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Weighty Issues
Bar Harbor
Was in Park Street yesterday, and it was postered with a more-interesting-than-usual ad campaign. Apparently, Dove soap has decided to target a currently under-served market niche: women who don't look like super-models. They're calling it Campaign For Real Beauty, and have a website set up, The women on the posters I saw were still a lot less diverse than the actual beautiful women I see in the real world, but I think it best to not get too nit-picky over this. Rather, I choose to celebrate this as a step in the right direction, toward a saner world.

On a related note, I was talking about weight/image issues with some folks the other day. I mentioned, off-hand, that I didn't think I was acquainted with *any* women who didn't think of themselves as overweight -- even the ones who clearly weren't, by any rational definition. This was challenged, and I admitted I wan't 100% sure. So, if you're a woman reading this, and don't think that you are overweight, I'd appreciate hearing about it in a comment.

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What sort of person challenged?

What sort of person challenged it? Male, female, young and naïve, old and cynical?

Re: What sort of person challenged?

Female, middle-aged. Thinks of herself as overweight...

Even Pamela thinks she's overweight.

I'm not overweight. (I'm heavier than I used to be before I had Will, though.)
I wish my shape was different: that my waist was smaller and my tummy flatter. I complain about my waist, but not my weight.

Though, to be fair, I *did* think I was overweight, (for myself only, not in general) when I was 15 lbs heavier than I am now. And I used to gripe about it in front of Cynthia.

It's ok to gripe about it in front of me.

I'm a recent addition to the over weight crowd. Sorry. :}

I don't think of myself as overweight.

OK, that's one. Interestingly enough, the person who challenged my assertion mentioned you by name as a likely counter-example.

Do you know many men who don't think they're overweight?

Men seem to stress about it less, but the heavy hand of popular opinion is a strong pusher...

Possibly a small set, but I know far, far fewer men who *talk* about being overweight. Whereas the vast majority of women I know, I have heard bemoaning their weight publically.

mermaidlady got here before me, but I also don't think that lakshmi_amman thinks of herself as overweight.

That's not to say that they both just lounge about eating bonbons. Both of them maintain relatively healthy diets and active lifestyles, but I think those actions are preventative rather than curative.

The sad truth is, most people in America (male and female) are overweight.

The sad truth is, most people in America (male and female) are overweight.

True, but sort of tangential to my point. I know a non-trivial number of women who I would classify as either "just right" or "unhealthily skinny", who nonetheless classify themselves as "fat". So many, that I thought it was unanimous among my acquaintances. Turns out it isn't quite unanimous, but is still a large majority.

I know many women who understand that maintaining a healthy weight and physique takes work -- but who wouldn't call themselves "fat" any more than someone who refuses to get into a car with a drunk driver is "paranoid".

I know a great number of women in common with who consider themselves overweight -- because they are. That doesn't make them unattractive or bad people -- it makes them the same kind of realistic as Mermaidlady and Lakshmi exhibit.

I know one woman who I consider "thin" who thinks of herself as overweight.

I think there is a good bit to whom you hang out with also. SCA tends to host a heavier group then other groups.

You might find some interesting responses if you ask who thinks they're pretty, too.

Oddly, how you think of yourself is a major part of how other people think of you. The ad campaign that started this train of thought ran a billboard all over the country in two versions. It featured the same exact picture of a plus-sized model. One versions read "I think I'm fat. Do you?", the other "I think I'm sexy. Do you?". The answer was, about 70% of the respondents agreed with the sentiment expressed 'by the model'.

How you feel about yourself goes a long way to shaping the opinion of how others feel about you. Sadly, according to a recent study, less than 2% of women think they're beautiful.

less than 2% of women think they're beautiful.

I think this should be translated into "less than 2% of women are willing to admit that they think they are beautiful". A distinction which doesn't make it any less sad. There is definitely a bias against beautiful women.

I don't think I'm over weight.

Thanks. Good to know there are at least a few.

I know I am overweight, but I think I'm fat. Difference.

Although I also think you don't believe either. ;)

I also think you don't believe either. ;)

True dat ;)

bah, tag. All the important information is there though.

So who says I have to agree with their standards?

Well, agreeing with medical professionals is generally a good idea ;)

Making a blanket decision to agree with *any* kind of person is a bad idea. I think it's a good idea to *consult* with medical professionals, but they are fallible humans, and often just as susceptible to irrational social pressures as the rest of us.

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