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August 4, 2011 4:58 PM   Subscribe

my body gallery - photographs of women, searchable by height, weight, clothing size, and body type (via youlookfab)

Reminiscent of the Cockeyed Photographic Height/Weight Chart.
posted by flex (104 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm not sure if I should be excited, or ashamed for being excited.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:10 PM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Neat.

I often refer amateur writers to the photographic height/weight chart to demonstrate either that (a) the stated height and weight of their character is a little ridiculous, or (b) knowing their character's exact height and weight is just a distraction, as it doesn't actually tell you all that much about their appearance. (I think this is often a problem with writers who come from anime or gaming fandoms, where ridiculous body statistics are often printed in character bios.)

So apart from this website's real purpose, which is apparently to give us a more realistic image of what women actually look like, it's not a bad resource either.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 5:24 PM on August 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Eh, it's a nice idea, but the execution is fairly weak- it's too limited a layout, in my opinion.

I think the cockeyed chart ends up being more useful- not only because it covers both genders, but because it lets you realize, as Kutsuwamushi observes, that height/weight can be misleading and poorly understood in terms of an overall "look". But a lot of that might just be the grid format being simpler yet more directly meaningful; being able to look immediately left/right and up/down to see how say the same height but +/-20 pounds affects the shape of the body, etc is useful. I don't see how searching for say "pant size" is that useful to anyone- unless the idea is to show what a size NN pant wearing body looks like at various shapes and heights/weights- but even then, the results aren't really sorted by height & weight, and you can't cover a range in the drop down menus.

Maybe what would be cool is an HTML5 snazzy 3-d grid layout: the x and y would be cockeyed-style for height and weight, with the z-axis being the 4 "body types" the have as check boxes. Add in min/max limits to filter and you got a really nice layout, and can hover to get the details of the person (the cockeyed site also has little blurbs by the picture submitters which is nice too).
posted by hincandenza at 5:37 PM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't most people see many real women every day?
posted by planet at 6:05 PM on August 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Most people look at many real women every day, but I dunno about "see"
posted by LogicalDash at 6:23 PM on August 4, 2011 [22 favorites]


Yes, but the women you see every day aren't indexed.
posted by baf at 6:26 PM on August 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


Kutsuwamushi thats always driven me crazy!!!!

in Anne Rice's The Witching Hour (my fav or hers) Rown is 5'7", 115# and has big boobs. oh yeah thats possible!!!!

i'm 5'9", 160# with medium boobs and an "average" figure that is deemed 'height weight proportional'.

wevs!
posted by supermedusa at 6:37 PM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


people see 'real women' every day but without knowing their stats.

'hai this is 5'9" 160# my pic on the height/weight chart is a guy...'

I was 5'7" 115# when I started h.s as an incredibly skinny, flat-chested, barely-menstruating child....
posted by supermedusa at 6:40 PM on August 4, 2011


Yes, but what are their cholesterol levels? That's how I judge women.
posted by punkfloyd at 6:42 PM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


IQ
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 PM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Musical tastes
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 PM on August 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Swordsmanship
posted by jonmc at 6:50 PM on August 4, 2011 [35 favorites]


Thanks so much for this.
posted by nickyskye at 6:59 PM on August 4, 2011


This is pretty cool. They are the same height and weight as me, but they still aren't shaped like me.
I agree that the utility of sites like this is for people (especially young girls who beat themselves up and young guys who live in a fantasy world) who get hung up on "stats" and what a for-profit company decrees as their ideal weight. It's rare to get an honest, factual information about what real people look like at different combinations of height and weight.
posted by bleep at 7:02 PM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


YES! I finally have a match!

It's hard out here for a 5'6", 140 lb banana. Maybe 'cause nobody wants to admit to being a banana.
posted by pecanpies at 7:03 PM on August 4, 2011


Also, it's useful to get an idea of what people look like in clothes that aren't being modeled by a size 0. Shopping for clothes online when you're not shaped like a model is sometimes hard. Especially when it's a size 0 wearing a size 16 because we wouldn't dream of hiring a size 16 to model it.
posted by bleep at 7:05 PM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


in Anne Rice's The Witching Hour (my fav or hers) Rown is 5'7", 115# and has big boobs. oh yeah thats possible!!!!

Well, no offense, but I know someone with this weight, height, and boobs.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:05 PM on August 4, 2011


I had heard of Hourglass and Pear shapes, but not Banana or Apple. Here is Wikipedia on the subject: Female body shape and Chart.
posted by mlis at 7:09 PM on August 4, 2011


This is neat but looking at some of the pictures, I'm certain that some submissions are not 100% honest.

in Anne Rice's The Witching Hour (my fav or hers) Rown is 5'7", 115# and has big boobs. oh yeah thats possible!!!!

While it may not be common, it is possible. At my thinnest, I weighed less than that (at 5'5") with huge boobs. People always thought they were fake, because it just couldn't be possible, could it!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:10 PM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I liked looking at the women's bodies.
posted by Trurl at 7:21 PM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the body-shape chart, mils. Their C-shaped banana graphic wasn't helping illuminate anything. I was trying to figure out how there could be a standard body-type that involved being always bent over to one side.
posted by colfax at 7:21 PM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


That provided me with a fun exercise in recognizing my body dysmorphia. I went to my height, pulled up all the pictures, clicked on women I thought were the same size as me, and looked at how much they weighed. Apparently, I think I look like a person who weighs approximately fifty to sixty pounds more than I do. Sigh.
posted by craichead at 7:24 PM on August 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, it's useful to get an idea of what people look like in clothes that aren't being modeled by a size 0. Shopping for clothes online when you're not shaped like a model is sometimes hard.

