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Monday, August 31, 2015

The "Fat Chic" Trend

I haven't actually come across this phrase I am using--fat chic. But it's an obvious trend nonetheless. I also think it's a dangerous trend, every bit as harmful as the size 0 standard of high fashion models. I don't envy the flat-chested, hipless, dull eyed girls in the magazines. I have no desire to emulate their emaciated frames. What is tempting to me is the growing glamorization of obesity.

It used to be that a plus size model was about five foot, 10 inches tall and a healthy size 12. I'm an inch and a half shorter than that, and at my age and wearing a size 12, I'm about 7 pounds overweight. I am in fact usually one of the slimmest people I see out in public, even among those significantly younger than me. But do I really want to be in good shape only if compared to most people? I look far better even than some 12-year-old girls. This is not a good thing. This is scary. 

According to www.livestrong.com, "The average height and weight of women varies around the world, but in the United States in 2010 the average adult female height was 63.8 inches -- approximately 5-foot-4 -- and 166.2 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This number is higher than in the past and corresponds to a body mass index that is classified as overweight."

In other words, the average American woman is not simply "pleasantly plump" but is downright fat. And it goes beyond that, with obesity becoming a national crisis. (A BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese, overweight if it’s between 25-29.9, normal if it’s 18.5-24.9, and underweight if it’s less than 18.5.) Not only women suffer from the health risks associated with excess weight, but men too. It's a heart attack waiting to happen. And of special concern to me is childhood obesity. This is a mark of failure in our society.




So why is the media celebrating size 22 models? Why are magazines increasingly featuring extremely overweight bloggers? I am all for loving yourself exactly as you are, because that is the starting point toward better health and overall wellness. But the current spirit of glorifying obesity is deadly. And it is diametrically opposed to the Christian philosophy of the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.

If I follow in my mother's footsteps, I could be looking at menopause next year. I recently read that after menopause, a woman has to eat 200 some calories less per day just to maintain her current weight. Weight around the middle poses the greatest risk to health, and that is precisely where I gain it. There and in my naturally ample bosom. The "girls" simply cannot get any bigger. I couldn't bear it, either literally or figuratively!

Today is the 31st of August, which is 2 months to Halloween. In the next 8 weeks I could safely lose 2 pounds per week, for a total of 16 shed pounds. That would put me eight pounds below the high end of a healthy weight for my height and age, giving me some wiggle room for that menopausal phase coming in the near future.

It's time to fight the fat chic trend promoted in the media. Do not give in. You will not feel glamorous. You will not be healthy. Your clothes won't fit well, and you may even require breast reduction surgery. You won't be a good role model for your daughters or anyone else. I'm not going to fade quietly into the dark night of gross obesity, no matter how normal or sexy the magazines portray it to be. Are you?