Universally Loathed

So many intelligent people can’t comprehend the genetics of size, which I find both astoundingly disappointing and rather nauseating.

If I hear one more time — just one more time — that the size of my body implies I’ve got some bevy of psychological issues, whoever makes that claim will be told in no uncertain terms why they are wrong. I’m done being silent about this, going along when other people spew misinformation and bigotry because I don’t want to rock whatever boat. I’m not out looking for a fight, but unfortunately you don’t have to go far these days to either get attacked or experience others being attacked for happening to embody the ‘wrong’ shape.

Nearly every group strives to disinclude fat people, to the extent where vociferous, well-reasoned  arguments will be levied against the culture of lookism only to then exclude fat people yet again. For example, a recent comment (which sparked this post), ran along the lines of: “Judging potential partners based on looks is wrong, but hey, sometimes you can tell when someone’s messed up and that’s when they’re OMGFAT!”

(because, the argument ‘from reason’ further stated, fat people must be fat because they overeat and they must overeat because they have some disturbing emotional problems which imply they are broken and hence undesirable partners)

I’ve had conversation with and read articles written by people with multiple degrees in tough disciplines which still cave to the rabid cultural assumptions surrounding size. My hypothesis is this usually stems from the fact that they themselves aren’t fat, nor do they have any experience with people of size. Since they’re perfectly reasonable and intelligent, that must mean fat people are broken! The same goes for average-sized people who rag on very thin people: they can’t seem to understand that many naturally thin people have tried to gain weight and can’t, and are mocked or derided for their size.

It’s all so very unscientific, and so very non-rigorous and logically fallacious that I can’t help to conclude there exists an intellectual double standard concerning size. I’m not quite sure why – perhaps it stems from the infallible authority granted to doctors and other medical researchers, who are of course just fallible people subject to the same bigotries as the rest of us, and who don’t necessarily conduct their research more rigorously nor do they possess some sort of super-reason inaccessible to the rest of us.

All of this leads me to conclude –

If you are a person of size there is one thing you can count on in modern society, and that’s being universally loathed.

So right, I’m pretty pissed off.

…because it’s abuse. It’s a way for one set of people to commit violence against another without having to make the effort to be physically violent. It’s a way for them to feel artificially superior by climbing on the backs of the deviant ranks, though really whatever status system being contrived is based on completely arbitrary values. (Like thinner is better – better for whom? Like more makeup is better than no makeup – better for whom? Like dark hair and blue eyes and fair skin is better – better for whom? Why? How did it come to pass? How is it rigorous or objective in any sense whatsoever?)

I’m going to say it right back – Modern Culture – yeah, look at me when I’m talking to you, damnit – I loathe you, too.

But my loathing is based in reason. Because I loathe any entity, group, or collection of ideas constructed in order to do violence to other people, to keep them from reaching their full potential.

I especially loathe intelligent individuals with willful blind spots. Perhaps that’s because I used to be one of them, I’m not sure. Regardless, while I don’t think intelligent people need to be perfect (honest intelligent people will be the first to claim that they’re not perfect) I do think they have a responsibility to closely examine their own potential biases. Else doff that elitist mantle: you are no enlightened thinker if you willfully latch onto a belief because it conveniently supports your worldview without making sure it is rationally sound.

Most modern intellectuals, along with everyone else, have been socialized to believe fat people are low-status, disgusting, and broken. Hence they are willfully ignorant with respect to any information that might suggest the opposite. They want to keep finding us ugly, and disgusting, and broken. They want to other us. They want their bigotry to be reinforced, because they have a visceral fear of fat people.

And visceral fears are difficult to root out. Flipping through the pages of history they might in fact be one of the stickiest points of human prejudice. Why is that? I have a few theories.

Visceral fears are self-regulating. Teach a populace to loathe something, and they often self-segregate based on that characteristic. In that same sense those fears are passed from generation to generation, since children will be — through horrid, memorable abuse and punishment for deviance, often at the hands of their parents, teachers, and peers — well-taught to toe loathing’s line.

So what do we do? How do we handle being loathed? Well I know what we can’t do — OBEY.

Which suggests that the initial reaction we must cultivate is ANGER.

(I won’t go into constructive/destructive anger at the moment, but obviously I believe the above falls into the constructive category)

So get angry. What makes you angry about the way you were treated in your past, or currently, or the way you fear you might be treated in the future? Why do you think it’s unfair? You have every right to loathe what is being done to you, because it is objectively wrong. You know that, you agree with that, or else you wouldn’t think this whole Fat/Size Acceptance thing holds any water.

Get pissed; you deserve it.

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7 comments on “Universally Loathed

  1. […] of my rambling, please click here and take a look at this amazing woman’s post. Get angry with […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Renee and Renee, Social Psych. Social Psych said: SocialPsych.org news Universally Loathed: So many intelligent people can’t comprehend the genetics of size; it i… http://bit.ly/ffgzRh […]

  3. April D says:

    I AM Pissed. I spent so many years of my youth WASTED on calorie-counting, dieting, self-loathing, all because my body was rounder than others. What a crock of shit. >.< If I could only have those hours and days back…

    I will continue to be as visible a Fattie as I can be as one small step of activism on my part.

    • bigliberty says:

      I’d love to see a calculation of total time wasted on dieting/self loathing by members of the FA community. My estimate runs into several entire lifetimes. I myself wasted 10 active years on dieting, not to mention 15 years before that hating my body.

  4. notblueatall says:

    Yes! I, too, cannot remain silent about the hate that is spewed without question. While I may not have a way with words as you do (Lovely post btw), I have no problem what so ever telling someone that they are wrong and why. Yet there seems to be an endless supply of this type of hate lately, no?

  5. I remember telling my sister that I insist on men treating me well, rather than compromising my appearance to be more conventionally attractive.
    “I know I’m a prize,” I said.
    Her instinctive response? “Don’t say that!”

    Because I’m fat, she really expects me to live in state of apology. I don’t, and I won’t. Ever.

    I break people’s brains daily with my attitude about myself. It’s worth the grey matter strewn on the sidewalk.

  6. Oh I’m regularly angry. And I’m getting really, really good at channeling that anger into the fight. Like other commenters above, I cannot remain silent any more. I am not going to be treated as less than those who weigh less than I. Nor will I stand for others like me to be treated like less simply for the size and shape of their bodies.

    Thank you Abigail, and all of you who also fight the good fight, for doing what you do. It helps me in the dark times and keeps me going.

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