fat accecptance

Fat is Not Disgusting. You, On the Other Hand...

[TW: If you’ve ever attempted to discredit the Fat Acceptance Movement, you’re about to get the vebal kicking of a lifetime.]

Yeah, I’m talking to you fitness bloggers, anti-Fat-Acceptance bloggers, tabloid journalists, social pundits and assorted wankers who insist on whining about how vile and horrid you find fatness. I recently saw an article written by one of you absolute, irredeemable cunts in which a fat guy’s decision to lose weight- and explanation for doing so- was held up as (some incredibly fucking dubious) proof that all “fat people know that fat is disgusting”. Bullshit. I personally know dozens of fat people who love their bodies, including my beautiful girlfriend. One person deciding that they would prefer their body if it was some other way does not automatically erase the opinions of hundreds, of thousands,of other people who happen to like they’re bodies just fine.

Fat is not objectively disgusting. It’s a naturally occurring tissue produced by the body in order to store energy extrapolated from food. In large quantities it has a certain aesthetic aspect on the human body, which some of us happen to think is as hot as all get-out, thanks very much. You may not find it attractive or aesthetically pleasing like I do. Fair enough, there’s a simple solution to that: don’t have sex with fat people and don’t look at pictures of fat people naked on the web. You’re not allowed to moan about how You Don’t Like Something Therefore It Should Stop, because that makes you a selfish prick.

I mean, I see a lot of you fuckers trying to discredit the Fat Acceptance Movement, and I’ve got to wonder why: it’s existence does not affect your life in any way, shape or form. It has nothing to do with you. You don’t need to have any opinion on it whatsoever, BECAUSE NOBODY FUCKING ASKED YOU. In fact, you’re not required to have an opinion on other people’s bodies in general, let alone a political and social movement that’s just seeking to represent the interests of Fat People and maybe do away with some of the discrimination that prats like you are partly responsible for in the first place.

Let’s face it, you having a “stance” on fat people or the Fat Acceptance movement would be like me having a “stance” on Baseball. I don’t play it, I find the idea of watching it boring and I don’t understand the rules. Do I care that it has fans? No. Do I begrudge it representation on television along with other sports? No. Do I whine about how its “disgusting” that so many people are into something that doesn’t effect me or have any impact on my life in any way? Fuck no. And I know what you’re thinking: there’s a bit of a difference between a casual sport and a widespread social movement. Well, yes, but not from your perspective. The FA Movement has as much relevance to your life as Baseball does to mine. The only way the FA Movement will in any way affect your mind-fuckingly dull existence is that, if it succeeds, you might see fat people represented on TV as better-developed characters a bit more often, because it will become acceptable to show them in the public eye without needing to take the piss. That’s not really a big deal, for you, is it? And if you really think that that might ruin your day: how fucking empty is your life that something like that could put a crimp on your evening, you stupid prick?

Honestly, nobody’s going to stop you going to the gym, or dieting, or going for that morning jog or whatever. You’re not suddenly going to be forced at gunpoint to join the Fat Revolution. All the FA Movement is asking for is that fat people be treated with a bit more basic human respect and that fatness not be continually ridiculed in EVERY FUCKING BRANCH OF THE MEDIA ALL THE FUCKING TIME. That’s not unreasonable, and it sure as shit doesn’t affect your lifestyle choices. So chill the fuck out, ya daft cunts.

And don’t give me that “but I’m worried about their health” crap, either. You’re not worried about the health of a bunch of perfect strangers. You don’t bang on about people who go out drinking heavily, or people who smoke, or people who risk their necks doing extreme sports, or people who don’t look both ways before crossing the road, or people who enjoy having large and unwieldy objects shoved roughly up their arse during sex, do you? No, of course you don’t. Because you’ve never met them and you don’t think their health and wellbeing are your concern. If you really care about other people’s health in general, honest, non-prejudiced terms, there’s two things you can do: you can campaign for a more comprehensive National Health Service (especially if you life in America) that will pick people up when they fall, regardless of whether you think their lifestyles were to blame in the first place, and you can not whinge when you have to pay taxes to pay for that health service. Nope? No takers for either of those options? ‘Cause, you know, those option are about REALLY caring about people’s health- about recognising that you can’t tell people how to live their lives (especially when the Health at Every Size thing makes some fairly convincing arguments that simply telling people “don’t be so fat” doesn’t help their health in the slightest), but you can show compassion to them when their health does turn bad. And if you’re not prepared to accept those options, you’re not really allowed to claim that you give a shit about a stranger’s health.

