Fat Shaming, Fat Acceptance, Fat, Fat, Fat

People smarter than me can do the research on causes of obesity and what constitutes health.

I’ve read a lot on the subject of obesity and this is a polarizing issue.

I am tired of it.

We shouldn’t have scores and scores of articles on fat acceptance. We shouldn’t need them because it comes down to this: If you hate someone or belittle someone or dismiss someone because they are fat, then you are an asshole.

It’s quite simple.

I read an article that was about understanding the fat acceptance movement. I understand why it was written. I’m just so goddamn sorry that is has to be written.

Why do people care? Why? It’s not that hard to figure out that we are all different. We SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT.

Go read an article on fat acceptance or fat shaming and then read the comments. I am amazed by how many people are supercilious twat monsters when it comes to fat people. Why is it okay to be so cruel?

Obviously, these people don’t struggle with weight. Isn’t that enough? Or is it more fun to be thin if you ridicule people who aren’t?

I’ve read comments and entire articles that people write that completely dismiss a human because of their physical appearance. Really? A whole person with an amazing brain and years of experience and stories and wisdom and they don’t count because they’re fat? That is so fucking stupid.

Strength and health come in many different packages. Also, weakness and illness do too.

If a fellow human makes choices that are sedentary and unhealthy, that is their business. They are not hurting you. And no making the argument that because of them YOU have to pay more for insurance. Fuck that. People drink and smoke and engage in unprotected sex. They ride bicycles on busy streets and drive like deranged assholes. And no matter HOW healthy you are, there is no guarantee that you won’t get a debilitating illness that is going to cost a fuck ton to cure. All that is, is a fucking reason to open your judgmental cake hole about another person’s lifestyle.

I used to be more physically strong than I am now. I don’t work out as much as I used to and I’m getting older but that doesn’t mean I don’t have strength.

Strength has many definitions.

I withstood a years long heroin siege. I stood by my child’s side and fought against his addiction all while being squeezed into size 16 jeans. That takes some herculean strength that I can promise would bring some body builders to their fucking knees. I was already strong going into that battle. I was bruised and broken and tired when it evened out (I don’t know that it will ever be over). As the bruises continue to heal, I find a well of strength that was born of that horrible situation. I am motherfucking strong like a bull now. I might not be able to swing a kettle bell with much control, but I can get through emotional pain like a goddamn trooper.

The point is, we all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses. Sometimes that strength is shown through a taut and muscular body, sometimes the strength isn’t so visible.

It makes me feel sad and hopeless when the finger pointing comes out from both sides of the issue.

You’re a drain on society. You’re depriving your children of quality time with you because you are shortening your life. 

Fuck you! I am at home with my children, playing with them, while you’re spending hours at the gym. 

You’re lazy and you make bad choices. 

I spend my time as advocate for children’s rights and I’m working full time and going to school full time. There is nothing lazy about me and nothing bad about my choices. 

In the end, we’re just shouting at each other.

It gets us nowhere.

I wish I could change this. I wish that I could make people just accept each other as they are, regardless of body type or color or sexual orientation.

We all have stories. We all have ways to contribute and we’re all fascinating. Take the time to know people instead of judging them by their skin.

After you get to know who they are and find that they’re a complete douche, then by all means…separate yourself from them..but at least find out first. Don’t decide you know who a person is by the size they are wearing.

Now, let’s all just stop being dicks, okay?

 

About the author

54 comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • Word. It would take a sea-change in the human condition, but I hope that someday we’ll actually be able to modify. This:
      “If you hate someone or belittle someone or dismiss someone for any reason,
      then you are an asshole.”
      Period.

  • Exactly, exactly true. One thing I have drilled into my kids’ heads all through their school years, whenever they tell me about “those” kids at their school…the ones who get ostracized for whatever reasons (too fat, too thin, red hair, nerdy, shy, tall, short, socially awkward, you name it)–is that they need to take the time to not only STAND UP FOR THOSE PEOPLE every.single.time, no matter what the ‘cool’ kids are doing, but also make an effort to get to know them, because sometimes “those” kids turn out to be the coolest people you will ever meet!

    Love this.

  • You know what I hate the most about stupid comments on someone being different = someone being bad? They are stupid. No one who is moderately smart will fail to notice that people with disabilities, people with different skin colours, people from different countries or people with different body shapes are *people* and should be treated as such.

