Obese, slim and other distortions

With so much talk about pressure to be thin, it turns out, according to a recent survey, that 80 per cent of people suffering obesity are happy with the way they look and almost all of them are convinced that their weight is perfectly fine.

I’m not sure whether this is terrible or terribly good. Being overweight is bad due to diabetes, cholesterol, the heart, joints and endless other ailments, but liking the way you look is great for the spirit; being happy with yourself, just like that, naturally, with no coaching or anything, is priceless.

If we followed every single medical recommendation (from dental floss to exercise, rest, not sitting for too long, not standing up for too long and a long list of dos and don’ts) we would undoubtedly be healthier, but we wouldn’t have time to work or hardly even to live.

Obese people who think they look thin are not the only ones who have a distorted view of reality. The adolescents who get caught up in Blue Whale, the macabre chain that involves passing tests and can lead to suicide, have a deformed view of fun, and of what is a real challenge.

The forensic psychologist who specialises in children, Javier Urra, believes that this type of behaviour is due to a failure to reflect on one’s own actions, which is typical during the transition from childhood to adulthood, although fortunately the majority realise and stop in time. Some of the challenges are very dangerous, such as swallowing a spoonful of ground cinnamon in one go without water, which can cause asphyxia or a collapsed lung, but probably seem harmless to a 15-year-old.

That is really not that far away from some of the adolescent foolishness that I remember, such as a competition to see who could eat the most sandwiches without drinking water. It was nothing in the style of Paul Newman eating 50 hard-boiled eggs in Cool Hand Luke, but rather stupidity combined with greed; you didn’t risk your life but it was revolting.

No one is free from distorted views. Look at what has happened with the old Astoria cinema in Malaga; many of those who either love or hate Antonio Banderas’ cultural project probably know nothing about it, but the issue has evolved in such a way that now no one talks about the idea, but just about the man. Antonio or not Antonio, as if that were the question. It’s the same stupidity as when a debate turns into a dog fight, where egos can be as uncomfortable as a high horse, but no one wants to get down.