And while we’re on the subject, you can shut the flaming fuck up about how concerned you are about fat people putting an undue strain on National Health Services. If you live in America, you don’t fucking have one- it’s mostly privatised (which is a shit idea for reasons which I can’t get into here but probably will at a later date) and if you live anywhere else in the world: THAT STRAIN COULD BE ALLEVIATED FOR MORE EASILY BY JUST HAVING THE SUPER-RICH (PEOPLE AND COMPANIES INCLUDED) PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF  FUCKING TAX, WHICH, INCIDENTALLY, WOULD ALSO GIVE THE STATE THE READY MONEY REQUIRED TO DEAL WITH UNRELATED PROBLEMS INCLUDING UNDERFUNDING IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AND WELFARE STATE, NOT TO MENTION STATE-SPONSORED PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO CREATE JOBS. Seriously, when something like 90% of the wealth is in the hands of a tiny 10% of the population, you know there’s a huge amount of untapped money just sitting around in bank accounts or being frittered away on luxury yachts by utter wankers when it could be being taxed a little more reasonably (highly) and put to good, public use. My socialism may be whole other story for a whole other time, but basically NOBODY NEEDS MORE THAN, SAY, A COUPLE OF MILLION POUNDS. So it might as well be spent funding, to take us back to our original point about the strain on the NHS things like, oh I don’t know, NATIONAL FUCKING HEALTH SERVICES.

So, I believe I have now debunked the personal, social, moral and pragmatic argument you thought you had against Fat Acceptance and Fat People in general. Assuming any of that got through, that’ll be £10 for the service, thanks. Now piss off.

The Fat Acceptance Movment is Good for Your Health

I’ve never been much of a one to worry about the health implications of the Fat Acceptance Movement one way or the other. I mostly just get psychotically angry when fat folk are needlessly discriminated against. Despising discrimination and sanctimonious, judgmental tutting from dickheads doesn’t really require me to have a working knowledge of human bio-chemistry, and frankly, as I’ve stated a hundred times before, I don’t really think that health should necessarily be the main topic under discussion since other people’s health is nobody’s business but theirs.

However, a recent impartial study showed that the Fat Acceptance Movement seems to have a positive impact on the health of its members. The reason I bring this up is because, of course, the bigots who hate on the FA Movement like to use concern for others’ health as an excuse (not one that ever really holds up since it’s hard to believe these people give one solitary toss about the possible and theoretical health status of random strangers since, y'know, that would be a ridiculous level of fucking nosiness and people don’t really work like that). Well, it seems like that flimsy excuse can now be put down with ease.

You see, the study explains that the FA Movement fosters a supportive environment that allows people to think about their health in ways that allow them to pursue it in a safe and sustainable way. Whereas outside the FA Movement, a person may go through a series of crash diets and periods of ‘binging’ that ultimately damage their health because of the extremity and constant fluctuations, being given an environment that encourages you to eat according to your own desires and needs rather than for the arbitrary goal of losing weight can actually encourage a person to listen to what their body and settle into a more regular food intake that is healthier than the extremes and fluctuations of crash diets and the reversal that happens when they (almost inevitably) fail.

Furthermore, says this handy-dandy moron-swatting study, being told that their body is nothing to be ashamed of can cause a person to become more active: they might not be pounding away on a treadmill in the rabid pursual of some arbitrary weight-loss goal, but they’re less likely to feel inhibited or embarrassed about doing physical activity that they actually enjoy- for example, swimming or cycling or vigorous, hardcore sex- if they have a support network that makes them feel like their bodies (which are more publicly conspicuous during physical activity) are nothing to be ashamed of.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on how it’s good for your mental health to be part of a community that accepts you for who you are.

So yeah. The Fat Acceptance Movement isn’t making anyone skinny (I’ll just give you all a moment to go “well, duh”… Okay, done?), but it does seem to have a positive effect on the health of its fat members.

Now, personally, I’m more from the “wa-hey! Let’s glorify obesity and eat lots of cake!” side of the FA scene- like I said, I’m not normally involved with all the Health at Every Size stuff, preferring to focus on the political and social aspects of the movement and the fun, sexy side of the scene, but I think its commendable that the more serious and less- er- me corners of the fatosphere are working to have a positive effect on health. Keep up the good work you lot. I’m going for a cup of tea.

EDIT: Just to give credit where it’s due, I think I first heard this story via fatty-forever’s blog.

