NROP: Anorexic or morbidly obese – rules of fashion.

I have put off writing about this for a couple of weeks. I was not sure how it was going to be received. I have recently read a post about how we should blog mostly about positive things, and this topic did not seem to fit. However, it remained in the back of my head until the moment when I read a post saying how this blogger writes a first draft how they want to say it, and then re-write it with their audience in mind. As much as I approve of being considerate, reading those words reminded me how this blog is supposed to be largely unfiltered. Therefore, I write to you about morbid obesity.

It is my assumption that no matter where in the world you live, you know what Gilette is. It is a brand owned by Procter & Gamble, specializing in making safety razors and other shaving related products. Chances are you have used their product once or twice in your life. Just like other major brands, Gilette decided that in order to survive and remain relevant, they needed to ride the wave of social justice. Buyers no longer look at the product and its price. They also check to see whom the company donates to, where they have their production plants and, if they are environmentally friendly, etc.

Back in January, Gilette aired a commercial meant to tackle the topic of toxic masculinity. It definitely stirred a lot of discussions. Some people decided to start buying Gilette products more often, while others decided to abandon the company for good. If you have not seen it, but would like you, you can do so here. As a person who enjoys learning about advertising and analyzing commercials, I did not like this particular one, because it did not even feature a product. It was all about showing us “the way”. The way that we are now and the way we should strive to be. Was the ad toxic itself? Maybe. Whether I agree with the content of the ad or not is not important. I am just showcasing a pattern of advertising trends that are less about the product and more about how we feel.

Even though advertising has become more complex (it is ever present and done unintentionally sometimes), it has also become speedier. Anything can go viral within seconds.

Three months after their ad regarding toxic masculinity, Gilette posted a photo of a model on a beach. Sounds innocent enough, right?

This is the photo that appeared:

         [Source]

The caption for the photo was “Go out there and slay the day”.

The model is. Yes, she is considered a model. As I was saying – the model is known for posing in all sorts of places in skimpy clothing. She even had a photo-shoot in a bikini in the middle of Times Square.  On her Instagram, she complained about being sexualized by the men who were passing by. Let me ask you: “What do you think was her reasoning behind posing in a bikini on Times Square?”

Back to topic at hand – glorified morbid obesity.

I have bumped shoulders with a lot overweight people. Many of them morbidly obese. Being that way is not glamorous. It does not only affect the way you look, but also the way you feel and the way your body works. There are serious medical conditions associated with being overweight and obese. “Morbid obesity” is a medical term. it is used when a person weighs a hundred pounds more than they should. That is a lot of weight. Think about it.

In today’s day and age when we are trying to accept and tolerate everything, people like the girl in the photo are glorified for being brave. For facing the world unapologetically.

After getting slammed with negative comments, Gilette responded: “Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown. We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the ‘rules’ say she should display it.

But if we love people who are morbidly obese, why do we hate anorexic girls? Why do we condemn them? Why is it alright to say that someone has a disorder because their ribs are showing, but we are only able to say positive things about someone who is struggling with the opposite?

This is not to criticize being too thin, or too fat. This is to criticize extremes, most of which are NOT good. Most of which should be fought against. Most of which should not be glorified. Should not be encouraged.

You think you are doing the right thing by accepting someone else. You think they feel good about themselves because you do not condemn them. You feel like you will go to heaven, you did not cast a negative judgement. You think that you give hope to all the other people struggling with self-image. Maybe. All of that may be correct. But stop for a moment and think about young, impressionable minds. Will they not feel like this is something acceptable? Something that is not a problem, which really IS a problem?

What I have to agree with is the infectious confidence this woman is exuding. We should not hate ourselves for the way we look. We should not lock ourselves in a room so that no one lays eyes on us.

But we should also be reasonable. See your beauty, but do not be blinded by the lies. See the real you, assess it and if hazardous, try and change it.

How does that photo make you feel?

What do you think of brands that rely more and more on social causes rather than their products and services?

Has an ad ever deterred you from buying a specific company’s product?

