Vile Bodies

Unacceptably Fat

January 20, 2014

Multiple Pages
Unacceptably Fat

The results are in: Fat people overeat because our fat-fearing society “fat-shames” them, which then causes them to overeat. This doesn’t explain how they got fat in the first place, but let’s not get picky.

According to a new study called “The ironic effects of weight stigma” in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology:

Exposure to weight-stigmatizing news articles caused self-perceived overweight women, but not women who did not perceive themselves as overweight, to consume more calories and feel less capable of controlling their eating than exposure to non-stigmatizing articles.

In other words, she hoisted all seventeen cream-filled donuts to her mouth and ate them in one sitting not because she lacks self-control, but because society told her it’s a bad thing to do. I’m trying to make sense of that, but I can’t seem to wrap my head—or, for that matter, my arms—around it.

Still, this supports a study from last year that claims women who feel they have been discriminated against based on their weight are prone to pack on more pounds. Unless your brain’s arteries are clogged with unhealthy fatty plaque deposits, it should be obvious that the only safe inference one can make from that study is that some women who overeat also suffer from persecution complexes and tend to blame others for their dietary decisions.

“Americans have ‘accepted’ fat so much, they’re a hell of a lot fatter than they were in the 1960s.”

Regardless of reality, it has become au courant to be “fat-positive”—nay, to celebrate fatness—and to instead shame the fat-shamers, because the Internet is where people ruthlessly toss shame at one another like feces-flinging chimps. Actress Jennifer Lawrence has stated that “it should be illegal to call someone fat on TV.” Crushingly monstrous black actress Gabourey Sidibe of Precious fame, who is larger than the entire nation of Gambia as well as 16 of Jupiter’s moons, routinely receives “You go, girl!” accolades for basking in her life-threatening blubber as if it were a virtue.

In reality, the best orchestrated recent campaign of literal public shaming was against a mom who was unashamed to be fit rather than fat. The backlash—fatlash?—is here, and it’s being called “fit shaming.” It is the obese civil-rights activist’s version of misandry, heterophobia, or anti-white racism—full-on hatred directed against the perceived “haters” that is justified on the premise that they hated me first, Mom.

The “fat acceptance” movement—AKA “fat power,” “body acceptance,” “size acceptance,” and “weight diversity”—provides a waistband-busting cornucopia of unintentional humor. It is identity politics for the adipose, that odd, contradictory demand that society shouldn’t define them by their designated victim category even though that’s apparently the only way that these self-designated victims are able to define themselves. The movement goes all the way back to the 1960s, when “fat activists” staged a Central Park “fat-in” and the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance was founded.

The propaganda campaign appears to have been resoundingly successful, because Americans have “accepted” fat so much, they’re a hell of a lot fatter than they were in the 1960s. An estimated two-thirds of Americans are now officially overweight; a third are obese.

Some blame genetics for obesity, but genes don’t mutate quickly enough to cause such a huge swelling in the public’s waistline over the course of a generation or two. Researchers at Harvard say that “genetic factors identified so far make only a small contribution to obesity risk.” Endocrinologist Dr. Joseph Majzoub of Boston Children’s Hospital says that obesity-related gene mutations “account for under five percent of the obesity in our society, and certainly are not, by themselves, responsible for the current obesity epidemic.”

A plus-sized contingent of the fat-acceptance movement appears to suffer from “health denial” in the sense that they either flatly deny or attempt to downplay the documented adverse health effects of being overweight. But the CDC claims that being a porker increases one’s risk of heart disease, liver disease, gallbladder disease, diabetes, stroke, breast and colon cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. A 1997 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that “Obesity greatly increases risks for many serious and morbid conditions.…Obesity is clearly associated with increased risk for mortality….” A 2006 study in the journal Obesity concludes that “Visceral fat is a strong, independent predictor of all-cause mortality in men.”

There’s a reason it’s called “morbid” obesity, after all—or, as the kids call it, “deathfat.” To deny the health risks of being fat, to encourage people to celebrate their deleterious physical condition as if it isn’t likely to lay them out cold by the time they hit 40, would seem far more potentially harmful than to hurt their feelings with an occasional fat joke. Contrary to legend, it’s not over when the fat lady sings—it’s over when she dies from a heart attack trying to hit the high notes.

The CDC says that in 2008, obesity-related medical costs totaled nearly $150 billion. Last year the AMA declared that obesity is a disease rather than a result of poor decisions. One wouldn’t exactly be fatheaded to suspect that the medical costs of this new “disease” will be borne by all American citizens under Obamacare whether they’re big fat fatties themselves or not.

I find this unacceptable. It’s not my fault that you treated your body like a fast-food dumpster for decades, and I shouldn’t have to pay for your quadruple bypass.

I suspect that for many people, massive amounts of body fat act as an emotional cushion—if they can conclude that you hate them because they’re portly, they’re spared the pain of thinking that you hate them because of their personality. I believe this principle applies to all groups across the identity-politics rainbow.

What I don’t understand is that if you’re truly so A-OK with being fat, why would you need “acceptance” from others? Running around with your gunt flapping in the air screaming that being fat doesn’t bother you suggests to me that the opposite is true. All those familiar insults should roll off you like the sweat from your brow after you walk those three steps up into the city bus. The fact that you appear to need my acceptance only makes me think you don’t accept yourself, which in turn makes me less likely to accept you. Why can’t you accept that?

I say we start a broad-based movement that accepts no one until they prove themselves worthy of acceptance. Let’s reject and shame everyone straight out of the gates until we’re given reason to act otherwise. Acceptance would be earned rather than expected. It would be a better world.

Whew. I feel better after saying that—almost as if a huge weight has been lifted off my chest.

 

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