There’s been a larger conversation around what society considers to be a healthy human being. Over the years, media has conditioned us to believe that once you surpass a certain size or body frame, you’re clinically unhealthy. The truth is, there are so many factors that go into one’s body construction. For starters, a person’s genetic makeup can explain why their frame is bigger, or why they gain or lose weight at a different pace than someone else.
If we’re being candid, there’s never an uproar about someone who is dangerously slim. That person is met with two extremes; sympathy or admiration. One will sympathize with someone who is anorexic and implore them to get help, or they’ll praise their body because it fits into society’s beauty standards. Meanwhile, when someone is considered obese, they’re chastised and told to go on a diet. The truth is, you can’t judge a book by its cover because you can be big and healthy and you can be slim and unhealthy.
Mouthy Republican Candace Owens decided to share her views on Cosmopolitan’s latest cover, promoting good health and body positivity.
In a tweet she wrote:
“We must fight to protect the next generation of children who are being intentionally targeted and brainwashed with lies. Women can be men? Men can be women? And now—obesity is “healthy”? NO, it’s not. Clinical obesity is the main cause of the America’s #1 killer: heart disease.”
I will never deny that heart disease has been, and currently is killing people across the globe. It is a concern that every person should take seriously. That said, knowledge of clinical obesity and heart disease doesn’t give anyone the right to walk around body-shaming people without knowing their personal health history. The women on the magazine cover could be in the midst of a fitness journey, or they could be completely healthy with larger frames. Sadly she’s declared these women clinically obese without knowing anything about their internal health. We have to stop assuming that bigger women are unhealthy.
Good health practices can look differently on different bodies. Teyana Taylor is known for her phenomenal body. In an interview with The Cut, the singer admitted that she doesn’t have the most healthy diet in the world. “Wellness sounds like some healthy sh*t. I eat any and everything. A person who doesn’t know me would be like, [Valley Girl voice] “Oh my god, that’s so bad for you!” So I don’t know what wellness is and I ain’t getting in the middle of it,” she said. A combination of her genetics and love for dancing and movement gave her the flawless physique we see today, not her diet.
If there were one message I’d want body shamers like Candace Owens to know, it’s that good health is made up of many moving factors. Health is about balancing what we consume physically, emotionally, and mentally. All of this has the power to dictate how you look physically. We have to stop looking at people and judging them because their size surpasses our idea of what’s healthy.