Body Positivity Shouldn’t Be About Glamorising Obesity

Glamorising Obesity

While most of us endorse body positivity today, we must also make sure that this support doesn’t end up glamorising obesity. Journalist Piers Morgan’s scalding open letter to plus-size model Tess Holliday, calling her morbidly obese, is as difficult to swallow as a fistful of sand. But, I am surprising myself here, I agree that Morgan’s concerns are not misplaced.

In his open letter which was published in the Daily Mail, Morgan has questioned why Cosmopolitan Magazine decided to put Holliday on its cover? He says, “Right now, I think you’re trapped in a hellish spiral of self-delusion in which your soaring fame and fortune is entirely dependent on you remaining morbidly obese. You’re only getting the cover of Cosmo and endless TV appearances because you’re massively, dangerously overweight yet feigning joy. In your heart, you must know this? The editors and producers paying you large sums of money to glamorise your morbid obesity are cynically exploiting you. They’re your enablers.”

Yes, we need to accept bodies of all sizes and shapes, but to what extent should we endorse them? By glamorising obesity are we setting up a dangerous precedent where health gets neglected in the flurry celebration of one’s weight?

This is as dangerous as celebrating zero size figure

Morgan has made a very valid point here, that glamorising obesity is as dangerous to women’s health as glamorising zero figure. We live in a society which shows no mercy to those who do not fit in certain body statistics. It is important that we as a society accept and even embrace the existence of all body types. But endorsing an unhealthy body weight is altogether a different matter.


  • In an open letter, Piers Morgan has called plus-size model Tess Holliday “morbidly obese”.
  • While we must accept bodies of all sizes and shapes, but to what extent should we endorse them?
  • Glamorising obesity will cause many to deny the reality that they are on brink of a severe health crisis.
  • Beyond weight what we all need to endorse is a healthy lifestyle which doesn’t glorify any body type.

Obesity comes with a huge spectrum of health problems. In women, it may lead to increased risk of PCOS, Type 2 Diabetes, heart diseases and several other health complications. Embracing your body whilst realising your health risks is what is important. While others should not taunt people who are obese, those who struggle with obesity need to stop getting carried away by the support we get for our body type.

We still have a duty towards that very body of ours to embrace a healthier lifestyle. To keep trying to lose excess weight out of health concerns and not for aesthetics.

By glamorising obesity, we are also plugging an important conversation, that of calling a spade a spade. Celebrating it will cause many to deny the reality that they are on brink of a severe health crisis. One cannot go on the set course out of pride for the body and expect no consequences. Especially among plus-size models who enjoy a celebrity status due to obesity, weight loss or a healthy lifestyle is sidelined for the sake of popularity. What kind of message does that send to impressionable minds?

Obesity doesn’t need celebration for most of us, our body weight is not a choice. But a healthy lifestyle is indeed a choice and we should all make. So while Morgan’s words may come across as acerbic, the message he has sent out is stark and something worth our thought. Beyond weight what we all need to endorse is good health. A healthy lifestyle which doesn’t glorify any body type, but motivates you to be active, eat right and pay some attention to your body’s well-being.

Also Read : Politics of body shaming and the taunts of Indian society

Picture Credit: Daily Express

 Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own