JK Rowling on skinny birds

There’s something rather tedious about JK Rowling jumping on the eating disorder bandwagon. Skinny birds are so easy to pick on. It’s true that if you spend any time in an office where slim twenty-somethings obsess about their diets, it does kind of do your head in. But it’s also true that people seem to think they can throw any level of insult at slim people… something you can’t do to poor old fatties.

With 36 per cent of girls obese or overweight and a quarter with clogged arteries, Rowling and her ilk send out very mixed messages at best. At worst they endorse the lifestyles responsible for one of the greatest healthcare challenges we face.

It may well be normal to be fat, in the sense that it’s hard to write off a third of the population as abnormal, but normality isn’t necessarily something to be proud of. Obesity is debilitating and fat people die young.

Rowling’s right that some people suffer for their desire to be thin. But associating thin girls with being ‘empty-headed, self-obsessed’ and fat girls with being ‘independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny’ is little more than body fascism.

4 thoughts on “JK Rowling on skinny birds

  1. actually this is a very interesting backwards take on the argument.
    And i agree.
    Being ‘thinist’ or ‘fatist’ (as in sexist) is wrong regardless.
    Often people cant help being thin or fat. Ie me with polycystic ovarian disease being fat when docs wouldnt give me the right meds.
    People need more tolerance and acceptance.

    Aint going to happen though. That would mean people would have to be caring!

  2. That’s crap.

    Being slightly underweight is actually worse for your health than being slightly overweight.

    General fitness and activity level is a much better predictor of health risks. But that’s much harder to judge in seconds from a distance.

  3. People frequently criticize me for being skinny and I’m a completely healthy body weight. They comment when I eat junk or comment when I healthy food so I can win. People even say `You don’t need to eat healthy food, you’re not fat.’

    It frustrates me so much to hear a respected author making these comments. Its says that it’s okay to insult people because they are different. To even say that people CAN’T be naturally skinny is appallingly insulting. We frequently hear people talking about how much they like curvy figures but no one even seems to care how much these comments hurt people who aren’t naturally curvy. I often wonder if I told people that they need to stop eating so much because they’re overweight if they would like it. I don’t think they would but its acceptable for others to tell me I need to eat more. Its unbelievable how much people focus on what I eat. My family know that I eat normal but other people can’t seem to grasp that I eat the same level as food in a day as them. Please tell me why the world has gone mad over the issue of weight? We should be promoting healthy eating and healthy body image. It’s the body image that plays a large part in both eating disorders and depression. I studied psychology for 2 years and we learned that Anorexics/bumilics see themselves as fat when they look in the mirror so insulting role models for being too thin is NOT going to get through to them. Its a mental health issue that cannot be remedied by people telling them to gain weight because they do not believe they are thin, but that they are ugly or defective. It’s linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, stress and problems within the brain chemistry. It is actually more to do with the compulsions being used to control stress than actual vanity.

    The only comments that these people actually hurt are people who are naturally thin being that they are the only one’s capable of perceiving themself of thin. I note that people rarely focus on Muscle_dysmorphia which is as serioUs a disorder but is attributed to men who perceive themselves as `puny’ when they are actually not. Where are all the headlines for this disorder? Why are men never accused of having this? The media need to take responsibility for the wording they use in relation to body image. Accusing people of being anorexic or unhealthy does not send a good message out on the whole.

  4. P.S I don’t agree with calling anyone fat or thin. Both these insults can produce low self esteem and generally just hurt people who consider themselves too fat or thin. And I totally agree with both the comments above. There are better predictors of health and people really need to give each other a break and be a little more caring towards each other. Sorry I’m making long comments, I’ve just had to deal with people insulting me for years about it so I get a little `ranty’ on the issue.

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