One of the things I used to love about the plus-size clothing company Making It Big (back in the halcyon days when it was still in the hands of its founder) was that the catalog not only used truly plus-sized models, but the photos included notes like, "Edie is 5'4" and is wearing our Tulip Tunic in 3X and Everyday Pants in size 24P."
posted by not that girl at 7:40 PM on August 4, 2011


Oh, and I like this thing because our whole culture has twisted ideas about body size and shape. We often hear that, say, a woman who weights 180 pounds is seriously overweight, but if you look at pictures of women who weigh that, they're often smaller-looking than you would expect. And, on the other hand, many women routinely lie about their weight, so you can find yourself looking at your friend who claims to weigh 40 pounds less than you and think, "Wow, if she weights that, I must look a lot bigger than I think I do." You think "that's what 150 pounds looks like," but it's really what 160 or 170 pounds looks like.

I used to fantasize about starting a movement where women would wear pins with their weight on them, just to teach people: this is what 150 pounds looks like, this is what 102 pounds looks like, this is what 275 pounds looks like.

So I like this kind of thing.

There's another website that has photos of women of lots of different sizes, and it gives their weight and height and includes the information about whether they are considered overweight, obese, etc, according to current guidelines. I can't look for it right now, alas. But I like that as well, in part because looking through it, you can't help but think that our official guidelines on these things are pretty well nuts. It doesn't help that news articles and TV news pieces about obesity usually use images of folks who are very very fat--folks who are maybe in the 95th percentile for weight--so when you hear "X % of Americans are obese," you imagine that X% of Americans are truly fat. But when you see the photos of some of the women who are defined as obese, you realize that that definition includes many many people that you just wouldn't think of that way.
posted by not that girl at 7:49 PM on August 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is neat but looking at some of the pictures, I'm certain that some submissions are not 100% honest.

Dit-TO!! I saw bunches of women with my same height and same basic weight who were two dress sizes smaller.

And the kicker, a 450 pound woman who wears a 26???? I don't think so. I was wearing a 24 at my highest weight of 270. She weighs 180 POUNDS more and only one dress size larger? I'll EAT a dress if that's really true.
posted by parrot_person at 8:05 PM on August 4, 2011


Dit-TO!! I saw bunches of women with my same height and same basic weight who were two dress sizes smaller.

It's possible people are lying, but I also think you're missing a larger point - 2 people can be the same weight and height, and yet one can look significantly bigger than the other.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:25 PM on August 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


sexist until they make one for men
posted by knoyers at 8:27 PM on August 4, 2011


It's possible people are lying, but I also think you're missing a larger point - 2 people can be the same weight and height, and yet one can look significantly bigger than the other.

I assure you I am not missing that point. I am not talking about the way someone looks, I am talking about their dress size as relates to their weight.

Are you missing the point that it is pretty nigh impossible for person A to weigh 180 pounds more than person B, yet wear ONE dress size larger?
posted by parrot_person at 8:42 PM on August 4, 2011


Are you missing the point that it is pretty nigh impossible for person A to weigh 180 pounds more than person B, yet wear ONE dress size larger?

Are you missing the point that 26 is the biggest size available in the system?
posted by Authorized User at 8:46 PM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Are you missing the point that it is pretty nigh impossible for person A to weigh 180 pounds more than person B, yet wear ONE dress size larger?

No. that's clearly pretty crazy unless they just have different numbering systems for people who wear really large clothes, which they might well do.

Dit-TO!! I saw bunches of women with my same height and same basic weight who were two dress sizes smaller.

But it's not crazy for 2 people to have the same height/weight and be 2 dress sizes apart. Honestly it's not even crazy for 2 people who actually look exactly the same to be 1 size apart since people have different ideas of how clothes should fit, different brands fit in different ways, etc. Assuming they're liars isn't particularly generous of you.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:48 PM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's exactly the way I read it, too, not that girl. Lots of women have really obsessive and kind of deluded ideas of what their bodies are supposed to or do look like, and it's really common I think for them to lie about their weight as a result. And, of course, that serves to perpetuate the strange and conflicted notions they have about their bodies.

It is helpful to have a resource to show women how wide a variety of sizes and shapes look normal, and how insignificant something like BMI is when applied on an individual basis. There is a huge range of body types for any height/weight combination, and it's a silly thing to pin all of your expectations and your self image on.
posted by ernielundquist at 8:54 PM on August 4, 2011


not that girl: Was that site you are thinking of the Illustrated BMI categories pool on Flickr? I remember this awesome lady in the wonder woman costume.
posted by sarahnade at 8:56 PM on August 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


How about what real people look like?
posted by Wuggie Norple at 8:59 PM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


How about what real people look like?

I've always been under the impression that women were people.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:04 PM on August 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


in Anne Rice's The Witching Hour (my fav or hers) Rown is 5'7", 115# and has big boobs. oh yeah thats possible!!!!

While I understand being frustrated with unrealistic expectations and portrayals, this makes me a bit frowny. I won't post my own stats, but suffice to say that although more body fat is correlated with larger breasts, breasts are not composed entirely of fat; it is very possible to be a thin woman with large breasts.

When you say that women like this are impossible, you are not only mistaken, but fostering the attitude that such women are surgically enhanced. It is sort of an indirect accusation, but the topic is sensitive enough without being so judgy, yeah?
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:08 PM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


About the size/weight thing: There was a post I liked recently at Sociological Images, by a woman who is fat and very strong and fit. Here it is.

One of the things I found interesting about it was that her reported weight and height are almost identical to mine, and yet I am sure she is significantly smaller. I suppose that's a muscle/fat thing, at least partly, because she is a very fit and strong woman, and I was never an athlete and am also early in recovery from a debilitating two-year illness that really wrecked my basic fitness. But I found myself thinking it would be interesting to compare our measurements, as a kind of study in the extremes of what is possible for two women with the same height and weight.

sarahnade, you have the very thing, yes! Thank you. I have bookmarked it for future reference.
posted by not that girl at 9:08 PM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I gotta admit, charts like these do the opposite for me of what they're probably supposed to - I look at people in the "ideal" range for my height and think, "Shit, I gotta lose weight." Buthey, maybe it's the inspiration I need to actually start eating right.
posted by biochemist at 9:15 PM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reminiscent of the Cockeyed Photographic Height/Weight Chart.

