One person cited said that she was happy to see this because the way clothing fits a smaller mannequin didn't accurately reflect how it would fit a plus-sized person. I can understand that as being a positive.
Others decried our society's movement toward greater acceptance of obesity as a new norm, as being overweight is associated with poor health and skyrocketing healthcare costs. I can understand this point of view as well.
Another stated that stigma toward obesity isn't the same as stigma toward race, gender, or sexual orientation. Presumably because of the commonly-held belief that being overweight is controllable and a result of poor choices.
Having worked with many obese people, I know it's a much more complex issue than simply blaming the person. However, I do agree that there is a significant degree of personal responsibility in the development and maintenance of obesity. My belief doesn't serve to blame a person for being overweight. Rather I strongly believe that by accepting personal responsibility we empower ourselves to change. We can blame the fast-food industry, our parents, the government, and the recurring cycle of fad-diets. But at the end of the day, where does that leave the person struggling with their weight?
|Resistance is Futile|
There's also a large educational component needed. When I worked with veterans enrolled in the VA's weight management program I was astounded by how many lacked basic understanding of reading food labels and portion sizes, and how many under-estimate their caloric intake and over-estimate their caloric burn from exercise.
Me (Describing the calories in a high-fat meal on a veteran's food diary): It looks like you took in about 1,200 calories at lunch on Monday.
Veteran: Really? That much? But I exercised to burn some of it off. I went for nice walk around the neighborhood.
Me: That's great! How far did you walk?
Veteran: I went around the block twice.
Me: Good. How many calories do you think you burned with that?
Veteran: Had to be at least 500 calories. I was really huffin and puffin.
Me: Well, we know that if you walk a mile someone your weight burns around 100 calories.
For some, education was enough. I'll never forget the veteran who drank a gallon of whole milk a day before he joined the program. Think about that. First off, he must have had a digestive system made of steel. Second, a gallon of whole milk is about 2300 calories. Times 7 is 16,000 calories. He cut this from his diet and proceeded to lose 15 lbs in the 8 weeks I worked with him.
So, should we embrace obese mannequins? Or is this evidence of complacency and acceptance of a complex and expensive condition?