*With apologies to my homosexual friends for taking their slogan
There’s been a lot coming across my facebook feed yesterday and today. Fat Heffalump posted a link to this story about a family in Scotland who is being legally persecuted because of their obesity (she also posted a call to action).
In another post, she linked to an excellent article examining where Jamie Oliver and his “Obesity is Preventable” campaign falls very short of the mark. If the mark truly is health, then why is Jamie only focusing solely on the weight? At the end of that article is a link to a Shakesville article posted a few days ago, also about Jamie Oliver.
In that post, Melissa McEwan, in commenting on the whole “obesity is preventable” line of thought says:
It’s always nice to see wealthy people with access to the best food, comprehensive healthcare, personal trainers, private chefs, and individual nutritional plans put their names to a petition admonishing the fatties that OBESITY IS PREVENTABLE.
When there are people for whom that is not true, people for whom obesity is not preventable, for myriad reasons, to bray about how their bodies (our bodies; ourselves) are “preventable” is to engage in eliminationist rhetoric.
I will never be not fat.
To get rid of my fat body, you have got to get rid of me.
In our society as it is today, fat people are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If a person is caught eating in public (going to a restaurant, even a nice one and not the stereotypical fast food restaurant), many people think they have the right to comment on what the fat person is eating. If the fatty is having something high in calories or carbs or whatever-the-latest-diet-baddy-is-today, the person feels justified in telling them how to eat better. “Are you really sure you should be eating that?” I’ve heard that all too often.
However, even if the fatty is being a Good Fatty (TM), and only eating a salad (with low cal/low fat/low taste dressing on the side!), they are still subject to revilement. “That’s not going to help you!” and “If you ate that way all the time you wouldn’t be as fat as you are!” are said to fatties who dare to eat in public.
It is commonly assumed that all fat people are lazy and never, ever, EVER exercise. After all, it’s evident because they are so fat! When a fat person DOES try to exercise in public, they shamed by hearing cat calls. They are told they are deluding themselves because if they really did exercise they wouldn’t be that fat. They are told they should never attempt that exercise until they lose weight.
It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t world, if you happen to be fat.
I think Melissa hit the nail square on the head though: To get get rid of my fat body, you have got to get rid of me.
Almost everything that is being aimed at fat people is being aimed at getting rid of them, of us. “I don’t want to see you, you are gross, disgusting, a slob, stupid, lazy! I don’t want to know you even exist! Get out of my sight. Preferably, go eat a gun!”**
I have a few medical reasons I’m fat. Other people may call them excuses, but I don’t care what other people think. My fatness is not going to go anywhere. Short of starvation, which I will not willingly do, and probably won’t work anyways, my body won’t give up any of it’s extra pounds. It’s a fact I’ve had to deal with for a very long time.
But it really doesn’t matter if I have medical issues or not. It really doesn’t matter if I can easily lose weight or not.
The fact is, my weight is none of your business.
Whether it’s because I cannot lose weight (no matter how much I’ve tried) or because I like myself just the way I am and choose not to ever hate myself so much to starve myself, it’s my life. It’s MY health. It’s MY decision to make.
I’m here. I’m fat. Deal with it!
**All of these things and more have been said, in person and via the internet. I would take bets that while normal sized and skinny people are ready to accuse me of hyperbole, most (if not all) of the fat people reading this are nodding their heads and thinking, “Wait, you forgot this…”