May 27, 2007

"Tell people how much you weigh."

She tells: 224.

This is the "Fat Rant" video noted in the article linked in the previous post. I'd seen this before, but hadn't known about all the responses. I watched a few responses: they're not polished and funny like the original. But at least watch the original, especially if you're interested in the politics of fat in America or if you just want to be cheered up about your weight by the 224-pound Joy Nash.

The whole subject of the number itself is quite fascinating. There's a mystique about the 200 mark, and lately I've gotten the feeling that there are a lot of Americans who don't think a woman is particularly fat until she hits 200, and that there is a different group of people who think 125 is the point where fat begins.

There's substantial craziness about the number and yet something like a code of silence about the number. Nash thinks it would help to tell people what the number is. But I bet you're thinking, oh yeah, I'll say the number, in a month or so when I get through this diet -- you know, that diet that you'll either abandon or continue for the next year or so, at the end of which you either will or will not count as success that you stayed about at the number you really don't want to say now.

Hey, why didn't I say all that into my video camera and post it as a YouTube video response?


downtownlad said...

Women are fat once they are over 115, for someone who is 5'4.

Men are fat when they are over 150 for someone who is 5'10.

I thought that was common knowledge.

Zach said...

You know, in most cases the phrase "big boned" would be disinformation when talking about fat. But Ms. Nash honestly has a very large frame. In most of the video, the extent of the excess weight is not obvious (the exception is when she stands sideways in workout clothes). So there's a little tension in the video between the words and the image.

This issue came up with respect to the Fat Studies activists a few months ago. (I can't remember the name of the Fat Activist who slimmed down, but I thought I recalled Ms. Nash from that article) The word "fat" encompasses so much that you get rhetoric and arguments appropriate for the slightly overweight used by the grossly overweight.

"Diet" and "exercise" are likewise so vague that I wonder if I should really take Ms. Nash's word for it. She talks about what to do if you've tried a healthy diet and exercise but remain overweight, but are we so sure that she qualifies?

PatCA said...

"Fat Studies" activists?

I don't understand why this has anything to do with politics at all. At least Ms. Nash had the honesty to urge fat people to stop blaming us for the bumps in their lives.

Galvanized said...

A large woman who is refreshingly comfortable and even upbeat about her size. I love it.

I wish America were as concerned about one's health as size. Joy Nash appears to be active and fully participating in her life -- and that's physically more healthy than many "fit" people. She seems emotionally and mentally happy, and that IS health. There are some "fit" people who are not so fit and happy.

But the bottom line is about health, not appearance. I loved what she had to say and totally agree with it all.

Suzie Nolen Bennett said...


I'm a 5'11" female (when I stand up straight).

Even at 150, I look like I haven't had a donut since the Reagan administration.

David53 said...

At 30 I was 5'10" 135.

At 53 I was 5'9" 190.

I was too thin, now I'm too fat. You can't win.

Allura said...

212 at 5'3"

It took me a YEAR to get to that from 232. I've been larger. I don't remember when I've weighed less than 200. I don't know how much more I can lose, and I don't really care if my health continues to improve. Yes, I carry more than I should, but 115? Please. I'll never be that tiny. And I'd like to keep my boobs, thanks.

Eli Blake said...

230. 6'1"

And so what? Pass the jellied doughnuts please.

My favorite flavor is cholesterol.

Hardy outlived Laurel-- and he got to eat what he wanted too, that was part of his job.

You know what else? My wife weighs more than I do, and that's great!

Here are five good things about being overweight:

1. You can entertain four or five little kids at once, with a teeter-totter.

2. If you get mad and stomp around the house, people pay attention.

3. If you see a burglar in your home, you can trap him by throwing one of your shirts over him and konking him on the head with your size 13 wide loafer.

4. You can overfill a suitcase and get it closed anyway.

5. If you take your kids camping and they forget their sleeping bags, all you have to do is pull out an extra pair of your pants and give them each a leg.

