Obese Models: Why They’re Bad Role Models.

Overweight Models Image 2

Images of Obese models like Tess Holiday are widespread across newspapers and magazines advocating for body positivity. I’m all for body positivity, loving your body and yourself, but I’m also all about health! Being severely overweight isn’t healthy.

Breanne, You’re No Slender Glenda

Overweight Model 1

Who the hell is Glenda????

I am overweight, I am not as healthy as I could be….I’m getting there, but just not quite there. I’d like to think of someone like me, a better role model because I am actively doing something to help my health and better myself. These obese models aren’t doing that. They are commended for being happy about their weight yet they are sending a dangerous message to our younger generation. This is why I don’t believe these models should be inspiring the future.

Overweight Models Are Better Than Size Zero Models

NO! Not one bit. Obese models are just as unhealthy (maybe even MORE unhealthy) as size zero models who have been “skinny shamed” for years and years!

The 2 opposite ends of the spectrum really aren’t that far apart when measuring health. To discuss your views on obese models is classed as “fat shaming” and completely disallowed, frowned upon and basically makes you look like a horrible human. Yet, Skinny shaming is acceptable…? 

To say someone is too slim to wear something? It’s seen as a compliment to many

To say someone is too fat to wear something? well, I may as well just run and hide from the objects flying at my face.

Overweight Models Image 2

When I talk about obese models I don’t mean size 12 models who are “plus size” I mean obese !

We as women come in a variety of shapes and sizes, nobody is “perfect”. There’s no such thing as perfect! But, nobody is born a size 22…..no matter how many “genetic defects” you have.

Back to the point

Overweight Models Image 3

Being an unhealthy weight is not something our children should be encouraged to be. Be that overweight or underweight. Yes, I would like my child to be happy at any weight, but I would also like them to live long enough to enjoy happiness, enjoy life, climb mountains, travel the world and do whatever the hell they want to do! In Britain 1 in 11 deaths is a direct result of obesity.

Obesity puts your body at a much higher risk of health complications: Obesity puts you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and much more.

These obese models, should not be role models until they do something about their weight.

Should Self Harm Really Be Encouraged

Children shouldn’t be brought up to believe it is ok to be harming/killing yourself – but as long as you’re a bit pretty it’s ok? Would we still idolise models who took heroin and taught our children that it’s empowering and as long as they were happy it’s ok? 

Overweight Models Image 4

People should be comfortable in their own skin and with their weight, but when this takes a detrimental effect on a person’s health it’s time to do something about it. There’s a huge difference between being curvy and obese. Some overweight models have surpassed the line and completely disregarded their health.

I Promise I’m Not A Horrible Person

Before you think I’m a “fat-shamer” or a “fat hater” or anything else along those lines – I’m not – and I would never ever want to come across that way. I like many people have, and probably forever will suffer from weight issues. I just feel maybe some light needs to be shone on encouraging our next generation to take action on our obesity crisis and not look up to unhealthy role models.

Agree or Disagree?

Let me know in the comments below….

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7 Comments

  • Reply Chrissy April 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I like this post because its controversial. Through reading this I found a few things that stood out to me:
    1. We are assuming that models are role models.
    2. Can someone who is recovering from something be a role model?
    3. Should we teach children to judge others?

    So here are some of my personal thoughts on the subject. Either we are for body positivity or we are not. I am pretty black and white on the subject. I don’t think someone can say I’m for body positivity but if you are obese then shouldn’t be positive about yourself or if you are thin you shouldn’t be positive, or any other size, gender, race, age, etc… I think that no matter your size, gender, skin color etc you should find ways to love yourself. There are studies that prove that loving yourself actually can result in higher self esteem and better healthy because you feel more motivated to take care of your overall health.

    Not knowing the behind the scenes lifestyle choices of someone can lead to incorrect or stereotypical judgements. So assuming that model H doesn’t exercise and there for assumes that models I – Z also do not exercises results in an unfair (but often the case) judgement.
    Perhaps model H is working with a personal trainer to get healthier and the ability to love ones self is the driving force? Would this not make model H worthy of being a role model? Or for instance John doe goes to his regular AA meetings, is it a fair assumption to assume that because John doe’s sponsor is also a recovering alcoholic they are not fit to be a role model for John doe? Sometimes the person most relatable is the person someone will choose as a role model.

    I’ve never looked at a model and thought “hey this person is my role model” or “I want to be like this person”. I think viewing someone as a role model is subjective and its based on your personality, your perception, your environment and influences.

    For children they are learning from media, family, friends, educational institutions, etc.. It’s the responsibility of the parents/gaurdians to shape their children into fully functional, happy members of society (a big deal, no doubt). This means its the family should be involved enough to help steer their child down the path they feel is correct. So if parent A believes that child B should not look up to lets say a famous rapper, and instead would prefer them to look up to a musician for example they would then attempt to influence the child into changing their values.(Although they should also understand while the child looked up to this person to begin with.) This could be successful or unsuccessful, also the child could either become happier or unhappier as well.

    So essentially this extremely long response is saying that in my personal opinion I would not view any model, regardless of size, gender, race, age etc.. as a role model for simply being a model. It is the holistic view of a person and their character which = a role model in my eyes. I think that labeling someone as a role model is personal to each person and their reasons may be different for why this person is their role model.

    I don’t think its necessarily right to dictate who can and can not be a role model. Also an understanding that no one is perfect, and that everyone makes mistakes is crucial at this time because too many people feel bad about who they are because they can’t live up to some warped sense of reality that media has created. For me this post was more then just health, it is was about we as a society need to stop idealizing people and allowing it to equate our happiness.

