I want to start off by saying that I believe that beauty is entirely subjective and that everyone is beautiful depending on their own self-perception and the perception of the individual looking at them. That said It has become apparent that in the crusade to combat insensitive attitudes towards obese people that the reality of what obesity remains to be has been lost.
On facebook a plus sized model posted a photo of herself in a bikini. She is indeed beautiful and this thread is not about whether or not obesity is beautiful it's about the medical consensus regarding obesity. Being obese is health hazard, it increases the likelihood of a great many life shortening illnesses and diseases. So when in the comments of that photo I see people celebrating her for being an icon and symbol for those like her and others it becomes a tad worrying. It sends a very serious message that in effect demeans the medical aspects of obesity.
Then in this article, one of many, there is a very strong shift in perception of fitness and health with men. In it, titled "Real Men", the author establishes a new stereotype. Comparing photos of men who are a tad chubby and not fit to athletic counterparts the article insists that the former is an example of real men and "reality" and that the latter are absurd ideals being pushed on men. Insisting that athletic male models are the equivalent of the negative female model stereotype of "anorexic beauty". The true absurdity being that for men, who are anatomically and biologically engineered for easier muscle gain, being athletic is not in any way impossible or unrealistic especially at a young age.
If 'Real Men' Posed In Underwear Ads
The change in perception is all very jarring and worrisome. There is nothing wrong with promoting beauty in all it's forms, but if the cost is to ignore health and fitness so that we can become complacent with average health and fitness practices or worse complacent with being obese then what message is being sent out to the public, especially children?