According to Rabbi Shmuley, America is in the midst of an "anti-fat obsession." Models and actresses are skinnier than ever, he says, and the ideal female figure is no longer curvaceous and voluptuous as it was in the past, but rather stick-thin and linear. He talks about why society should value normal, healthy figures instead and offers advice for combating discrimination against people who are seen as being overweight.
Individuals should be appreciated for their mind, heart and soul—not just their body, Rabbi Shmuley says. Women should be concerned about their health and cultivating their minds, he says, and should not obsess over diets and exercise. Moreover, he says no one should ever be made to feel bad or unattractive because of a physical feature such as their weight. Such discrimination can lead to depression, low self-esteem and even eating disorders such as anorexia, Rabbi Shmuley says.
To combat society's unhealthy obsession with thinness, Rabbi Shmuley says parents should teach their children tolerance and that people come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Families, friends, neighbors and co-workers need to lift each other up with positive praise and compliments, rather than bring them down with criticism and cruelty. "Go on the 'compliment diet,'" he says. "Go home and compliment your wife, compliment your husband."
"While to the eyes, thin is in, to the hands, meat is neat."