1. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Skinny's Guilt

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by T.Trian, Aug 6, 2013.

    We brushed over this subject here. The following questions were brought up:

    A skinny / slim / fit / beautiful person's right to showcase their looks in front of other people in various social situations, be it by dressing classy or trashy (and revealing), how looking at a slim person makes a heavier person feel, should slim people be held responsible for the potential misery they cause to their heavier counterparts, should slim people be held responsible for the potential harm they cause for the relationships of heavier people when one party in the couple leers at the slim person, are the slim folk causing this harm or is it the leering partner of the overweight person who is harming the relationship with his/her actions etc. etc.

    I've been on both sides of the fence: I was a chubby kid, slimmed down during my growth spurt, and ended up being 6'/185cm & 220lbs/100kg at my fattest as an adult (with bodyfat of around 28-30%). I then slimmed down to 155lbs/70kg (bodyfat around 10-12%) and finally carved out that coveted six-pack. I don't really care much about outside pressure regarding looks, but I hated how I looked and, most of all, how I felt when I was fat, hence the change in lifestyle.
    I also have chronic back pain and a possibly cracked meniscus in my right knee, both of which start acting up when I gain weight, so I could say that when I'm heavier than 165lbs/75kg, I start getting health problems. That's a bit of a drag because although I get fat easily, I also gain muscle very easily, almost by accident, and I'd like to be a bit stronger/muscular than I am now (my dream weight would be 175lbs/80kg with bodyfat of less than 10%), but currently that'd just cause more harm than good.

    Anyway, I've gotten my fair share of sneers, (sometimes veiled) insults etc. when I was overweight as well as when I was skinny. Usually they come from my parents, but also from acquaintances (my friends don't do this because they're... well, friends). I have a pretty thick skin, but when I was fat, on bad days it sucked regardless.
    What annoyed me more, however, were the sneers aimed at me when I was slim and fit, the bulk of the insults coming from overweight people: I had worked fucking hard to get to that point, I was healthier than ever, I'd never been as fit and capable (physically) etc. But apparently that wasn't a good thing after all: suddenly I was too skinny, a shallow dullard who only cared about his looks, didn't know how to enjoy life, and so on.
    But here's where those two states of being differed: when I was overweight, I had the socially recognized right to defend myself (speaking of verbal confrontations here), but when I'd cut down my bodyfat percentage, it turned out I had also cut down my right to speak up against sneers and insults. It seems quite a few people feel that being skinny is so great that when you are, you shouldn't have other benefits. I know most people don't think like this, but the posts in the rape-thread still got me thinking and they reminded me of this issue (not saying anyone there claimed these things, just that their posts reminded me of these issues).

    When considering online discussion boards, I've encountered quite a few overweight people who are incredibly bitter and downrigh hostile towards slimmer folks even though usually the overweight are so simply because they are either lazy or great at making excuses why they don't exercise or stop over-eating. Some claim health problems and while some of these claims are valid, many are just excuses. An example: there's a Finnish mother, Päivi Bothas, who was severely overweight (at most she weighed 200lbs/90kg and afaik she's around 5'4/162cm) and suffered of hypothyroidism. After giving birth, she decided that she would get healthy, so she put in countless hours of grueling training, fixed her diet, and now she's competing in fitness competitions around the country, donning a healthy amount of muscle, little fat, she's fit, looks good, and, according to her own words, feels great. It was a hell of a feat, especially when you look at her before and after photos, but if a mother with thyroid problems can accomplish that and cut over 70lbs (can't remember the exact number, but it was in that ball park), I'd argue that most people can do the same.
    I, too, have many health problems (I've been on sickleave for over 4 years now and it appears my back condition will be a life-long partner), but I refuse to become someone I'm not (a fatso) even though my body is very much inclined to gain fat, gather fluids, and most exercise hurts (not in a good way). Then again, once you really get into it, exercising and eating well are actually fun, but it sucks that a part of society believes you should be punished for the results of the hard work you've gone through to make yourself healthier (physically and mentally) and, according to some people, better-looking.

    I figured I'd open a new thread so we can discuss these issues without derailing another one. Anyway, ideas? Opinions? How much guilt do you believe should be placed on the overweight person in regards to the problems (mental and physical) derived from over-eating? Should slim people cover their bodies to the best of their abilities during social gatherings so they won't cause distress to overweight people?

