societal views on image

Tara - posted on 12/29/2010 ( 43 moms have responded )

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Would you say that as a person in society you notice people who are overweight more often than those who are underweight or thin?
Or neither?
Do you find that in general it is more acceptable to make comments or jokes etc. about fat people than about thin people?
Do you know anyone who would be considered to be the "perfect specimen" either male or female?
:)

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[deleted account]

"i also feel society considers fat jokes more funny than skinny jokes, i don't even think i've heard a skinny joke." Kati

Kati makes a really good point here. I dont' think I've ever heard a "skinny joke" either. I think when we see people who are way too skinny we think they are mentally ill, and and their condition is out of their hands and needs to be handled with professional therapy and such, but when we see people who are overweight we just jump to the conclusion that they are either happy with their weight and confident enough to endure the joke, or too lazy to do anything about it--like their condition is in their hands and they have the ability to deal with it without professional help? I'm not sure if I am expressing this well...I think that people think differently of someone who is too thin, as opposed to someone who is too big. We think negatively of both extremes, but we assume the thin person needs mental help, and the big person just needs to take control of their situation themselves. In reality, both situations could point to a need for mental help or for simply a more nutritious diet to gain weight, but society does not see the symptoms as equal?


Did that make any sense at all?? I'm sorry, I have a cold again....

Rosie - posted on 12/30/2010

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i notice people who are overweight more definitely. and i also feel society considers fat jokes more funny than skinny jokes, i don't even think i've heard a skinny joke.

i think jennifer lopez has a perfect body. i also think tyson beckford is pretty damn hot. i enjoy his body immensely. :)

Mrs. - posted on 12/29/2010

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I suppose it depends on your idea of perfectly flat. My stomach was seriously flat before the baby now it isn't. I don't kid myself and say, "That's all uterus." I know much of it is skin that has stretched and fat...full on fat.



I disagree that that's why so many women feel they are fat. I feel my stomach is fat because it has fat on it....or because my self esteem is low/anxiety is high and I'm using the obsession with fat to distract myself.

Back to the original post, I notice both extremes. I'm not big on fat jokes or skinny jokes but if something is funny and no one is getting hurt/no one else is present but two people who know each other well, I'll laugh.





Hmm, I have a hard time not taking personality and acting ability (or whatever it is they do) into the physical. For instance, I can see Halle Berry is pretty but her personality and acting ability make her unattractive to me. Personally, I think Mila Kunis is stunning and funny. I also think Scarlett Johannson is stunning but in another way...even though her singing sucks (and she was awful as Black Widow).

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Natasha - posted on 01/01/2011

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I have to admit, I don't really notice "weight" on people. I see lots of people as a cashier, and so they just tend to blend for me. I hate jokes about "fat people" and have heard a few about "skinny people". I have been on both sides of the weight issue. I was very skinny in high school, super active in sports, two jobs, four or five extra cirricular activites, and the every pressing need to stay the same size all through grade 12 to fit into the grad dress I bought a year early. After high school, I moved out of my parents house, to a city where I had access to fast food (we only had 3 resturants in my small town), no one pushing me to stay active and no pressure to fit into any outfits. I slowly started gaining weight, but was really only getting to a healthy weight. I still remember when my sister pointed out that I was gaining wieght, I just about lost it. I got a very physical job and lost all the weight I had put on, and was happy with myself again. Then I started a horribly bad relationship and started eating my problems away. I gained a lot of weight, left him and started to lose weight again.
After my husband and I started dating I stopped trying to actively lose weight, but was conscious of trying to maintain a healthy weight. Then I got pregnant with my son. Wow, He is 3 now, and I still have every single pound that I put on when I was pregnant. I have tried to lose the weight, however my hormones and thyroid are really out of whack. I am pregnant now, 6.5 months, and look like I am already full term. It's not enjoyable, and I can't wait until after this baby arrives so the drs can figure out what it is that I need to do to lose the weight.
Because I have seen this issue from both sides I have compassion for people on both sides. I know that when I hear people snickering and making fun of me, I want to slap them. I have been known to call people out for making fun of me, and mostly they turn tail and run.
As for a perfect specimen, I think Jennifer Aniston is absolutely stunning. And for a man, no one is seier than Jason Statham, yummy :)

Tiffany - posted on 12/30/2010

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I really can't say that thinner/larger sticks out to me. Maybe it's because I am overweight. My best friend is morbidly obese. To hear people snicker at her and make jokes disgusts me. No one has a right to belittle anyone, no matter if it's for race, religion, personal looks, etc. I guess I would tend to notice girls who dress skanky more then anything...it always makes me sad to see younger girls dress that way, thinking it's what they have to do to get boys attention. Perfect specimen for me....Joshua Jackson hands down (Love him lol) and for a woman, it would be Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanssen.