I was always bummed that he stopped keeping that up. There was an empty space for my height/weight and I was always hoping to be the rep for 5'2"/140.
posted by jessamyn at 10:10 PM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


They should add tags for (1) has had a baby, (2) has had a C-section, and (3) has lost a lot of weight. For many women, that makes their body look a lot different from someone else the same weight who hasn't done one or any of those things.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:11 PM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]




About the size/weight thing: There was a post I liked recently at Sociological Images, by a woman who is fat and very strong and fit. Here it is.



Wow, that lady is beautiful and awesome. Her reports of the comments she got are shocking to me. OK if people don't have a personal preference for fat, but what's making them so angry?
posted by sweetkid at 10:19 PM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK if people don't have a personal preference for fat, but what's making them so angry?

Some people are so angry at life that the mere fact that someone else is happy/adjusted/content makes them even more angry and they try to find a way to put that person down.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:41 PM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK if people don't have a personal preference for fat, but what's making them so angry?

People don't like it when women feel okay about themselves. This is what I've decided. In our culture, that often turns into "fat women who feel okay about themselves are bitches" but you see many other variants. The thing about women's bodies (and weight in particular) is especially weird because of how much pressure there is on women to pretend to be constantly "working on it". And apologizing for their bodies. Lest someone get mad at them for feeling okay about themselves.

I noticed myself doing this today - I am a tall person with pretty big feet. I wear a size 10. I was talking about a new pair of shoes to my father-in-law, and for totally unclear reason I suddenly felt this terrible need to blurt out "I have huge feet. Obviously!" as though... as though what? My father-in-law is a nice person who doesn't give a shit about my feet, and why would he? Why was I mentioning this apologetically? Do I worry that he'll think poorly of me unless I make clear that I am aware that my feet are unacceptably large?

So totally weird.

Anyway, this is a neat project. I looked up my height/weight and was interested to see the array of shapes represented. Cool!
posted by thehmsbeagle at 11:22 PM on August 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


What really surprises me is how undramatic the difference is between people my height and weight, and people my height but ten, twenty, or even thirty pounds lighter than me, as long as their shape remains constant. I had had absolutely no idea how important body shape was to my perception of these things. And here I thought I was a connoisseur!
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 11:41 PM on August 4, 2011


The "My Body Gallery" thing is excellent. We get such a distorted view of what women look like at different heights and weights. I think it would be illustrative for a lot of guys--due to the pressure for women to obfuscate their weight, most guys, bless their hearts, estimate most women to weigh a hell of a lot less than they actually do.

About the size/weight thing: There was a post I liked recently at Sociological Images, by a woman who is fat and very strong and fit. Here it is.

I think the issue here is confusing athleticism with longevity and general health. People looking at that women either think "Fat people aren't healthy, and athletes are healthy, so she's not an athlete" or "Athletes are healthy, and she's athletic, so she's healthy."

You can be athletic and still not be "healthy", where we define health as having good long-term life outcomes: bloodwork, propensity for joint pain and replacement, mobility at an older age when muscle mass starts to deteriorate and is no longer able to support excess weight, etc.

Superheavy competitors in various lifting sports are excellent examples of this. Hossein Rezazedah is the top superheavy Olympic weightlifter in the world. He's won two Olympic gold medals, holds the current world records for his weight class, and is strong, fast, and very flexible (you have to be all three to do Oly lifting)--clearly He's also about 160kg (352lbs). But I guarantee you, like many superheavy competitors, when he retires he will try to drop at a significant amount of weight--80lbs, if not more--because maintaining that weight when his athletic career isn't on the line is not worth the increased health risks it brings.

Or, for another example: in women's powerlifting, the superheavy class is 84+kg, or basically any woman over about 185lbs is considered a superheavy. So say you have a 185lbs woman and a 300lbs woman competing in the same meet. The 185lbs woman pulls a 400lbs deadlift, the 300lbs woman pulls a 500lbs deadlift. The 300lbs woman wins the contest, and, in their weight class, is the more athletic of the two. But this does not mean she's automatically healthier.

This woman is athletic for sure. But healthy? Her athleticism will delay complications, but age weakens us all, and ten, twenty, thirty years down the road the extra weight will cause more issues than if she maintained her current activity levels and dropped it.
posted by schroedinger at 11:51 PM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was wearing a 24 at my highest weight of 270

And I topped out at 315 but never broke over a size 22, so I'm not sure what you think you've proved.
posted by palomar at 11:52 PM on August 4, 2011


Wow. The idea for the site is great, the execution is an abomination. I put in my wife's info, and out came 2 miserable little postage stamp size thumbnails where you couldn't see a damn thing, couldn't click to enlarge and one of the women was in a neck to floor wedding dress so you couldn't see the figure anyway. Maybe other sizes work better, if the database has such holes, it's not worth squat. Maybe this will be useful once they get some actual photos in. Thumbs down.
posted by VikingSword at 12:17 AM on August 5, 2011


ernielundquist: There is a huge range of body types for any height/weight combination

Amen. I loved a rant from Hanne Blank about this:
Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing.

Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever.

Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions. . . . There is no wrong way to have a body.
Seriously, go read the whole thing. It's a quick read, and it packs a punch.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:56 AM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Reminiscent of the Cockeyed Photographic Height/Weight Chart.

I was always bummed that he stopped keeping that up. There was an empty space for my height/weight and I was always hoping to be the rep for 5'2"/140.
posted by jessamyn at 10:10 PM on August 4 [+] [!]


Good news then, you're one of the reps for 5'3 140 pounds

http://www.cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/503-140.html
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 1:05 AM on August 5, 2011


There is no wrong way to have a body.

