In Defense of Fat

There is a widespread belief in Western culture that it is necessary to police the health of every fat person. Judgments are made about the state of the inside of fat bodies based on the appearance of the outside of their bodies. Most people don’t see that as a negative thing, or an inappropriate thing. We’re used to diagnosing illnesses from afar. We call drug-fueled, out-of-control celebs “crazy” without having a clue as to their actual mental health status. We cattily tell people whose bodies we feel are too thin to “eat a hamburger,” assuming they have an eating disorder. But with fat people, there is a hate and a system of oppression behind our culture’s so-called “concern” for their health. It’s beyond simple comments and offhand remarks. There is a concerted effort by the diet industry, government, media, and our culture to use the guise of concern for health to shame fat people into dieting or continuing to diet, regardless of the health problems the dieting may bring. Urged on by the media and the current “obesity epidemic” hype, ostensibly well-meaning people nag family members and friends to lose the “unhealthy” weight. Yet more and more studies are showing that it’s completely possible to be fat and healthy. What can be deadly is the stigma associated with being fat. The question is, why are we so stuck on fat equaling poor health, and why do we feel that based on their assumed poor health, it’s okay to treat fat people as second class citizens?

[read the rest of the article on Clutch Magazine…]

  • Moudou

    Well said. I can’t even be bothered to argue with haters any more. Let them hate, we’ll see how far they get when fat people no longer co-operate with their BS.

  • Moudou

    Well said. I can’t even be bothered to argue with haters any more. Let them hate, we’ll see how far they get when fat people no longer co-operate with their BS.

  • Deeleigh

    Thanks for the link.  Great article.

  • Deeleigh

    Thanks for the link.  Great article.

  • Jonquil McDaniel

    Glad to see you’re back!

  • Jonquil McDaniel

    Glad to see you’re back!

  • http://rumpydog.wordpress.com/ Rumpydog

    Thanks!  Love that article!

  • http://rumpydog.wordpress.com/ Rumpydog

    Thanks!  Love that article!

  • Dana
  • IrishUp

    Great piece, Tasha.
    MANG!!! I can’t believe that I haven’t seen this before now! My stupid browser at werk blocks this, Clutch and Bitch Mag; an IT guy I’m friendly with told me that they put new filters in over the summer. Anyway, you’re back on my bookmarks at home.

    Back OT/ I was on a mini-Jane Austen kick a few weeks ago, and your post made me think about how, for JA, the BEST kind of people and public behavior was to *never* comment on personal habits, or body habitus for that matter. The heroes are all the people who look to make others feel better about themselves. I’m not saying I want to revive 19th century upper-class English mores, but could we have a little more of THAT sense of CONCERN for each other, plskthx?!

  • IrishUp

    Great piece, Tasha.
    MANG!!! I can’t believe that I haven’t seen this before now! My stupid browser at werk blocks this, Clutch and Bitch Mag; an IT guy I’m friendly with told me that they put new filters in over the summer. Anyway, you’re back on my bookmarks at home.

    Back OT/ I was on a mini-Jane Austen kick a few weeks ago, and your post made me think about how, for JA, the BEST kind of people and public behavior was to *never* comment on personal habits, or body habitus for that matter. The heroes are all the people who look to make others feel better about themselves. I’m not saying I want to revive 19th century upper-class English mores, but could we have a little more of THAT sense of CONCERN for each other, plskthx?!

  • Isa

     You know, I used get all concerned about fat people’s business, you know, OH NOES BUT IT IS NOT HEEEAALLLTHY.

    And then I realized that 1) as you say, it is possible to be fat and healthy, and 2) even if someone ISN’T so healthy, what business is it of mine? I don’t have any right to tell people what to do. Especially considering that my own lifestyle isn’t exactly super healthy.

  • Isa

     You know, I used get all concerned about fat people’s business, you know, OH NOES BUT IT IS NOT HEEEAALLLTHY.

    And then I realized that 1) as you say, it is possible to be fat and healthy, and 2) even if someone ISN’T so healthy, what business is it of mine? I don’t have any right to tell people what to do. Especially considering that my own lifestyle isn’t exactly super healthy.