Feminism, Musings, SAY WHAAA...!

How I Should Think About My Weight (If I Absolutely Must)


Ah, another day, another chance for you and I, as women, to talk, think, and downright obsess about how much physical space our bodies take up in this big, bad world. At least that’s how it’s felt like for me ever since I came back home from Montreal a year and a half ago and started to steadily gain more and more of a circumference spectrum than I’ve had since at least six years ago. See, for the better part of the last six years of my life I never found myself outside of the healthy-for-my-height (173 cm) range of 64 to 66 KG. At my lowest, I was a spry 63. Today, I am a 72. Not a huge amount by any means, still within a healthy range, and certainly not the heaviest I’ve ever been but still way more than I had become accustomed to for the last several years.

And even for my feminist-defined, thoroughly skeptical, shruggingly blasé self it’s been a struggle. I am a mere mortal after all, not Deepak Chopra. Bu I also think it’s been especially difficult because, in my line of work (the media/magazine industry), you can’t so much as blink without being bombarded with some form of conversation or imagery about the subject of weight. The gaining of weight; the losing of weight; who gained/lost what; how they look; how they did it; how you can too; GODDAMNED ETC. But you know what? Screw that. Here’s how I’m going to personally start thinking about the subject of my own weight from now on (if I do at all).

Try it out for yourself if the idea of owning your own body strikes you.

WEIGHT THOUGHT #1: This Is Some Grade-A Crap Right Here

Okay, coming from someone who is thoroughly embedded within the media bubble system, I’ve gotta tell you that, when the media around you starts pushing the idea of perfect people in your face YOU WOULD BE WISE TO BE EXTREMELY SKEPTICAL. Really, the only correct way to consume images of perfectly tailored human beings in media is with deep, delicious, instant doubt. Saying this is probably hurting my rep as a ‘media-person’ (wait, what?) but, hell, it’s the goddamned truth. It’s advertising, you guys. It’s supposed to make you want something. That fact ALONE makes the whole thing AS FISHY AS THE FREAKING ATLANTIC. So when you see those types of images in your various media outlets (so, basically, anywhere) you really should move forward very cautiously (or better yet: not at all). So, instead of letting yourself feel flawed or even mesmerized by the images that are directly and indirectly telling you to shrink yourself away, I suggest you start seeing it as a sad, slightly hilarious, icky, desperate cash grab. Because that’s what the hell it really is.

Kuwait, Musings, News

Congratulations, Kuwait: Not Only Are You Fat, You’re Also an Environmental Hazard

Okay, forget the world’s mass dependance on oil. Forget the insane levels of toxic, industrial waste we pump into the air. Forget the fact that the Arctic is pretty much melting at the speed of light now. Forget all that.

Because now that Kuwait is in the news (once, twice, thrice) for its damn near suicidal eating habits with very little signs of slowing that train down (Cheesecake Factory, what hath you wrought?), I’m thinking its time to try a different awareness approach.

That’s right: I’m going totally rogue and playing the environmental card.

Because, as it turns out, the real problem that the environment faces today is fat people. Yup, our ever expanding hindquarters are going to make a mess of this planet very soon if we don’t change things. How wonderful is that news? So on top of having your mother’s (your nutritionist/your annoying ‘healthy’ friend/your conscience) voice nagging in your ears to opt for the flavor-less ‘Guilt-Free Menu,’ you can now enjoy the added pleasure of knowing that you are actively destroying the Earth. Mmm! Appetizing!

And don’t think that just because you’re not a member of the morbidly obese that this doesn’t apply to you. Because it does. It applies to everyone–myself excluded included.

You see, the total weight of ALL of the world’s population comes up to something near a cool 316 MILLON TONS. Of this unfathomable number, about 17 million tons are due to people being overweight and about 3.9 million tons are due to obese people. Those are freaking tons, you guys. Quantified in MILLIONS. I don’t even know how I can begin to envision these numbers in real-time. Seriously, just trying is starting to give me heartburn.

Now, on a global scale, the average body weight clocks in at about 137 pounds (62 kg) which is an admittedly okay number for us to work with. But if we’re going to be looking at Kuwait specifically then we have issues.

Considering that 61% of all the world’s weight comes from Asia (not surprising since its the largest continent land-wise) and that 13% of the world’s obese weight is also Asian, Kuwait’s consistently high-ranking position on this list of fatty-fatness is nothing short of unbelievable. With nearly 70% of all men ranking among the overweight (according to CNN) in a country which is sizably smaller than most cities, Kuwait is easily winning the coveted position of numero uno as Asia’s fattest country. On a global scale, Kuwait’s obesity quota is perhaps only bested by Ronald McDonald’s homeland–America–which brings in an enormous 34% of the world’s obese weight.

So you’re probably wondering what all this guilt-tripping has to do with the environment. Well, as it turns out, when it comes to environmental sustainability “its not how many mouths there is to feed, its how much flesh there is on the planet.” Because the more you weigh, the more calories you end up using when you move around, and the more calories you use the more of the world’s natural energy resources get used up as well and so, by the transitive property, your weight directly influences things like the freaking ozone.

And on top of the fact that our larger bodies require us to use more natural energy, they also lead to our sedentary lifestyles IN WHICH EVERY HOUSEHOLD HAS LIKE A DOZEN CARS. Which–guess what–leads our weight to committing even more environmental crimes because, if you didn’t already know this, cars have a very big appetite for gas.

So kudos, guys–we’ve totally nailed the ‘two birds, one stone’ concept with this weight deal.

But, hey, don’t get me wrong here. This is not some holier-than-thou attempt to guilt-trip you all into joining a gym (although, you know, do that). Cause the fact of the matter is that, according to the experts, “actually, we’re all getting fatter.” Every last one of us.

I just think that if there is one thing we can ALL take out of this criticism–if “We’re all fat!” is even a criticism–its this: instead of mentally berating everyone who is above 62 kg and calling them a fatty-fat, Earth destroyer, we should all make a better effort towards understanding the larger consequences and the impact of our choices. From how we transport ourselves from Point A to Point B, to the choices we make while waiting in line at KFC (and, hey, that rhymed!). Because, without that deep-rooted, global awareness, we’re always going to find ourselves hovering in the ‘Top 10 List of Global Fatsos’ no matter how many gyms we join, or diets we go on, or stomachs we staple.

Or, you know, we could all just move to Japan instead.

All my love!