Anon is right on the money. Body positivity/#HealthyAtAnySize is pure rhetorical snake oil for all the reasons listed. Furthermore, it’s downright evil for ulterior reasons not-so-subtly hidden in this comment on the post above (cat and land manatee pictures retained for emphasis):
That flood of solipsistic logorrhea set my Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism alarm to blaring–in this case, we’ll call it the Social Media Signaling corollary. Now, laymen may not be aware of what’s going on in that comment. On the surface, it seems like a harmless if somewhat tangential call to be nice to fat people. Their mistake is overlooking the fact that comments like those are primarily rhetoric, and rhetoric is unconcerned with information content. You’ll see just how unconcerned in a moment.
Let’s break Cat Lady’s comment down. She sees a thread where the OP challenges the body positivity movement based on his relevant personal experience of having once tipped the scales at nearly 400 pounds. (Good on him for taking charge of his health and losing the weight!)
Cat Lady shifts the context of the discussion from facts to feelings, viz. obese people who get upset when told they should lose weight. She self-identifies with the horizontally challenged demographic, which is the Rosetta Stone that lets us translate her comment as, “I get upset when people suggest I shed a few pounds.”
Our second major feelz over facts alert comes when Cat Lady offers an olive branch in a manically waving hand to medical science, thus conceding the OP’s point! She then takes a sharp left turn down Bitter Feminist Lane to pontificate about distorted standards of female beauty which are being roundly rejected by women (i.e. her).
Well, she’s not wrong on that count.
But in the process of rationalizing her personal choice to be overweight, Cat Lady accidentally lets slip a kernel of truth. People–men and women–find thin women more attractive than overweight women. And contra Jezebel, it’s not due to the internet. Hint: those ads with slender lasses work for a reason. As another study, also from Scotland, discovered, men are attracted to thin women because being thin has an evolutionary relationship with fertility and health.
Also lurking in Cat Lady’s comment is the underlying assumption that men’s standards of female attractiveness are distorted and therefore invalid. The implication is it’s men’s responsibility to reconfigure their natural desires to conform with women’s lifestyle choices. The inescapable conclusion is that men need to rewire their brains to please women but women have no reciprocal obligation to lift a finger to please men.
In short, men are not allowed to have standards when it comes to mate selection.
Turns out the feminist line is a steaming load of projection, as the fine folks at OK Cupid found out.
As this graph shows, male OK Cupid users rated female users’ attractiveness on a curve that’s actually rather close to a normalized distribution. Men did tend to approach women on the higher end of the attractiveness spectrum more often, which just goes to show that beauty standards are more universal than OK Cupid claims.
Now let’s take a look at how the ladies rated men.
The verdict: Female users rated an astonishing 80% of men as below average in attractiveness. Women’s messaging patterns were only slightly ahead of the attractiveness curve.
But with the basic ratings so out-of-whack, the two curves together suggest some strange possibilities for the female thought process, the most salient of which is that the average-looking woman has convinced herself that the vast majority of males aren’t good enough for her, but she then goes right out and messages them anyway.
Men pursue. Women choose.
OKC themselves put paid to the “Distorted Male Beauty Standards” canard:
Females of OkCupid, we site founders say to you: ouch! Paradoxically, it seems it’s women, not men, who have unrealistic standards for the “average” member of the opposite sex.
Armed with these facts, I discerned a moral duty to show Cat Lady the error of her unscientific ways. I answered:
To which she replied (reproduced from memory):
Excuse me while I vomit all over my keyboard! I unfriended you for a million reasons, Brian, and this just confirms my decision. Please don’t talk to me on other people’s threads, either.
For those keeping score, that’s not a rational argument. It’s not even rhetoric. That is pure cognitive dissonance screeching “GAH! IT BURNS US!! MAKE THE NASTY FACTSES GO AWAY, PRECIOUS!!!”
When your science-based argument is met with a faceful of REEEEE, you can be sure that the other party is impervious to reason on the subject at hand. However, America is in the grip of an obesity epidemic of which Cat Lady is a casualty. I don’t want her to have diabetes or flipper babies, and sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
This was one of those times. My parting shot:
OK. Didn’t know evolution is against your personal beliefs.
My last comment proved more triggering than I’d hoped. In addition to being unfriended, all of my comments were summarily scoured from the thread that the portly participants not chance to look upon them and suffer badfeelz.
Mandatory health classes, PSAs, and Big Gulp bans have failed to stem the rising blubbery tide that threatens to engulf America. With a delusional pro-obesity movement waging a fanatical psy-op against science, the only remedy left is ridicule–public, merciless ridicule–of the solipsistic shills trying to lead women and men astray from the road to health and beauty.
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