Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fit moms, fat shaming and inspiration.

Last week there was a huge internet crud-storm over a memetic picture posted by Maria Kang. (Jezebel takedown here) I have a problem with the picture. It's the epitome of N=1 thinking. I did it, so what's your excuse? Implicit in that is: for being disgustingly fat. Some folks called this "fat shaming" which to me is a stretch, but it is problematic.
For me, an after shot without a before is always a red flag. The second red flag is that it isn't a coach touting the transformation of a client, but an athlete touting her own appearance.. not transformation. There is so much variability in peoples fat storage and ability to change their physique that unless someone has several clients showing significant body composition changes they may not know anything. Some people have naturally low body fat.. even after 3 kids. It assumes priorities and means (of time, funds and resources) that many folks may not have.
Which brings me to fat shaming. There is a little implicit fat shaming in that photo.  Lets start simply.
Fat shaming: Weight stigma, also known as weightism, weight bias, and weight-based discrimination, is discrimination or stereotyping based on one's weight, especially very large or thin people.
So there is the stated "What's your excuse" and the implicit "for being disgustingly fat." So there is that implicit fat shaming, but it's tricky. Fat shaming is usually directed. A person is shown or described as disgusting/a fat pig/shoving twinkies. For me that has to me more individualized. The reader/viewer/victim  has to see themselves in that body, and people's cognitive dissonance is a fairly strong barrier to that.
It is remarkable how prone to condemnations of other people's bodies we are. All one has to do is throw up a picture of someone with some muscle mass on to social media. If it is male you get "gross/steroids" and if female you get comments of "that's a dude/gross." Ultimately it all comes down to IT'S NOT YOUR GODDAMN BODY, NO ONE ASKED YOU!
This same mentality that obliges hetero-male internet users to comment on the "fuckability" of every female on the internet. It's stupid. It's dissociative, and dumb. No one cares, don't do that. Don't do it to people on the street (do you actually think someone is going to respond positively? NO) don't do it on YouTube, or facebook, or ever at all. What you'd like to do with your penis is germane to no one but you.
Don't tell fat people they are fat. Do not follow up with your disgust. You are not helping them, you are being a bullying piece of garbage. There has been significant research that this type of bullying behavior tends to keep people from losing weight.

Don't tell hot people that they are hot, and/or what kinds of sex you'd like to have with them. if you'd like to talk to them, talk TO them, not around them. You're not flattering her, you're threatening her. Don't do that.

In other words: Don't be an ass.

So what is inspirational?
I am inspired by a few things.

People working hard.
People who can do things that are beyond 99% of the rest of us.

People who get it done for a long time, and make monsters.
And People who only know how to be the best (tie here)

None of those people care what you think. None of these can be accomplished by picking the right parents. Those things inspire me. Those are the traits I want to emulate. They are encompassing. Women, men, children that are white, black, thin, fat, ripped whatever can work hard, can do amazing things, can continue to amaze well past the age that everyone else calls it quits, or can be the best ever at their sport. I would offer that everything else is bullshit on some level. Those are the things that have elements of choice. What is the point of being inspired if the inspiration lacks the element of choice?

Final thing.. probably the most important. Inspire yourself. To hell with these memes and social media based inspiration. It's hollow. Do the things you want/need to meet your goals. Yes you.. right now. Today.
You don't need some vapid figure competitor to ask you what your excuse is.. because her goals and her experiences are probably not your own. Inspiration comes from within. Find it and you won't need any excuses.


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