Friday, May 24, 2013

Can We Just STOP with the Fat-Shaming BS, Please?

Photo credit to Lydia Hudgens (Source)
So I'm going about my business, reading Jezebel like ya do, when I come across this article about how quickly a new line of "fatkinis" sold out after becoming available.  Now, I'm not surprised at all that this happened; despite statistics that show that a very large portion of the American population is fat*, it seems clothing retailers not 100% geared towards plus-size fashion vastly underestimate the demand (whether this is on purpose or not, I don't know).  I'm used to not being able to find things in my size when I go into a store, and I'm not even that fat.

But, as seems to happen whenever fat women show up in public on something that has a comments section, inevitably the Concerned Humans of America show up.
"Those women aren't 'curvy' or 'full-figured.' They are fat. I'd be willing to bet they qualify as obese. This is not a character flaw, but saying they are gorgeous is enabling unhealthy habits. Why is this unacceptable for smokers or drug users but not of the obese?"

"Whatever excuse you want to give people so you feel progressive and non-judgmental is your business. It's a very simple equation for nearly every animal. Calories in vs Calories out...Yes, not everyone is going to have a body like an athlete. But when I see a fat 40 year old in a Rascal scooter the last thing I feel is pity."

"Why do you think healthcare in this country is so expensive? Why do you think American's die younger than in many other countries? It's all because of our habits - eating and otherwise. If you eat too much, exercise too little, drink too much, smoke, take drugs, fail to wear a seat belt or ignore gun safety you are contributing to this. (I don't exercise and I like drugs - so this is in no way intended to sound like judgment)"

"yes, it's really sad.instead of losing weight they want people to make everything bigger. it just doesnt make sense.there is nothing healthy about being obese.sorry,not sorry"
(Side note: this comment was made by one "," so let's just remember to not give them business ever, k?)
I think what angers me most about these comments is not the fat-shaming, it's how unoriginal they are.  I have seen these kinds of comments over and over and over again, and they all follow the same few themes: saying fat women are beautiful is enabling unhealthy habits, losing weight is easy, fat people are a drain on the healthcare system.

And the most amazing and nigh infuriating thing about this is that it's like they think we haven't heard all of this before.

It's like they think that if we just kept hearing how we're Doing It Wrong and Hurting America, eventually we'll break and Lose Weight Because It's So Easy.

It's not just annoying, it's rage-inducing.  It's about five different levels of wrong and I'm sick of it and aowedpsgerkfaoaklermfe

Okay.  Here's the thing, Concerned Humans of America:

Your telling women they are fat will not make them less fat.

Your restricting of clothing options for fat women will not make them less fat.

Saying "Calories In, Calories Out" will not make them less fat.

Telling them the messed-up-ness of the American health care system is partially their fault will not make them less fat.




You, Concerned People, need to stop with your BS, because by now, you're embarrassing yourselves.

You talk about BMI when it's becoming common knowledge that the BMI is essentially useless in determining the health of an individual.

You talk about how articles about beautiful fat women and plus-size fashion are "promoting obesity," when literally all that is happening is women are being fat and pretty in public.

You talk about the importance of losing weight even when it's not weight that needs to be lost (see: every fat woman who is more physically fit than you, or is just physically fit in general because IT'S NOT A COMPETITION).

I see you waving your arms and saying that you're just concerned about people's health.  I have two responses:
  1. If you're genuinely concerned for a person's health, then you need to be concerned for all of their health, which includes emotional health.  Just how emotionally healthy is it to have strangers dumping on you every day for how you look?  Just how motivating is it to be called "fat bitch" on the subway or hear the tenth or twentieth person tell you to lose weight?
  2. Screw you, you don't just randomly "care about" some stranger's health.
Before you go into a comment section and decry obesity and body positivity, ask yourself who you're doing it for.  Are you actually doing it out of love and concern for these people you don't know because you're afraid of their developing heart disease at 45?  Or are you doing it because you need to feel good about yourself and the only way you can think of to accomplish that is by tearing other people down?

Either way... stop.  Please, just stop.  You aren't doing any favors for anyone.

I repeat: You aren't doing any favors for anyone.

You are worsening America's public health.  You are harming women.  You are making yourself look like a jackass.



*I'm making a deliberate choice to not say "overweight," because... well, how much of the fat on my body is extra?  I don't know.  A healthy weight is different for each person, and sometimes being at a healthy weight means being a bit pudgy.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! Shaming people does not bring about change, and judging people based on appearance is a terrible thing. All the messages we parents try to give our children about how it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, but who you are on the inside, goes right out the window with one disparaging comment by some ignorant, self-absorbed jerk. Kind of like Abercrombie & Fitch...