EDs And the Fat Acceptance Movement

Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders, discrimination against Fat People and the neurotic way people are driven to pursue one body-type and fear another.

Y'know, I just had a thought, and I’m fairly certain that it’s probably going to be quite controversial. So let me say before we get started: I AM NOT COMING FROM A POSITION OF IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE HERE- I AM SIMPLY POSITING ONE THEORY ON THE INTERACTION BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL AND THE SOCIETY IN WHICH THEY EXIST. I DO NOT CLAIM TO BE ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY RIGHT ON THIS ONE, SO PLEASE DON’T FLY OFF THE HANDLE IF YOU DISAGREE.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, here’s the thought: I reckon that people suffering with Eating Disorders and the Fat Acceptance Movement could potentially be united by a common interest. You see, a lot of folk with Eating Disorders on the web talk about nobody caring about their problems- that they’re too skinny for anyone to give a shit is basically how they put it. This sounds like the opposite of the Fat Acceptance Movement, which points out the unbelievable level of undeserved privilege that thin people have in society.

But here’s the thing: a society that reviles fatness and, conversely, puts skinniness on a pedestal is going to refuse to acknowledge fat people’s problems and humanity because it hates them… but it may also refuse to acknowledge the problems and humanity of those made severely underweight by eating disorders because acknowledging that these people have unglamorous and messy issues and problems too would be to challenge the anesthetised presumption our civilisation has that skinniness is the answer to everything.

The Fat Acceptance Movement tends, and rightly so, to dismiss thin people who demand inclusion in the name of Body Acceptance because they have been occasionally called names or been insulted for being underweight. I’m categorically NOT saying that the FA Movement should welcome these people with open arms, because these people have failed to understand the difference between incidents of personal abuse and systematised discrimination. The Fat Acceptance Movement has to focus on the fact that Fat People are constantly attacked by the media, the government and general societal prejudice. There’s an entire weightloss industry that makes its money off the back of negative fat stereotypes and constant polticised campaigns to eliminate obesity and so on and so on and so on until I want to punch someone… slightly more than usual. Including incidents of personal abuse suffered by skinny people, no matter what their weight, in a broader Body Acceptance Movement would detract from the main aim of trying to end systemic fat discrimination.

That being said, however, it’s important to realise that the aims of the Fat Acceptance Movement- specifically, the aim of eliminating the false fat = bad, thin = good paradigm our idiotic society has got lodged in its head may actually help those who have felt their problems ignored because of their skinniness. Dichotomy is part of human nature, y'see, and if you destroy the belief that fat is bad and unworthy, you also knock the belief that thinness is always a desirable and elevated state from its perch. Which results in less eating disorders in the first place because, once that’s acheived, no-one’s being told to escape one body type and aspire to another as a solution to all their problems. It also makes it easier for people to accept (and hence help) when people with EDs are being bullied or abused because of their extreme skinniness because there’d no longer be that voice whispering in the back of the collective psyche, “Oh she/he can’t have REAL problems, because skinniness solves EVERYTHING”. That belief- in the unfailing superiority and untouchability of the state of thinness- is utterly insidious and dangerous for EVERYONE in society. It simultaneously makes people despise the fat for existing, denying their problems out of bigotry and spite while causing people to also dismiss the problems of people with eating disorders because- hey, they’re skinny! They can’t have REAL personal problems, can they? Well yes, but a society that elevates skinniness and abhors fatness blinds us to that fact with jealousy and a desperate need to believe that thinness solves everything because if you don’t believe that what’s the point in all those diets and calorie control and low-fat yoghurt and gym membership and all the other endless stuff people do in a desperate bid to hammer their bodies into a new shape? So the bulk of our society clings to that belief and, in doing so, ignores the institutional discrimination faced by fat people and scorns the more personal problems of those with EDs. And people in the middle of all this? that average bunch? Their lives are made just that tiniest bit shittier than they need to be by the fact that they’re constantly striving to  achieve one body type and actively fear another without knowing why. It’s not exactly a waking nightmare, but it must be wearing.

Fat Acceptance might deal primarily with attacking the insitutionalised hatred of fat people, but through this activity, it is to be hoped that one day, this whole social edifice that despises one body type and elevates another to levels no real person can live up to- this whole edifice that fucks over everyone without exception- might be brought down. Actually, when I put it like that, it just leaves one question: why the fuck do so many people seem to hate the FA Movement? Well, that’s an entry for another day. Until then, this is Secret-Diary-of-an-FA, signing off.