Diets are a con, but fat people are still undesirable.
This article by Sally Van Oak admits that the diet books of the last 50 years are mostly a sham, and that the diet industry doesn’t want anyone to lose weight, because then they would be out of business. Unfortunately her article seems to think that human biology, dieting and ideas of beauty only go back as far as WWII, something that doesn’t really take into account corseting, and pictures of rather voluptuous Edwardian beauties that were in vogue right before WWI hit (and brought the stick thing flapper era with it.)
I’m so tired of articles like this, pointing out the issues with the weight loss industry, but simultaneously peddling the values and misconceptions that power it. ‘Fat’ is still blamed on crisps, fries, candy, ‘hidden fat’ and all sorts of modern day diet boogies that are normally blamed for rising obesity levels. I can get behind the fact that sedentary lifestyles are probably causing some of us to be bigger than we might be under rationing, but we’re also taller and less likely to suffer from rickets and other diseases that are the result of diet deficiencies.
Fashion houses are ‘upsizing’ to cope with the changes. Buy a size 10 dress now, and it is the equivalent of a size 14 in your grandmother’s day.
Sally Van Oak should also take note that the average person is taller, and likely to have larger feet than they did 50 or even a 100 years ago. Our diets have changed dramatically in nearly every century, as trade and technological improvements have made new choices available to us, and changing tastes have dictated new delicacies. She cites a curvy celebrity as an example that tells us it is ‘okay to let ourselves go’. I don’t condone violence, but phrases like that make me reach for the stress ball. A curvy celebrity is not saying anything, other than that she is trying to be comfortable with herself and who she is, in an extremely high stress and highly scrutinised environment. They have their own fat experience, but it has nothing to do with mine.
If poverty and restriction of freedom is the only way to keep us ‘healthy’, as the writer of the article seems to think it is, then I would rather have prosperity and freedom of choice and joy in my life any day. I think it’s great that Ms. Van Oak is exposing the fraudulent nature of the diet industry, but she should have dug a lot deeper to give her article more weight and less hypocrisy.