  • Fan-fucking-tastic writing! It says so much about how sick society has to be to value the surface rather than the substance. Size is yet another way to set up binaries between people who really are nothing more than flesh puppets holding infinite possibilities. How very sad is this state of affairs but how very beautifully you articulate the reasons for change. Strength, love, courage, honour, loyalty, intelligence, compassion–you embody it all, and it doesn’t matter the package in which such wonder is contained. Thank you for sharing. You are an amazing and beautiful human being.

  • I agree with Stef. Aren’t the “weird” kids the ones who grow up to be the interesting people that you really want to be friends with, or is that just me?
    Sometimes I can’t tell whether it’s just me getting older and noticing these kind of things more, or if the times really are changing and it’s getting less OK to be mean to people you don’t know for whatever reasons, let alone really stupid ones.
    I have been guilty of, as one of my favorite bloggers refers to them as, verbal malfunctions from time to time, mostly out of laziness. For instance I have referred to Chris Christie as a “fat prick” a few times, when all the while I knew that his weight would not be in the list of the top 20 things that bug me about him. This is something in myself that I’ve been working on.
    It seems to me that empathy and honesty are the keys here, and empathy can be very hard to employ without a frame of reference, because there are all kinds of situations. As my friend Briana said (to a woman she had been asked to eject from a party for being obnoxious and destructive) “You’re going to hate me because I’m white? You don’t know me. If you actually knew me you could find so many better things to hate me for than just being white…”

    • I have been guilty of the same thing, Doug….I am working on that as well.

      And I agree with your friend. Usually, people will give you reasons to dislike them on an individual basis.

  • It’s sad that society has to make people feel like “less” because of continually changing social norms. Sometimes I wish I was born during the time of painters like Rubens. Back then, big girls were in fashion. It was a sign of wealth and opulence. This constant media barrage of thin women who do not represent the masses is unbelievable to me. How did this happen? How has the minority managed to make the majority feel inadequate? I’ve spent a lifetime at war with myself. Society has told me that I am not worth as much as a thinner woman. I intellectually know this is garbage, but emotionally, it is so hurtful and has made me loathe the body I see in the mirror. Sometimes I wonder if when I’m 80, I’ll still be on a frigging diet, trying to be acceptable … or if there will finally come a time where I can accept the body I’m in and be okay with it, even though the world tells me it’s completely wrong.

  • What kills me is that you could have dropped 20 pounds, be really happy with your eating choices, be really happy with the lifestyle changes you made… And then you’re riding your bike on the trail and some guy screams, “Go to Jenny Craig, bitch!” You can’t tell what a person is doing about their health at the moment you see them. Even if they’re scarfing down a Big Mac. You don’t know when was the last time they ate, or what they had.

    Or you could be like a friend of mine, who has a low thyroid and doesn’t react well to the drugs. She is *never* lazy, and eats very well — no alcohol, no sweets, little fat. But the haters gotta hate.

  • I am currently 4.5 months pregnant, and I spend probably more time than strictly necessary on the Sept due date boards on Baby Center. I am appalled at the number of posts women make either 1) worried about how much weight they have or have not gained and 2) are angry at someone saying TO THEIR FACE, “Oh, you’re looking huge! You sure it’s not twins? Hahahaha, how are you going to make it another 4 months?”

    We are CREATING A HUMAN LIFE and yet so many of us are still feeling the brunt of years of fat-bashing. We are dealing with morning sickness, aches and pains, insomnia, worries about the baby’s health and our health, and we shouldn’t have to worry about what we look like. It’s disgusting and disappointing, and anyone who ever says anything negative to anyone else about their weight/size, pregnant or not, should be ashamed of themselves.

    • First of all…CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

      And yes…I know what you mean. When I had my first child (nearly 27 years ago) I remember going back to work after a pitiful 7 weeks off and getting asked on my first day back if I was ‘pregnant again’. It made me cry.

