When you lose weight and people are all “you look so healthy!”. . . . Well. . . Makeup also makes people “look healthy”. But just because you spend time every morning applying concealer and evening out your skin tone does not mean your liver is doing a better job filtering your toxins, or that your arteries are flowing freely. People certainly aren’t scared to share pictures of their double chins or cellulite because the picture will prompt a spike in their blood sugar, or the failure of a kidney.
Ascetically pleasing does not automatically equal healthy. And how do you explain to people who suffer from actual medical conditions that “health” is the end all be all in this life? All of my stats have always been great, despite my “morbid obesity”. . But what if I was born with a heart condition or an autoimmune disease? Would my life suddenly have less value or purpose as a sick person? Or is it only okay to use shame as a method to promote health when it’s the persons ‘fault’ that they are sick?
Being told you’re sick, a slob, worthless, that your existence in your body is a world crisis puts a severe burden on people and their mental health. Are we really surprised that fat people who are constantly talked down to and continually told that they are sick and harming themselves - become sick?? You hear anything long enough and you start to believe it, become it.
“It’s not about how I look it’s about how I feel” . . . Yea - when you’re in a smaller body of COURSE you “feel” better. You don’t think any of that has to do with how you are treated as a more “attractive” human? We’re conditioned to believe that being fat is one of the most dreadful things you can be. Who wouldn’t feel better knowing they are less dreadful? Lack of energy is one the the most common symptoms of depression. When you’re treated better as a human, you feel better. And “feeling better” in a more socially acceptable shell is not rocket science.
As a photographer I value my sight on both an emotional and practical level. But I sometimes wonder what life would be like if we couldn’t see. How many things that take up our energy would fall to the way side? Our vanity goes well beyond our bodies. Spray chemicals and water the yard weekly so it looks proper. Buy a new car and send the old one to the dump because it’s beat to crap and looks like trash. Toss that perfectly functional sweater because it has a big stain, or frayed edges. In our pursuit of happiness our psyche and our earth take on the burdens of that which is not visually pleasing. Vision can bring us such great joy - but how much does it cost us?