tw: fat hatred

Of course it’s unhealthy to be fat.

If you’re fat, you’re going to have a rough time getting health insurance. You probably won’t get regular checkups and preventive care, and any health problems you might have (completely unrelated to your weight) will be a lot worse whenever you finally do see a doctor.

Even if you have health coverage, you probably avoid going to the doctor if you’re fat. So you’re in the same situation. Why do you avoid going to the doctor? Every time you walk into a doctor’s office, the first thing they want you to do is step on a scale. Then you get the lecture, or the belittling remark, or worse, the weight loss advice. You figure, as long as you feel okay, why risk it? You don’t pay for abuse in any other setting, right? You value your mental health, so you stay away.

If you’re fat and you do visit the doctor, he or she might decide to treat your weight, rather than your symptoms. You get a diet, rather than a diagnosis. The doctor says all your ills are caused by your fat. Six months later, you still have sharp pains in your heel or nasal congestion or shooting lights in your vision. So you find a new doctor. This time you actually get treatment for your plantar fasciitis or your sinus infection or your brain tumor. (These examples are based on actual cases.)

Your doctor may not like fat people. A recent study found that fat women are a third less likely to get breast exams, gynecologic exams, or Pap smears. An exception: Fat and thin women get mammograms equally often. (The authors said that doctors may do exams more readily if they don’t have to touch fat patients.) Fat women are at increased risk for certain scary cancers (breast, cervical, endometrial, ovarian). Getting less preventive care, researchers concluded, may “exacerbate or even account for” this increased risk. It’s not the fat that kills us, it’s the fat hatred.

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But What About Your Health?

By Marilyn Wann

From Fat!So? Because You Don’t Have to Apologize For Your Size

Healthy "detox"advice:

Detoxing doesn’t exist.

The concept was fabricated by corporations hoping to profit from the whole “natural” angle of self-care. Human bodies are extremely efficient, and extremely specific.

Your entire body is designed to dispose of anything it cannot use. It stores what it can, and it takes great care disposing of the rest.

Your body has literally no use for “"toxins”“ and it sheds them accordingly. If your body is actually building them up in such a way you need some sort of “"cleanse”“ to deal with them? it means your kidneys or liver have already failed. It means you’re about to die.

If you’re paying money for some elaborate health cleanse and detox,you’re wasting your money, and most likely causing your body harm.

By the way, if you’re arguing against feeding kids McDonald’s because it’s unhealthy or contributes to “childhood obesity” you’re getting it wrong. Who gives a fuck if kids are fat. If a parent doesn’t feed their kid fast food and just lets them starve instead because the kid might get fat then that parent is just as terrible as the imaginary parents that libertarians invent who would rather sit around on their asses and do nothing than feed their kids anything at all.

it’s so weird that we think of gracefulness as a thin person thing bc thin people really don’t have to ever learn to be graceful?

I mean like thin people live in spaces made for them, they don’t have to squeeze through furniture arranged for someone much smaller or sit lightly on chairs not made for their weight or handle phone screens made for narrower fingers or otherwise carefully navigate a series of obstacles created by a world designed only for smaller bodies.

And even when it’s dropping things etc., when fat people do it it’s somehow tied back into fatness?? and seen as shameful to have fat fingers etc.  when it’s more or less neutral for thin people, charming and adorable even, so they really don’t need to learn to be graceful and like… fat people do.

Every day fat people squeeze through small spaces without knocking things off or sit in chairs made too delicately without breaking them or handle instruments designed for someone literally half our size. Thin people barrel through or throw themselves into furniture or grab carelessly at things and are seen as more graceful, often literally just because nothing breaks when they’re careless.

Because things are designed for their bodies and not ours.

Because we are judged no matter what we eat it’s really fucking radical when fat people eat “fat” food in public. If you’ve never been fat you won’t understand how healing it can be. If you’ve never been shamed for what you eat in public you have no idea why it matters so much. If you don’t understand why fatties unashamedly eating and loving themselves is meaningful please just shut the fuck up and keep scrolling. 

 Asam / IGF

youtube

You know, I am continuously getting lectured on here about “health” by thin people who identify as some form of LGBT/queer.

And it just astonishes me. I know so many of y’all are super young- too young to remember the AIDS crisis, but I do. I was pretty young then, but I remember it. 

I remember how the idea of “health” was weaponized against queer people, used to show that we are a group who deserves to live in terror and pain- because we just won’t engage in “healthy” behaviors.  That it was ok to destroy queer people, to discriminate against us, to refuse to fund research to help us– because if we would just stop our terrible “unhealthy” desires and behaviors, well. Then we’d be fine.

Y’all need to start thinking critically about how you talk about “health” and remember that in so many ways, the idea of “health” is used to inflict suffering on other groups.

It sickens me to see the fat hatred in the LGBT/queer communities. That you could feel the pain and terror of being hated and stigmatized, and then turn around and do it to another group?

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. 

Go do better.

People who hate fat people will never look at evidence complicating the relationship between fatness and health and understand that nobody is arguing that ‘fat is unequivocally, unquestionably healthy’.