  • I agree with you except for going the other way and criticizing people who are at the gym instead if with their kids. If a mom is ripped and at the gym two hrs a day, that could totally be her only hobby, her detox time, etc., which allows her to be happy and thus a better mother. HOWEVER so many times people focus on appearance rather than HEALTH. I know many skinny people who are diabetic, smoke, have BP issues, etc. while us larger people can be strong as oxes. You never know what someone is like health-wise so I wish we’d stop judging by the skin, as you say! Great post.

    • I really do not disagree with you…I was just trying to point out the arguments that people have for each other…we really have no idea what the other people are doing or what is important or how they spend their days and we shouldn’t judge it.

  • I’ve been battling weight issues or worried about weight my whole life. I still remember my mother (who was 200-300 pounds for most of my childhood), telling me that I needed to watch what I eat, that I shouldn’t gain so much weight while pregnant, that it was important to be thin. She was so focused on weight that she finally had bariatric surgery, lost so much weight so quickly that she had to have plastic surgery, and then suffered from all sorts of health issues because of both surgeries. But it was only then that I think she felt “good enough” — and then she used her new “healthy” status as an example of what I should strive towards.

    While I agree with everything you say, it’s my secret shame that I still have a moment of inner rejoicing when I realize I am not the largest woman in the room. I think that, if I was more at peace and accepting of my inner self, my weight would not be such a negative, all-encompassing, defining thing to me. I’m working on it — every day.

    • Oh sister….trust me when I say that I also rejoice at not being the largest woman in the room….I so much don’t claim to be above all this shit..I am just writing about it.

      I was in a wedding a few years ago and I was by far and away the oldest bridesmaid…by over a decade…but I was not the LARGEST bridesmaid…and I was grateful.

  • Well said. people need to get a handle on their rage. I used to be a personal trainer and women who tended to be the most obsessed with their appearance were also the least accepting of their bodies and others. A general sweep, I know – but I did that job for close to 2 decades and you make a few assumptions after a while. My most “physically perfect” clients tended to be the most critical of them selves. I also worked with older post-menopausal women and the ones who graciously accepted and embraced a softer, fuller figure were happier and more at ease with themselves. I say be a happy (and healthy) magic marker instead of a miserable pencil – and I got that gem from a little show called, “Facts of Life”

  • I love this post so hard I just dry-humped my computer.

    Every. word. Even twat monsters. NO. Especially twat monsters.

    Shared this all over the place. The second post I’ve ever read that I considered re-blogging. You rock my socks off, Michelle. No shit. You’re fucking awesome.

  • Great post Michelle! Your “submit” boxes aren’t labelled and I’m having a hard time making my comment stick. But I think I got it figured out. Dropped over from Aussa’s site where you’re guest posting. Enjoyed your post and will be back for more. Thanks!

  • I love this post so much. It’s so true. I have been thinking a lot about this lately, as I tend to read a lot of fat acceptance posts and articles, and then (like an idiot) read the horrible comments that make me lose faith in all of humanity. And your point is exactly my question – why? Why any of it? Why are people so driven, so hatefully and spitefully driven, to poke and prod at everyone else? Why does ANYONE think they have the right to spew poison at you for looking a certain way, dressing just so, believing in a particular faith, marrying who you’d like… The list goes on and on, and it’s so ridiculous. It’s noone’s business. These life choices are individual and personal, and everyone else needs to just GTFO.

    Anyway, this is brilliant and thanks for sharing it.

    • You’re welcome and thank you as well!

      I think the people who lash out the way they do (anonymously, of course) are very broken people. I try to feel compassion for them, but I struggle with that.

  • Outstanding, as usual. When you get down to it, though, we should probably shame anyone who makes shaming into a sport. We all have our flaws. Sure, when I drive down the street on a Monday morning and see a bloke leaning against a bar at 9am taking a smoke break, I’m mentally measuring him and judging that he comes up short. But who am I to say? Maybe my flaws are worse. Maybe, compared to him, I’m the asshole. Who knows? Who cares? People always pick on that which is different, a skill we all picked up in kindergarten. “Fat” people are just a trendy target.

  • Body shaming in any way, shape or form just sucks.

    I have been on both sides of the coin. I was that skinny kid all through school, and well into my twenties. I got poked at a lot because of my perceived underweightedness. Wasn’t I eating enough? Did I have AIDS? Had I seen a doctor for that? And my personal favorite, the food pushers, who felt that it was their personal crusade to fatten me up. Whatever…Screw you!

