A recent survey conducted by the market research firm, NPD Group claims America's attitudes toward overweight people are shifting from rejection toward acceptance, citing that over a 20-year period, the percentage of Americans who said they find overweight people less attractive steadily dropped from 55 percent to 24 percent. What they failed to take into account is that the number of overweight people in America has risen to an all time high. Also, the same people who claim they do not think being overweight is less attractive, also say they would like to lose 20 lbs or more.
"It's like asking a person with a glass eye if they think the false eye makes them less attractive, of course they'll say no. But then ask the same person if they would rather have two real eyes, and they'll undoubtedly say yes" say Bernard Bernstein, social science researcher and author of three unpublished books. "These researchers just assume that people who take part in surveys are always truthful, when most often, people tend to answer questions with a less than realistic response. People will answer in a way that reflects how they think or wish reality was, but in all honesty, they're just lying to themselves".
"Body image remains a constant obsession, the national preoccupation with being thin hasn't waned, it's just that people are finding it more and more difficult to reach their goals of being thinner, so they lie to themselves to keep from slipping into deep depression" Harry Hoodwinker, short order cook at Lenny's Grill in Queens said. "If you ask me about my weight, I'll tell you to your face that I think I look pretty good, but then when I'm sitting at home, all alone, I wallow in self-loathing and throw a pity part".
At 5-feet-6 and 230 pounds, Lara Fatter says likes her body just fine and turns up her nose at trendy diets. But when researchers showed her photos of super models and told her that nobody will ever love her because she just a big fat loser, she broke down in tears, repeating "I hate myself, I hate myself" over and over.
Joan Portly says she often wishes society would revert back to a time when heavy women were considered ideal, referencing the "Rubenesque" period, when 17th century painter Peter Paul Rubens' painted full-figured women. But Bernstein theorizes that Rubens painted full-figured women for reasons that had nothing to do with what was considered ideal at the time, "the rich women were fat, and only they could afford to have their portrait painted. Secondly, Rubens was an ugly and smelly character, he couldn't get attractive women to strip down and pose for him".
Bernstein was quick to point out that he wasn't making fun of overweight people, he was simply calling them big fat liars, "Look at me, I'm overweight and unattractive, but at least I'm honest about it. People can choose to accept themselves or not, but come on, don't lie about it!"