Nobody is saying that.

What it means to say 'fat can be healthy’ is that you have no way of knowing if a person is healthy or not based solely on their fatness; that 'health’ will always be more complex and affected by more factors than weight alone; that a person’s health is not connected to their worth; that assumptions around weight and health directly lead to a situation that is unquestionably unhealthy for fat people; that fat can be healthy, there is just not a 1:1 correlation between fatness and unhealthiness; that hating yourself and your body is unequivocally unhealthy; that other people’s health is unknowable, even when they’re fat

They won’t understand this because they do not care about fat people’s health, they care about our weight, and ensuring that we know we are supposed to hate ourselves for it.

okay quick story about how we teach kids to hate fat people

so i’m an assistant english teacher at the middle school level to french children, and one of my teachers asked me to do a lesson on junk food and vending machines in schools, and having the students debate it. aight, doesn’t sound so bad. there are some sides to both points. one argues for having the freedom to choose what they eat, the other argues for having healthier options for children. cool.

so i start asking the kids what the disadvantages are to serving junk food in schools, and several kids’ first reaction was to stick out their arms (as if imitating a fat person) and make a waddling motion – which, of course, made the rest of the class bust out in laughter.

???like??? really??? your first argument for why we shouldn’t have junk food in schools is because fat people are laughable? god, that made me so sad. especially since I know that these kids had already been learning about this before in class, which means they were taught that the correct answer is “because it makes you fat and fat is bad.” and these kids are what, like, 12-13 years old? yeah, i can’t see what kind of negative ramifications teaching young impressionable teachers going through puberty that fat is inherently bad could have. (obviously sarcasm, this leads directly into huge amounts of insecurity and self-esteem issues, especially for girls.)

so, anyway, the kids eventually figure out the word “fat”, but I’m waiting for a different answer. “Is there any other reason junk food might be bad?” They said it could be expensive. And then they circled back around to making fun of fat people.

but, still, nobody just said it was unhealthy. and this isn’t a problem specific to these kids in this class, this is indicative of how we teach these things. we teach kids that unhealthy = fat. that fat is bad. that fatness should be demonized above all else. and that fat people are to be laughed at and mocked.

when i told the kids, “You can eat a lot of junk food, be unhealthy, and be skinny – being fat isn’t the real problem, being healthy is,” they all kind of nodded like that made sense, but they had never been introduced to that concept. why don’t we teach kids that skinny people can be unhealthy? that’s damaging also.

but, get this, when i asked about the advantages to not serving junk food, several kids said, “It’s healthier,” rather than imitating a skinny person or saying it makes you skinny. because we don’t teach that. we don’t want to make it seem like thin people are better or you should aspire to be thin. and yet, by demonizing fat people, we do exactly that – just in a way that let’s us feel less guilty about it because it’s masked in “I only care about your health” rhetoric.

but if we really cared about health, we wouldn’t make this a discussion around fatness. we would make this a discussion around health. and i realize that health is an ambiguous and ever-changing term for something we don’t fully understand and that affects every person differently, and that we shouldn’t police the healthiness of other people, but if we’re going to discuss how to keep our kids healthy, we need to center the discussion around health and not fatness.

ugh, it just really bothered me to see this fat hatred embedded into kids so deep. and it would be so easy to talk about this early and tell kids that hating someone based on their weight is not okay, making fun of someone for their weight is not okay – but that’s not what our school system is for. and that makes me sad.

just, i guess, remember that health doesn’t equal weight, and that kids pick up quickly on the ways we talk about this

This month a team of Yale psychologists released a study indicating that male jurors—but not female jurors—were more likely to hand a guilty verdict to obese women than to slender women. The researchers corralled a group of 471 pretend peers of varying body sizes and described to them a case of check fraud. They also presented them with one of four images—either a large guy, a lean guy, a large woman, or a lean woman—and identified the person in the photograph as the defendant. Participants rated the pretend-defendant’s guilt on a five-point scale. No fat bias emerged when the female pretend peers evaluated the female pretend defendants or when either men or women assessed the guilt of the men. But when the male pretend peers pronounced judgment on the female pretend defendants, BMI prejudice reared up. Jesus wept. The justice system and our basic faith in male decency took another hit.

The study offers further depressing insights. Not only did the male pretend jurors prove “significantly more likely” to find the obese female defendants—rather than the slim ones—guilty, but the trim male participants were worst of all, frequently labeling the fat women “repeat offenders” with “awareness” of their crimes. And because the effect disappeared when the photographs depicted a man, the hypothesis that subjects were simply layering class-based assumptions—such as “poor people are more often overweight” and “poor people commit more crime”—on top of one another falls a bit short. (On the other hand, as one of the researchers, Dr. Natasha Schvey, explained to me over the phone, fat women are more likely to be perceived as coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds than fat men. Somehow I don’t find that consoling.)

laurel-of-syllables  asked:

This isn't quite an issue of thin privilege/fat abuse, but it's related to fat politics, so I figured I might ask: I'm just curious, what is your opinion on feeder/feedie relationships (that both parties claim are consensual)? On one hand, everybody has the right to do whatever they want to do with their bodies, but on the other, the relationships are very one-sided and often end badly. I was just curious to hear your opinion, obviously you don't have to answer this if you don't want to. Thanks!

