Size Acceptance is a way of thinking which promotes the idea that people of all body sizes and shapes can be beautiful, healthy, desireable, and worthy of esteem.
Every living person is a unique combination of attributes - physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional, spiritual. There is the potential within us all to make valuable and lasting contributions to our world. When we are born, most of our differences are not apparent. But as we move through childhood and become adults, we are bombarded by images of "perfection" - whatever the society we live in deems this to be. I am referring to more than physical "perfection," because our society establishes other ideals as well, including personality type, intelligence level, etc. These images surround us every day of our lives - in books, magazines and newspapers, in music lyrics and videos, on television, in films, in stores and businesses, in our classrooms, churches, and doctors' offices, and firmly entrenched in the minds or our friends and families.
As we, and those around us, make comparisons between the images of "perfection" and the realities of the individuals we are, is it any wonder that most of us feel increasingly inadequate? And if we find ourselves too far outside the zone of tolerance - too far from the ideal - then our feelings of self-worth may plummet and our potential may be diminished. Social pressure can become extremely painful and destructive, as we try and fail to achieve impossible standards of perfection.
Having a body that is larger than average size is one of the things our society has found it difficult to accept. In fact, our society has a tradition of supporting the ridicule and shaming of anyone whose body size and shape is "too far" away from the current "ideal." While this tradition encompasses those whose bodies are "too tall," "too short," and "too thin" as well as "too large," this page concentrates on the issues that have arisen for the women and girls of the world whose bodies are considered "too large."
Conventional wisdom has it that one is only fat if one is a glutton, or is weak-willed, or is lazy. Medical research is beginning to verify that these negative stereotypes are invalid, and some physicians are beginning to realize that fatness itself is not a disease, nor even necessarily a health risk!