    I discuss these issues with KaTrian in some of our WIPs since we have MCs who represent several different body types ("average," overweight, skinny, athletic etc) and it's interesting to observe how a character's build affects their capabilities, their psyches, how they look at themselves / others, how others look at them etc.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't pretend to have an answer to this, but I can present a case where the marginalized have banded, rallied and overcome the way they feel about how they are perceived.

    Right now in American Gay Culture, Bear Culture is where it's at! (forgive the divorced preposition)

    [​IMG]

    Bears, cubs, otters and the like have always had a community within the greater community, but they are really out and proud these days, as well they should be. No person should have to feel like life is for others that don't look like them, like somehow they were born to be cheated out of all the good stuff. Screw that. But the only real way to make that happen is to first find it within oneself to recognize that arbitrary prejudices about appearance are just that, arbitrary, and that allowing someone to make you feel badly about yourself is your own choice. The others have no power if you give them none. The change is something you can see within the pages of gay culture magazines. Advertisers who market to our community no longer picture skinny club bois with disco tits. Now you see burly guys who look like real guys. Slightly better looking versions of real guys, but not fantasy steroid, airbrushed bulimia bois.

    The gay community has, by default, always had to find a way to self actualize. We have always had to shrug off the judgements of others and fight those who would take action to control us. That the Bear Community is saying fuck off to stereotypes of beauty is just another facet of this.
     
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  3. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    This is strange. As being neither fat nor skinny, but working with people who are one or the other (some with eating disorders, some without), I have to say that most bullying I have noticed from society is against overweight people.

    I don't know about your interactions with people in other areas (but on this one you seem fair, so I am not sure whether this will apply) but there is nothing more irritating to those who feel they lack the ability (will power is a hated phrase) to change, when someone who had their problem has made the change. Often people who have made the change come across as evangelistic: take the example of ex-smokers. As someone who used to smoke I am in this category. I found it easy to give up. But there is nothing more irritating to me than an ex-smoker who tells a smoker they should give up.

    People do things that are bad for them for lots of reasons, some of them they can admit to and some of them they can't and some of them they don't even know.

    No one should feel guilty about making a change, or doing anything (as long as it doesn't harm others). But they should be careful not to tell others "If I can do it, you can do it too." It ain't that simple
     
  4. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Couple things, T.

    1. That hypothetical example I put forth on that other thread was really just a silly game, to be taken lightly. But the topic's interesting, anyway.

    2. Judging one another based on looks runs all ways. I can guarantee you there are guys out there who would dismiss you as physically inferior to them, just because of your light weight . I also know overweight men who carry their gait with majesty, and, believe it or not, some women adore them. And, get this, some men like overweight women, too. It's not all black and white. Something to think about it.

    3. I've noticed a trend where people like to state how things should be. What's fair. What is moral. It's important to understand that, among what, I'd say, are a few large general ideologies most people share, are the many, individual, petty agendas that most individuals have. Maybe under the ideals of freedom, it's OK for a beautiful woman to wear whatever she wants. But that doesn't stop porky from getting jealous, or Jazzabel's beer belly boogeyman from thinking impure thoughts. I'll tell you what stops it. Modest clothing. The same thing that people that are uncomfortable with their bodies use to protect their own egos.

    We could argue day and night about what's fair, what's right, and what is acceptable, but we are human beings, not computers. We can't always prevent jealousy, insecurity, etc. It's going to happen whether we believe it should or not. I think people find it so easy to discuss things in vacuum, especially when on the internet, that they forget the human element behind these arguments. A great looking person who dresses modestly is at less risk of making less physically secure people uncomfortable. A person who thinks they're unsightly is most likely already covering up, so, already, the playing field is not quite equal.

    Now, nobody has to care about what other people think/ feel. You can do whatever you want, you say, and it's their problem if they feel uncomfortable. True, but that just brings us one step closer to the jungle.
     
  5. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    mmmm, agree in parts...

    Most people wear clothes to get noticed (or not). Men and women wear clothes to get noticed on a night out, etc. Or people dress outlandishly to make a statement. Those people deserve to get looked at (because that is the purpose. But that is as far as it goes. You can get looked at, but not touched and not abused.

    I used to have long hair and wear earings. Now my hair was down to my waist and it made women jealous. It had curls and looked good. I used to wear it down, although it often got caught in my beard. But the clothes I wore were modest. Jeans, long-sleeved t-shirt. I was slim, but not thin.