    • Reply My Healthy Curves April 16, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Chrissy,

      Thank you for your comment – you have made so many valid points i’m finding it difficult to reply haha. A very controversial post indeed. One I was very worried about writing, as I was unsure of the backlash I would receive if I worded anything that sounded slightly out of line. I don’t think body positivity is so black and white. I think people will always have “flaws”, everyone will, yet they can still be happy and positive about their body. Other people’s opinions should not influence how people feel about themselves (though I know in many cases it does) It takes a strong person to be a “plus size model” knowing that many people will have opposing opinions and I think thats braver than anything. However, no matter how brave I think it is, I PERSONALLY feel the media is allowing people to have a comfort blanket for obesity. Instead of trying to fix the problem that affects so many’s health, they are giving people a blanket, when they should be giving encouragement.

      “Not knowing the behind the scenes lifestyle choices of someone can lead to incorrect or stereotypical judgements. So assuming that model H doesn’t exercise and there for assumes that models I – Z also do not exercises results in an unfair (but often the case) judgement.” I actually really like this comment and think this is very valid. I know there are many people in the public eye, who although are overweight are actively trying to do something about it. Rebel Wilson for instance always talks about her exercise routine and time she spends with her personal trainer, she also still admits her diet isn’t that healthy. As I said, women (and men) come in all shapes and sizes and some women are curvier than others – but curvy and obese, of course are very different. I do not think, based on model H that this must mean model I-Z do not exercise, but I do (maybe unfairly) that to be obese they must lead a fairly unhealthy lifestyle.

      “Perhaps model H is working with a personal trainer to get healthier and the ability to love ones self is the driving force? Would this not make model H worthy of being a role model?” This is exactly the type of person I PERSONALLY feel should be a role model. This is someone who could actively be encouraging other people to do the same, to actively look after their health and fitness.

      “I’ve never looked at a model and thought “hey this person is my role model” or “I want to be like this person”. I think viewing someone as a role model is subjective and its based on your personality, your perception, your environment and influences.” It’s not that I feel people would look up to the model and think, “oh hey, I wanna look just like here so i’m going to gain a load of weight” It’s more a case of people who are severely overweight using it as a comfort blanket.

      Sorry for the massively long reply back haha. I’m not trying to force my views on anyone, and I really hope it doesn’t come across like that, I really enjoyed reading your comment as I love to see things from a different perspective and this has shown that.

      • Reply Chrissy April 16, 2016 at 7:59 pm

        Thanks for the reply. Based on your response I do think the post is somewhat lacking and maybe one day you’ll revisit. I think it could be more solid, perhaps a suggestion as how we, as a society could rectify the issue?

        I do not think, based on model H that this must mean model I-Z do not exercise, but I do (maybe unfairly) that to be obese they must lead a fairly unhealthy lifestyle.

        I would absolutely agree this is an unfair judgement but this is again part of how society sets us up and the generalizations people make. We see what is in front of us but often don’t look past it. Someone could be overweight for any number of reasons even including economic status.

        What I think we would likely agree on is, we need to set up our society and especially in the US (as I am an american) such that people are informed and encouraged to live healthy and empowered to do so.

        It’s not that I feel people would look up to the model and think, “oh hey, I wanna look just like here so i’m going to gain a load of weight” It’s more a case of people who are severely overweight using it as a comfort blanket.

        Can you elaborate on this statement?

  • Reply Chrissy April 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Also you should look into getting disqus commenting on your site lol. It’s killing me that it isn’t formatting my response properly.

  • Reply Krista April 22, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Hi – Great post at first when I saw your blog article I was like OMG this girl is shaming plus size women, we don’t have to look like barbie dolls. Personally, I hope that we do see more “plus size” models but like you mentioned the size 12/14 women, because they are what the average woman or “mom” looks like today in society.

    However, I agree with you that we should all be taking steps to improve our health. I was once weighing in at over 200lbs wearing a size 20 and being 5′ tall. The life is depressing, even though those ‘obese models’ are smiling on the outside they probably secretly emotionally abuse themselves, and eating more is a by-product of that.

    I remember thinking “being obese must just be meant for me”. It was hard to make a lifestyle change, until I did do it. Today I’m at the highest ‘healthy-weight’ for my height. But, you know what that is okay with me because I have found balance of eating acceptable and working out many times per week.

    My goal is to now motivate obese people to make the lifestyle change.

    • Reply My Healthy Curves April 24, 2016 at 7:04 am

      HI,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad people are seeing the positives in this post. I also used to weigh around 200lbs and set up this blog in order to help motivate and encourage others in a similar position. Childhood obesity is a big thing for me and I feel people need better education on health and nutrition. I know myself, from being overweight it’s not a happy place. I’m still not in the healthy weight bracket, but I work hard each and every day to ensure I look after myself and my health.

      Breanne xxx

  • Reply Janet Colwell May 11, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Breanne. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you 100%. I think it is misguided to convey to kids that it is ok to be any size when there are real health problems associated with both under- and over-weight. The message should be to eat clean, simple, and healthy and stay active. There has also been a lot of talk lately about whether or not its possible for severely obese people to lose weight (I wrote a post relating to this after the Biggest Loser study came out http://janetcolwell.com/93-2/). Many say, no, that your body just reverts to a “normal” weight determined by genetics. But I disagree — concentrating on healthy, non processed foods and cutting back on refined sugar is the key. We need to talk to kids more about healthy lifestyles.

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