Stay golden,

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30 thoughts on “NROP: Anorexic or morbidly obese – rules of fashion.

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  1. When the anorexic or morbidly obese person is someone you love with all your heart, then you realize what a difficult issue this is to deal with, especially if it’s your child. Either extreme (starving or binging) is self-destructive behavior, and a parent can’t just sit by and let that happen. But how can you help the person help her/himself without sending the message that (s)he is somehow “not good enough”? It takes a lot of love, a lot of time, and most of all, a lot of PRAYER. (It might take just turning off the TV, too.)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The embrace of morbid obesity is an extreme reaction to decades of ads portraying only thin women. It’s stupid and harmful, but understandable. Normal women, who could never be supermodel size, just had enough. They wanted ads to reflect average sizes, and then things got weird. I don’t know why things always have to get weird, but they do. I don’t see TV commercials or read many magazines these days, so I only view online ads and don’t see the Gillette type stuff unless people point it out. I do buy their products, since I like them, but I can understand getting annoyed. I wouldn’t want to see morbid obesity celebrated in ads anymore than I’d want to see a return of smoking. Yes, we’re all going to die, but why promote dangerous lifestyles?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I don’t know why things always have to get weird, either. It’s like we go from one extreme to another? Shouldn’t we know that we need a happy medium, instead?
      I like your last sentence. My exact sentiment.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. WEIGHT
    As my mother would have said, “You hit the nail on the head.”

    in the era circa 1960’s (or as I call it, the Twiggy error), 70% of people in the USA were thin. If you wore what is now a size 14, you were considered overweight. After my son was born, I was wearing size 20 (which is now size 14 due to vanity sizing). I was tired all the time, felt terrible, and wanted that extra weight off. After a year of working out and eating better, I was back down to a size 12 (which is now a size 6. I know because I still have size 12 clothing from the 1970’s that is the same size as the 6’s in my closet). I still remember how awkward it felt to be that “heavy,” and cannot imagine how that size can be considered “normal.”

    It doesn’t help that people who are 200 pounds think it’s all right to wear skin-tight shirts. The rolls are not attractive.

    Yes, I think that being between a size 7 and size 11 is optimal for someon 5’5″, but I know that what is added to our foods causes people to want to eat more, too. But when I see someone who is over 200 pounds walking out of an ice cream shop with a triple decker cone, I can’t help but cringe.

    BLOGGING
    It is one thing to assess what you have a blog for, and be true to it — and it’s another thing to constantly being worried about what other people think a blog should look like. With nearly 8 billion people in the world, a few of them will flock to your blog. The rest will find another blog they like better.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Vanity sizing is such a peculiar thing.
      It’s really interesting to compare then and now. I’m not saying that we should all be size 0, but you are right – not every piece of clothing suits every body type. It’s a fact. I don’t care what you wear at home, but we cannot walk around naked in public. And the same goes for what people eat. I think we should all be able to indulge every now and again, but there is limit to it. You can curb your cravings if you just try and maybe next time you don’t have to get an XXXXL shake with ALL the toppings. A smaller size with fewer (more refined) toppings might actually satisfy your taste buds better.

      You speak the truth about blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As always, a good, thought provoking piece. I am with you, I hate that new Gillete ad. I think we a s a society are trying way to hard to “be inclusive” and are focusing to much energy and attention on that rather than the real issues at hand, like eating disorders on both ends of the spectrum in this case.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I mean the fluff. Whether they say they care about the consumers and the world. Whether they donate to specific charities. Whether they employ minorities. Whether they make their packaging from recyclable materials. Etc.

          Like

  5. For me, there’s the physical wellness side and the social response side. From a physical wellness side, morbid obesity isn’t healthy. From a social response side, a lot of people respond negatively to obese people. Negative responses I’ve witnessed have included judgment toward a person for not controlling their eating (how do you know it isn’t physiological?), and disgust toward a person for being out in public in whatever they were wearing. Tight clothes? Gross. Baggy moo-moos? Unappealing.

    I would wince around those judgments. Rather than expressing possible concern for the persons’s health, the attitude was “that person shouldn’t be inflicting their fat on me.” It was an “uggg” response.