    I was standing at the bar (that my girlfriend's parents run) and a guy comes behind me, puts his hands on my waist and says "excuse me love". There was plenty of room behind me, no need I turned around, look him in the eye and said "that's all right mate." All his friends laughed at him. I didn't mind because he looked the fool.

    But it did make me think.

    I was dressed in modest clothes, but because I looked like a woman from behind I was touched for no reason.

    That must happen a lot to women.

    It is not ok.
     
  6. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Happens to men in bars all the time too.
     
  7. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Really? A cheap thrill? This guy was expecting to touch a girls waist and was shocked to see he was touching a man.

    Usually blokes don't touch other guys on the waist to ask them to move when they don't need to
     
  8. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting that you just assumed I would be referring to a guy as the offender...;)

    Actually, I meant, women do it to guys in bars as well.
     
  9. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Ok, not in the bars that I have been in. And not a 50 year old woman doing it to a bloke the age of 23 (which I was at the time )
     
  10. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Go to a cougar bar.
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I definitely see fat people get picked on/made fun of more than skinny people. But I've seen both skinny and fat people be victims of bullying.

    A person should be able to wear whatever he/she wants. I see no reason why he/she should dress a certain way just so another person (or people) may be spared from "potential harm."

    As for leering, I think the person doing the actual leering (i.e., the partner of an overweight person) is more to blame than the person showing off their body and/or wearing skimpy clothing.
     
  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This whole anti leering business baffles me. Looking (whereever one wants) is a birth right.
     
  13. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I think it's sad that everywhere we turn, media is telling us what it means to be a desirable man or woman. The man is rich, powerful, confident and athletic and the woman is "beautiful". However, the 'beauty' that is shoved in our faces everyday is unattainable. Women are sorts of shapes and sizes and not one of them is flawless. I think society needs to do a better job of showing real women, and not just sex symbols and air-brushed imaginings.
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I understand that, but part of being in a relationship means considering your partner's feelings. So I don't think leering is wrong because I don't consider that a moral issue, but there are other factors to consider in a relationship.
     
  15. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    In a perfect world, there should be no guilt put on either side. It's the media and corporate view of what an acceptable human being is supposed to look like that lowers people's self-esteem, makes them feel ashamed when there isn't even a reason to be. I'm skinny get picked on for it often, I also have a baby face so that doesn't help at all. But I've learned that whining about it doesn't change anything, I myself have to have to change my outlook on life. If there's anyone to blame, its the people who make money by making others feel terrible about themselves. Advertising rule 101.
     
  16. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    While both, skinny and heavy people get picked on, judged, and their eating habits are put under scrutiny, I still daresay that for a heavy person it's harder than for a skinny person. The latter is still more socially acceptable, I'm afraid.

    I've gotten a creeping suspicion that when I'm around a curvier woman, she gets more stares and attention than me the no-butt plankey... everyone talks about Western beauty ideals, how you should be super-skinny with huge plastic boobs, but since we live in the real world and not on the pages of Cosmo, the guys often seem to go for the girl with a little "meat" on her 'cause that's considered womanly. I can even see it in the literature genres I read; fantasy, urban fantasy and SF. If a novel is written by a man, the female protag or the love interest of the hero has big boobs and alluring curves (that's when boob-envy sometimes hits me, hah. I'm hell-happy in my marriage, but it makes me wonder "is this what men really find sexy? I'll never be that gal!").

    Not sure what's the harm in that. Everyone knows we aren't all the same, but it does give a boost when you think how someone else pulled it off, so why not me? Admittedly, I don't know many overweight people (used to be 2, now 1, because the other slimmed down and is nigh-skinny now!) and I've watched too much Biggest Loser, but like my brother said (used to be a long-distance runner and coach Finnish top athletes), it ain't rocket science, you gotta burn more than you put in. But it's not really a diet change more than it's a lifestyle change, and that's hard! I couldn't imagine changing my lifestyle to a non-exercising, fast-food eating person either.

    Suppose people just project their own insecurities on others with insults, judgment, etc. I know I've done it (inside my head), thinking of a curvy woman "god she's fat" even though a part of me admires and is jealous of her curves.
     
  17. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's three archetypal body types. Endomorph (short, fat), ectomorph (tall, skinny), mesomorph (big, muscular). It's supposedly an outdated theory but I'm not sure why. We all know those rails who wolf down Mcdonalds, and those who balloon up just by looking at a piece of celery. Genetics is definitely involved.
     
  18. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    I have a million different thoughts on this.

