Categories
Media Uncategorized

Being comfortable is one thing. But, obesity is always unhealthy

Screenshot of Cosmopolitan UK magazine (October 2018) featuring Tess Holliday
Cosmopolitan UK causes controversy by featuring ‘plus – size’ model, Tess Holliday.

 

Cosmopolitan UK caused outrage when they featured plus – size model, Tess Holliday. It sparked condemnation both within and outside the UK, with journalist, Pierce Morgan and Herald Sun’s Rita Panahi using social media to criticise the women’s magazine.

According to The Sun, the model is 5 ft 5 (165.1 cm) and 20 stone and 6 pounds (approximately 131.8 kg). This makes Holliday clinically obese.

That is not healthy, no matter how you sugar coat it (no pun intended).

It’s no secret that being overweight affects a person’s health. It can cause heart disease, put a person at higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes and increases a person’s risk of other diseases.

In women in particular, being overweight or obese can impact fertility. Being overweight can cause Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which can throw the menstrual cycle out of whack. Some damage can be reversed by losing even a small amount of weight.

 

Over the years, there has been an understandable backlash against media and modeling industries for creating unhealthy ideals and expectations put on the public and models. In 2015, Vogue US reported that former model Charli Howard used Facebook to compose an open letter attacking her former agency for unrealistic expectations on both male and female models.

 

Things are also changing at the top level. Some governments in Europe have legislated standards that the modelling and media industries have to abide by. Last year in France, a law was introduced for modelling agencies to require potential models provide a  medical certificate proving that they are healthy, including at a healthy weight using the Body Mass Index (BMI). Magazines are also required to notify the readers when a photo has been altered. Similar legislation has been introduced in Spain and Italy (minus the BMI requirements).

Some models and modelling agencies are making positive moves and starting to promote body diversity. According to National Eating Disorders Foundation, models and fashion shows, such as New York Fashion Week are starting to encourage agencies promote health and diversity in their models.

More models have also hit back at agencies and events that demand unhealthy ideals. Arna Yr Jonsdottir, who was crowned Miss Iceland, openly condemned the pageant on social media after she was told to lose weight in order to make it in the competition. She refuted the requests by claiming in English that her body was already ‘perfect’.

 

So, is there even any need for ‘body positivity’ anymore? Even though a lot has happened, I’d still say ‘yes’. There’ll probably always will be. But people turning a blind eye to the health detriments of being overweight or obese is not the way to go. Only promoting physical health, mental health, and self – love will do that. That includes getting real about one’s weight and the health problems that are heightened because of it will do that.

If you have any concerns about you or your loved ones in regard to eating disorders, you can contact Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673 for referrals and brief counselling sessions. 

For those from overseas, you know what you can do. Drop any links or contact information about eating disorder or counselling services in your country/ area.

Categories
Uncategorized

Reflections on this year and visions for the next

Sorry for the sporadic posts. Been busy lately.

2017 is quickly coming to a close. Christmas is just around the corner.

I love the Christmas/ New Year period (although, I’m starting to think maybe New Year’s is a wee little bit overrated, more on that another time).

This year has seen a lot happening both nationally and personally. This year has seen me grow as an individual. It has seen me develop skills, both personal and professional. I’ve loved the course I’ve been doing; Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing. My main aim next year is to get it done!

This year has also been tumultuous. I still can’t believe how hard the same – sex marriage debate hit me, even after the result was announced. It’s been emotionally draining. It brought back feelings that I though I had left behind years ago: sadness, feeling of not being good enough and the paranoia (not clinical), that people won’t accept me for who I am. I think it’ll take time to heal. That’s going to be another of my goals next year; to get to a space where I’m happy and not worry so much.

I also need to learn not to worry about timelines so much. Things will happen as they are mean to, when they are meant to. I’ve been so worried about getting things done before the age of thirty.

 

I’ve just got myself a journal. My aim is to write (hopefully) daily affirmations. Hopefully this will change my mindset. Maybe 2018 could be a year for a real overall health kick. Sounds good, eh? Let’s see how it goes, how many temptations I have and how many I give in to (fried food, etc)!

But seriously, this year, while good, has also frankly shown me how fragile health —especially mental health — can be. We all have emotional limits to how much we can cope with. I think there should have been more times when I switched off, especially from social and mainstream media. At least I know now.

Word Swag display: Daily affirmations

 

Now, here’s to the upcoming Christmas, enjoying the rest of this year. Then bring on 2018!!!

 

What are your goals/ plans for 2018?

 

Categories
Gender/ sexuality LGBTQ rights

Anti – discrimination exemptions: a slippery slope?

The issue of anti – discrimination is heating up in the same – sex marriage debate here in Australia. This week, Andrew Bolt interviewed owner of Arlene’s Flowers, Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who was sued for not making flower arrangemwnts for a same – sex wedding. From what I heard of the case, the case turned pretty callous, with Stutzman receiving death threats. That is horribly wrong. It’s disgusting and whoever sent threats to her should have the law book thrown at them.

Former florist Baronelle Stutzman war s Australia that they face similar issues if same – sex marriage gets up here

I was sympathetic to cases like Stutzman. It was one of the reasons why I opposed same – sex marriage for a while.

However, what I worry about — and what Stutzman nor Bolt discussed, is what has happened since then, especially since Trump took office.

This has gone beyond caterers and florists. Last year, Tennessee Governor, Bill Haslain, signed a bill that allowed mental health workers to discriminate against LGBTQ+ clients for religious reasons.

A year earlier, a pediatrician in Michigan refused to treat a baby girl because she was being raised by a married lesbian couple.  Luckily another pediatrician was available.

Then, there was the whole “Bathroom Bill” debacle in North Carolina, which prohibited trans people to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity. Former ADF officer, Cate McGregor put it quite bluntly on ABC’s The Drum, saying that it was putting trans people at risk of violence.

 

If the issue on same – sex marriage exemptions stayed solely on that, I would be fine with it. i’ve read that even some LGBTQ+ people have rallied behind Stutzman. But what I’ve noted above concerns me.

There’s another issue, too; what if cases like the pediatrician happens in a rural area? Rural areas are always crying out for more GPs, nurses, etc, but they’re not always easy to come by. So what’s an LGBTQ+ person to do if the only doctor they have access to wants to discriminate against them because of who they are? What if an LGBTQ+ person needs mental health assistance and the only psychologist/ counsellor available doesn’t want to treat them because lf ‘conscience objection’?

This has gone beyond cakes and flowers and marriage. This is about whether LGBTQ+ people should be able to access services that they need.

I think there is a possibility that ‘religious’ or ‘conscientious objections’ loopholes in anti – discrimination laws (beyond religious leaders and celebrants) can be widened, widened and widened to the point where LGBTQ+ people, especially in rural areas, are denied essential services, leaving them vulnerable to poor health outcomes.

While I sympathise to a degree toward those who feel targeted, a part of me wants to tell objectors to suck it up. If you own a business, you serve the public. That includes LGBTQ+ couples. And LGBTQ+ people should NOT be refused essential services!

What to you think of the Baronelle Stutzman case? Do you think businesses should be able to refuse services to people, including for certain events (weddibg of a same – sex couple)? What do you think about health workers discriminating against LGBTQ+ people and their families? Should that be allowed?

Let me know what you think in the comments. Sorry for the amount of questions. Just so much I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on. You don’t have to answer all the questions.  Just please let mw know what you think.