6. (desert climates): If you step on a scorpion, you'll know for sure that it's dead instead of just think so.

7. (for couples): If you ever want to scuttle an old rowboat, all you have to do is climb in.

8. If your horse refuses to draw your cart at the hayride, all you have to do is ride him for awhile, and he will draw the cart.

9. If you weigh enough, the scale will cycle all the way around and tell you that you weigh 17 pounds.

10. If you are driving on ice, you get that little extra traction (it could be just the difference you need).

11. If someone picks a fight with you, don't worry if they knock you down. Just fall on them.

12. If you are out with your kids and see something you don't want them to look at, you can block the view for all of them at the same time.

13. People store fat for their body to use in emergencies. And you'll be well prepared just in case you get stuck in a snowdrift all winter.

14. You can fit more aluminum cans into a small bag.

-- And --

15. If you do die, you can still get revenge on your friends who outlived you. Designate them as pallbearers, and make sure they have to carry the coffin a long way.

Eli Blake said...

And oh, yeah (for women only):

16. If you sit on your boyfriend's lap, then you get to decide when to call it a night.

Eli Blake said...

OK. 5 = 16. Let's go for 25 advantages of being overweight.

17. You can intimidate your opponents when playing musical chairs.

18. People are less likely to play practical jokes that involve moving your bed while you are in it.

19. At the pool, you can jump off the diving board and splash people who thought they were a safe distance away.

20. If you get arrested in connection with a nonviolent act of civil disobedience, it will take three or four officers to carry you away, instead of two (WARNING: This one could backfire, if two officers try to do it by each grabbing a leg and dragging you along while your head bounces along the pavement.)

21. If your girlfriend needs to reach a high shelf and can't find a ladder, all you have to do is lay down and let her climb up on your belly.

22. If you get an Isuzu sub-compact, you can tear out all the upholstery and put in a single love seat, and get lots of weird looks when you drive taking up the whole car.

23. If the gymnastics team can't find a pommel horse to vault over, you can substitute just by bending over.

24. If you join a marching band, you won't have to work as hard-- the Souzaphone will just naturally fit right into the groove on top of your love handles.

25. If you ever find yourself on a tightrope (hey, are you absolutely SURE that will never happen?) then just think how much shorter a distance you will fall than all those light people will.

William said...

I just spent a week in Norway. Nobody is fat. At most chunkey (and that was only about five people). Blond hair, blue eyes. But with a few exceptions, they weren't "pretty" in my American eyes. Strikingly and uniformly thin, but not pretty.

woland said...

5'5 and 120

So I'm probably not "fat" even by downtownlad's absurd (and I hope facetious) standard. But I've weighed 50 pounds more (because of an illness, which I say not to defend the fat but to explain that I lost it mostly because my body's natural size is its current one.) And I love everything about Joy Nash.

-She doesn't boost her own body size by slagging others (and no, I'm not going to whine about people making stick comments because I've been both fat and thin and I know which group is privileged) - but the point is that different sizes can be attractive and no one of any size should have the content of their character judged by the size of their body.

-She doesn't suggest that healthy eating and exercise are an antifeminist/anti-fat plot. They feel good and make you healthy - no matter what size you are! (which is why it *really* annoyed me when I was bigger and couldn't find workout/hiking clothes. Clothing manufacturers - you think fat people don't go camping? running?)Oh, and even if someone, of any size, doesn't eat right or exercise - yeah, they "should", but it's not a moral choice. I'm a workaholic lawyer who doesn't always make it to the gym and lives on takeout, and anyone who thought it was ok to comment me when I buy the occasional donut would get an earful. Too many women think they're the ones with problem when some rude person says something.

-she clearly likes her life and isn't about to put it on hold waiting for a magic number on the scale. awesome!

Obesity is associated with health problems, but overweight people who eat properly and exercise can be healthier than think people who smoke and eat junk. And none of the public health problems go away because we punish fat people with nasty comments, job discrimination, and ugly clothes.

