What is Normal ?… Perceptions regarding Weight

One thing which people with slightly higher weight (compared to the weight majority of people perceive to be the right weight) have to face in their everyday lives , is the tag of “not being normal”.

People try to judge such people on certain benchmarks about appearance and instantly make judgments regarding why “they need to shed a couple of pounds” or why “they need to decrease their food intake”. When the fact is, the people who are slightly to the fulsome side of appearance, may actually be eating healthy and may be living a healthy life. Although, they may not be conforming to the standards of a section of people who think  — “if jaw bones are not visible a person is fat”.

In our day to day lives, we can find many people, who are more towards the fulsome side: but ooze an aura of positivity, happiness and likeability. Meeting these people, one gets the feel of this brilliance, energy and agility.

Hence society has its own pre conceived notions about “What it considers normal”.

But such societal perceptions about “What is Normal and what is abnormal” about body weight , don’t necessarily give the right clues to a person all the time.

Most of times it all becomes a race about matching up to what society considers standard. A blind race, which doesn’t have time for one simple question : “ where did the criteria come from in the first place?” or “Or who said only slim physique is Healthy?” or “Who says Body fat and body weight is always Bad?”

If we sit back , think over and research a bit some of these questions, we will find that many of these notions about ” Normal body weight and ideal body physique” simply emerge from societal pressure ( which many a times suppresses our inner belief about weight). We will also be surprised that ‘What is considered normal’ changes with time. What was considered normal 500 or 1000 years ago , may or may not be seen as normal now. The fulsome Calendar Goddesses painted by celebrated Indian painter Raja Ravi Varmaduring late 1800s and early 1900s, can be viewed as fat Indian womenby many Indians today.  Although many Indians will still call the body type as voluptuous. Thus ‘the question of being normal’ many a times has no other backing than the culture and the tradition. But Health must be guided by science , and to some extent tradition (only when it substantiates the scientific logic).

So before embracing other person’s idea regarding your weight and normality, give a thought to How do we define “normal”? and what you feel from inside. And what science says as healthy.

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