Fat and Sassy

my views on being larger than life.

Another reply turned post February 10, 2010


 

over at momgrind.com there was a post about a fat teenager eating icecream and the fat acceptance movement.

“How do I accept that girl’s behavior when it’s wrong on so many levels? How do I tell that kid it’s OK to be fat without giving her permission to continue on this destructive path? Instead of talking about how we should accept fat, shouldn’t we do everything in our power, as a society and as a government, to educate the obese, and to tax, or otherwise punish, the food industry whenever it knowingly shoves calories, trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients down our throats?”

 

SHe seemed to have legitimate questions, and I did my best to answer her.  i did so well in fact that I had to post it here too.  

So what if a teenager eats an icecream cone in public.   So what if the teen is fat.  She has right to eat what she wants, when she wants regardless of weight.   Last time I checked its a free country.   Also, everybody wants to bitch about subsidizing health care costs for the fat.   Does anybody stop to think that half of our medical bill come from being told to lose weight fatty?  lap banding is expensive and the ONLY treatment found to be even remotely effective for losing weight long term.  Doctors see a fat patient….and insted of listening to what is medically wrong all the doctor sees if fat and tell them to lose weight and it will get better….making us sicker and cost more, when a simple intervention at the START of the illness can often be cheaper and more effective.   And if you are convinced that fatties will die early, then why do you care if we cost more….a skinny person will cost a LOT more (by that reasoning) down the line because they will live longer.    95% of diets fail.  95%   And society’s answer to fat people it to try harder…wtf. 

 How about making food advertisements illegal…i bet that would stop or at least slow down the consumption of twinkies.   How about stop the corn subsidy so stuff like High Fructose corn syrup isn’t practically free?   I’m actually for a junk food tax (not a fat tax)  because though heavy i eat really well  tax the holy hell out of foods that are “junk”.  Fat is also largely a socioeconomic problem.   Eating healthy is a luxury that many people can’t afford.    Have you tried shopping for produce in the inner city? (with real work hours don’t give me that farmers market bs when poor people have to work long hours and can only really shop at the 24 hour places.)  How about shopping when all you have is a bus to get around?  OR shopping on a bus with 2 kids to feed?  there are 2 grocery stores that i know of in the downtown part of KC.   there are over 70 fast food stores.      A dinner that is healthy cooked from said grocery store COSTS more than one bought at the save a lot in the burbs.  Hell, a head of lettuce there is 3.50, not 1.50 like it is here in my neighborhood.  IF the person is a teen, how about the school lunches served…….are THEY healthy?  or are there snack lines too…and a pop machiene…and a vending machine with candy.   It’s very very easy to blame fat on the person who is fat….but remember 95% of diets fail (and it was MEDICARE that did that study, to determine if they will pay to help people to lose weight).  All fat hatred does is create a scapegoat, someone to blame all our ills on (health care prices anyone?)

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5 Responses to “Another reply turned post”

  1. wriggles Says:

    I told here there is already a fat tax, it’s called being fat and we are not paying any more, so they can rob someone else etc.

    Suffice to say, she didn’t print it.

  2. tsubame Says:

    I really do agree with you. However, having read this and most of your other posts, I think your points might be better received it you took the time to format and punctuate/capitalize properly. I think that’s important when you’re representing the movement out on the big weird internet 🙂

    • erylin Says:

      I agree with you….however (and there is always a “however” isnt there) I am both dsylexic and ADHD. If I am not fixing errors, I am simply not seeing them. IF anyone would like to sign up as my editior, feel free, I would love to have you. I do run a spell/grammer check, but apparently it doesnt catch everything.

  3. Miriam Heddy Says:

    I’m not sure if she’ll print it or not (as the blog’s moderated) but this was my response to her post:

    She was sitting at her computer as I entered the blogosphere. She was thin, at least from the photo on her page, though it only showed her head. I tried not to judge her for it.

