Yesterday I was browsing through Instagram when I received a notification saying that a guy I follow just went live. I tuned it. During the chat, he spoke about unhealthy habits that we (humans) condone through our actions—the key topics were making music about doing drugs and congratulating people for being fat.
I agreed with his first point but didn’t completely understand where he was going with his fat statement. He slightly elaborated stating that women are being called ‘thick’ or ‘curvy’ when they are merely obese or morbidly obese. He then went on to say something along the lines of ‘maybe if said women didn’t eat McDonald’s all the time they wouldn’t be fat.’
I laughed. Partially because the ignorance in the statement and partially because he, like others who speak on issues pertaining to weight, missed the mark completely. And through all of this his other viewers completely agreed. None of which were fat, most of which have probably never experienced this eating disorder and yes binge eating is a fucking eating disorder. This person made a remark stating that the act of people calling a fat person fat shouldn’t be called ‘fat shaming.’ And here’s the issue I have with that:
The act of telling someone they are unhealthy or that they should work on improving their health and fitness in and of itself is not shaming—if done correctly. The act of hordes of people ganging up on a person because of their weight to cast stones and give no type of positive information regarding losing the weight or getting healthy is. I’ve never heard of a person getting bullied out of love. Bullying is not an act of nurturing. It also isn’t a show of concern or kindness. You can’t honestly sit here and say that you think that people flocking onto someone’s picture and calling them fat ass, fat bitch, whale, unhealthy etc. is constructive criticism.
If we can see drugs as a problem that users need help with, people who eat all the damn time should be looked at in the same way. Guess what? The human body doesn’t need drugs to survive. But it does need food. A more proactive response to the growing number of obese (and beyond) people would be to get these people involved in initiatives to get healthy. Telling someone they are only as good as the number on the scale does nothing to boost the confidence, self-esteem or self-worth they probably, more than likely, already did not have to begin with.
Fallacy #1: Fat people eat McDonald’s all day. Every fat person does not eat meat. Every vegan is not slim. Every fat person is not addicted to food. Food is not the only thing that makes humans fat. Anyone who says food has literally nothing to do with health is a damn lie. Anyone who claims it has everything to do with one’s health is ignorant.
Fallacy #2: Fat people have coronary issues. Fat people are more likely to have disease period but guess what? Being fat doesn’t guarantee health issues beyond the scale. What this statement misses is that thin, fitness buffs have heart attacks and heart failure as well. So now what? What’s the new argument? Perhaps that they should be vegan or raw vegan?
Fallacy #3: Fat people are coddled and congratulated. Where? The only time I’ve seen fat people congratulated is by perverts. Any other time they are made to feel subhuman and worthless.
Fallacy #4: Fat bodies are celebrated. This simply is not true. If we live in a pro-fat culture where are the morbidly obese singers and actress? Why are models slim? Why are the women who are labeled beautiful slim? Why? Why? Why?
Fallacy #5: Fat people don’t exercise. False again. Being fat doesn’t mean that you don’t move your damn body and being active doesn’t guarantee you a slender physique. More goes into size than simply eating right and exercise. There are other forces at work in the human body. If it were that simple, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
Fallacy #6: Fat people enjoy being unhealthy. Where? Most of the fat people I know and have read about on their blogs and social media hate themselves and just want to be ‘normal.’
When we are talking about health and fat people who eat all the time, let’s make sure we come correct. You’re not doing anyone any favors by calling out people with a BMI over 29 if you are not highlighting solutions. If anything, the only thing you’ll do is gain a cult following of people who hate fatties and spur more eating disorders. But who cares? It’s all about looking appealing.