Salon poses the question based on a Tweet, which you can see in the article linked below, from a “New York Times media critic”–whose name I won’t mention here–that made a snide comment regarding “the size” of acceptance Paula Deen was receiving from fans of hers patronizing her Georgia-based restaurant. Not to mention, the American Medical Association’s steps taken toward calling obesity a disease–Salon’s theme here is how easy it is now to “fat shame” and call out people’s weight–in a joking manner–while disguised as “concern” for the person’s health.
While there is a viable argument against calling obesity a disease, based on producing more of a prejudice where there already is one, that isn’t my problem in this case.
Why is it “safe” or “still safe” or “easy” at all to shame anyone????
This is the problem with “the fat movement” or any down-hill motion of the fat acceptance movement, people in general still think they are entitled to tell other people how to live. Is this because they are disgusted with how fat people look? Is this because they aren’t fat themselves, or once were and “overcame” it with pills, exercise, or surgery? Is this because somehow we all feel a moral responsibility to each other and actually care?
No, I think it’s because we absolutely always have to point out the people who are different. We just cannot handle when someone chooses or ends up living their life in a different way than we do. Is everyone super disciplined? No. Does everyone want to be? No. And who’s decision is that? YOURS! Mine. Each and every person who can make decisions for themselves.
It is not anyone else’s business how I eat. No one else is paying for my food but me. I don’t want someone telling me how and what to eat. It’s not as if desserts never existed before Twinkies and Cupcakes came on the scene. It was and always will be a matter of moderation. But now we are told every 15 minutes for 30-60 seconds per spot: Buy Food, Buy Soda, Buy Beer, Buy Wine. And no one ever mentions moderation–they tell you to drink responsibly, but that’s so you don’t kill off fellow alcohol buyers.
Do I sound a little cynical, a little jaded? Well, I was always told as a kid that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. But obesity is linked to gluttony enough to generate enough of an assumption, just seeing a fat person, that we’re all lazy, ignorant pigs who don’t realize we’re slowly “killing ourselves.” If you think about it, we’re all killing ourselves: with cigarettes, alcohol, meth, heroin, cocaine, crack. Food is the one thing that keeps us sustained, gives us energy–and we’re told over and over again that we’re “bad” for eating it. It’s not the food that’s bad, it’s a lack of responsibility for your actions. You can be healthy at any size, as long as you practice moderation.
Not to mention, that when you’re pointing fingers at all those different people (gay, fat, black, smokers, single mothers, pro-choicers, pro-lifers, etc) there are four fingers pointing right back at you. What are you guilty of? It’s easy to hide it when you’re poking fun at everyone else’s life, isn’t it? It’s the hypocrisy of the whole mess. For example, a perfect quote comes in toward the end of the article–talking about how the fat peoples’/Paula Deen’s critics who “apparently saw no contradiction in poking fun at her supporters’ size even as they called out her bigotry.”
Bullying is bullying, no matter if your victim is black, gay, fat, skinny, addicted, anything that doesn’t seem to fit into your world view. Just making an assumption before getting to know the person and spewing your narrow-mindedness is bullying, and that’s what the fat movement is working against.