What *I* want for Fat Acceptance.

Quite a few blog posts have had me thinking about this.  One of which I have to admit, I sparked And because we’re not a monolithic group, because we’re made up of many different people from many different walks of life who have many different personal goals regarding FA, I decided I needed to be completely clear about my wishes for FA.  These are my opinions only and do no reflect on FA as a whole.  Please do not read this as me speaking for the whole group.  This is just me, one person in that group, saying what I want to happen.

I want Fat Persons to be given the basic human rights they deserve. No one should have to worry about discrimination or harassment.  No one should have to be fed fatphobia in such quantities that it makes their lives miserable.  The bullying, emotional torture, and harassment needs to stop.

I want this for every fat person alive. Able-bodied and not.  Black, white, and every color and shade of color in between.  Neurologically normal or not.  Whether you exercise every day or prefer to spend your days reading (as an example).  Whether you eat a “good, balanced” diet or you eat junk food.  Whether or not you have an ED of any kind.  There is no reason on earth that you should be subjected to having your basic human rights taken away from you just because you happen to be fat.

I want to dispel the misconceptions and unfair stereotypes of fat people. That doesn’t mean that if you are lazy and do over eat that you don’t have a place in “my” movement.  Not at all.  But just because _______ fat person overeats and doesn’t exercise doesn’t mean it’s true for all fat people.  But those of you that do overeat? Don’t exercise? Are lazy?  You all deserve respect, too.

I want the world to wake up to the realization that thin =/= healthy and fat =/= unhealthy. Being fat in and of itself does not make one unhealthy.  There is a wide spectrum of fat and health, just as there is with thin and health.  But being healthy is not a moral obligation.  Whether you are fat and healthy or fat and unhealthy, it is no reason for you not to be treated like a human being.  It simply does not matter.

I also want the world to wake up to the realization that diets do not work. Even when you don’t call them “diets.”  Telling me to call Jenny Craig is not going to magically make me thin.  Assuming I eat like a glutton all day and telling me “just try eating less, fatty” isn’t going to work either.  There is absolutely nothing on this earth that is guaranteed to work in making a fat person permanently thin.  The key word here is permanently.  Sure, some diets work in the short-term.  I personally have known quite a few people that went from VERY fat to thin on a diet – I’ll use my Aunt D’s best friend K as an example.  Guess where her body size is now?  Yep, you guessed it – even fatter than before.  I honestly believe, had this woman never dieted in the first place, she’d probably be fat, but she’d probably be around the size I am now (which I admit is on the smaller end of the fat scale).  As it is now, the last time I saw her she was somewhere near the vicinity of 500 lbs.  I truly believe all the dieting she’s done is what has brought her to this point.  I’ve known her all of my life and have seen her go up and down and up and down.  Diets don’t work.  And she’s a great example of that.

Saying that I want all fat people to be accepted as human beings is not the same thing as saying I want the rest of the world to find us all attractive. You don’t have to be attracted to me, or any other fat person.  A person’s level of attractiveness should not factor in to whether or not you treat them with basic dignity and respect.  You don’t have to like me to be respectful to me.  Shit, I can’t stand my mother-in-law, and yet I still treat her with respect and courtesy.  Why?  Because she’s a person.  I don’t have to like her to be polite to her.

However, beauty and attractiveness are two different things. You can find the beauty in a person without wanting to jump their bones.  It might not even be physical beauty.  And you know what?  That’s okay!  It’s okay to say that you can find a person beautiful for one reason or another and not find them attractive.  It’s a good thing, even.

I want the world’s governments to stop trying to “regulate” our bodies. People are designed to come in all shapes and sizes.  And if you bureaucratic anal-retentives would get your collective cranium removed from your collective colon, you’d realize that what you’re being spoon-fed by the mainstream media is being dispelled left and right.  It’s just not being advertised as much as the bullshit you’re swallowing.  Obesity is not a disease, and there is no epidemic.  You can’t catch it, and you can’t “cure” it.  It doesn’t need to be cured.  All the regulations you could come up with are not going to get you the results you want.  It’s just not going to happen.