That's what I told the police! I don't understand the big deal.
posted by Justinian at 1:05 AM on August 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


OK, Justinian. I gotta admit: that was funny.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:08 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]




johmc: Swordsmanship

From (limited) experience, that is 100% the best parameter to use ...if only she hadn't got back with her ex (*sigh*).
posted by titus-g at 4:07 AM on August 5, 2011


we define health as having good long-term life outcomes: bloodwork, propensity for joint pain and replacement, mobility at an older age when muscle mass starts to deteriorate

Agh argh argh... I need some cheering up now... heading over to the cat scan thread, thank you very much :P
posted by bitteschoen at 4:16 AM on August 5, 2011


in Anne Rice's The Witching Hour (my fav or hers) Rown is 5'7", 115# and has big boobs. oh yeah thats possible!!!!

i'm 5'9", 160# with medium boobs and an "average" figure that is deemed 'height weight proportional'.

wevs!
posted by supermedusa at 9:37 PM on August 4 [+] [!]


Hi. I'm 5'7, 114# with 32D boobs. 34D when the communists are in the fun house.

Yes, it's possible. And thanks for ridiculing while you were at it. Sure, I'd like to gain some weight. I've been working on it for more than a decade. These attitudes that my body type can't possibly be real or healthy contributes to a not insignificant bit of angst among us skinny bitches. Most of us love you for who you are, please extend us the same courtesy.

I'm tired of being apologetic and genuinely sorry about my weight. It's been a struggle to get up this high, and there are moments when I'm eating a ranch dressing even though I'd rather have a salad with vinegrette instead of ranch. Don't get me wrong, ranch is ok, but I love a bit of olive oil and vinegar too! Most times, I just order the fried thing or the cheeseburger because salads = diet in so many minds. If I lose any weight, people ask nosy questions, or make direct accusations. I'm tired of strangers asking who did my boobs. I'm tired of people asking me what size pants I wear. I'm tired of being told I could get any job because I have a great body. I'm tired of being told I need to shave my lady bits. Wait, that's another rant about women's body pressures.
posted by bilabial at 5:47 AM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


bilabial, I was you in my 20's -- and I come bearing some hopeful news.

I was 5'7, 125 pounds all through my 20's, and my early 30's. I too got sick as all hell of people commenting on my body -- my own parents went through this weird period of asking me whether I had an eating disorder every time they saw me (I actually kind of had to tell them "fuck off" to get them to stop). I was going through this at the same time that Calista Flockhart was having that whole "she's got an eating disorder" bugaboo in the press and I was near militant about defending her because "you don't believe someone could be that skinny but still eat healthy? Have you SEEN me?"

Then somewhere in my early 30's my metabolism started to change -- and over the course of 2 years I went from 125 pounds to 160 pounds. I once was a size 4 -- now I'm a size 10 or 12, depending on the designer.

A couple people commented that I was looking healthier early on, but otherwise comments about how I looked - at least, the kinds I didn't like -- stopped. I did have to go through a sort of dietary re-education (I'd gotten a liiiiiiiittle too used to having rich foods with cream and butter and all that becuase "whee, I can eat it and it won't make a difference"), and these days I'm a bit heavier than I'd like, but I'm chalking that up to having been a lazy slob who needed to start going to the gym now and then (I've since taken that up, and it's already starting to make a change).

I say all this, again, to give you hope that others have been there, and it will get better.

And a note to everyone - personal comments on body shape and size are only welcome if you are someone who knows the owner of that body very well. If you're not a friend or family member, think before you speak.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:28 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


when the communists are in the fun house.

I've never heard this before. It's v. swell.

posted by Dano St at 6:34 AM on August 5, 2011


"All bodies are possible, acceptable, real." -Marilyn Wann

This cheered me up. I've always been heavier than people think, even when I was a slender size 4, mostly because I tend toward muscle-y (particularly in the legs; I've got total Korean soccer player legs that creepy men used to remark upon all the time in public) and am short to begin with (and up until a few years ago I had a boyish boobless/hipless frame). Seeing the women in my category I was like, man, they all look cute and totally usual, so why do I still sometimes think I must look like some teeny whale or walrus?? Stupid leftover teenage body dysmorphia and numbers fixation (I am shorter than jessamyn and weigh more) aaargh. I also noticed those ladies dress like I do, the same cuts and fabrics to flatter as well as a general tone of cute down to earth tomboyish approachableness which made me smile inrecognition.
posted by ifjuly at 6:48 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I get what you mean, thehmsbeagle. Women are supposed to bond by commiserating about their physical hang ups and yes, always be working on their "body project". When I started lifting weights I made a pact with myself to stop giving a shit about conventional superficial markers of "progress", ie, weight loss, leanness, etc. With that came the realization I was tired of the default level of obsession with others' take on one's appearance--coming across as a normal level of sexy enough, thin enough, richly dressed enough, creative or expressive via outfit enough, whatever. Which is not to say I've let myself go--I'm currently healthier than I have been since pre-pubescence, I take good care of my hair and skin for my own sake, wear clean clothes that fit well and are in good unfrayed condition, etc.--but right now I'm not interested in the money and care required to be part of "the spectacle", to be seen and calibrate for knowing you'll be seen and all that. My husband thinks I look great and I'm finally comfortable with myself. It's freeing, but then also a little strange when comparing how I was before and how most people are by default, all the constant having to find things wanting about yourself and reifying the entire tortured scene.
posted by ifjuly at 6:58 AM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


jonmc: "Swordsmanship"

PLOW EXPERIENCE.
posted by falameufilho at 7:11 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


This woman is athletic for sure. But healthy? Her athleticism will delay complications, but age weakens us all, and ten, twenty, thirty years down the road the extra weight will cause more issues than if she maintained her current activity levels and dropped it

I heartily admire your ability to predict the future. What do you charge for a reading?
posted by not that girl at 7:32 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like to rank my partners by Gigaelectronvolts. One day I might find a Superpartner. (lol particle physics)
posted by Catfry at 7:33 AM on August 5, 2011


not that girl: "About the size/weight thing: There was a post I liked recently at Sociological Images, by a woman who is fat and very strong and fit. Here it is."

