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ScOULaris
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(10-13-2011, 02:24 PM)
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Some of the discussion in this Christina Aguilera thread inspired me to go on a rant about something that has always bothered me: Americans' attitudes toward being overweight.

Here was one of the pictures that sparked the discussion in that other thread:



Since this is GAF, the discussion in the thread consisted mostly of funny GIFs and comments about how far Christina Aguilera had fallen with regard to her appearance. About six pages in, however, this particular post caught my eye:

Originally Posted by magicstop

You guys are pretty pathetic. Is it a wonder that so many women have issues with their body image, suffer from eating disorders, etc?
I just take solace in the fact that most of you guys hopefully aren't this disgusting in the real world when you open your mouths.

I found myself getting irritated by the apparent thought process behind this post. It has become all-too-common for "society" to be blamed for women being either significantly overweight or dangerously skinny. There is always talk about how women are under so much pressure to have the perfect body, but supposedly that pressure leads to them going to one extreme or the other? What a crock of shit. Nobody is to blame for your body but yourself. Period.

First off, I would like to acknowledge that upkeep with regard to one's appearance is of more importance for women in society than men. There are all sorts of socio-biological reasons for this, but that is not important for this discussion. That being said, everyone (I would hope) feels a responsibility to themselves to be healthy and look presentable. A big part of staying healthy is eating right and not letting yourself become overweight or even obese.

I made a thread once asking GAFers what their #1 dealbreaker was with regard to the opposite sex, and the vast majority of responses were "fat" or "overweight." Before you start labeling all of those people as "shallow," take pause for a moment to realize that those responses were indicative of an almost universal fact: fat is unattractive and indicative of poor health. Blaming society for the "pressure" to maintain a healthy weight and figure is simply looking for excuses for your own failures or the failures of others. The human motivation for staying healthy and attractive predates organized society by a huge span of time.

Since I've already rambled on enough with no clear thesis, I'll switch to bold font to highlight my main point: Americans have a skewed (and wrong) perspective of what is normal or acceptable with regard to weight and body composition. A consequence of that flawed thinking is the tendency to justify either their own or others' weight problems by saying that it's unrealistic to stay healthy.

Let's face it: America is the most overweight nation in the world by a landslide. People here think that, in order to not become overweight, one would need to adhere to a crazy diet of nothing but bland foods and exercise religiously. People think this way because that provides an excuse as to why they, themselves, are overweight. Overweight is the norm, and having a healthy body is the exception. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE CASE. Most of my experience with cultures in other countries has been from my frequent visits to Italy over the years. Since I have family over there, I have probably traveled to Italy at least 10 or more times so far. You might look at Christina Aguilera in that picture and think, "Come on, she's not that fat." You're right in that she's not obese, but you're only justifying her unpleasant figure because you're used to seeing fat Americans everywhere.

In Italy, Christina Aguilera would probably have a very hard time finding any article of clothing to fit her, even in the largest sizes available. They simply don't make clothing for a woman of her size over there because the populace is in much, much better shape on average. It's not because they "walk more" or are more physically active than the average American (at least not significantly so). They stay thin while eating all of the foods that are often demonized in the States: carb-heavy dishes with pasta and white bread with every meal. So how do they stay so thin while Americans continue to balloon? Portion control. Plain and simple, their meals are smaller than ours. Being thin over there isn't something that people go out of their way to achieve, it's just how it is because they have a healthy diet and lifestyle.

I'll never forget when an Italian cousin of mine made his first trip over to America about 15 years ago. We were at the mall with my mom and some other family members, and my mom asked him, "So, do you see any cute American girls?" He replied, "No. Everyone's fat." It was like a veil had been lifted from my eyes. After hearing that, I couldn't help but notice how many people are not only overweight, but just straight-up FAT. It was embarrassing, frankly.

If this ridiculously long OP has offended Overweight-GAF, then I can only half apologize. I understand that it's very hard to lose weight once you've put a lot on, and a lot of the time people put on the extra weight at a young age because their parents never taught them about healthy nutrition. I do understand that getting down to a healthy weight once you've become fat is much easier said than done. What I am trying to say, however, is that we all need to have a realistic understanding of what is overweight and what is "normal." Christina Aguilera in that picture is overweight. Period. She might not look huge compared to the waves of uber-fat Americans that you see every day, but that doesn't change the fact that she is fat. If we hold each other accountable under realistic judgment and stop acting upon the politically-correct tendency to defend the weight problems of others, I think we'd be better off.

