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The Underpants Rule

I love this blog!

I have found there are rules that, if I follow them, usually steer me in the right direction. There’s the Golden Rule (treat others as you would like to be treated) though I prefer the Platinum Rule (treat others as THEY would like to be treated). But my most favorite life rule is The Underpants Rule and not just because I named it, and not just because its widespread implementation would end about 90% of the jackassery and fuckwittery that happens on the internet, and maybe 50% that happens in the real world.

The Underpants Rule is simple: everyone is the boss of their own underpants so you get to choose for you and other people get to choose from them and it’s not your job to tell other people what to do. To illustrate, if you’re considering saying something that starts with

People should
Everyone ought to
What people need to do
We should all
Nobody should
You shouldn’t
blah blah things that have to do with underpants that aren’t yours blah blah

then there is a 99.9% chance that you are about to break The Underpants Rule. The only “exception” to this for me is about Civil Rights because they are not to be voted on or conferred, they just are, therefore everybody needs to respect everybody else’s civil rights.

Of course telling you that you should follow the Underpants Rule is, in fact, breaking the Underpants Rule which is pesky, so let me instead make a case for the Underpants Rule and then you can make your own choice.

I chose a Health at Every Size practice because I am a fan of research, logic and math. I think that the research clearly shows that a HAES practice give me a much better shot at health with way less downside risk than a weight loss- based health practice.

There are people who think the exact opposite of that. I know that because they come here and tell me so – they say that I’m making a “dangerous choice”, they quote research and tell me that I should make a different choice. This blog is my little corner of the internet. It exists only because I created it and I am thrilled to pieces that people enjoy reading it, that people get inspired by it, that it gives people information to make choices etc. I try very hard to make sure that I always follow the Underpants Rule and never tell anyone else how they have to live and yet people come here and try to tell me how to live. That’s annoying.

For this reason, I would never go onto someone’s weight loss blog and tell them all about Health at Every Size and quote research as to why I think it’s a better choice. Those are not my underpants.

I do not enjoy (or believe) it when people tell me that I need to become smaller to be attractive. Therefore I would never say that thin women need to become larger to be attractive. Besides the fact that I don’t believe it, those are not my underpants. (Not to mention that the path to high self-esteem is probably not paved with hypocrisy so doing to someone else exactly what you don’t want done to you may be ill-advised.)

The war on obesity is an underpants rule breakdown on a massive scale. A group of government, public and private interests (with various profit and political motivations) has chosen a group of people who are identifiable by sight and is now trying to tell us everything from how we have to prioritize health, to the path we have to take to become healthy, to how our bodies have to look. Who died and made them Underpants Overlord? Nobody.

My metaphorical underpants and my actual underpants have something in common: if I want somebody else in them, that person will be among the very first to know. I have definitely not invited the executives at HBO, Kaiser Permanente, the government, or the diet industry into my underpants.

Now, I’m not telling what to do (cause, you know, Underpants Rule) but I’m suggesting that if you don’t like it when people attempt to be the boss of your underpants, then trying to be the boss of someone else’s is pretty hypocritical. I’m fairly certain that “Do unto others exactly what you don’t want them to do to you” is the lead rule or the brick rule or something – at any rate a LOT of steps down from platinum and gold.

Remember, you are forever the boss of your underpants – occupy your underpants (with a nod to reader Duckie for that phrase)! I’m going off to see if there is a Guinness World Record for number of times the word underpants is used in a blog.


For myself, I will allow exceptions for friendly snark sessions between friends.

I also applaud her post on Horrible Holiday Diet Tips.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
ZOMG I love her! She's largely responsible for my new approach to health, and my increased self-acceptance! I used to subscribe, but she updates too frequently for me (and I kept wanting to offer to proofread her posts [g]).
Nov. 13th, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that, and yes, a bit of editing wouldn't hurt.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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