    Firstly, I have been skinny practically my entire life. At the age of 12, I was a compact 5' 6", 140 pounds, but when I hit my growth spurt, I became skinny. I was 6' 4" and 160 pounds at 18, and am 6' 5" and 190 pounds now, at 26. It's funny you mention body fat percentages, because I just had it measured the other day. (Second time in my life) I'm 17%, fairly average for my age, so I have a bit of the "skinny fat" body type. I do get compliments from women on what I look like shirtless, though, so I imagine it's decent.

    My physical strength is fairly surprising for most people, given my frame; I have been lifting weights since I was a kid, and done amateur boxing, karate, sambo, and BJJ. I can throw around much heavier and better built individuals. That being said, I have never been particularly happy with my body. I like my height, but always wanted to be 240+ pounds of pure muscle, having a similar physique to a heavyweight mixed martial artist.

    Unfortunately, that's impossible unless I were to start a hardcore steroid regime. Even consuming a ridiculous 6-7k calories a day, and weight-lifting regularly and heavy, I have never gotten higher than 205 pounds. (I'm a lot stronger right now at 190 than I was previously at 205, too) It's a bit disheartening, but one has to accept his body's limitations.

    As for what I like, I prefer curvy women with big breasts and (especially) large butts. I especially like black women for this reason.

    My current girlfriend struggles a lot with her weight. She is 5' 3" and 290 pounds. (Even for my tastes, that's too much, although I find her extremely sexy for a number of reasons) She used to weigh even more (350 pounds), until shedding 60 pounds a few years ago.

    Her weight is mostly a function of her genetics. I once saw a family picture with her, and every single person there fell under the category of "severely overweight". She has to constantly work on her weight, and it will be a lifelong struggle. This, despite her regularly going to the gym, and always watching her diet. For comparison purposes, I eat at least 2-3 times as many calories as she does per day.

    I sympathize with her situation, but unfortunately, that's life. Not everyone gets dealt the genetic hand they want. She will never be skinny, but I encourage her to get healthier. A lot of extra weight is a strain on the heart, the joints, knees, ankles, feet, and one's overall energy. She won't ever be 5' 3" and 120 pounds, but slimming down to 180 pounds would be wonderful. She tries hard too, although I know it's often discouraging and uncomfortable when the numbers don't go down.

    It's strange, but I never, even as a kid, looked down at women for being overweight. On the other hand, if a guy is being annoying/douchey, I will look down upon him even more if he is grossly overweight.

    Men have naturally lower body fat percentages than women, more muscular capacity to exercise, and bodies that shed fat and synthesize muscle better. To me, that sends a message that the guy is lazy, especially if his personality is otherwise douchey.

    However, as T.Trian noted, there are a lot of fat people (men and women) who are arrogant and rude as fuck. Just like there are many skinny people that possess those attributes. One's personality doesn't improve or worsen based on weight.

    Edit-

    Also,

    no, that's insane.
     
  19. chicagoliz
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    What is interesting, as well, is that the fatness has gotten out of control. I remember when I was a kid, John Belushi was though of as being "so fat." But when I see reruns of his movies now, he doesn't look all that fat -- he is much thinner than many of the actors who are fat today. Similarly, in the NFL, I remember when William "The Refrigerator" Perry started playing for the Bears. It was big news how he was so big and fat. But now, he wouldn't be anywhere near the biggest or fattest guy.

    There's the whole fat acceptance movement and the skyrocketing obesity rates, but at the same time there is this vilification of being overweight and the super-skinny, gaunt-looking models out there.

    It is tough -- I want to give the expected 'no one should be picked on for their appearance' type of answer. But at the same time, we shouldn't go all the way to the position that anything is okay. It really should be about being in a healthy zone. I think some of the acceptance of being fat has led to the larger obesity rates.
     
  20. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Is this really that skinny? You know the basketball player Kobe Bryant? He's 6' 7" and 185-190, and he doesn't look skinny at all.
     
  21. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Nice discussion we got going, exactly what I was after. :cool:

    Yeah, I know from personal experience just how frustrating it was as a chubby kid when girls would admire my friend's six-pack while I stood aside being boring. :D Well, I wasn't that fat, perhaps 15-20lbs overweight, but in that particular society, when it came to guys, no six-pack = fat (or skeletally skinny). That's why I try to maintain a more positive attitude when cutting weight: I look at videos / read magazines etc. about people who have made it, who look good, who represent examples of the physique that I want (men, women, doesn't matter: I'd take George Saint Pierre's arms and Dana Linn Bailey's abs). The most frustrating thing about succeeding in this change is that it happens veeery slowly whereas motivation and inspiration to do something about it seems to come in bits and pieces with down-time in-between (which often translates into laziness / over-eating), which results in a yo-yo effect. Far more difficult than dragging your ass to the swimming hall is going there every day (or even four days a week).


