I have a love-hate relationship with Lady Gaga - I find her totally crazy and hate her apparent need for constant attention, but at the same time absolutely love her outrageous outfits, daring character and fun philosophy. As a 'normal' sized woman, I think it's awful she was shamed in Amsterdam for having put on a little weight and also think it's extremely honorable that she is sticking up for herself by first wearing a fat suit to an event and then introducing the "Body Revolution".
For those of you who are not yet aware, the Body Revolution is a program encouraging people to share photos of themselves semi-naked to show off their bodies, whatever they look like. Gaga started it off by posting four photos of herself in undewear and then launched a website called www.littlemonsters.com which is a platform where people can post their photos after entering their Facebook or Twitter ID. Already thousands of people have posted photos of their bodies, scars, illnesses and other features they wish to live in peace with.
So far, so good. After all it's tragic that women (and men) feel uncomfortable in their own bodies just because we're being fed media rubbish breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't know how many times a day I look in the mirror or see a photo of my face and/or body and feel like I'm just not good enough - and I'm a 25-year-old fashion blogger who probably comes across as confident!
Funnily enough, though, the self-conscious ones are not the ones I'm most worried about. What about those who DO feel comfortable despite their size? Amongst the photos posted on Lady Gaga's platform, hundreds show obese bodies. Women and men want to feel happy in their oversized bodies and I just don't know how to feel about it, but I know something in the back of my health-conscious mind is telling me it's wrong.
I realise this is a dangerous subject and of course people should feel good about themselves, no matter what they look like. However, if young women and society in general manage to come to terms with obesity and override our current body-size expectations - does this mean we can eat as much as we want of whatever we want without any social pressure to do otherwise ? What if the constant diets and the preconceived idea that "slim bodies are beautiful" are what is keeping us from dying of poor nutrition ?
Obesity kills. Fact.
'Fat' people are suffering from illnesses today that were hardly even a risk 50 years ago. Over 60% of English people over the age of 16 are overweight or obese - and I didn't get these figures from Hollywood.com, I got them from the government who doesn't care what people look like. And while we're at it, I might as well remind you that obesity costs the country over £5billion a year... (Before you comment: I'm not blaming the sick, I truly believe this condition is encouraged by our economical system - but I won't go into that here.) When will people understand that hate of fat is about health as much as about aesthetics? Or at least that it should be.
Encouraging people to LOVE their bodies is great, but let's not encourage people to NEGLECT their bodies. We need to take action. We need to realise WHY our bodies look like this and that there IS something we can do about it (in most cases) instead of just learning to live with it and get over it. We need to accept the fact that we CAN have flaws, but that we can also ACT against them. We need to encourage people to feel HAPPY with themselves but also and mainly to strive for what they really want (to look like) in life.
Is encouraging acceptance of overweight bodies positive or dangerous ? I don't have the answer, but I have a gut-feeling we haven't yet got it right. I only hope the motivation of feeling comfortable will help suffering people to find the will and confidence they need to lose those extra pounds and become a size not only they and others like but moreover a size that FEELS more comfortable on the inside and WORKS better for LONGER.