Step Away From the Desk

We talk about fatphobia and the unnecessary glorification of thinness, but we aren’t talking enough about our sedentary lifestyle and overall health.

There is a huge variety of body types, and really, a “good” body is a body that works. Individual definitions of “works,” of course, varies. Do you have a body? Congratulations!

I don’t believe our obesity crisis is an individual problem, and I do believe there is far too much blame placed on individuals (and unnecessary shame for not fitting the unattainable beauty ideal). We need do accept our bodies for what they are, because they’re all different.

However, I am not a bad feminist for critiquing the factors that contribute to the obesity epidemic in this country, and feminism does not require me to accept all body types to the point of embracing obesity.

I’m sure there is a fairly wide range of weight that is “healthy.” Celebrating fat is as unhealthy as celebrating thin; we should not select one body type and say, “this is the good one.”  Fat-and-healthy is a personal thing, and there are plenty of studies “disproving” evidence that being fat alone is a problem.

Our collective obsession with “fitness” is based on entirely superficial standards. It’s always about “Lose 10 pounds for a bikini body!” Or, alternatively, to help out our collective dysfunction with food, “How to cut calories from that lasagne to lose weight!” It’s never about “maybe you shouldn’t sit in front of a screen for the majority of the day because sitting there won’t make you feel good in that body and is good for nobody.” Taking a step away from that screen helps us in other ways: a break from the onslaught of pressure to conform to a certain beauty standard.

A person technically “overweight” by the BMI numbers but walking or riding their bike to work, gardening, and taking frequent breaks from desk life would keep a person healthier than being a once-a-day gym rat and being technically a “good” weight.

The most important thing is getting up and using that fine body, however it is shaped.