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New language

June 15, 2009

Ampersand at Alas, a Blog writes (even if as a post-script) about the importance of new and non-normative language to describe body size. Terms like underweight and overweight connote a normal, which all good body positive people know is not a useful category.

I’m generally in favor of the term “healthy,” provided it’s used to label something that is actually healthy, in a meaningful, expansive sense. But how would we know what is a “healthy” weight? What even IS a “healthy” weight? How can we find a way to talk about what our bodies look like that respects the fact that all bodies deserve a descriptor that doesn’t diminish their worth?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. addtwo permalink
    June 15, 2009 5:10 PM

    I agree. I also believe the term ‘average’, like average size, average weight, shouldn’t be used to measure healthiness. The average is just the sum of everyone’s weight added together and divided so if everyone’s weight increases, than so does the average. I think it is a misconception for people. It is difficult to measure healthiness. All I can know for sure is to get cardio exercise and eat in moderation.

  2. Becky permalink
    June 21, 2009 2:59 AM

    My mom would always talk about women who were “real-sized” (meaning not super thin) especially in regards to women in the media. I think it was really healthy for me to hear when I was growing up, because it created no expectations about the way my body should look, and reinforced that the “ideal body type” was not necessarily the ideal body type for me. It does however, create this weird distinction that women with certain bodies aren’t actually “real”.

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