OK, I’ll admit it: I daydream about getting my big break. Catching the eye of some well-placed luminary and being given the chance to spread my message everywhere they’ll let me, across media, across boundaries, all over the world. But there’s a question I’ve been asked by a few readers and acquaintances that I’m certain would surface in daytime talk shows and on-the-spot interviews, and that question always clouds my daydreams.
So I want to address that question right here, right now, regardless of whether or not my big break ever comes. And here it is:
“You encourage women to love and accept themselves exactly as they are. But do you really believe that a 400-pound woman can be healthy? Or that a 90-pound woman can be healthy?”
And my answer is this: How on EARTH would I know what “healthy” means for anyone other than myself? I am not a doctor. I am not a health expert. I am not a personal trainer, an herbalist, a chiropractor, or anyone who is required to have intimate knowledge of the human body’s mysterious workings. I have taken three biology classes and one human physiology class in my entire life, have no experience doing field work in the health industry, and absolutely no knowledge or credentials that would give me any standing should I chose to voice my opinion about the good or poor health of another human being. And while some may argue that even doctors and health experts may be unable to effectively gauge true, holistic health – especially as it pertains to weight, body mass index, etc. – I think everyone can agree that those folks have more authority than I in such matters.
Furthermore, it is none of my goddamned business if a random 400-pound (or 150-pound, or 90-pound) woman is healthy or not. Just as it’s none of my business how much money she makes or how her sex life is going. Health is private. Period.
What I do believe – and what I feel perfectly qualified to proclaim from the rooftops – is that every woman at every weight, shape, and size deserves to be treated with respect, deserves to feel loved, deserves to make her own decisions about her own body. Every woman at every weight, shape, and size deserves to have a fabulous time exploring her personal style and honing her unique look. Every woman at every weight, shape, and size can define health for herself. And, above all, every woman at every weight, shape, and size deserves to be happy. Every woman at every weight, shape, and size CAN be happy. And anyone who claims that happiness is contingent on weight is foolish and misguided, prejudiced and small-minded.
I’m not interested in quantifying the health of other women. I’m not qualified to make decrees about the health of other women. But I’m making it my life’s work to make sure that other women are happy. Happy with their lives, their bodies, their very existences.
Because happiness is important, and we all deserve a piece of it. ALL of us. Including you.
Image courtesy mrjorgen.