[deleted account]

My husband makes fun of me for thinking Johnny Depp is hot :P He looks like Bruce Wilis--He has strangers tell him so all the time...it is so weird to be out and have people just come up to us and say that! You'd think I'd be used to it after 9 years, but no--still surprises me :P Maybe that's why I picked Willis as my "perfect specimen" lol

Charlie - posted on 12/30/2010

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Christina Hendricks is HOT HOT HOT .

Being a big busted small waisted girl myself I don't feel it is a curse Julianne , these babies hold a lot of power and I for one have never been shy of using my "gifts" .

Johnny Depp and Alexander skarsgard are my two hot male specimens .

I don't really think size jokes are all that funny just lame and I don't think there is anything funny about an extremely sad situation such as an eating disorder , I only notice when people are extremely over or under weight .

[deleted account]

I avoid commenting on people being overweight in front of my kids, because I don't want my kids to worry about appearances. But we do talk a lot about being healthy and doing exercise to avoid being overweight, so I guess the kids still probably get the message that being fat is bad news. If my kids actually comment on another kids' weight, I try to make sure they are not doing it in a bitchy nasty way. I suppose I can't stop them commenting for eg that someone has put on a lot of weight lately.

Jenn - posted on 12/30/2010

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I really have to think about this one because I don't know. I guess maybe I would notice both equally if it was extreme - like someone who weighed 500lbs or someone who was anorexic and looked deathly. I don't think it's OK to make jokes either way. A friend of mine recently posted something on her FB talking about people from the 1950's (just happened to be the pics she had) and how they looked. Now people would look at those pics and think of those people as skinny/lanky/sickly - when really that is how we are "supposed" to look. I think due to the fact that the general population in NA is overweight, we tend to think of it as more "normal" and therefore see someone who is actually a healthy weight and think "eat a burger". Now, having said that - what do I find sexy? I like some meat on my bones ;) And I have been told by several black men that I have a black booty - yep - I am bootylicious! LOL!!!

Stifler's - posted on 12/30/2010

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I don't think it's acceptable to make comments about anyone's weight unless they are bitching about it and not doing anything and expecting me to care. I know a few people who would be considered my ideal body.

Jaime - posted on 12/30/2010

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I've thought a lot about this question because I struggle with my weight and always have. I am 5 foot 7 and 250lbs. I can still see my feet when I stand up, but I'm not naive in thinking that I'm 'average size' either. Astonishingly enough, regardless of what a person's physical appearance happens to be, it is often drastically different from their internal health and appearance. When I was in school, I was heavier than all of my friends, but I could run 10 minutes non stop on a treadmill and my 100lb friends could not. I don't necessarily believe now, today, that health is always relative to size, because some people carry their weight differently and might appear to be overweight, but in actuality be in their acceptable range. I really try not to judge a person's appearance, but I think in our society it is extremely common and more so habitual for us to subconsciously judge a person's appearance.



I know this isn't exactly answering the OP, but I don't necessarily worry too much about fat and thin jokes. It's always interesting to me when I talk about weight amongst a group of people and I admit that I am fat. I am usually met with a unanimous and resounding "you're not fat"....pffft, okay well then you're blind! lol I don't know anyone that is a perfect specimen because I can't think of a single person I know that doesn't indulge in some kind of junk food/drink daily. Our society is not equipped at this present time, to single out a perfect specimen, until we eliminate all of the shit that we know is not good for our bodies. A person might weigh a hundred pounds but have a diet of cigarettes and diet coke...or they could weigh 200lbs and have a pretty moderate diet, with an indulgence a few times per week...it's difficult to judge anything because 21st century, western society has a fast food mindset. Even in our grocery stores, the majority of products are boxed or packaged for our 'convenience'. Our convenience to open, heat and serve, but certainly not our convenience to then carry around that shit on our asses for the next twenty years!

[deleted account]

I don't notice overweight people any more than I notice thin people. I see people and that's it. We all bleed red.
It's not acceptable to make jokes or comments about someone else's weight at all. Unless you're sitting down with a loved one and expressing your concern over their weight (too much or not enough), then there is no reason to comment to anyone (especially a stranger) about their size.
The only perfect specimens I can think of are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I'd do either of them lol If I were single, that is.......lol

[deleted account]

I was picked on for my top heavy appearence, i got mine at 13, (i was only a d then) everyone stared because i was so tiny with huge breasts, they are heavy and annoying, they get in the way, and hurt my back.