I've been overweight all my life. Sometimes seriously overweight, sometimes reasonably overweight. With that caveat, let me say the following thing: this woman is delusional. We can have a long-ass debate about the definition and boundaries of obesity, we can talk about how it is culturally acceptable to denigrate fat people and we can also discuss how Hollywood celebrates a body ideal that is not achievable by mere mortals. None of this changes the fact that this thing she's defending, "health at every size", the key words being EVERY SIZE, is bullshit.

Her acceptance of her own body and the current state of her cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides levels doesn't make her obesity a non-issue. She's like a functioning alcoholic with a body working overtime to support lifestyle choices that may not affect social life and performance, but that are bound to take a toll. So she's flexible and can move herself about with a certain graciousness? Good for her. But her own definitions of "healthy" and "fit" are delusional.
posted by falameufilho at 7:49 AM on August 5, 2011


Health At Every Size is not bullshit or delusional. People who believe healthy = thin tend to say things like that, but it makes them look like assholes. Don't be an asshole.
posted by palomar at 8:07 AM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


As a man, I don't know what a woman is, but I know I like 'em!
posted by Eideteker at 8:11 AM on August 5, 2011


The thing about Health At Every Size? Is that we know for an absolute fact that permanent weight loss is so difficult for most people as to be almost impossible, but that exercise and good nutrition are possible for many people. Plus they boost health a lot, to the point where an active fat person who eats well is going to have lifespan and basic health that are better than a skinny person who doesn't exercise and eats poorly.

It's like any other reform or social justice project - the point isn't "whoa, we have a solution to every single human problem ever and now everyone is perfect!!!!"; the point is that we have a limited array of solutions that work consistently for most people and based on what we know, Health At Every Size boosts outcomes. We will never have a population of bionic supermodels with perfect cholesterol who will live to be a hundred, but we can have a population where average health outcomes improve a lot through simple measures that most people can manage.

Like, seriously - most of us fatties have yo-yo dieted, been miserable and self-hating, etc etc. And probably hurt our long-term health outcomes what with the fad diets and self hatred, too. But we still aren't thin! You can shame us as much as you like and we still won't be thin - you've been trying it for years and we have good, solid empirical evidence that it doesn't work. However, we also have good, solid empirical evidence that many people can make health changes and improvements that do not result in weight loss, and that these last longer and are significant.

The choice isn't "being fat and self-delusional with HAES versus being thin and healthy with dieting"; the choice is "being fat with less optimal health outcomes versus being fat with more optimal health outcomes through better eating and exercise".

Now, obviously there are some folks who lose weight and keep it off their whole lives. But there are many reliable longitudinal studies that show that this doesn't work for most people. We can disregard that if we want and keep aiming for a magic pill or a magic shame phrase or a diet where you eat only tofu, or we can seek solutions that flow from the actual data we have.

Folks who are lucky enough to be able to lose lots of weight and keep it off are fine on their own; they'll bore you to tears with paleo diets and weight lifting without any prompting at all under the conviction that what works for them would work for everyone if everyone were virtuous instead of lazy and foolish. Those folks don't need HAES, and they are not in any danger of being seduced by the dangers of Teh Fats.
posted by Frowner at 8:42 AM on August 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


Just a note for those above debating dress-size discrepancies: bear in mind that dress size doesn't really *mean* anything. Different companies size differently, different styles fit differently, and some people, like me, end up with absolutely no idea what their Official Size might be. People may be lying. They may also just have been buying different brands of clothing than you.
posted by Because at 8:58 AM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Reminiscent of the Cockeyed Photographic Height/Weight Chart.

Oh, neat, I always sort of forget that I submitted my picture (I'm a rep for 5'8, 300) - I think it's great that Rob still has it up, it's such a great resource.

And funny, looking at it again, I realize I'm about 40 lbs or so lighter now, but my clothing size hasn't changed much, and I don't look much different to myself. (I'm also 8 years older and don't think I look any older.) I guess maybe I have a very static self image.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 9:39 AM on August 5, 2011


palomar: "People who believe healthy = thin tend to say things like that, but it makes them look like assholes."

I'm overweight and healthy. I am also conscious of the fact that if I stay overweight I will not stay healthy. It will take a toll on my body and shorten my lifespan. It's quite simple, really.

Frowner: "Plus they boost health a lot, to the point where an active fat person who eats well is going to have lifespan and basic health that are better than a skinny person who doesn't exercise and eats poorly."

But still worse than a active thinner person who eats well.

Frowner: "But we still aren't thin! You can shame us as much as you like and we still won't be thin - you've been trying it for years and we have good, solid empirical evidence that it doesn't work."

Where is this fat/thin dichotomy coming from? Nobody is saying anything about "thin". The "healthy fat" woman from the example has a BMI of 48. She will never be thin and she doesn't need to. But getting that number down to the high 30's (still a long ways from the "thin" zone) would probably improve her long term health prospects a LOT.
posted by falameufilho at 10:28 AM on August 5, 2011


I heartily admire your ability to predict the future. What do you charge for a reading?

Oh, I'm sorry, you're totally right, being 300lbs at her height is in no way detrimental to joints build to withstand regular use at 150lbs and when she ages and her muscle mass inevitably decreases her body will in no way have difficulty handling her weight and there is totally nothing wrong with being her weight at her height as long as she can touch her toes.

Let us throw basic exercise science and medical reasoning out the window in favor of setting up strawmen and trying to justify away our excessively high body fat percentages!

You're seriously arguing her long term quality of life would not be improved by maintaining her current levels of activity while dropping weight? Seriously? You're seriously arguing that long-term obesity does not have long-term health effects?
posted by schroedinger at 10:36 AM on August 5, 2011


[It would be nice if people could stick to just talking to each other and take the eye-rolling down a notch. There is no reason a discussion of this website needs to turn into people flipping out on each other. I'd like to not start deleting comments and I could use your help.]
posted by jessamyn at 10:40 AM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Look--I support this woman's efforts to stay active. There are a lot of people who get hung up on just dropping weight rather than increasing fitness as a whole, rampantly cut calories, do lose weight, but are skinny-fat and not in great shape at the end. They have decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes but are still in a position to be hobbled by osteopenia and a high body fat percentage and all of those other diseases of aging that set in even on the skinny people. Congrats to her for resolving to keep moving and appreciating that her body is not a fat/athletic dichotomy where she is unable to do anything simply by virtue of her weight.