    2. Absolutely, and I wholly admit to being a pencil neck! To my credit, though, I know how to throw a heavy punch, so that evens the scales a bit. Anyway, yeah, different strokes for different folks: if you look hard enough, you'll likely find that special someone who adores you for who you truly are and doesn't demand that you look like someone from a magazine cover.

    3. Hmm... perhaps to a degree, but not that much, I think. Since I think a girl dressed in BDUs, combat boots, and a hoodie is sexier than her plastic-boobed counterpart in a miniskirt, high heels, and tube top, I'm pretty sure other guys look at these modestly dressed girls and salivate (referring to the different strokes -bit above). So, yeah, I do prefer "modest" clothing, but I still insist everyone should be allowed to wear what they want (or how little they want as long as they are not harming others in doing so, i.e. walking naked into a mosque).

    I also do think we live in a jungle already. It's just made mostly of concrete or some such. Sometimes I just feel that some people are overly sensitive about the wrong things (e.g. a girl's bare thighs) just as they are desensitized to the wrong things (violence).

    Men do get groped in pubs and clubs, just like girls, but to a far lesser extent. The numbers are probably similar to how it works on online dating sites: if a good-looking guy creates a decent profile and posts a picture of his handsome self, he'll get a few messages a day. An average-looking girl does the same and she gets dozens, if not hundreds of messages a day. One female friend is pretty photogenic, but pretty at best. Yet she got literally hundreds of messages in one week after posting her profile on an online dating site while a guy who always pulls when he goes out got only a few dozen online come hithers on the same site.


    I made this distinction in the porn thread and believe it fits here too: looking is what we do when a nice car, a cute kitten, a platypus on a unicycle, or a beautiful girl/hot guy passes by. Leering is for losers.

    Btw, while KaTrian is an ectomorph, I'm a mesomorph. I always wanted to be the former even if it meant I had to work twice as hard to build what little muscle I know have. Afaik these morphs are nowadays considered to be pseudo-science and lack factual evidence, but what has been proven is that genes do affect, to a degree, how easily we build / lose muscle and gain / lose weight and that some people just have more wasteful engines. Although us slow-burning types would survive the longest on a deserted island, we're at a disadvantage in a modern, six-pack-admiring, Western society.
     
  22. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends on your body fat composition and where your body distributes its weight. I would imagine the taller you are, the greater the effect the weight distribution has on one's appearance.
     
  23. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    Mind citing an example or two? I can't think of a single actor who is as fat as John Belushi was. Even Seth Rogen is noticeably slimmed down these days.

    Sports is a horrible example. Guys in the NFL now have gotten much bigger across the board, while becoming stronger, faster, and more explosive.

    Also, Perry was 6' 2" and weighed around 335 pounds during his playing days. That's still enormous. Saying "he wouldn't be anywhere near the biggest or fattest guy" is plain wrong.

    The NFL Hall of Fame is having their inductions soon, and one of the members will be Warren Sapp. Sapp was also 6' 2", and weighed a good 315 pounds. The difference is that the guy was also explosive and fast as fuck. He would beat half the members of the local high school track team in a foot race. You would never imagine what fantastic cardio, agility, speed, and athleticism such a huge guy could possess until you watched him play.

    So yeah, sports is a poor example.
     
  24. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Confused. Mesomorphs are the ones with muscle. Why would you have to work harder to build more muscle to be ectomorphic?? (Pseudoscience, yes. Workable rule of thumb for practical day life? I think so.)
     
  25. IronPalm
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    I have actually stood right next to him back when I lived in LA, and we are the same height. Bryant is listed as 6' 6" (not 6' 7"), but that's with shoes. (Most reported basketball heights are done with shoes)

    No clue where you got the "185-190" figure, though. (Maybe back during his rookie year, when he was 18?) Every online resource lists his weight as being at least 205, and in many cases 210-215 pounds. So the guy has a good 20-25 pounds on me, and even then, is still on the thinner side.

    Believe me, 6' 5" and 190 pounds is skinny.
     

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