you don’t care about my health, you just hate fat people
By Erin White
August 1, 2017
It’s hard for me to imagine, in a society that can’t come to a consensus about whether or not healthcare is a human right, that anybody’s health is of genuine concern at all. Which is really what’s so offensive and hypocritical about the ways in which we talk about fatness and about fat people.
“Don’t glorify unhealthy living” says the society that rewards girls like Kylie Jenner for modifying their faces and bodies past the point of recognizability before they’re old enough to drink. The society where a hundred people die a day from opioid abuse. Where binge drinking is an acceptable pastime, where no one wants to wear a condom. Where cigarettes are still a thing and where workaholic culture is treated as ambition. Where we watch teens and adults run into each other and high speeds and scramble each other’s brains on the football field.
I am to believe that even though we overlook the potential harms of these things, and even celebrate them, being or appearing to be overweight is so intolerable that it gives license to strangers to make presumptuous, humiliating commentary about a person’s appearance and character? The society that elected a man to take health care away from children, babies, cares more about my BMI than that dead babies? My name’s not Booboo.
Like any good ‘ol hierarchal standard, the people who benefit from fatphobia must shit all over those who are marginalized by it. For many, this disdain and even disgust of fat people is a messy swirl of weakness, judgment, and a false sense of superiority that depends on fatness being bad and fat people being less than. It’s not about health at all. It’s about what they believe your appearance signifies in relation to theirs. Which is why so many thin get up in arms about body positivity and adipositivity that doesn’t center fitness or fitspo or fitfam or whatever. This celebration and acceptance of fat people represent a shift in power, a loss of social currency, of self-worth, of superiority that depends on fat people being ugly, unworthy, and unlovable.
And when these people rush to nurse fat people to wellness with unsolicited commentary everytime fat people are empowered, we’re told that this is done so that nobody “celebrates unhealthiness”.
But refusing to be ashamed of being fat isn’t an endorsement to be unhealthy. All it is letting go of the societal pressures to look and be a certain kind of way. And, frankly, these skinny folks don’t want that, because with the acceptance of all bodies types comes the loss of privilege had for those with the “right one”.
This isn’t about having unmanaged high-risk body statistics because those are unknowable just by looking at someone. And while some interpretation of other people being over or underweight might correctly imply something about health, that implication requires unknowable information about that person’s health and medical history, abilities, activeness, and how their body runs and feels best. Health can be relevant to conversations about weight. Nobody is suggesting that having a body that is 50 percent body fat is the ideal way for most bodies to function. What I am saying is that either way, it’s none of your fucking business.
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