I want BMI thrown out with the bath water. BMI is an antiquated, arbitrary, ridiculous standard to which no one should be accountable.  It simply doesn’t measure anything except for height and weight.  Human bodies are much more complicated than that.

That’s all I can think of right now.  This is, by no means, a complete list.  This is just what I’ve come up with in one sitting.  I may decide to edit this later on, I don’t know.

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7 Responses

  1. This is a beautiful list! Well worded and with some awesome points 😀 I love that you distinguish between beauty and attraction; it isn’t something I’ve thought of much before.

  2. Well said and very clear!
    I think those are very reasonable wants!
    I mean truly what I see is that you’re asking for all humans to be treated the same. I always thought when I was a little girl that that is what we’re suppose to do anyways. However, as I got older it seemed to be saying, humans should be treated the same, but some people are a little less human.
    It’s nuts how peoples minds get brainwashed into all this garbage as they grow older.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Awesomeness, nuckingfutz. I want all those things too. Thank you for this.

    {{{HuGs}}} You’re absolutely welcome. And thank YOU, for teaching me through your blog. It’s a nice give-and-take, don’tcha think? 🙂 ~NF

  4. I mean truly what I see is that you’re asking for all humans to be treated the same. I always thought when I was a little girl that that is what we’re suppose to do anyways. However, as I got older it seemed to be saying, humans should be treated the same, but some people are a little less human.

    Melissa, while there are doubtless people who truly believe that some people are inherently more worthy of respect than others, I think that for many other people (maybe even the majority, though I am not sure) the problem is putting that belief into practice. We often don’t even see when we treat someone unfairly – and a lot of us (myself included) get defensive when it is pointed out to them that we did in fact discriminate against someone (in the sense of treating that person differently from others) because we did not intend to do that. I have done it. I have had other people do it to me, also – even some of my close friends still don’t see fatphobia, for example.

    want to dispel the misconceptions and unfair stereotypes of fat people. That doesn’t mean that if you are lazy and do over eat that you don’t have a place in “my” movement. Not at all. But just because _______ fat person overeats and doesn’t exercise doesn’t mean it’s true for all fat people. But those of you that do overeat and are lazy? You deserve respect, too.

    I have got a tiny, tiny criticism here. I am sure you did not imply that they are related, but overeating and laziness are two separate issues, and I think it is important to make that very clear. (Laziness and not exercising are also separate issues – in fact, I for one know some people who are workaholics and who don’t exercise, and I doubt that most people woud say workaholics are lazy).

    I am nitpicking here, I know. Your post is great – it is only that this issue is very important for me because I *am* in fact a binge eater, and yes, sometimes I am lazy, and sometimes I don’t exercise. But the three things are independent. I have a very hard time getting that into my own head – I have spent far too much time in my life calling myself lazy and without self-control for overeating, and that makes it even more important for me to get those things pried apart.

  5. Dear NF,

    I HEART you and this post. This should be the gold standard of the FA movement.

  6. queendom, I can see what you’re getting at. No, I didn’t mean them as necessarily the same thing, but I could already tell this was going to be a LONG post and was trying to consolidate wherever possible! ABSOLUTELY laziness, not exercising, and overeating and/or binge eating are totally separate things. I’ll go back and edit that when I can think of a good way to do it.

    A little bit of anecdata here: is it strange that every lazy person I’ve known in my life were skinny? For example: Hubby is notoriously lazy, and out of my 4 children, the laziest one is just like him: all skin and bones. And yet the busiest, most hardworking people I’ve known were all fat. Is it just me, or is that weird? (Open question, anybody is welcome to answer.)

  7. Nuckingfutz, this is the FA I signed on for.

    On the anecdata question, I’ve known people who are perpetual motion machines, and people who won’t change the channel if the remote is two inches away from their hands. Just like who is and isn’t healthy internally, I couldn’t tell which would be which simply by looking. The perpetual motion machines come in all shapes and sizes, just as the slothful do.

    And then there are people like me who can be utterly lazy, but then have huge sudden bursts of activity. Then again, I’m an in-betweeny, too. Hmmm….nah. Not statistically significant. ; )

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