Gruba book review. Report on importance and bias

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Evaluation, aggression, deprivation of dignity – this is lipophobia, a social mechanism that regulates adult people. It increases pressure and reduces the problem of obesity that affects every fourth pole. In the book “Gruba. A Report on Weight and Prejudice” Maria Makzor talks with obese women. The most important topic in this story is not their bodies but the daily hell they live in.

Maria Mamzor is an accomplished journalist, whose reporting on paralyzed stuntmen, Vietnamese opposition activists who emigrated to Poland, and striking miners have won prestigious awards. The subject of the last book came to her in a different way from her predecessors. When she was of mature age, as a result of illness and a crisis in her relationship, she began to gain weight, discovering a whole new perspective – the rough one. “When I majestically jumped to the 48th of the 38th size, my mother, a neat person, was embarrassed. She could not hide it even under the mask of concern for my health “- says Mamzor in her book. And then, more frankly, he adds a message from a former fan who wrote, “Hey girl, how can you take such a risk?”

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These words are powerful but are they surprising? Every round girl, teen or young adult you know. They are addressed only to an adult woman with professional experience, they provoke dissonance and reveal something very amazing – a large body can take away the dignity and put it in an inferior position. These mechanisms make the author fully understandable rage.

In any case, McZor admits, her book turned out to be too controversial for a few publishers, who expected to tone down the tone and instill more hope in the text. Meanwhile, the body positivity movement is a great marketing slogan, but according to research, body positivity in everyday life is still not common enough in Poland. According to experts, among girls from 43 countries surveyed, Polish teens have the highest negative body image index. 29 percent considered it too thick or too thick. 11 years, up to 50 percent. 15 years (health behavior in school-aged children’s research)

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Explanation of fat. In the popular perception, a large body is the effect of greed

Maria begins with her own story, as if she had to explain herself. Does he really eat a lot? If so why? Can’t he just stop?
It seems that everyone who watches her on the street, a friend of years ago or a relative, is asking for information about the reasons for her weight, without thinking about how intimate the thing is with the body and health.
What happens when the answer is given? Then the classification begins. When physical health is the problem, compassion arises. If you are experiencing stress and mental problems, assess and control them. There is seldom a question involved.
Nobody cares about genetic conditions or the type of figure in which a larger butt, more abundant or more breasts might appear, even at the statistically common sizes. The recommendation is repeated to overcome laziness and to shape the body with sports. The argument that the concept of the base is fluid seems unknown, since not everyone can fit into the 36th size created by the clothing industry in order to standardize the production of clothing. In the popular perception, a large body is the effect of greed, that is, a weakness of character that must be combated, paradoxically, with the help of the body. For one’s health. This is where the diet issue comes in.
At the same time, it is difficult to fall back on advice on choosing unprocessed, junk or cheap food, because these are no longer an option in Poland. Prices for organic yogurt with a simple formula, without corn syrup, can be intimidating, and access to these products is related to the situation.

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Fat stops eating. There is always a moment of crisis in radical diets

Maria recalls a case in which a doctor refused to treat a patient until a woman lost weight. The question arises whether this was intended as a punishment for the patient, or rather evidence of the impotence of medicine, which has not developed medical standards for larger people and deals poorly with their treatment. The slogan “MŻ” or “All Less” is used as a medical recommendation. This rude reaction exposes the subconscious of a person who is professionally involved in the body and does not understand that sometimes “a little” does not help or is impossible for a million individual reasons.

And when it is impossible to rationally reduce, you can try to act radically, practically sifting the food. Fasting or extreme diets based on one product or several hundred calories or a cocktail in a bag are not healthy, which is confirmed by cardiologists, diabetologists, endocrinologists and psychiatrists. But these are the solutions that Maria’s heroines use, because they are determined and overwhelmed by pressure. Weak mood, headache, and feeling low are nothing if respect, love, and a normal life are also at stake. Diet is only a temporary attack on the body, and a new, better self-view makes up for the sacrifices. At least for a while – days, weeks, months. Because at some point in this type of diet there is always a crisis – the physical suffering is unbearable, the initial effects cease to motivate, and everything is exacerbated by stress. Therefore, there is often a breakdown, a return to old habits, there is a yo-yo effect.

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You are fat. Weight gain is common, it affects 58 percent. Polish adults

Does it mean that the woman described as fat has perished and has no chance of living another life? No, a cracked book is critical, but toward the environment, not the heroes. The author flips the mirror and asks her friends, partners, doctors, mothers and neighbors to see themselves in it, who often unwittingly, out of anxiety or, on the contrary, enjoy their sense of superiority or professional position, are evaluated and criticized, underestimated the self-esteem of others.

The real topic of this report is fat phobia, i.e. a mechanism that is supposed to discipline obese people, but it has opposite effects, as it increases stress and reduces the problem. Since we know that excess weight is common, it affects 58 percent. Polish adults, which puts us above the European average (according to Eurostat research), and every fourth Polish is obese, is the time for a profound moral change. Makzour is not suggesting what this kind of revolution should look like. Doctors, politicians, and educators must work on the great project of reforming the body – through good food, healthy relationships, beauty canons, and taking care of physical and mental health. We can demand a mental change through the healing of social relationships. And it’s good to start with yourself and your loved ones, and treat carefully the language we use to talk about weight gain, and to soften our judgments.

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“Fat. A Report on Importance and Prejudice”, Maria Mumzor, Kritiki Polichna Publishing

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