Thus ends my rant. Hopefully we can get some good discussion going here with viewpoints from International-GAF for a broader context, but I have a feeling that everyone's just going to call me an asshole.
Last edited by ScOULaris; 10-13-2011 at 06:27 PM.
CrazyDogg77
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(10-13-2011, 02:28 PM)
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So how does other people being overweight affect you negatively?
bangai-o
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(10-13-2011, 02:28 PM)
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i think we should encourage the overweight culture to use the stairs rather than the elevator.
FunBoy
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(10-13-2011, 02:29 PM)
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I want go to America one day it will make me feel like a model!
Mael
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(10-13-2011, 02:29 PM)
Dear god is that Aguilera in that pic?
ChiTownBuffalo
Either I made up lies about the Boston Bomber or I fell for someone else's crap. Either way, I have absolutely no credibility and you should never pay any attention to anything I say, no matter what the context. Perm me if I claim to be an insider
(10-13-2011, 02:30 PM)
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Moving from Colorado to Chicago was a shock. I never knew Americans could be so fat.
Akkad
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(10-13-2011, 02:30 PM)
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Originally Posted by CrazyDogg77

So how does other people being overweight affect you negatively?

His cousin Vito was traumatized by fat Americans.
ruxtpin
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(10-13-2011, 02:31 PM)
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There's a chick at my work who was attempting to gain enough weight to be eligible for gastric bypass surgery.

hmm
Osietra
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(10-13-2011, 02:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by FunBoy

I want go to America one day it will make me feel like a model!

Thick and vacuous?
B_Rik_Schitthaus
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(10-13-2011, 02:32 PM)
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Originally Posted by Mael

Dear god is that Aguilera in that pic?

What? is she hiding behind the hippo wearing a wig?
ScOULaris
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(10-13-2011, 02:32 PM)
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Originally Posted by ruxtpin

There's a chick at my work who was attempting to gain enough weight to be eligible for gastric bypass surgery.

hmm

Wow. Just wow.
dreamcastmaster
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(10-13-2011, 02:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by ScOULaris

I found myself getting irritated by the apparent thought process behind this post. It has become all-too-common for "society" to be blamed for women being either significantly overweight or dangerously skinny. There is always talk about how women are under so much pressure to have the perfect body, but supposedly that pressure leads to them going to one extreme or the other? What a crock of shit. Nobody is to blame for your body but yourself. Period.

1st paragraph nails it. The rest is pretty good too.
CrazyDogg77
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(10-13-2011, 02:34 PM)
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Originally Posted by Akkad

His cousin Vito was traumatized by fat Americans.

I know this is OT but your avatar is the Victory stele of Naram-Sin correct?
Stet
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(10-13-2011, 02:34 PM)
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Well, they used to be right. The backlash over people wanting models to be too skinny was justified, but now people confuse "healthy weight" with "overweight."
Fantomen
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(10-13-2011, 02:34 PM)
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXTq2_3LfXM
FunBoy
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(10-13-2011, 02:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by Osietra

Thick and vacuous?

Yeah after I have clogged my arteries with one portion of food from there.

Guzim
(10-13-2011, 02:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by FunBoy

I want go to America one day it will make me feel like a model!

If you were to talk to a lot of GAFers here in the U.S., you would find out that they see models everyday working in the grocery store or McDonald's.
Clegg
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(10-13-2011, 02:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by ruxtpin

There's a chick at my work who was attempting to gain enough weight to be eligible for gastric bypass surgery.

hmm

Diprosalic
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(10-13-2011, 02:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by CrazyDogg77

So how does other people being overweight affect you negatively?

not american, but they do drive up my health insurance costs.
dragonelite
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(10-13-2011, 02:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by ruxtpin

There's a chick at my work who was attempting to gain enough weight to be eligible for gastric bypass surgery.

hmm

Wow why would you want to do that.
Risk your life and get fattier will make it only harder to drop fat and it makes it easier to get all that weight back.
Akkad
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(10-13-2011, 02:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by CrazyDogg77

I know this is OT but your avatar is the Victory stele of Naram-Sin correct?

Yeah, I have a personal connection to it.
Ignis Fatuus
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(10-13-2011, 02:37 PM)
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As far as I'm concerned being fat is a strong indicator of bad character. Only a lack of self control or education or both can account for it.
teruterubozu
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(10-13-2011, 02:37 PM)
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A sorry excuse to post that Aguilera pic again.
WEGGLES
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(10-13-2011, 02:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by CrazyDogg77

So how does other people being overweight affect you negatively?

You've never ridden a bus/train/airplane?
daviyoung
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(10-13-2011, 02:38 PM)
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I'm fat because I'm unhappy and I'm unhappy because I'm fat.
jmdajr
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(10-13-2011, 02:39 PM)
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Yeah I don't really jive with "God made me this way!"

No, You and Dunkin Donuts did.
CrazyDude
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(10-13-2011, 02:39 PM)
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Originally Posted by daviyoung

I'm fat because I'm unhappy and I'm unhappy because I'm fat.

So the two just cancel each other out, right?
teruterubozu
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(10-13-2011, 02:40 PM)
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Originally Posted by CrazyDude

So the two just cancel each other out, right?

I think they feed each other.
CrazyDogg77
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(10-13-2011, 02:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by WEGGLES

You've never ridden a bus/train/airplane?

So what you're cramped for 5-6 hours at most usually.
dreamcastmaster
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(10-13-2011, 02:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by daviyoung

I'm fat because I'm unhappy and I'm unhappy because I'm fat.