    Then came the mid-40’s years, in which I had put on enough weight to be classified as obese. That wasn’t any fun, either. And trust me, once you have realized that you’ve eaten and not exercised yourself into a situation where you are panting like a dog after one flight of stairs and have enough self-loathing that you’ve allowed yourself to get to the point that you REALLY have a problem with the way you look? Some hateful fat-hating comment comes your way, and you would kill to throat punch the insensitive ass that made it.

    So I got to the point where I was ready to drop some of this weight and joined an online health and weight loss community. I learned a very important lesson; people are shaming EVERYONE, it seems. Skinny people are being called “skinny fat” by people who lift weights and, you know, skinny is bad. Women who lift weights are warned that they are going to get bulky and that is unattractive. You name it? There’s a shame for it. I have figured out that it isn’t going to matter how much I can deadlift off the ground, how low my body fat percentage goes, SOMEBODY is going to find something wrong with me. I’m just glad I’m at the age where it doesn’t bother me what anyone thinks. 😉

    If you want to diet, then diet. If you don’t, don’t. Do (or don’t do) what makes you happy and comfortable in your own skin and throw out the rest. Opinions are like assholes in that everyone’s got one, but the only one you need to worry about is your own. 😉

  • I love that you said in the end we’re just shouting at each other. It’s true and both sides get nasty and overblown. Sometimes it’s enough to make me think social media is a curse, people just yelling into the abyss without actually DOING anything for the causes we hold dear to us.

    Great post. You are most certainly a strong woman.

    • Thank you so much! Yes, I think in most cases we are more interested in defending our position rather than listen to what someone else has to say. I am terribly guilty of this. I’m trying to be more open these days.

  • Having the big ole dia-beet-us has made exercise and healthy eating a part of my daily life. However, I don’t advocate that everyone do what I’m doing. If you’re happy with yourself and have energy and are living your life, who cares? We’re here on this earth for such a short time and we don’t need to worry about this shit.

    Unless you’re like eating 4 buckets of KFC for breakfast and might need a forklift to get you out of bed.

    Then we might need to have a discussion.

    • I feel bad for people who seemingly have a limited quality of life because of choices they make. But still..I don’t live in their skin…so I try to not judge.

  • I shared this on Facebook. That is something I NEVER (well almost) do! Great post. I hope some of my friends will read the whole thing. Kind regards, and thank you.

  • Thank you! I was an active cardiac nurse up until June 2008 when I worked a 14 hour night shift and walked over to have surgery. I took off 3 days from work to recoup and that was the last time I worked. I ended up having another surgery 5 months later and have been on disability since. When I applied for disability they asked me how many jobs had I had in the last 10 years, I said one in 25 years. They were shocked. Didn’t make sense to me what difference it would have made anyway if I’d had 25. I was still disabled. No I am not as active anymore but my lifestyle of hard work growing up and the work I did later in life ruined my health. Have I gained almost 15 pounds since 2008 yes. Do I care what anyone says or thinks no. It is what it is and I have to live with it. People are cruel and the older they get the more cruel they can be. One of our doctors died of a massive heart attack and he was skinny as a rail and worked out every day, it sure didn’t help him. I tell you those glass houses are not so safe. Thank you so much for your post. I for one appreciate it. How you look on the outside doesn’t erase the ugliness on the inside.

  • I give you a gift for your birthday. It is wrapped in pretty paper and has an intricate ribbon that you know I didn’t tie myself. Or it has a ton of tape, three rips, and the bow is a stick-on that you are pretty sure was recycled from Christmas. Either way, you don’t know what the gift is until you open it. It might be that rare trinket you have been searching for most of your life. It might be gas station eye shadow. You just don’t know until you open it. The same is true of people. Some of the greatest gifts come in a crappy wrap job. And others are just an empty box.

  • It’s kind of sick how morality seems to become conflated with a certain idea of what it means to be successful (i.e. thin, rich, well groomed, “busy”, etc). So it’s like being unable to adhere to this norm (or simply not wanting to) not only makes you a failure, it also makes you a bad person somehow and free game for abuse. Sick, yeah.

    PS: Is “twat monster” a S2 Game of Thrones reference? 🙂

By Michelle

Michelle

RSIH in your inbox



Categories