Raising awareness of weight stigma and fat shaming is central to our mission at MyWeightClinic.com. That’s why debuting star Megan Trainor and her late summer hit caught our attention.
Every summer there has to be a catchy pop tune to remember. All about that bass is a fun song that seems to aim for blasting through the weight stigma and cultural pressure to be thin.
At the clinics we work with, we are steadfast in our approach to weight loss. It’s not about appearance, it’s about health. So as you might imagine, a pop song and video that tells women in particular to be comfortable with “large booties” and dress sizes, gives us mixed feelings.
We applaud the message of taking body image out of the social acceptance equation. We all have different body shapes with varying levels of natural body fat composition. And that should be and is, okay. But in watching the video, it seems like it goes so far as to suggest that having high body fat is more desirable than low body fat, which makes the same mistake of promoting a preferred body type, which she is trying to combat in the first place.
“being fat is fun” is the wrong message
We think a positive intention of the video is to defeat weight stigma. But unfortunately it takes the focus off the health implications of body weight, essentially saying your body is your body and you should embrace it. It’s far more complex than that. While it’s absolutely true that nobody should be judged because of their body, it does not mean that everyone should embrace having excess weight as a healthy lifestyle.
Excess weight is one of the primary markers for metabolic dysfunction, aka diabetes, hyperglycemia, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Does that mean if you’re BMI is out of normal range that you are sick? Not necessarily. It’s estimated that 30% of people affected by excess body fat are metabolically healthy. However that’s one point in time. Check out this post on the underlying cause of obesity to see how high body fat can be a marker of insulin resistance, which can worsen over time, leading to a cascade of metabolic disease.
That also leaves 70% of those with high body fat who are currently at risk of serious disease, pain and suffering if they go on believing that “giving a man more booty to hold in the eye” is a good thing.
Be Healthy, For the Right Reasons
Losing weight is often a healthy decision, but it is not one that should be made to conform to society’s expectation or because you feel shamed for being affected by weight. This is a matter of your health, not your image.
If you’re healthy, but by societies norms your body is thicker than average, then you should embrace your body shape. But the question is how do you know if you’re healthy?
One initial step is to have a blood test (CMP). However just because it comes back normal doesn’t give you an official endorsement for your current lifestyle. Get educated on what a healthy diet consists of. If you’re diet is similar… then it’s reasonable to conclude that you are in good health with low risks of developing metabolic disorder.
However if you’re leaning heavily on foods known to lead to hormone imbalance, it might be that so far you’re body has handled it well, but how long will it continue to do so?
Our bodies were never meant to operate on the extreme levels of sugar and carbohydrates that have become common over the last 30 years. Gen Y’ers eat 30 to 40 times the amount of sugar that their great grand parents did.
When you’re healthy is the best time to make some subtle lifestyle changes. Learn more about what those changes should be by watching this free online workshop.
As for Megan Trainor’s song and video, while her heart is in the right place, it’s not the best message in the interest of public health.
The best thing we can do as a society, is continue educating ourselves and becoming aware that weight is a marker for underlying medical conditions that are not necessarily anyone’s fault (except maybe the industries and government that have misguided the public on healthy diet).