Fat, Blind or Infected (which would you prefer)?
Thankfully, this is not a real life choice that needs to be made. It is however one of several hypothetical questions posed to women recently by researchers at Arizona State University. But before I get into it…
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a male. A man. A guy. For better or worse I am a dude. While it is true I was a “fat” dude for much of my life and thus have some special insights into the inner plight of the overweight / fat person, one thing I have never been is female.
Sure, I have been teased for being fat. Sure I have felt the horrible embarrassment of having to buy 40” 501’s jeans when all my friends were in 28” & 30”s. (Especially since those damn 501’s put the measurements on the OUTSIDE of the jeans……. Assholes. But I digress…)
The point is I know what it is to be “fat”. But I do not know what it is to be a “fat” women. (I put fat in quotes because what is “fat” is a topic of much debate and not the point of this article.)
And we all know that women suffer from intense social pressure to look a certain way, and even someone like me, a one time “fat” dude, will never fully comprehend those pressures. But this dude is going to write this article anyway. So here we go.
The Question Is…
So the previously mentioned study at ASU asked women an interesting set questions.:
[Women] were asked to choose whether they would rather be obese or have one of 12 socially stigmatized conditions, such as alcoholism or herpes. In many cases, the women would rather have more of the other conditions, with 25.4 percent preferring severe depression and 14.5 percent preferring total blindness over obesity.
That’s right, 25% of women would rather be not only depressed, but SEVERLY depresses than be obese. That’s Sad. And over 14% would rather be blind. That’s insightful.
How many would choose herpes over obesity was not quoted in the abstract but even one would be too many.
This was a detailed study that looked at how obesity is spread socially (they looked to see if obesity was socially “contagious”, a topic for another article perhaps) but these questions are what really caught my eye.
Without a doubt there is a social stigma to being overweight, and certainly to being obese. And the stigma is certainly amplified for women.
If you are obese you are of course lazy, lack self control and are most likely not intelligent. Fat, lazy and stupid. Right?
(While obviously that is FAR from the truth, it does not change the fact that that is how many of us are perceived, or even how we perceive ourselves.)
And that is what society says behind doors, and behind backs. Oh yeah, and before anyone gets too high and mighty (which is generally my job) let ye without sin cast the first stone.
The problem as I see it is that we care. I mean we care what society says. And we care too much. So much so that we would rather be blind, depressed or infected with a non-curable STD than be fat. I mean really? Herpes?
Time to Honey Badger Up
It is time we took a lesson from the Honey Badger. According to the 2002 edition of the Guinness Book of Records Honey Badgers are the “most fearless animal in the world” . And one of it’s most admirable traits: It doesn’t give a shit.
That’s right. This badass mother doesn’t give a shit. Watch this video to get the full weight of that statement.
So here is what you can take from this: The honey badger might get stung, might get it’s food stolen hell it even gets bitten by a cobra. Does it head back to it’s hole in the ground and give up? HELL NO!
It gets up and eats that damn cobra for breakfast.
In the United States an estimated 11 million people suffer from eating disorders, 10 million of whom are women and 1 million are men. And whether you are a man or a woman it all starts (and ends) in the head.
That is one of the biggest obstacles we consistently overcome in working with our clients: Knocking down and completely destroying the mental barriers we all put in front of ourselves. We go Honey Badger at THE F.I.T.T. PIT!
Training and body transformation is more psychological than physiological. That is just a fact. I cannot “out train” a head that is not screwed on right. So Honey Badger up, playa!
I mean who’s opinion is really important to you? That should be a VERY short list.
Maybe even a list of one. (Who’s the one? Figure it out.)
Once you get your head on straight you will be unstoppable. Truly unstoppable.
Blind, fat, infected – it don’t make any difference to the Honey Badger. Honey Badger don’t give a shit.
And neither should you, you Honey Badger.