No, I didn’t forget the name of Susie Orbach’s book (and yes, of course I’ve read it) – the post title is in response to what seems like atorrent of media hectoring of fat women. Not men, just women.
Women are constantly judged on our looks and image. That isn’t exactly news. The statistics show that it is, in fact, men that are more likely to be overweight or obese. According to official figures;
“The rapid increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity has resulted in the proportion of adults in England with a healthy BMI (18.5-24.9) decreasing between 1993 and 2010 from 41.0% to 30.9% among men, and 49.5% to 40.4% among women. In England, currently 26.1% of adults (aged 16 years and over) are obese (HSE 2010).*
By 2050 the prevalence of obesity is predicted to affect 60% of adult men, 50% of adult women and 25% of children (Foresight 2007).”
So, whichever way you choose to interpret that data, and yes, I realise that it’s presented ever-so slightly backwards, men would appear to be fatter than women.
This fact seems to have been lost on whoever dreamed up the funniest (or saddest, depending on your point of view) Daily Mail headline EVER last week.
“Women are piling on the pounds because they have cut down on housework, study shows”
What a result! Fattism and misogyny all in one article.
So why is it that if more men are fat than women, it’s women taking all the flak for it? And come to that, if we’re all getting fatter because we’re not doing as much hoovering, how come men, who presumably did no housework because wifey did it while they were out being breadwinners, are now fatter too? They can’t be doing any less housework than they were, yet they are getting fatter at a greater rate than women.
It’s a stupid headline for a really stupid article, and I don’t think anyone would take it seriously. It does, however. illustrate the fact that women are castigated for being fat way more than men are. To a certain extent, being fat is seen as just one of those things for men. For women it’s seen as a dereliction of duty! How dare you let yourself go? Don’t you want to be attractive to men?
Of course, men are being targetted by the media too. I read today about a new US invention, the BRO-gurt. A yoghurt that’s meant to give the boys killer abs.
“Powerful is a fat-free, eight-ounce serving of Greek goodness chock full of calcium, live active bacteria, and extra protein to help men strengthen their muscles, stay slim, and maintain a healthy digestive tract. The website boasts photos of shirtless, sweaty men with bulging muscles lifting weights on almost every page. Flavors of Powerful — nicknamed ”brogurt” — include plain, mango, banana, strawberry, apple-cinnamon, and blueberry-acai.”
The difference is, most men would probably think that ‘Powerful’ is a complete load of nonsense and get straight back to their Ginsters. Or perhaps this:
We women have ‘crisps that love you back’.
Well nobody else is going to love a fat woman, are they? Sheesh…