I had a conversation on Facebook yesterday about people being able to mention how skinny someone is, but you absolutely cannot mention someone is overweight without being labeled a terrible person. I don’t understand the difference. Both parties know their weight. It’s not like, “you’re so skinny!” “Wait.. what??? I’m skinny??? Holy shit!” Or vice versa. I already wrote a post about how we should basically have both or neither instead of the double standard. But that conversation got me thinking a little bit more about the whole double standard.
I see this a lot online, and I’m not saying it’s bad at all because a lot of people find it motivational and I even like seeing them, but the “before and after” pictures of people who lose a lot of weight. That is so great. You guys are awesome, and I’m not being sarcastic. I love seeing those pictures. They make me happy, and it gives a lot of people the extra boost they need to start their own fitness journey. Great, awesome, perfect!
But we never see the other way around. Ok, I’ve seen one or two “before and after” posts of people gaining weight, ie, going from underweight to a healthy weight. But like I said, I’ve only seen one or two. We don’t talk about the other side. I know we have an obesity epidemic which makes these “before and after” pictures very popular. I’m very passionate about that (ask the Actor. I get scary when I talk about it apparently) but we need to have the other side represented too.
The girl I had the conversation with mentioned that people with EDs that are very skinny are more likely the ones to get sent to the hospital for their treatment than people with EDs that are not. This is partially a flaw in the treatment of EDs where they primary focus on weight gain instead of the actual issue at hand, but it doesn’t make the difference less valid. Weight gain is important so you can treat the ED without the person dying, but in my experience and from what I read online, many others, the focus on weight is perhaps a little stronger than it needs to be.
Why can’t it be an achievement to gain weight to be healthy just like losing weight to be healthy? Gaining weight and becoming overweight isn’t so much an accomplishment, but gaining weight after being underweight and/or working on or beating an eating disorder needs to be just as much of an achievement. More people need to speak up so both sides can be equal.
My name is Aja. I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and depression in March of 2010. I weighed 94 pounds at 5’2. Today, four years later, I weigh 120 pounds; more than I ever thought I would ever weigh without being pregnant. This is me today: