Currency is a fluctuating measurement of relative value, and inflation is a consequence. This is why penny candies are now ten cents, yet still more affordable because of what they’re now made of and how relatively cheaper other things have become.
But as the dollars, euros, yen, and pounds ebb and flow in their purchasing power, pounds of the not-so-sterling variety can’t. The measurement of weight doesn’t get adjusted for inflation as frequently as money, because we believe in absolutes: currency is a construct and the numeric value doesn’t matter; body mass is an absolute and there are limits to function and longevity if it’s outside a given range.
The “given range” is quite arbitrarily defined based on someone’s painted picture of kilograms as contrasted by height in metres squared. Changes in the Body Mass Index of our population show a drastic increase in obesity and as such a steep decrease in health in our generation. Forget the increased longevity, lower child mortality, et cetera and so forth. Tip past that point on the scale and you are officially part of the problem.
But that is not really true, is it? Doctors may say it is – “you should lose weight” seems to be an automated response from many physicians when patients visit, if for no reason other than to justify charging that appointment to the government’s bill. My doctor fortunately hasn’t brought it up and I’m not entirely sure why. I’m certainly overweight on the BMI scale, but it’s like…she sees through that or something. It’s like she asks questions about how I feel and takes my lifestyle habits into perspective. Maybe it’s because she’s new at her job – not that she doesn’t know any better, but that she was trained with a better perspective on how weight…weighs in.
See, we’re all getting larger because of drastic changes in lifestyle and quality of food supply. The average size and range of shapes of people are changing. Off-the-rack clothing has been lowering the size number for the same measurement for years. In that way, the value of the pound is changing. As our average size migrates our standards will eventually follow, too – even though our supermodels are still svelte surreal, our available pool for sex and/or love goes with the flow.
Economic conditions of the past have placed desirability on physical features that go beyond the VERY misogynistic caveman stereotype of clubbing and raping women for their genes. It’s actually a slightly different kind of misogyny that makes desirable a woman’s features relating to her family’s wealth. Women who can hire personal trainers and have fresh food cooked for them may maintain a thinner figure than desk workers who have to make economic or family sacrifices not to microwave something prepackaged or go through a drive-thru on their way home – but if power’s in numbers, it’s the latter who need to be catered to in the larger market.
The solutions offered currently are the “lean cuisine” kinds of shite that produce little result and don’t get anywhere close to the core. Nutrition is still measured in calories and health is still measured in weight. It’s a more complex society and interwoven economies of trade that make food so plentiful. Why do we keep those oversimplified yardsticks in commission when we have the resources to evaluate on a deeper level?
We can’t yet see ourselves in our own context.