12/15/09 Update: After two years of inactivity, I returned to SC to find that this post has been one of my most popular for quite some time; I find that extremely embarrassing. This post is indicative of everything that was wrong with SC; it’s juvenile, impetuous, poorly researched, confrontational without good reason, and generally just awful. Even though I’d love nothing more than to delete this it, I’m not going to. No matter how much I’ve come to despise it, I still wrote it, and I’m not going to pretend it didn’t happen. It did, and there’s nothing I can do about it. So please know that I’m every bit as disgusted by what follows as you are.
After a shocking amount of backlash against my post concerning Beth Ditto and her weight, I decided to do a little research. Many of you seemed to think that Ditto was of an average, healthy weight. You thought the media had simply transformed our ideas of what people should weigh. I’ll admit, when I wrote that post, I didn’t know exactly what Beth Ditto weighed, or exactly what weight was considered obese. I looked around a bit, and Wikipedia to the rescue! According to them:
“In the clinical setting, obesity is typically evaluated by measuring BMI (body mass index) . . .”
“BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a simple and widely used method for estimating body fat. In epidemiology BMI alone is used as an indicator of prevalence and incidence.”
“BMI = kg / m2”
“The current definitions commonly in use establish the following values, agreed in 1997 and published in 2000:
- A BMI less than 18.5 is underweight
- A BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 is normal weight
- A BMI of 25.0 – 29.9 is overweight
- A BMI of 30.0 – 39.9 is obese
- A BMI of 40.0 or higher is severely (or morbidly) obese
- A BMI of 35.0 or higher in the presence of at least one other significant comorbidity is also classified by some bodies as morbid obesity.
Now, for some math. Using my own height and weight here’s an example of how to calculate BMI.
My height = 5’7″ = 67″
My weight = 140lbs
Converted to meters and kilograms:
My height = (67 x 0.02540) = 1.718m
My weight = (140 x 0.45359237) = 63.5029318kgs
BMI = 63.5029318 / 1.7182
=63.5029318 / 2.951524
So, my BMI is about 21.5, and according to Wikipedia, that’s perfectly healthy. Now, for Ditto.
Beth Ditto’s Height and Weight
Height = 5’2″ = 62″
Weight = 220lbs
Height = 1.5748m
Weight = 99.7903214
BMI = 99.7903214 / 1.57482
BMI = 99.7903214 / 2.47999504
BMI = 40.2381133
Uh oh, looks like that’s considered severely overweight, or morbidly obese. That’s not my opinion, that’s a fact. Beth Ditto is damn far from a healthy weight. Here are some BMI’S of the “sexiest women alive”:
Scarlett Johansson – 18.0
Kiera Knightly – 17.2
Angelina Jolie – 18.8
Beyonce Knowles – 24.0
Jessica Alba – 20.2
Halle Berry – 19.3
Jennifer Aniston – 18.3
Eva Longoria – 19.8
Charleze Theron -19.6
What does that mean? Well first, that Kiera should probably gain a few pounds, and secondly, that none of them are even close to 15-point margin Ditto is. Most of them are well with a healthy weight! Now, if Ditto were content to simply eat herself to death without harming anyone else, that would be fine. But she’s not; she’s actively glorifying her gluttony. Believe it or not, some kids actually look up to her as a role mode; to them, she’s saying “it’s okay to be grossly overweight. I am, and I’m doing just fine”. That is why I have a problem with her. You wouldn’t put a naked anorexic on a magazine cover, right? That would be sending the wrong message to the youth. So why should it be okay to put a fat girl on there?