I know every FA blogger has probably had a post like this. You start understanding the science behind fat, and the junk science behind dieting, “calories in = calories out,” and other Fat Hate Bingo phraseology, and suddenly you start seeing mentions of “The Obesity Epidemic,” diet commercials, rehashes of the Fat Hate Bingo phrases, etc everyfuckingwhere.
Since I’m still in the midst of my “come to Jesus” with FA, I’m naturally very angry: at the pain and suffering inflicted upon my body and psyche over the years by those who ‘just wanted the best for me,’ the media, corrupt government agencies in the pockets of interested industry, the industry itself since there are virtually no FDA regulations on the verity of the scientific message being put forth with respect to diet and weight-loss ads, doctors, everyone.
On a side-note, has anyone noticed that January has bled into February this year? Maybe I’m just seeing this stuff everywhere, but it seems to me that there has been NO LETUP in the quantity and severity of weight-loss schilling since about six weeks before the new year. The “Resolution Season,” i.e., the biggest recruitment season for the weight-loss industry, stretches from mid-November to at least mid-February.
Needless to say, I’m yelling at the TV every single time I see yet another repetition of some Obesity Myth. It’s on cartoons (the Simpsons had an episode about “looking better” for your spouse, focusing almost completely on weight loss), it’s on sitcoms (New Adventures of Old Christine had a line where she mentioned that her ways of improving herself were primarily diet and exercise), it’s of course on commercials, and it’s on the local news in some form just about every other night. It’s in movies, in newspapers, in Reality TV (the only reality of which being a tendency to cast buff 20-somethings with an occasional Old Fat Ugly person for variety and most likely, the producers believe, HIGH-larious foolish moments).
Being angry, and yelling at the TV often, my fiancee (poor soul) has had his eyes opened, as well. A skinny person his whole life, he hasn’t had any real reason to pay attention to fat stigmatism (though, I’ve heard, he used to know a good share of fat jokes. But he’s long since reformed). But just the other night, out of the blue, he said (with some surprise), “Wow, honey, it’s really everywhere, isn’t it?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The fat thing. You know, diet talk, commercials. Suddenly I’m seeing it all over the place—has it been like this the whole time?”
“Yeah, pretty much.”
You see, even people who’ve never been discriminated against because of their weight, and have participated in the perpetuation of stereotypes in the past, can change their ways and really understand. And sure, he loves me. But perhaps because of his epiphany, maybe his girls will be confident about their bodies enough to ward off EDs; and maybe his son will hold his tongue when his buddies are egging him on to tell a fat joke.
Just maybe. It’s a step in the right direction, at least.