My oldest daughter likes to read fashion blogs and glean all the latest fashion and hairstyle advice from other 20-somethings. I occasionally look over her shoulder as she is examining different fashion bloggers outfits or hair tutorials.
I was reading a fashion blog alongside my daughter the other day. The young, attractive blogger is in her early 20’s. She was lamenting on her blog that none of her fall clothes from last year fit her because she had put on a few pounds. She said something to the effect of, “It’s just part of growing up to gain weight, so I’ll just have to buy some bigger jeans and skirts.” And to be clear, she is not a size 2 moving into a size 4. She is already overweight and may even fall in the obese weight range. (I’m not linking to her blog because I definitely do not want to draw attention to her.)
I really want to open the discussion up on what is the new normal when it comes to weight gain.
When I read on her blog that she was just accepting her new size as part of the maturing process, I had two reactions. The first was “wow” and the second was sadness.
Has it come to the point in our society that gaining weight is just natural and normal? That gaining weight from overeating and inactivity is just to be expected and accepted? That gaining weight is no longer a big deal.
I hope not, but I fear that I my hope is in vain. I actually see this a lot, and did it myself to some extent, although the weight gain did bother me.
I completely understand what this young girl is feeling because I began to put on weight after I was married. I thought to myself, “Well, it’s just part of being married.” However, there was still a part of me that was concerned about the weight gain and I didn’t just buy a whole new wardrobe, but rather bought a few things and joined Weight Watchers. Sadly, I didn’t get the weight under control and just continued to gain.
The danger with just accepting that weight gain is normal and expected is that the numbers of people in the world who are overweight and obese will continue to rise. Not only is that bad for each of those people personally, but it is bad for society as a whole.
I obviously did not say anything to this young woman on her blog because she wasn’t asking for advice, nor do I know her. But I wonder if there is anyone in her life who might say to her, “Hey, instead of just buying new clothes, why don’t you come to the gym with me and work out.”
That’s what I fear is missing from this equation. I fear that society as a whole has accepted overweight and obesity as the norm now, and the majority of people just do not consider it a big deal any longer.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you see more and more acceptance of overweight/obese as okay? How do you think this affects our kids and young people? Diane