But just as you don't have to choose between "fat" and "athletic", so do you not have to choose between "fat and athletic" and "thin and weak." You hate the false fat/athletic dichotomy? Well, stop pretending like she cannot possibly be athletic and still work on losing weight.
posted by schroedinger at 10:40 AM on August 5, 2011


if I stay overweight I will not stay healthy. It will take a toll on my body and shorten my lifespan. It's quite simple, really.


With all due respect, no, it is not that simple, really. If you think it is that simple, I encourage you to come speak to my 83 year old grandmother, who has been overweight her whole life. Aside from a knee replacement necessitated by a car accident, not her weight, and a shoulder replacement due to a very bizarre injury (only weight related in the sense that she injured herself lifting something very heavy), she still has all her factory parts. I'd recommend a call before you show up, though, as you might interrupt her thrice-weekly water aerobics class.
posted by palomar at 11:23 AM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, stop pretending like she cannot possibly be athletic and still work on losing weight.


What should this athletic, healthy woman be doing differently? Her vitals are great, her health is great, the only issue is that she carries more poundage than you personally seem to be comfortable with. You said yourself that "skinny fat" people are "still in a position to be hobbled by osteopenia and a high body fat percentage and all of those other diseases of aging that set in even on the skinny people." Aging happens to all of us. Skinny, fat, somewhere in between -- it doesn't matter. As we get older, things stop working as well on our bodies. Unfortunately I know plenty of skinny, extremely active people who are relatively young and already have massive joint damage from overtraining -- joint damage is not something that only happens to fat people, nor does it happen to every fat person. I'm going on 34, I've been fat since puberty, and I have no joint problems at all. My 37 year old marathon running coworker has had two knee joint replacements in the past 5 years and is not allowed to run right now because of a debilitatingly painful bone problem in one of her feet -- she is under doctor's orders not to run, but she keeps trying to run anyway and she keeps injuring herself further. Even being thin and ostensibly "healthy" is not a guarantee that you're going to live forever with no pain as you age.

Please stop assuming things about fat bodies. Thanks.
posted by palomar at 11:36 AM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see one of these for men, too. Women aren't the only ones with body issues.
posted by gregoryg at 11:52 AM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


*Searches for "would be willing to shag Decani" category*

*Harumphs*

*Opens second bottle of Bandol and slaps "The Downward Spiral" on.*

I love Fridays!
posted by Decani at 11:52 AM on August 5, 2011


Just a note for those above debating dress-size discrepancies: bear in mind that dress size doesn't really *mean* anything. Different companies size differently, different styles fit differently, and some people, like me, end up with absolutely no idea what their Official Size might be. People may be lying. They may also just have been buying different brands of clothing than you.

This is so true. One of the reasons I love (LOVE!) shopping at Ann Taylor is that I can wear size 4 pants there. Instead of a 0. Alas, underemployed me cannot afford the clearance racks there. My friends think this is crazy. They like shopping at other places where they can be a 4 instead of an 8.

We also have the problem of vanity sizing. It's how I end up being a size 0 today, when I was a size 0 ten years and 15-20 pounds lighter ago. (Also, though, I have some muscle now, which increases my weight a bit). None of my pants that would stay up then will button now. So. Some of the women in these pictures may not have bought anything new in a decade. Others may have gone shopping yesterday. Some may shop in only one or two places. Others may try things on scattershot (I have luck in some cuts at BR but not others, some years JCrew fits, other times it doesn't) and buy whatever fits. Others may not even know how clothes that fit should look and feel on their bodies.
posted by bilabial at 1:04 PM on August 5, 2011


palomar: "I encourage you to come speak to my 83 year old grandmother, who has been overweight her whole life."

Obesity reduces life expectancy. I won't even bother to link to studies, if you Google it, you will find hundreds of studies that say exactly that. If your grandmother managed to reach 83 while overweight without any comorbidity it means she's lucky, not that her case applies to all obese people. Your example is equivalent to saying that doing drugs is not bad for you because Keith Richards is almost 70 years old.

palomar: "What should this athletic, healthy woman be doing differently?"

She should try to lose some weight. Being so athletic and healthy, it should be quite easy for her.
posted by falameufilho at 2:44 PM on August 5, 2011


LOL. Good lord, you think people would start to be able to wrap their heads around the idea that not all healthy bodies are thin, but apparently that's just too damn hard for some people to understand after all.
posted by palomar at 4:06 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Palomar, who's saying anything about "THIN"? Bodies are not in a binary fat/thin state. If your BMI is in the high 40s, you should really try to get it down a bit - she would be healthier in the long term and still way out of the "thin" league. That's all I am saying. I am NOT saying everybody should have a BMI of 20 and nothing else is acceptable.
posted by falameufilho at 4:48 PM on August 5, 2011


That you're basing your assumptions about a person's health on their BMI in the first place is what's troubling. BMI is not a measure of health. It does not distinguish between body fat and muscle mass and is not a useful tool for measuring the health of an athlete, like this woman that you are insisting needs to lose weight for her health based on her BMI measurement -- a measurement you had to guess at, to boot.
posted by palomar at 5:00 PM on August 5, 2011


Obesity reduces life expectancy.

Also smoking causes lung cancer. However, most smokers don't get lung cancer.

You can't reliably say to a smoker, "You're gonna get lung cancer if you don't quit," and that's one of the strongest risk-disease correlations in all of public health. So the idea that you can predict that this women will definitely have any particular bad health outcome due to her weight is just ignorant.

Yes, obesity raises your risk of many health problems. On the other hand, because of her lifestyle, this woman has lower risk than many less-obese people for many health problems. You can't point at a particular person and make definite proclamations about her future health status.
posted by straight at 5:01 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


palomar: "That you're basing your assumptions about a person's health on their BMI in the first place is what's troubling."