I drink because I'm unhappy, I'm unhappy because I drink.

Addiction can be many things.
ScOULaris
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(10-13-2011, 02:42 PM)
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Originally Posted by jmdajr

Yeah I don't really jive with "God made me this way!"

No, You and Dunkin Donuts did.

"God" made you a 7-pound, 8-ounce baby. Everything after that is on you and your parents.
WEGGLES
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(10-13-2011, 02:42 PM)
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Originally Posted by CrazyDogg77

So what you're cramped for 5-6 hours at most usually.

That's if I DON'T have a 400lb person taking half my seat...

I ride a bus 2 times a day. Not getting to sit because someone can't put the fork down sucks.
Marleyman
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(10-13-2011, 02:42 PM)
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American culture is past the point of no return when it comes to portion control.
Kalnos
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(10-13-2011, 02:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by ScOULaris

Let's face it: America is the most overweight nation in the world by a landslide.

I think that you're exaggerating a bit.
angelcage87
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(10-13-2011, 02:43 PM)
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To the OP,as an Italian migrated to Argentina,the situation in here is even more extreme.Not only fat people are completely non-existent in here,but the majority of the population seems to be in perfect shape,even at older ages(50-60),it's incredible to see so many good looking people.
dreamcastmaster
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(10-13-2011, 02:43 PM)
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Google image search "Christina Aguilera" see the pounds pile on in a random order.
ScOULaris
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(10-13-2011, 02:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kalnos

I think that you're exaggerating a bit.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/he...health-obesity

America's #1 in obesity by a large margin. Not exaggerating.
Eggman
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(10-13-2011, 02:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by ScOULaris

"God" made you a 7-pound, 8-ounce baby. Everything after that is on you and your parents.

Eh, there's some genetic component into it, let's not totally dismiss that.
computers putin'
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(10-13-2011, 02:44 PM)
Christina does not carry the extra weight well, at all.
spidye
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(10-13-2011, 02:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ignis Fatuus

As far as I'm concerned being fat is a strong indicator of bad character. Only a lack of self control or education or both can account for it.

bad character? what about people who went through abuse, and therefore fell in obesity. believe me most of them don't have a "bad" character.
Darkness
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(10-13-2011, 02:45 PM)
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I went to Kohls last week to buy some plain medium sized tshirts. All they had were XL and XXL.

Damn fatties
ScOULaris
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(10-13-2011, 02:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by angelcage87

To the OP,as an Italian migrated to Argentina,the situation in here is even more extreme.Not only fat people are completely non-existent in here,but the majority of the population seems to be in perfect shape,even at older ages(50-60),it's incredible to see so many good looking people.

That's the impression that I got from the Argentinian Dancing with the Stars clips that have been making the rounds on GAF. Gat damn @ Cinthia Fernandez!
CrazyDogg77
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(10-13-2011, 02:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by WEGGLES

That's if I DON'T have a 400lb person taking half my seat...

I ride a bus 2 times a day. Not getting to sit because someone can't put the fork down sucks.

Yeah i bet that does suck. But its not like people get fat just to make other people uncomfortable.
ToxicAdam
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(10-13-2011, 02:45 PM)
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America doesn't have an obesity problem, they have a depression and anxiety problem.

In the past, our grandparents would self-medicate with drink, smokes and drugs. Now that we have made all of those things more expensive and scarce we are self-medicating with food. Copious amounts of cheap, sugary, processed food.
dreamcastmaster
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(10-13-2011, 02:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kalnos

I think that you're exaggerating a bit.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/he...health-obesity

1st hit on google.
JABEE
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(10-13-2011, 02:46 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ignis Fatuus

As far as I'm concerned being fat is a strong indicator of bad character. Only a lack of self control or education or both can account for it.

Would you make same argument for depression patients? They are supposedly not entirely in control of there actions, because they have a mental issue. Would you make the argument that depression is a result of bad character since being overesting can be associated with depression?
jon bones
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(10-13-2011, 02:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by Guzim

If you were to talk to a lot of GAFers here in the U.S., you would find out that they see models everyday working in the grocery store or McDonald's.

yep its called living in new york city
jmdajr
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(10-13-2011, 02:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by Dr Eggman

Eh, there's some genetic component into it, let's not totally dismiss that.

I agree. Everyone's metabolism is different, but I doubt hunter/gatherers ever got that big.
Chiave
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(10-13-2011, 02:47 PM)
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You are what you eat. Aesthetics aside, being a fatty means poor health in general. And I'm not going to lie, fat women tend to piss me off.
ScOULaris
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(10-13-2011, 02:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by ToxicAdam

America doesn't have an obesity problem, they have a depression and anxiety problem.

In the past, our grandparents would self-medicate with drink, smokes and drugs. Now that we have made all of those things more expensive and scarce we are self-medicating with food. Copious amounts of cheap, sugary, processed food.

Nah. Look at this link again: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/he...health-obesity

You see Japan all the way at the bottom of the list? They're more anxiety-ridden than anyone. They self-medicate with suicide, though.

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