Saturday, December 12, 2015

Weight loss and feminism

I was watching an episode of the TV series Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. The episode was about a woman who weighted 133 kg (292 lbs), was in extremely poor shape, suffered from psoriasis mostly caused by her weight, and was extremely unhappy about her life. So unhappy, in fact, that she confessed that she had been seriously considering taking her own life prior to being contacted by the TV show.

(Now, I understand that these American reality TV shows really love to sensationalize things, and create extra drama via editing and coaxing their participants. However, such a thing as suicidal thoughts is so serious that, unless somebody can definitively prove to me otherwise, I'm willing to believe that the woman was being completely serious and honest, rather than being coaxed by the show's producers into telling such a lie, as that would be a new low even for such a TV show.)

During the course of a year she lost weight from 133 kg to 73 kg (162 lbs), which is basically ideal weight for a woman of her height, and she became extremely fit (being able to basically go through a half-triathlon of sorts in a very good time.)

At the end of the year she was clearly extremely happy and enthusiastic about her weight loss, having turned her life around completely. (Again, American reality TV shows like to sensationalize, but once again, unless somebody can prove to me definitively that this was completely staged, I'm willing to believe that she was being genuine. And why wouldn't it be.)

What, however, would have been the end result if rather than a reality-TV show getting to her, and encouraging her to become ideal weight an really fit, it had been modern feminists that would have got to her instead?

She would have been actively discouraged from losing weight and becoming fitter.

"You are beautiful as you are. Don't let the unhealthy images of beauty created by the society and the beauty industry depress you. Society is simply fat-shaming you. Different people are simply different, and have different builds. No people are better than others. You are perfect as you are."

If feminists had gotten to her instead of this TV show, she would still to this day be extremely overweight, in very poor shape, suffer from psoriasis, and most probably very unhappy about herself and her life. Who knows, maybe she would have committed suicide by now. Not only would have feminists told her that she does not have to lose weight, moreover they would have actively discouraged her from doing so. "You are beautiful as you are. You don't need to change. It's other people's fault, not yours. You are not at fault here. You don't need to change."

Losing weight and becoming fit is not only a question of self-image and self-perceptions. It's a question of health. This woman, after that year, was living a significantly healthier and more fulfilling life than before it. Barring unforeseen diseases, she is probably going to live longer than she would have otherwise. And, more importantly, the quality of her life, both physical and mental, are much better now.

Modern feminism is a dangerous ideology. This is one of the many reason why I vehemently oppose it.

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