Joanna - posted on 12/30/2010

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When I was 15 I was teased for looking like a boy, I was so flat. (then I got pregnant at 16 and went up to a huge-to-me B-cup). Grass is always greener I guess...

Krista - posted on 12/30/2010

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It is. I had bazongas even bigger than that. At age 17. You can imagine the kind of attention I got -- it was not particularly enjoyable. But yeah, Christina Hendricks is a stunnah!

Joanna - posted on 12/29/2010

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Very real! I love her curves... I have none myself, so im a bit jealous.

[deleted account]

lol Brad pulls of that look great, hes right lean like johnny depp, my only other bf was right built though, like bruce willis.... i can go either way.

[deleted account]

Julianne, Johnny Depp was my toss-up! He is my favorite actor and I actually typed him first & deleted it b/c I like men in real life built more like Willis. The thin, angular build suits Depp perfectly, and I love it, but in real life, I don't think as many men pull it off as well as the built look :P

[deleted account]

People of a certain size only stand out to me if it's at either extreme. Given that I live in a state that is always in the top 10 of Americas fattest states, overweight people just don't stand out that much, but a very underweight person might. I try not to pay too much attention eitherway because they probably feel uncomfortable enough as it is.

[deleted account]

I think it can go both ways as some people have mentioned... Obese and under weight people do get more negative attention than what society dubs as the "average" body type... Personally, I think its BS because half the people that are either over-weight or under-weight cant even help it. There are so many factors that come in to play with peoples weight issues. Many people struggle day to day to either lose weight or to gain weight but rarely see any progress.... I would never make a comment or joke about someones weight, because after all, you dont know that persons story. point blank.

[deleted account]

Everyone is perfect.

I love bruce willis, ohh he is so sexy

and johnny depp ♥

and brad, hes my perfect specimen....

[deleted account]

Oh, I forgot about the perfect specimen....I thought Audry Hepburn was absolutely beautiful. And I like Bruce Willis for the man. I like that build, strong but not overdone.

Sara - posted on 12/29/2010

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Honestly, I think ridiculing what our society considers fat people is the last socially acceptable prejudice in our society. You see it happening on many different levels in many different places. The truth of the matter is that fat people are treated differently, and it's acceptable to do so because they deserve it for being lazy and letting themselves go. Not that I feel this way, but I think that people do equate being fat with being lazy and that it's a position that people have put themselves in, so any way they are treated, they deserve it. I have noticed that people have no problem telling a fat person to their face that they're fat, but if a person's too thin, I'm not sure many people would say anything to them about it in a demeaning way. My niece is anorexic, and for a long time it was something that no one would say anything about directly to her, even though she was disturbingly thin. But my other niece, who is 400lbs, has had many people confront her (even some strangers) about her appearance.



Perfect specimen, in my book, is Joe Manganiello from True Blood. Mmmmm...wouldn't kick him outta bed for eating crackers unless he was better on the floor.

http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/popwrap/al...

[deleted account]

I have a flat stomach--the bottom does stick out further than the area just below my ribs, but it does not stick out as far as the front of my hip bones, so from the side, it looks pretty much flat--you see a dip just before the hips, then hip bones, but I am considered "underweight" at 5ft 3inches tall and 96pounds.

There are more obese people in my area than morbidly thin, so I notice them "more often" but in a group where the numbers were even, I think I would notice the thin ones more, simply because I am used to bigger people. In my area, more than 50% of the population is overweight, and nearly 25% are considered obese (I saw these stats in a local health mag and don't remember the exact %, but it stood out to me that they were more than half). I only tend to notice thin people if they are thinner than I am, which doesn't happen often here, but I do think I notice every time I see someone thinner than me, especially if she is close to my age or is a mother.

This is sad and I hate to admit it about myself, but I do seem to have more respect for thin people. Please don't bash me, I know it's wrong, and I would never, ever tell anyone that (in rl), but I just don't understand being overweight and being happy with it. It always makes me wonder why they don't want to loose the weight and the solution I usually come to is that they don't have the will power. I KNOW there are other reasons....I just cannot understand them....but then, I think I mentioned on another thread earlier today that I am anorexic and that could be a major factor in my inability to understand it.

I NEVER think it is okay to make jokes about weight. I don't laugh at them, and I usually give people making them a mean look. You never know the story behind someone's weight--even lots of people who look normal have had problems.

