Do you think that thin is more beautiful than fat?
What if I told you that attraction to thinness is not biological.
What if I told you there are cultures that see fat as beautiful and thin as ugly.
Would you believe me?
From a place of curiosity, not judgement, I would question someone who believed their biology was responsible for seeing thin bodies as more attractive than fat bodies, as if it wasn't influenced by current socio-cultural ideology.
In reality, the beauty standard at any given time throughout history is influenced predominately by the group in power and is used as a representation of wealth and higher class.
In the western world, thinness became socially desirable long before it ever became a health concern.
And there are several examples of how the female body is used as a symbol of male wealth.
Historically, for example, during the Renaissance, voluptuous fat women were the epitome of beauty, largely in part because it meant their husband or father had enough money to provide adequate food.
Nowadays, when you see a stereotypical unattractive man (short, bald, fat) with a stereotypical attractive woman (tall, thin, big boobs) how often do you automatically assume he must be rich?
Older wealthy men will have a rotation of young hot "arm candy" as a representation of their power and status. We have "trophy wives." The late Hugh Hefner and his bunnies are a perfect example of this.
And presently, we have cultures in the developing world where fat women are still seen as more attractive, desirable, and beautiful because it means their fathers or husbands are wealthy and can afford enough food.
These cultures value fatness instead of thinness which shows you just how arbitrary and socially constructed it is.
Watch the video below.
with a few caveats *it has problematic language regarding the BMI and spreads some misinformation about the impact weight has on health outcomes- essentially this video has Diet Culture undertones and is not Health at Every Size informed but it's powerful no less.
While I do not judge this culture for their practices, I do find this heart-breaking. And it's not much different than the external and internal oppression girls and women face in the Western world to be thin.
Determining a women's worth based on her weight has got to fucking stop.
Enough is enough.