2 MINUTE RANT: Why do you hate fat people?

It’s disgusting. The selfishness, the greed, the lack of self-awareness. Just the thought of it makes my skin cringe. No, not people with obesity problems. I am talking about the self-styled fat haters. Following recent discussions about whether obese people who manage to lose weight should be rewarded with taxpayers money, they are out in full, monstrous force.

You know who I mean. They say things like “why can’t they just eat less?” (Good idea. They probably hadn’t thought of that.) Then they twist their judgemental, uninformed minds into what they think sound like logical positions of common sense.

“They’re a strain on NHS resources,” is a common one. “They’re consuming more than they need to. They’re being greedy.”

Sometimes fat haters even try to dress up their concern as a genuine worry for the health of larger people, despite having no regard for their feelings or self-respect. This kind consideration gets spat out at strangers they’ve never spoken to, towards overweight celebrities in magazines, about their own friends and family behind their backs, the charmers, but is never constructive or compassionate.

Well, aside from the question of medical truth about how easy it is to lose weight (let’s face it, if it was directly linked to how much you eat, I’d be four times the size of Dawn French by now, when in fact I am pushing it to fill up a size ten pair of jeans), the truth is, very, very few of these fat haters have any problem with beer-drinkers, smokers, coffee drinkers, sunbed-users, car-drivers, athletics trainers, boxers, golfers, swimmers, cyclists, mobile phone users – or, indeed, people who eat all the junk under the sun but don’t display the effects of it. Which, as any doctor will tell you, does not mean you aren’t feeling the health ramifications.

NHS resources? Over-consumption? Give me a break. None of the above bother fat haters because they are slaves to fashion, and don’t think any deeper than what everybody else in their circle happens to find acceptable and attractive.

We only have to look at models from the past to see how ridiculous it is to use contemporary fashion as a benchmark for anything whatsoever: being full-figured used to be the sexiest thing in the world. To some people, incidentally, it blinking well still is.

Being fat has just become an acceptable scapegoat for empathy-challenged losers to shove all their natural judgemental instincts on.

Let’s be clear about this. Whether their health is at risk, big people, even medically obese people, do not need to hear from tabloid columns, fashion magazine fascists, or the obnoxious fat hating minority. They have doctors to explain health risks to them, and to advise them – if appropriate – about behaviour habits. Unless you are a health expert, and your own lifestyle is freckle-for-freckle perfect to boot, then please, for the sake of everyone, fat haters: leave it to the professionals.

Besides, the brain and the heart are the most important organs anyway. If you’re failing on such a spectacular scale to utilise both of those properly, how dare you get all head-over-heels in disgust because someone’s body is bigger than yours?

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3 thoughts on “2 MINUTE RANT: Why do you hate fat people?

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  1. Thanks for this, I enjoyed reading it. I agree with you to a certain point. I think people often disguise their dislike for someone’s appearance (particularly if that person is fat) with concerns for their health, so they can be both judgemental but do it with a self-satisfied “I’m just looking out for them” grin on their face. But, I would argue on certain points. Being slightly overweight of being slightly underweight is never really going to overly harm anybody. But being very thin or being very fat suggests at an eating disorder. The problems around over-eating in an overweight person are treated with less compassion (because, as you say, they’re associated with greed, putting a strain on the NHS etc etc). But, just as an anorexic person needs treatment, if someone’s eating habits are putting a strain on their body and opening up the possibility of early disease or death, then it needs to be addressed. I think there is a problem with attitudes towards the way that person needs to change but, I think, we would never look at a severely underweight person who is struggling to eat a quarter of a meal and say ‘people need to accept others for what they are – as long as they’re happy, that’s the main thing.’ The issue needs to be addressed incredibly delicately, because of that person’s feelings. But being a certain weight isn’t a defining characteristic of a person and, if a person is eating an amount of food which is damaging their body, then there is a problem. I think normalising being overweight is as damaging as normalising being underweight (and actually are quite similar, as they both greatly increase the chance of a very early heart attack). When parents have a very overweight toddler and are completely responsible for what that child eats, then those people are neglecting that child’s needs because, what the body needs is food in proportion. And people do have different metabolisms but if you are severely underweight, your body really is saying ‘I need more food or there’s going to be a problem.’ If you are severely overweight, your body is saying ‘You’ve overfed me for so long, there’s going to be a problem.’ And I think there’s an increasing trend for overweight people to justify insecurities about their weight by depicting themselves as healthier/more attractive/more of a ‘real’ person than those who are underweight. I saw a facebook group, for example, yesterday that said ‘Real men want curves, only a dog wants a bone.’ And I don’t think that slinging mud from whichever side of the pond you are on is a healthy or productive thing to do. People should accept people for how they really look (if you’re balding, if you have a big nose, if you’re very tall, if you’re chubby or a skinny etc etc). But, encouraging people to be within the boundaries of a ‘normal’ weight, I think, is an important distinction. If people are healthier, people are usually happier – they have the potential/energy/drive to see friends, to go travelling, to live longer, to experience more of what life has to offer.

  2. Hi Jo,

    What a great comment! Thanks for that perspective.

    as I mentioned in the article, it’s absolutely right that doctors deal with medical issues where appropriate. I don’t believe that humiliation and social stigma are appropriate for dealing with health problems though, that’s all – even more so if the person is vulnerable and may be suffering from an eating disorder or a different type of mental health problem.

    It’s the nastiness and lack of sympathy that upsets me, not constructive, compassionate help for people who need it 🙂

    Thanks very much for your comment, I really enjoyed reading it and I hope you comment on Left Eye Right Eye again! 🙂

    Lou

  3. I agree with your point, but I do want to put a caveat on it. I’ve been thin and I’ve been, am, fat and there is no question that being thin is better in ever way (apart form those who are pathologically thin and their number is few compared to those who are pathologically fat).

    I am fat for the same reason most people are fat – because it was too hard not to be. Not a matter for treatment nor sympathy, a matter of will.

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