Former Tory MP Edwina Currie caught flak when she said size 14 women are obese and heading for diabetes while looking at a picture of Ashley Graham on a paper. She said she does not know Graham, but she is sure that her size is unhealthy and gearing her to suffer from more health problems in the future.
Graham, the US lingerie model who has become the poster girl for body-acceptance and fat positivity movements was recently given the chance to be the cover girl of a swimsuit magazine, Sports Illustrated, to the elation of girls everywhere, especially those who believe in positive body image.
However, Currie told BBC Breakfast that this can be dangerous, as dangerous as putting size zero models in the covers. When told that Graham is inspiring many girls and serving as a role model for many women to accept themselves, Currie remained firm on her statement. "I don't think she looks incredible. I think she looks unhealthy. If you're that sort of size... you're doing your pancreas an awful lot of damage."
Those who heard what she said were so outraged that they took to their social media accounts to bash Currie. For one, people think she got Graham all wrong. Graham is a spokesperson for the Health at Every Size moment, which "supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control)."
Some people said size 14, Graham's size, is hardly obese.
Appears Size 14 is obese according to @Edwina_Currie it's one of the most popular sizes I make. Love the shape you are in. Masato x— Masato Jones (@masatostudio) February 28, 2016
A size 14 isn't obese you ridiculous woman Edwina Currie— Tiffeny Irene ♥ (@TiBrownx) February 28, 2016
Her comment however, brought out an age-old argument of whether fat acceptance is the same as glorifying obesity. Moreover, it raised the age-old question of whether fat acceptance can be dangerous as Currie alleged.
Seems like studies are saying otherwise though. Last year, a study found that fat acceptance actually lead to improved public health. on other hand, a focus on obesity and fat shaming can even increase overeating.
According to Nerd Fitness, fat acceptance and avoiding fat shaming are not the same as glorifying obesity. Fat acceptance or in general, body acceptance only mean avoiding negative connotations without glorifying unhealthy lifestyles. Statistics cannot be denied after all -- obese people are at-risk of many diseases. A fitness industry that does not shame men and women for their starting point, regardless of how big or thin they are can only be more effective.
There is a need to accept looks that are outside of a single idealized version. Everyone deserves a chance to be in a swimsuit and to be in a swimsuit magazine cover. "Just like it is irresponsible and cruel to shame others for being fat (because it hurts people), it is also irresponsible and cruel to promote a lifestyle which encourages or normalizes unhealthy behavior (because it hurts people)," the site concluded. This just means that a person's worth is hardly measured by their body size, weight, and shape, but everyone should strive to live a healthy lifestyle.
Becoming healthy should not be a stressful journey filled with hate and criticism. It should start from love - love from others and for yourself.