Synova said...

Don't know if anyone is scrolling down to this one anymore, but yeah, this lady is great.

And I can soooo identify with the friend who is thinner but goes on about how terrible if she gained a pound or two. I had a roommate who was two inches taller and (at the time) 10 pounds lighter. Since I was only 120ish pounds at the time, she was thin, and built thin, but complaining about needing to lose weight. So I join in, "Yeah, I could lose a bit, too." and it's all, "OH NO!!! You're just *perfect*."

Uh huh.

I'm pretty sure she had the "two thin parents" and is still thin.

What makes me the angriest is that I have always felt fat, but honestly have only *been* fat since my last baby... 10 years ago. I was never thin, but I always felt like a cow.

When I was in highschool the definition of "fat" was "thighs touch when knees are pressed together." Does that even make sense?

Now my daughter who is *not* fat at all has grown out of my old BDU size extra small, extra short, pants that I gave her when she was 12. I FELT FAT. I knew without a doubt that I was fat. I could wear those!

It makes me angry.

I actually feel less fat than I have for most of my life because I've finally gotten smart enough, and angry enough, to refuse anymore. Even though I know that I am "fat" I know that compared to huge, I'm not even close.

It might not be 200 pounds but 170 (and that's after losing 5) at 5' 1" is, yes, a little bit fat.

But my husband told me this morning that according to the "charts" that at 6' and 210 pounds, he's fat. So I have to conclude that it's meaningless anyway. He's built wide so maybe someone else would be fat at 210 but he doesn't even have "love handles" or a belly.

And the "charts" say he's overweight.

Kevin L. said...

Stats: 46, White, Male, 5' 10", B/P 120/66; last HDL/LDL/triglycerides check A-OK. (HDL {good} was off the wall!)

Lost over 100lbs in 3 months over a year ago - exercise 2x/wk & high protein (virtually no carbs).

Now, I can run 3 miles non-stop (10 minute mile), do 100 jumping jacks & 40 deep knee bends, & lift weights, & climb 8 flights of stairs non-stop & briskly.

I weigh 240 fully clothed. I've re-gained some pounds (beer will do it every time!), but I was on a 30-day holiday.

My goal/objective is 190-200 pounds (rounded, 15-20% under my present.)

I've always been a man of large stature. My belly has some roundness, but I am BIG. Neck is 18.5 inches, chest is 50 inches, waist 40-42 inches.

Weight lifters guide 85% of chest girth = "ideal" waist size (ref: Brawn; by S. McRobert quoting J. McCallum)

I'm a Registered Nurse & Certified Volunteer Firefighter.

Amorevita said...

I've been chasing the numbers all my life. I use to be a body builder 5'3" female at 150 lbs my waist was 23", size 6 my body fat 11%, but when I went to the doctors I was told I weigh too much. After 3 kids I've gained 50lbs I have not lost an ounce of muscle (I carried a washing machine up 13 stairs myself without a dolly, I'm naturally very strong) I know I've gained fat since my body building days, at 204 lbs I'm now a size 13-14 and am told that I'm obese (by doctors and according to the wii). I wish I didn't care about the number but I believe it's imbedded in our brains to. I by huge cloths because I don't feel comfortable in my skin, I wish I did. I'm misserable when I'm dieting (with not much results, so why bother), and I'm misserable being fat. I wish I had her confidence.

I see doctors doing it to my 11 yr old son now. He doesn't have an ounce of fat on him but he's very muscular like his mommy. His doctor told him not to put on anymore weight (he has a six pack, naturally, he does not lift weights). But I see him being treated like he's fat. If you saw him you'd think the doctor was nuts, my son is skinny and she's telling him not to gain any more weight.

I hate how everyone is supposed to fit one size chart without considering everything about that person, not just height and weight (I think I'm supposed to weigh 115 lbs, my skeletal structure weighs more than that).