You're not paying attention. I concede she's possibly healthy today. Her excessive weight will make it difficult for her to remain so in the long run.

palomar: "based on her BMI measurement -- a measurement you had to guess at, to boot."

What do you mean? I calculated her BMI based on her own info. It's 48.

straight: "You can't point at a particular person and make definite proclamations about her future health status."

Of course I can't and I am not doing that - I am talking about the increased risk brought by obesity. If her lifestyle makes her "lower risk than many less-obese people" (a very vague and anecdotal assumption, but I'll bite), if she lost some weight she would be at even lower risk.
posted by falameufilho at 5:11 PM on August 5, 2011


I calculated her BMI based on her own info.

My apologies, I only saw that her weight was listed in the blog post, I had missed her height.

Regardless, you are basing your assumptions of a person's future health on their BMI. This is a terrible idea for multiple reasons:

1. BMI does not differentiate between body fat and muscle mass.
2. BMI does not differentiate between body frame sizes.
3. BMI does not differentiate for height loss with aging.
4. BMI often does not change with a shift in lifestyle -- see number 1
5. The standards for BMI categories of "overweight" and "obese" have changed several times since inception, and current standards were arbitrarily set with no scientific input
6. The CDC FAQ on BMI states that BMI is not a diagnostic tool, and that health risks of excess weight would need to be assessed in other ways.
posted by palomar at 5:49 PM on August 5, 2011


I concede she's possibly healthy today. Her excessive weight will make it difficult for her to remain so in the long run.

And this makes you sound like one of the people Ragen Chastain mentioned in her blog post -- the ones making the Vague Future Health Threats and denying that she could possible be being truthful about her current health status, diminishing her accomplishments and her veracity so that you can prove a point about how right you are, even though it's very evident that you're not.

Those people are arrogant assholes. Is that what you want to be? Because that's what you sound like here.
posted by palomar at 5:54 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Obesity reduces life expectancy. I won't even bother to link to studies

Maybe because the science doesn't actually clearly support that statement. All together now: Correlation is not causation.

I concede she's possibly healthy today. Her excessive weight will make it difficult for her to remain so in the long run.

Ah, the vague future health threat, unsupported by anything other than assertion.

She should try to lose some weight. Being so athletic and healthy, it should be quite easy for her.

Easy? Sure, no problem! Yeah, 95% of dieters fail, but for sure she's in the 5%! (Which incidentally doesn't mean it's "quite easy", but hey...)

In fact, she's written about her past experience with disordered eating. To summarize: you don't know what you're talking about.

But still worse than a active thinner person who eats well.

So even though research shows that overweight individuals who exercise regularly have roughly the same health profile as lower weight people who exercise, and a better profile than thin people who don’t exercise, that's not good enough. A fat person has to be a good fatty and have lab results comparable to the healthiest of the healthy (which seems to be what you're implying by specifying an "active thinner person who eats well") just to have people back off and stop telling them what to do.

So many of these "But but but!" responses are duplicates of ones Regan has already addressed on the blog. I'm starting to think that any time I see a discussion about her blog, I should just close that tab and go reread the blog itself.
posted by Lexica at 8:40 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


If her lifestyle makes her "lower risk than many less-obese people" (a very vague and anecdotal assumption, but I'll bite), if she lost some weight she would be at even lower risk.
Right, but most people who diet don't lose weight for the long term. The absolute most optimistic studies suggest that 20% of people who lose significant amounts of weight keep it off, and many studies suggest it's more like 5%. Most successful dieters end up fatter than they started out, and there's a fair amount of evidence that people who diet end up fatter than comparable people who never try to lose weight. So even if we accept that being fat is unhealthy, it may very well be that HAES is a more healthy lifestyle choice than trying to lose weight.

I truly don't understand why HAES seems to enrage people so much.
posted by craichead at 8:44 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


if she lost some weight she would be at even lower risk.

None of us do every possible thing we could do to lower every risk of disease. Nor should we. There are lots of easier and more-likely-successful things you can do to reduce adverse health risks than trying to lose weight.

If you can lose weight easily, great. If you can quit smoking, great. If you can switch to a vegetarian diet, great. If you can afford drugs to lower your cholesterol, great. But there's no guarantee that any of those changes are going to change your personal health outcomes. Fewer than 1 in 7 people who quit smoking avoid lung cancer by doing so.
posted by straight at 10:38 PM on August 5, 2011


All together now: Correlation is not causation.

Drink!
posted by Justinian at 9:03 AM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


That you're basing your assumptions about a person's health on their BMI in the first place is what's troubling. BMI is not a measure of health.

Palomar, I am basing my evaluation on her body fat percentage, not her BMI, and it is clearly over healthy levels. And she may be stronger than a woman who does not work out,

Overweight people can suffer from osteopenia as well. I'm not sure what your point is there. My point is that fat and active is better than fat and inactive, and skinny does not equal healthy, but dropping 50lbs and staying active is way better than staying at her current weight and staying active. Is your argument that she would not benefit whatsoever by maintaining her current level of activity while losing weight?

What would I have her do? I'd treat her like any other athlete who needs to lose weight. Evaluate a week-long food log. Evaluate her responsiveness to carbs or lack thereof. Put her on a very moderate caloric deficit, as I would not want to see her performance drop, and cycle both calories and carbs depending on her activity level on any one day. I would take a long-term view, re-evaluating her weight and body fat on a month-to-month basis, incorporating refeeds and diet breaks as necessary to combat plateaus. If she had on and off seasons we'd be incorporating her nutrition plan into that as well.

