Recently, Gillette Venus shared a photo of plus-size model Anna O’Brien, trying to celebrate diversity. However, their attempt has its share of critics who claim that the company is normalizing an unhealthy life. Similar to what other companies with super skinny models are doing, just on the other end of the spectrum.
This marketing move by Gillette reignited a heated discussion about body size and eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives in the United States. “Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses that affect all kinds of people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, size, age, or background. In fact, eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders, surpassed only by opioid addiction.”
If people are consuming fewer calories than they need, their bodies break down their own tissue to use for fuel. “Muscles are some of the first organs broken down, and the most important muscle in the body is the heart. Pulse and blood pressure begin to drop as the heart has less fuel to pump blood and fewer cells to pump with. The risk for heart failure rises as the heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower.”
On the other hand, obesity because, as well as causing obvious physical changes, leads to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, too. These include type 2 diabetes, coronary heart diseas, various types of cancer (such as breast cancer and bowel cancer), and stroke. It can also greatly affect ones quality of like and lead to psychological problems, for example, depression and low self esteem.