Just another blog of body acceptance, social critique, rambling rants, and anarchy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Whole Foods gives discounts for having a lower BMI

In the latest news story of thin privilege disguised as "health initiative," Whole Foods is giving its employees added discounts if they have a BMI below 30 (with discounts increasing as BMI decreases).  Their claim is that this will be both an incentive for their employees to be "healthier" and a way to lower their health care costs.  While they do use a few other markers of health (blood pressure, cholesterol and nicotine use) it appears that one must have a low enough BMI along with these other markers to qualify; meaning that an employee who is totally healthy, with good blood pressure and low cholesterol will not be able to take advantage of the discount.
Even if the BMI was a good marker of health (which it is NOT) I would still have huge problems with this initiative.  First of all if Whole Foods were actually trying to encourage their employees to make healthier choices they could do something like discounting healthier food options for everyone regardless of their current health or size. (ie. give the 30% discount for fruits and veggies while keeping the 20% for packaged foods like crackers and chips).  Secondly, what kind of health initiative rewards some people for the way their bodies happen to be even if they make no effort to be healthy,  while not providing the same rewards to  people who may be striving to live healthier lives but simply do not have bodies that conform to a particular standard.  Even if the BMI was a good indicator of potential future health problems this policy would still make no sense.  Imagine for a moment if those whose families had a history of heart disease or lung cancer (arguably far better predictors of future health complications than BMI) were disqualified from participating in such a "health" initiative, there would be outcry.  Finally the people in our society who have the least access to healthy foods, and are the most likely to be "overweight or obese" are people without much money.  While I applaud Whole Foods as an employer for providing health care to its employees this new initiative likely fails to provide the discount to the people who need it most.  

For more about the rediculousness of the BMI check out:





As a personal anecdote/example:   I am a vegan who eats a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains.  I ride my bike an average of 10 miles a day, often more, in addition to taking multiple dance classes a week, going swimming when it's nice out, and working a job that involves a lot of walking/running around.  I have never had any kind of serious health problem *knocks wood* and my blood pressure is just fine.   Oh and my BMI puts me squarely on the line between overweight and obese.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Last January a good friend of mine set herself the challenge to photograph her outfit everyday.   While I am not setting myself the same challenge, it (along with reading the blogs of tons of fabulously dressed folks)  has got me thinking about putting a little more effort into my style.  I've always erred on the vintage side of things (even if not for the best aesthetically, I went through a phase in middle school where I turned all my jeans into giant bell-bottoms...) and I love pawing through crowded thrift store racks.  I haven't gone out an bought lots of new clothing or anything, but I did get a haircut (which those of you who know me well know is a Big Deal seeing as until a year and a half ago I had never cut my hair at all.  For what it's worth, I have still never been to a hair salon/barber) I have just been putting a little more effort into what I wear because I know that when I feel good about what I'm wearing I feel more comfortable in my body and have more self confidence.  So here are some outfits from this week:

This is what do wear on a day whose activities include: yard sales, a cupcake bake-off, a 2 year old's birthday party, queer country western dancing, and a trip to the local piano bar for sing alongs.

What to wear for farmer's market, house cleaning, a 5 mile straight uphill bike ride to a graduation party in the hills, sitting on the shore by the lake, some gardening, cooking dinner and going out to see some celtic music.

Brunch in the garden with a friend from out of town followed by work (biking to and from) and a potluck.

Maybe I'll keep taking pictures, although if this warm weather keeps up after my job ends for the summer all my outfits may be bathing suits and bike shorts... 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

1964 for tweens

Yesterday morning I was at a yard sale when I found a 1964 copy of Co-Ed: The High School Magazine for Homemakers and Career Girls and I couldn't resist.  The cover is completely pepto-bismal pink and features a punch bowl of some completely toxic looking substance.  As you would imagine it is completely filled with advertising gems like this one:

(in case you can't read it the copy says: "Any good girdle will do a job on the disaster areas- tummy, thighs, hips, rear.  But if the verdict is still short of smashing, read on.  You know that area where your waist ends and your hips begin? It's called the upper hip.  Oftern your hips begin where your waist ought to be.  The area needs smoothing- and Warner's Turnabout...)  
Rarely do we see advertising that so overtly does its job of selling solutions to problems it invented, what most advertising, especially for things like "shapewear," what girdle type garments would be sold as today, sets out to do.

Next up:
Yes, you read that correctly, Spray-on Reptile! I don't think I can even pick that one apart.

In case you ever wanted to write an essay about your life getting married early and living in a brand new trailer park:

If my recent post about problems with awful feminine care made you depressed, at least no one's telling women today that tampons shouldn't be used if you're single... (or are they? I really hope this is not something about how breaking one's hymen with a tampon would make them loose their virginity and therefore, their attractive purity or some such bs)

In addition to all this crazy advertising Co-Ed boats stories, financial and make-up tips as well as an 8 page guide to baking cookies that I may actually refer to (it ends with a score card for cookies, so you can grade your own cookie making abilities.) 
The Buying Tips section starts with the sentence, "A typewriter is vitally important to jet-age living."  who knew I was missing such an important aspect of my jet-age life?! (I wonder if my laptop counts...)
And towards the end there's even a political section, "On Lowering the Voting Age to 18" where people write in with their opinions (seemed to be about 50/50 as to whether the voting age should be lowered) although it was split up into the page of responses from girls and boys.   

ps. If you ever invite me to dinner please god do not serve any of these things!