    She was sitting in judgment of a complete stranger. She made sure to foreground her judgment by emphasizing her own carefully controlled eating habits, so that we might know her to be someone who carefully controls the eating of her child–as someone who is wholly against gluttony, against sloth–a wholly virtuous person who had every right to reflect on the lives of a stranger.

    She was a fellow mom–feverishly typing, like me–yet also holding onto her prejudices and orthodoxy even as she would have surely said she was capable of empathy and skepticism. She sounded smug–drugged with the pleasures of being a thin woman in the midst of a moral panic about fatness. It was obvious that judging a fat teenager for daring to eat in public was giving her pleasure, soothing her. She was oblivious to other variables, unable to imagine that the teenage girl who was eating that ice cream might be eating quickly because she had to get home to babysit her little sister, or was speeding through the ice cream because she had spent days or even weeks eating nothing and was only now rewarding herself for her abstinence. Or perhaps that teenaged girl simply didn’t want the ice cream melting because she didn’t like it when it turned soupy.

    Reading this woman’s blog post, I couldn’t help thinking about the kind of people who see one fat teenager eating as an opportunity to speculate not only on a stranger’s interior life but also on the lives of other strangers she has yet to meet. After reading her blog, I wondered if she knew very much about Fat Acceptance and suspected she didn’t.

    This blogger asked her readers how she could “accept” the behavior of this one, fat teenager, as if she had not considered that if she did not accept her, her other option was intolerance, prejudice, hatred. She saw this teenager as “wrong on so many levels” and yet failed to see that her own reading of the moment lacked empathy and invited others to see that teenager as something less than human. Reading her blog, I wondered, “How do I tell her that she has revealed herself to be a bigot? How do I explain that she has no right to give or withhold permission for other people’s eating or lives? How do I help her see that it’s not her job or her right to use her power or privilege (and yes, as a thin woman, she has that) to “educate” those whom she is already dehumanizing (”The obese”? Really??!)? How can I make clear to her that she should focus first and foremost on educating herself, as she clearly has only a superficial understanding of the Fat Acceptance movement?”

    Perhaps, I concluded, my goal should simply be to accept that she is, like many people, unwilling to do the work of self-education. After all, many thin people–like many fat people and even many very fat people–are lazy and smug and self-righteous. Perhaps those of us fighting with our very lives to end the fatphobic moral panic that so negatively impacts our lives must accept that there will be some who simply can’t be reached because they have too much investment in fat hate that they’ve learned from our culture, from the diet industry, and from other individuals who benefit from it.

    How do you feel about people who use fat people they don’t know as “Exhibit A” for their own thinly-veiled hatred?

  4. Patsy Nevins Says:

    My own response is that it is no one’s business what another person eats. Also, I do not see any proof that fat people cost more in medical bills & actually, for the most part, fat people live as long as & often even longer than thin people. Perhaps they should tax men, since they have the shortest average lifespan, regardless of size, enough so that a woman who weighs 350 pounds or more has an excellent chance of outliving a thin man by 3 or 4 years. Also, the risks of fat for anyone are greatly exaggerated & for those of us who are older, they become virtually non-existent.

    And finally, I have a lot of issues with people, in or OUT of the fat acceptance movements, maundering on about ‘junk foods’, since I do not believe that there ARE any ‘bad’ foods & since it has not been truly, scientifically established that there is a ‘right’ way to eat, other than eating a variety of foods & some indication that we derive more nutrients from food we enjoy than from food we dislike. There have been multiple studies indicating that there is NO difference in overall health or longevity between people eating two or fewer fruits & veggies daily & those eating five or more, for instance. And we ALL know plenty of sanctimonious healthists who do everything ‘right’ & drop dead at an early age, as well as plenty of others who do everything wrong & live very long lives. A person’s eating &/or exercise habits are not a measure of human worth or character & they are NONE of anyone else’s business. And food, ALL food, is just that…food. It is not poison, it is not tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs. The bottom line is that the damn nannies need to learn to mind their own business, live their own lives, & allow others to do the same.


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