[deleted account]

thats why so many women feel themselves to be fat, and a woman who doesn't have this slight protrusion either doesn't have a womb, making her a man, or is underweight.

[deleted account]

rebecca, im being serious. even with abs a womans stomach is not perfectly flat unless she is underweight, her ovaries and womb make the bottom of her belly protrude slightly. if its perfectly flat, they are underweight.

Mrs. - posted on 12/29/2010

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Oh Julianne, you can't really mean that? A perfectly flat stomach can not be achieved on a woman without being underweight? It's simply not true and a blanket statement. What about women who genetically have flat stomachs? What about athletes and dancers? How do you measure "perfectly flat".

I respect you opinion but I hope it doesn't piss you off if I respectfully disagree with the statement.

[deleted account]

I find society doesn't really notice people who are underweight unless its extremely drastic. Slightly underweight people are not looked at as underweight because its socially acceptably to be that way.

Slightly overweight or obese people are ridiculed and get more stares than average people or people who are considered average but are really underweight.

Average weight people are sometimes lumped in with "heavier people" or feel themselves to be overweight.



I hear a lot of women that say, oh i got a gut or a chubby belly, not realizing that women have slightly protruding abdomens because our sex organs are on the inside, and the bottom of our stomachs are slightly thicker to protect our uterus. You know, for when we have a baby. A perfectly flat stomach can not be achieved in a woman without being underweight. Its simply not the way we are made.



Oh thats my opinion though. so obviously its wrong. pay no attention.

Krista - posted on 12/29/2010

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I would say that it's extreme body types who stick out most to me. So if someone is painfully thin to the point of emaciation, or if they're hugely, hugely obese, then yes, I cannot help but take note of that. I also notice people who have excellent, enviable figures.

I don't find it acceptable to make comments or jokes about either. I once got caught up in making fat jokes and got called out for it by a friend who was overweight. I felt like such an asshole, (and a hypocritical asshole at that, as I'm quite pudgy myself). I've made a vow since then to never comment about another person's body unless it's with either admiration or empathy.

The perfect specimen? Well, that's obviously in the eye of the beholder, as everybody has different tastes. Halle is definitely flawless, that's for sure. A more attainable (for me) perfect specimen would be Crystal Renn. I mean seriously, how is this not gorgeous?: http://cdn.thegloss.com/files/2010/06/cr...

For men, I'd say it's a toss-up between Ryan Reynolds, LL Cool J, and Hugh Jackman. Honestly, I can't choose, so I'd like them all. Gift-wrapped. And sans pants, please.

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010

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I would say that yes larger people will tend to stick out more to me than thinner people. My oldest has made comments about fat people before right in front of them and I've had to try to cover his ass and ended up failing!! I don't think that it's necessarily "wrong" to make fun of people overweight, some will join right in. If they are overweight because they don't do anything about their weight and just eat to eat and be heavier than they shouldn't get extra treatment because that's the way they want to live. There are so many health problems that go with being overweight. And I am going to agree with E about the black community women being beautiful because of their curves. I admire how proud they are and how they have no shame for being bigger and beautiful! More people need to be like that! Lol....but that's my opinion!

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 12/29/2010

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My perfect Specimen is Beyonce
and for the man it is LL cool J...Mmmmmm :-0)

Jenny - posted on 12/29/2010

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I would say yes I notice them more but that is because there is a larger population of obese people compared to those who are underweight. As a stranger I feel I have no right to say anything to either person and I don't joke about it either. With my friends, they are already aware of their weight so we would discuss it openly.



The perfect specimen is Halle Berry.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 12/29/2010

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My definition of a overweight person is someone who cannot tie there own shoe, walk from the front door to their car, fit in a booth at a restaurant…things like that.
I have seen women and men; who many others would consider FAT, but in the Black community they are gorgeous, Sexy our community sees curves as beautiful…but they do have to be in the right places, or what we consider in the right places..ect

I notice all body types…Im naturally perceptive and observant.
I think its wrong to joke about either….body type, but I see comedians joke more about fat/over weight people

Tara - posted on 12/29/2010

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my own answers,
I think as a member of society I do notice people who are grossly overweight rather than underweight. I have however noticed two people in my lifetime who I was worried would blow over in a strong wind.
I find that in general people have a much easier time accepting and therefore making light of people who are overweight, and it goes the other way as well, because so many people are overweight, it is considered acceptable fodder for comedians, rather than making jokes about people who are too thin, or underweight.
Not saying any of this is OK, just saying.

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