living healthily is. That, and they seem to not even be aware of what it is. One need only look as far as how popular McDonald’s is (and similar) to point that out. But, it really goes deeper than fast/fried-food. People don’t seem to know how to cook any more. In all the time that I’ve watched Take Home Chef (and similar) I can’t recall once when there was anyone that had a clue as to even hold a knife. In fact, I recall one time where a woman actually didn’t know that it was OK to cut meat on a wooden cutting board (wood is actually the preferred btw). Now, that’s sad. What’s worse though, is that this is becoming the norm. And these are the people that are apparently cooking for their families.

But, as Paul the Intern showed, such simple things as walking to work and eating more healthy can pay dividends. For those that want that six-pack Charles proved that hard work can accomplish that as well. But, god forbid people would actually have to do something in this instant gratification society that most people live in today (I say most because there are those of us that ignore such a nonsensical lifestyle).

Now, onto whether being model skinny is bad or not. A relatively recent study comes from the University of Waterloo. For those unaware of its reputation, well, you really can’t get much better in Canada (and arguably the US as well.) It’s highly regarded. A press release summarizing the study can be found here. But, in essence, the news is that models don’t suffer from eating disorders more than regular people and everything suggests that they have naturally thin bodies.

Although the BMI of the MUSE study models classified them as underweight, with an average score of 17.4, their eating and exercising habits did not differ from those of the non-models who averaged a normal BMI of 22.7. In fact, more than 80 per cent of both groups scored well within the normal, healthy range for eating behaviours.

Kinda funny how things change when you actually look into them isn’t it. You know, unfounded unresearched opinions turn out to be… unfounded unresearched opinions. And for those that think that I really had to dig to get all this info, we’re talking less than 5 minutes with google searching and reading. Clearly, we all need to think and read a lot more, and stop the baseless conjecture.

At any rate, I got more to say on the subject, but lack the time. So, in closing, to be healthy thin, eat right, and exercise regularly. Canada’s Food Guide can help with the eating. There’s also websites that have recipes that take less than 30 minutes to do and ones that produce freezable food for reheating later in the week. As for the exercising, that can be slowly introduced in daily life by doing such things as taking the stairs (if you’re on the 27th floor just take a couple flights and the elevator the rest of the way) and walking more (get off the bus a few stops early, etc). Hell, one could even get off the couch during commercials and march in place and do arm circles, etc. After you get used to that, doing extra things like wall-climbing and other fun things with friends can be a great source of activity. See? Exercise doesn’t necessarily equal the gym nor does it mean prohibitive time commitments.

So, get this idea that eating more is better out of your head and get off your ass and do something. You’ll live longer and be happier.

UPDATE: Just like to point out that heart disease is the number one killer of women (at least in North America). Also, that obesity significantly raises the changes of heart disease and other conditions that further raise the risk of heart disease. So, Jessi, thinking that an obese girl is a good idea to have to put a “normal” body image of a woman out there… not so much a good idea it turns out. Perhaps you should actually read about things and think before you open your mouth next time. Just because the death comes not next week, doesn’t make it suck any less nor does it make it any less real.

UPDATE: I’d also like to mention that I take exception to your “ribs are bad” comment. Think athletes. They kinda have ribs showing (at least the vast majority). Do you honestly think that they are unhealthy? How about those of us that show some rib yet eat three square a day and don’t over exercise? How about the normal (of one or two decades ago) teens? Most of them would be showing rib. Are they unhealthy?

Basically, I’d like to point out that “ribs equals bad” is asinine. It throws in the fact of medical science and history up to about a decade ago. That’s when people really started to ballon at a young age. In fact, I’d say that if you get to the point where you can’t even see a “shadow” of where you ribs would be then you’re starting to enter an unhealthy place.

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