    To the extent that was a generally accepted societal attitude, I’m happy there’s starting to be a change. And, I hope it doesn’t result in ignoring the physical well-being of people who are overweight. We’ve tried to do things to help people not get hooked on cigarettes and to help folks stop smoking because we realized it was killing people and costing society.

    To the extent we’ve become fatter as a nation, what are things leading to that? Increased sugar delivered in greater quantities in more and more products? Well, if we’re getting fatter as a nation, maybe we should be considering how to address the consumption side, similar to how we addressed the consumption side of cigarettes.

    I’m not looking to be overwhelmed by a lot of obese models. But then again, I was tired of seeing only images of super-thin women. Models advertising Spanx…don’t need Spanx.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share such a lenghty comment with me.

      You did a great job distinguishing physical wellness side and the social response side. I can totally see your point. However, I’m not sure if we can sustain both. I guess it depends on an individual. If you tell me I’m fat, I might feel hurt for a split second, but then I will consider the reality and adjust if necessary. If you tell someone that they’re not fat, because you’re trying not to hurt their feelings, they might convince themselves that everyone else is wrong and you just validated them. And they will remain on the wrong path.

      People that don’t need a specific item advertising said item is totally a pet peeve.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure what you mean by not being able to “sustain both.” Both being considerate AND being able to express concern about another person? Why isn’t that possible? If you had a friend who smoked, wouldn’t it be possible to tell them that, hey, you love them and their smoking scares you; you worry they’ll get cancer. To talk with them about it; are they scared? Do they want to quit? Is there anything you can do to help?

    I just feel that most of the time the attitude I’ve seen toward fat people is disgust. It’s rarely about the fat person, and more often about the person seeing the fat person. That may be different than your experience, so kudos if it is. If your experience is that people are genuinely concerned about the health and well-being of a friend, then talking with them from a perspective of love, rather than judgment that they’re moral failures, seems like it would be kinder.

    At the end of the day, anyone who is going to make a change has to be the one to decide to make it. Maybe some people are shamed into making change, but I’m doubtful about that for most.

    And for folks who genuinely seem unable to lose weight and keep it off, and I believe there are some people who physiologically can’t, it must be miserable to go through the world thinking everyone is looking at them as if they’re wearing a fat scarlet letter; moral failures; a drain on financial resources. Because, in our culture, I generally think that’s the attitude. Ouch.

    We’ve been a thin-focused culture my entire lifetime. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t for health reasons. And yet, during the Renaissance, a woman’s beauty was defined differently. No, not morbidly obese, but way different than the images portrayed until only recently.

    There’s a This American Life podcast episode on being fat, if you’re a podcaster. I thought it was interesting to hear people who are fat talk openly about it. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/589/tell-me-im-fat.

    Clearly I have a few thoughts on the subject. Glad to have a place to play them out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What I meant was that if you tell someone that smoking can kill them, you run into a risk of making them feel bad about themselves. Unfortunately, most people react emotionally to what you say instead of reasonably. You can tell them you care and you want to help, but all they will hear is how you’re threatening them with death if they don’t quit.

      People are really self-contious about their weight. From observation and experience, if a thin person tries to talk to a bigger person about weight in ANY way, issues arise. The fat person feels automatically judge and doesn’t want to hear it from someone who has no experience.

      But I totally get where you’re coming from. Reality, however, isn’t always that rosy.

      I’m not a podcaster, but it seems interesting enough. I will give it a go later.

      You always have a place on my blog, so feel free to share whatever thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most of us, I think, know when we’re doing something that’s bad for us. Knowing, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into changing. I still eat too much sugar.

        Thanks for the welcome mat.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think knowing is the first step. A very important step. There are different stages, though. You can “know it”, but then choose to live in denial, making up excuses. When you really know it, you make some sort of effort. Proper motivation is needed. Sure, we still eat sugar, but how will eating less impact us? If our current consumption isn’t causing us visible distress, then there is no point in changing.

          Liked by 1 person

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