Opinion: It’s bad to pass off lifestyle as healthy


Photo by Kerry Naylor

Guest opinion writer Chloe Stoltzfus.

Obesity is a large problem in America. It is a serious health concern that can result in many health problems and even death. We have gotten to the point in society where, in an effort to create equality and acceptance, we have begun to promote obesity as well. By putting obese models on magazine covers and TV commercials, society attempts to send the message of love and acceptance. But is this really the way we want to be promoting it? In an effort to “accept people”, society has not only promoted a health issue and passed it off as being okay, but also convinces people that if they don’t believe the same way, they are a terrible person because they aren’t accepting people for who they are.

I think that displaying any type of unhealthy behavior and trying to pass it off as a good thing is just overall a bad thing for society. If someone smoked multiple packs of cigarettes a day and developed lung cancer from it, we wouldn’t say that smoking is good for you, right? We wouldn’t promote that dangerous habit just because we want that person to feel loved and accepted. So why are we passing off obesity as being good? Saying that obesity is healthy just because it makes people feel good is delusion. You can’t just change science because it hurts someone’s feelings. That’s not how the world works and people are acting like it is. They say as long as you’re happy and love who you are, that’s all that matters. They pay no attention to the fact that obesity has serious health risks and, if taken too far, can result in death. Actions have consequences even if the actions feel good at the time. People think that self love is the most important thing and while it is important to love who you are, self care and self improvement are just as important, if not more important.

I believe that having plus sized models in general is okay to an extent. Some people are naturally born bigger than others and some people are born smaller. This doesn’t necessarily make them unhealthy, it’s just genetics. This is not the issue I’m talking about. I think it’s perfectly fine to show different body types and skin colors and different types of people in general on commercials or magazine covers. The problem however arises when people are so overweight that it becomes detrimental to their wellbeing and we promote it to the public as something good. This becomes dangerous when society says that this person is healthy because they feel good about who they are and what they look like when in reality their physical health is declining. Just because you feel good about something doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for you. Everyone wants to feel accepted and loved and everyone wants to feel good about themselves but not many people want to put in the work to make their bodies the best they can be. 

Another problem with this is that it has turned into “fat shaming” if someone disagrees. It has escalated to the point where some people have accused others of being “fat-phobic” because that person wanted to lose weight. It didn’t concern the accuser at all, it was that a personal choice but because the accuser didn’t want to lose weight and still wanted to be accepted, that meant everyone else should feel the same way. If someone likes the lifestyle of obesity, that’s 100% their choice. They are the ones that have to deal with the health affects. But it becomes not okay when they begin forcing other people to live the same way because they want to feel accepted.

In the end, I do think that people should feel comfortable in their body and that people should be loved and accepted no matter what they look like, but acceptance is different than promotion. Society should not promote obese models because it is an unhealthy behavior. We can still love and accept people that are obese without promoting it to the public and making it come across as healthy behavior. Just because someone wants to feel included doesn’t mean we should encourage the belief that unhealthy behavior is good. I believe that obese models on magazine covers sends a bad message and should not be promoted.