Here’s where I stand on feedees/feeders:

1. Abuse is abuse. If a relationship is abusive, I hope the victimized partner is able to seek help and has a support system that they can eventually rely on, when they feel like it’s safe to leave, or when they’re ready. I would suggest, if you feel like you might be in an abusive relationship or even if your relationship seems a bit problematic from time to time, to look at resources like this one, and this. If you think you’re in an abusive relationship, then first off: KEEP SAFE! Secondly, check out these resources (US specific).

2. That being said, feederism and other kinks are not abuse per se, any more than other non-mainstream activities, like starting a knitting circle devoted exclusively to fashioning penis-shaped jar cozies. Basically, if it’s voluntary and you have positive feelings about the activity and the people with whom you engage in it, you’re probably okay. Vigilance, always, but you’re prolly just fine. 

3. The link between fat politics and feederism exists mainly because there are fat people in the feeder community who are particularly hated on because being a fat feedee is embracing one of the biggest taboos in the fat community: purposeful overeating. I haven’t been doing activism as long as some, but I could wallpaper my apartment with blog posts, articles, and comments by fat people dedicated to showcasing how they do not overeat, love to exercise, and so on. And that’s great: we need to keep pounding it home that we are not stereotypes. However, the fat people who do like to overeat, don’t want to exercise, love soda and McDonald’s and Twinkies or whatever the scare-food-du-jour is, don’t get as well represented. Fat feedees, since they embrace the taboo combination of overeating while fat, might find themselves in the activist weeds because of this.

tldr; People like all sorts of things, and that’s okay. Abusive relationships aren’t; check out resources if you aren’t sure if you’re in an abusive relationship. Feederism isn’t abusive by nature, just because it isn’t mainstream. Fat feedees tend to be poorly represented in the fat community, but they shouldn’t be pariahs because they commit the “sin” of enjoying overeating. Tons of thin people chatter endlessly about how much they looooooveeee to overeat (I think there are many twitter tags devoted to this), and they aren’t treated like lepers. Fat feedees and so-called “bad fatties” are getting a raw deal from fat politics, which frankly is so obsessed with fighting the “fat is unhealthy” trope that they don’t want to engage with fat people who commit one or another fat “sin” (like overeat, refuse to exercise, watch TV for a living, have a chronic disease that is regarded as one of the “fat diseases” etc). 

No fat person deserves to be hated because of their fatness, whether they eat nothing but kale and quinoa or cupcakes; whether they can leap up three flights of stairs without getting out of breath or get winded rising up from their chair; whether they were thin before they were fat or fat then thin then fat again or whether they’ve never dieted and never will; whether they are angry at themselves for being fat or love themselves for it or are indifferent; whether they’re assholes or not; whether you want to fuck them or not. 

Fatness is never a valid reason to hate someone.

-ArteToLife

It’s good that you want people to be healthy. But you can’t give people a message that it’s okay to be a bully. Because it isn’t. It isn’t okay. People die from others bullying them; they self-harm and commit suicide. It’s a fact. I know it and you know it. You can tell it’s good to focus on health, because there’s nothing wrong with that. But you can’t tell people it’s okay to bully others about their bodies or their weight. I know deep inside, you know that too. So please get into some therapy, stop projecting your viciousness and hate onto others, and show the world that you can be a kinder person. Nobody wants to be a bully.

(rebloggable by request)

Things I Learned From My Mom On This Visit:

-The ADA only applies “if you can prove you shouldn’t be discriminated against.”

-Hospitals will never hire a nurse if she is overweight.

-It is ethically wrong for a man to break up with a woman over 27, because by then she’ll never be able to find anyone else.

-If you are overweight, you will have arthritis by the time you’re 40.

-North Korea being a dictatorship is a lie spread by the US government.  Maybe.  No one knows what’s really going on in Korea.

-If a man does not want to marry a woman and get her pregnant, he does not love her.  If a woman does not want to get pregnant and have babies, [SYSTEM ERROR]

-It’s really sweet of your boyfriend to stay with you even though you’re so heavy, it proves he’s a great guy.  This is why you should marry him and have his babies, because not a lot of guys would see past the way you look.

(After this last point relations broke down somewhat.)

Look at all these assholes “proving” fat hatred doesn’t exist by hating fat people. 

…but seriously, for real people who aren’t trolls: Fat people are treated like a public health scourge. Collectively, we are considered a dire problem. We’re portrayed as lazy, dirty, greedy, stupid, and repulsive. We are constantly told, by the media, by people around us, that we are ugly and unlovable. Many of us experience employment discrimination, and as a group we are denied access to healthcare and mistreated by providers. We are physically and psychologically forced out of public spaces. 

We live in a culture that is viciously hostile to fat people.