In light of a few past discussions about BMI and body fatness etc I’ve come to a realization that is just another indication of how our societal norms change the language to disguise the truth and try to make everyone feel exactly the same.
The issue is with the way we describe body size and the use of the word ‘weight’ and the thinking around it.
It’s not uncommon to refer to someone as ‘overweight’, even the individual themselves can easily recognize when they’re overweight and will often refer to themselves with this word.
It’s also not uncommon to refer to someone as underweight, or too light, too skinny etc.
So if the categories of overweight and underweight exist…what are they being compared to?
The ‘right’ weight?
The ‘correct’ weight?
If you think about it you’ll realize we don’t have a term that is associated with the word ‘weight’ to describe what ‘overweight’ and ‘underweight’ are being compared to?
If ‘normal’ weight or ‘average’ is in fact the correct technical terms we certainly don’t use them in the general discussions or pop culture (it might show up in clinical setting’s such as the BMI chart…and we all know how well that goes over)
Instead we tend to use other terms that don’t associate the word weight.
We use terms like “In shape”, “athletic”, “lean”, “toned”, “jacked”. Whatever.
But we never use a ‘weight’ associated word. When was the last time you heard someone say “she’s at her correct weight”
However it’s perfectly normal to say “she’s overweight”…BUT in order for someone to be ‘overweight’ that means by definition there has to be an ideal/normal/correct/right weight…otherwise how do you know you’re over it?!
“Overweight” cannot exist without “normal” weight to compare it to.
“Skinny” cannot exist without “normal” size/weight to compare it to.
I think this is another instance where you can’t point out what is good or ideal or right or correct because then it seems to suggest someone is ‘better’ than someone else. (when it could very well be that physically they are, you’re just forbidden by societal norms to say it)