Body acceptance: Big is beautiful, too

There was a sad incident (in my opinion) in Quebec this week when some blogging citizen posted a petition on his site calling on the province’s health minister to lose weight. Yes, my dear international readers, you heard that correctly. The blogger justified it by saying a health minister should set an example. The health minister responded by calling it “bullying.” The incident got a lot of media attention in Quebec and nationally in Canada.

Personally, I was appalled by the petition, which garnered almost 10,000 signatures before the blogger turned it off. I can’t see how it is anybody’s business how much the health minister — or anyone else — weighs, and I think the petition was discriminatory, though the minister seemed to suggest that people can say things like that about politicians and anyone else in the public eye.  The only important thing for me is how well the minister does his job.

But the whole incident got me to thinking about body acceptance, and how we as nudists/naturists (many of the readers of my two blogs are nudists/naturists) don’t really notice size and shape of people all that much. And even if we do notice it, we keep our thoughts to ourselves. Nudism/naturism is about liberation from the textile world and the various hangups associated with body image. We accept everybody. True, I might have hangups about my own personal image, but I also recognize that we can each be our own worst critic — and that most people don’t give a damn how we look.

In truth, if I am thinking in terms of sexual activity, some big men turn me on big time. So do some big women. (I am bi.) As for the minister in question . . . smiles . . . (OK, OK, I’ll behave. I’m in a monogamous relationship!)

And in terms of partnership relationships, sizes and shapes are irrelevant.

But there is no doubt that there is a lot of prejudice against big people out there, and I find that very, very sad.

Because, to quote that old song, “everybody’s beautiful in their own way . . .”


— Jillian



8 thoughts on “Body acceptance: Big is beautiful, too

  1. Depends if he is supporting a health policy where extra wight is seen as unhealthy…

    I saw a christmas card from our first minister thanking the recipient for the weight loss book she sent him which had helped him loose two stone, UK is still in the stone age… 12.700586 kilo for those using fancy new metric and he was hoping to loose another two stone and is certainly looking much more healthy.


    1. Since the rest of us are aware that the “stone” is an imaginary unit of weight used in the UK to confuse other people, seems your first minister has only lost imaginary weight, which doesn’t actually improve his health status.

      Have checked around, lugging my scale outside. Some stones do indeed weigh 14 lbs (a.k.a. 6.36 Kg), but most did not.

      Last time I was in the UK (September 2013), I was amused that the scale in the gym at our hotel gave weight in pounds and stones. Store – uh, “shops” – give change in pounds and pence. I mean really, if you are going to keep to your traditions (which is not necessarily a bad thing), you should go back to pounds, shilling, pennies, and the obscure units in between.



      1. We miss our really useful and flexible old system of pounds shillings and pence and for good measure in my lifetime we also had half pence and farthings of which there were 960 to the pound.

        Our old pound was easily divisible into 2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10, 12 try doing that with new fangled decimals. It is easy to say that your child is three feet tall. four feet tall, five feet tall and six feet tall, and easy to remember, saying my child is nearly one or two metres tall does not give you many easy reference points… 1.655M has little poetry to it… Similarly with our strange stones which most still use in nice easy to remember steps.

        I have to admit that forty years ago it became illegal to sell cooking equipment with Fahrenheit scales which are still so popular in the USA, so much easier to remember zero for ice and a hundred for boiling point of water, that makes so much more sense…


    2. Hope this ends up in the right spot, as was supposed to be a reply to the reply to the reply…

      Agree with you about the charm of the older system. (On the other hand, being scientifically trained, have trouble taking it seriously.) Farthings were still legal currency my first visit to the UK, but I don’t think were actually being used. Incidentally, half-pennies were used in Canada & the US in the 1800’s (almost slipped and wrote “in the last century”). (Also, I don’t the pound was divisible by 9, although it was by the other “factors” you mentioned.)

      Canada is officially metric, but people use pounds/ounces and feet/inches for everyday measurements (such as their own body size), although stones, of course, only exist for building walls and stubbing your foot on. For longer distances, use a mix of miles and kilometres in their thinking. (Frankly, I find “kilometrage” to be a horrible-sounding word.)

      Everyone uses Celsius, which is the part I have the most trouble with. I understand your point about why it is logical, but in Fahrenheit (which also is a horrible-sounding word, like you’re sneezing) there is a certain gut-logic, in that “below freezing” is cold, whereas “below zero” is COLD.


      1. LOL. Tongue was partially in cheek and in my haste I did tap in a 9 were I should not have done but the old systems did have advantages. When I was at school our exercise books had all the current weights and measures printed on the back. Distances were measured in rods, perches, chains and furlongs! Weights went down to grains and coal was delivered in hundred weights by very tough blokes.

        I lost count of all the times the “standard” set of units changed through my years of education, certainly we had no sooner mastered feet and inches we were told to forget everything we had learned and change to centimetres and grams, did that only to be told that all final exams would need us to have everything in metres and kilo grammes, suddenly a handy density like water of 1 gram per cubic centimetre was heck only knows how many kilo grammes per cubic metre which is useless when you are thinking of baking a cake…

        No wonder Americans use cups though I wish I knew how many cubic centimetres were in a cup…


    3. Tongues best placed firmly in cheeks.

      This is the first time I’ve heard of “perches” as a measure, although I have some vague recollection of rods, chains, and furlongs being listed in the back of some book, but never used except in land surveying and horse racing.

      There are 250 cc (or ml) in a cup. However I get lost between Imperial (“English”) and American (“real”) measurements.


  2. Your health minister is not likely to turn anorexic or bulimic because of this incident, but there are many in our society, particularly teenage girls, that do get eating disorders because of the pressure from their peers and the media. I will include the medical science community and governments – as reported by the media – in the category of those contributing to this pressure.

    Governments’ only interest in having us all slim, fit and healthy is that it would reduce the medical budgets (which I suppose applies particularly in the UK where most medical provision is through the National Health Service – i.e. the tax bucket – rather than through private medical insurance) and improve their longevity statistics when being compared to other nations. (That is to say, reduce the spend and increase the swagger.)

    There are health risks to being overweight, as there are health risks to smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating foods with high salt, sugar or saturated fat content – so we are told. However we in the Western world have free choice, and the pressures of consumerism. We are bombarded at every turn with advertising for food and drink, and unsurprisingly we succumb and in the process become overweight.

    I have been overweight all of my life. Even when I used to go to the gym regularly, the muscle meant that my BMI still categorised me as overweight. Being overweight has led to me – along with about 5% of the world – developing type II diabetes, so there has definitely been a consequence to my chosen life-style. I don’t regret my choice.

    I got into naturism as a means of self-acceptance because of being overweight. I am convinced that it would be far healthier for society for us all to have first hand knowledge of the reality of the natural state of the wide range of human bodies – young and old, fat and thin, male and female – and to accept others as they are.


  3. There is a difference between accepting normal variations in weight, and being medically, unhealthily overweight. Haven’t actually checked is BMI, but I’m willing to bet he’s in the second category. He is setting a bad example.


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