Ok I'm a big chick.
As for thin being the ideal... it has not always been so. Women used to have curves and were a bit heavier than today. Marlyn Monro was a size 18.
Will I ever be thin? No. I am not designed that way.
Stop looking at the size of peoples bodies and pay attention to how much drive and heart they have. After all Aikido is about love and acceptance right?
As we both know the US is bent on being thin. Even when Marilyn was around so was twiggy. But if you look at the Lucille Ball Show, only the kids where thin. Before that May West, and Babe Ruth.
There is this effort today in the US by changing the BMI scale to make more people obese who had curves and love-handles, thus targeting their size as a health issue. This causes a more discriminatory society against people who are not the "ideal" weight, of -1 body fat
The discrimination is growing against fat people. Like I said Airlines are charging double ticket price for a fat person who say weights 270lbs of average height, but the price of a ticket isn't doubled a tall person who is of the same weight or more due to the height. Some restaurants are doing the same. I am not even looking at the stuff that has been around so long that is anti-weight we have gotten so use to it we don't notice anymore. Like the movie industry, the beauty industry, and the fashion industry. Take the resent photoshoping of a picture of a model who was considered too heavy. The doctoring of her photo made an already thin woman look unrealistically and unhealthily thin.
I don't know if Aikido is about the type of "love" about, or "acceptance" Cherie is talking, but what I do know is that the there is a greater effort here America to look down upon people that are not the ideal body weight, and this will and is being translated into the dojo.
With more of an effort of society pushing for "ideal" weight for everyone via now the medical community targeting the weight of kids giving insurance companies reasons not to insure people including a breast-feed baby that was over the set "ideal" weight for infants- as the percentile standard for ideal is set on non-breast feed babies who are much thinner (less healthier) than breast feed babies (more healthy). The medical community is targeting K-12 school kids teaching them that fat is bad. Fat kids for decades have been teased about being fat, but that wasn't always the case. For example, the old show "Our Gang/The Little Rascals " where they had a fat kid who wasn't mocked. But now with the stronger newer effort against...well...fatter people then the ideal, these people will be less accepted into society than before. This will again translate into the dojo with the next generations. As well as insurance companies discriminating against fat Aikidoka.
Now as time goes on we may see it harder for people to get a space for a dojo based on insurance companies discriminatory practices against fatter people. It is a liability to have a fatter person in the dojo for risk of heat attack and other non-sense presented by the insurance company, so the cost of covering a dojo could be more expensive that usual based on having a fatter Aikidoka- one who doesn't meet that ideal BMI for their height.
As there are real health concerns for really over-weight people and the obese in terms of Aikido and health issues. But I think the new anti-fat concern represented by a sliding BMI scale and society's madness for the perfect weight that will become an unspoken discrimination against those who don't measure up to the ideal BMI inside and outside of the dojo.
Cherie, I hear ya. You as a "big chick" are facing even more pressure to be less that you are. You sound like your "weight" isn't an issue in the dojo, but do you think in the future with the stronger effort to make everyone the perfect weight will effect the way new Aikidoka will look at you? Will there be a hidden discriminating feelings toward fatter people despite the common idea Aikido is about acceptance?