You can't seem to break out of this false dichotomy that a fat athletic person cannot possibly lose weight without becoming unhealthy. And yet top coaches and sports scientists and athletes around the world have discovered that they can, and it is done all the time to either improve their performance in one arena or another or drop to a lower, more competitive weight class. Hillary Katzenheimer, one of the top women's Olympic lifters in the US, recently dropped from the 58kg (128lbs) to the 53kg (117lbs) weight class, and improved her lifts at the same time (and this was done without drugs). And let me tell you, for someone who is already that small it would be very easy for even just an 11lbs loss to have a massive deficit to her performance.
posted by schroedinger at 12:07 PM on August 6, 2011


Schroedinger, I you seriously trying to say, "If top Olympic athletes with teams of coaches and trainers can do it, there's no reason you can't do it too"? Surely your actual point is less ridiculous than that.
posted by straight at 12:51 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, schroedinger. My argument is that you have no possible way of knowing anything that you assert about this specific woman's health or future health. You are not her doctor, you are not even someone who knows her and therefore might actually be privy to her actual body fat percentage -- I didn't see that specific measurement anywhere in that post by Ragen Chastain, so I am assuming that you guessed at her body fat percentage, but if you have a number that was provided by her that I didn't see, then I stand corrected and I apologize.

Why do you assume that her diet needs improvement? Why do you assume that her body will magically lose weight if you could give her diet advice? Why do you assume you know better than she does how to manage her health? Why do you still assume she is unhealthy based on a number?
posted by palomar at 6:18 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


And finally, schroedinger, how do you know Ragen Chastain doesn't already do what you say she needs to do to do lose weight?
posted by palomar at 6:19 PM on August 6, 2011


Palomar, You should check the definition of enabling behavior. Hint: it's not a good thing.
posted by falameufilho at 6:42 PM on August 6, 2011




Schroedinger, I you seriously trying to say, "If top Olympic athletes with teams of coaches and trainers can do it, there's no reason you can't do it too"? Surely your actual point is less ridiculous than that.

My point was that it if Olympic-level athletes, those people most concerned with performance rather than weight and looks, for whom any iota of detriment to their performance would be devastating, if they feel that weight loss to enhance performance is possible and worth it than who are we non-Olympic athletes to claim that our health would be wholly and irrevocably negatively affected to drop from 60% to 50% body fat?

However, as much as I've enjoyed the side-stepping of my main question--do you really think she's better off to be healthy and active at her current weight over being healthy and active fifty pounds lighter--I'm going to bow out of this discussion. You're so convinced that my suggestion of weight loss is a deep personal judgement on yourself that it's not possible for you to listen to what I'm actually saying.
posted by schroedinger at 12:26 PM on August 7, 2011


schroedinger, how am I assuming that your comments are a judgement on myself? It seems more to me that you don't want to confront the idea that you could be wrong about the health of people who are not you, and you're so latched into being right that you can't have an open and honest discussion with anyone who challenges your ideas.

That's too bad.
posted by palomar at 12:29 PM on August 7, 2011


Also, schroedinger, I haven't "sidestepped" your original question at all. I've asked you repeatedly why you assume this woman's habits need changing, why you assume she's not already doing the things you said she needs to do to lose weight. You can't answer that, apparently, so you can't have the discussion you want to have.

The truth of the matter is, not every diet/exercise plan works the exact same way on every body. That's why your presumption that you know what this woman needs to do to "get healthier" is so offensive -- combined with your assumption that her body is hurting now, or that her future health is at risk, based only on a number you read on the internet and the assumptions you made based on that number.
posted by palomar at 12:33 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, are you an Olympic level athlete? Do you treat your body as if you were an Olympic level athlete? If not, why not? If you want to prescribe lifestyles for people, don't you think it's fair to put your own on full display for everyone to critique? If you dispense diet and exercise advice but don't follow it yourself, the people you're attempting to advise have a right to know.
posted by palomar at 12:39 PM on August 7, 2011


I'm pretty sure that schroedinger is our local weightlifting fanatic, and it's very likely that he does attempt to treat his body as if he's an Olympic level athlete. He sometimes seems to... lack perspective on his choices and how applicable they may be to the rest of us, which I think is part of what's going on here.
posted by craichead at 12:58 PM on August 7, 2011


Ahh, it's the "I do it so everyone should/can do it" thing. Gotcha.
posted by palomar at 1:01 PM on August 7, 2011


... it's very likely that he does attempt to treat his body as if he's an Olympic level athlete. He sometimes seems to... lack perspective on his choices ...

Regardless of whether "this is part of what's going on here," I would like to note that (I'm pretty sure) schroedinger is a woman. Please do not take her comments here as an example of men making judgments regarding the appearance of women.
posted by Dano St at 12:56 PM on August 8, 2011


Is she really?!? I am a terrible person, and a sexist to boot, because that messes with all my stereotypes about obsessive weightlifters!
posted by craichead at 1:43 PM on August 8, 2011


Two points, schroedinger:

1. Olympic athletes are tuning their bodies for sports performance. A coach or trainer might be reasonably confident that dropping 20 lbs would improve someone's performance in a sporting event. No trainer or doctor can be confident that dropping 20 lbs would result in better long-term health outcomes, which is what we were discussing here. You can point at someone and say, "You could lower your risk." You absolutely cannot point at someone and say, "You will for sure have health problems if you don't lose some weight."

2. Ability to lose weight is very much at issue. Many people who try to lose weight are unable to do so, and some of those who try get into yo-yo gain and lose cycles which may increase the risk of health problems even more than staying at the original weight would have. If an overweight person is exercising and doing other things to lower risk of health problems, it is not clear that advising that person to lose weight is an effective health intervention. If you've got a magic wand that can make a person lose weight, that would probably be an effective health intervention, but simply telling someone to lose weight may do more harm than good.
posted by straight at 2:36 PM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Please do not take her comments here as an example of men making judgments regarding the appearance of women.

I don't think anyone was doing that, at least I wasn't. Frankly it doesn't matter to me if schroedinger is male or female or transgendered or from the moon. What matters to me is the continued insistence from schroedinger that this woman's body is not healthy and that schroedinger knows what will make this woman thin, based on very little knowledge about the woman in question, all of which was gleaned from the internet.

It also wouldn't matter to me if we were discussing the health of a fat man's body, either. My feelings would be the same -- you cannot diagnose anyone's current or future health based on looking at them, which is what schroedinger is doing.
posted by palomar at 5:23 PM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


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