What They Actually Mean

Ever find yourself reading an article that brings up weight and size in even the most oblique way? Does the article allow comments? Then you’re in for a roller-coaster of fat-hate fun, courtesy of Armchair Fatphobics!

The typical warm-hearted, concerned commentary runs:

“Do you see all that jiggling flesh and rolls and bumps and spilling over and flesh and rolls? I mean, that can’t be healthy!”

How to parse this cornucopia of intent? Is the commenter really concerned about the fleshy fattie in question’s health? Do we expect the commenter to write emails to the fleshy fattie’s doctor or family, expressing an interest in helping to pay for weight loss surgery or a nutritionist or a gym membership (those things most Armchair Fatphobics claim will Cure! Fat!)?

Of course not! Silly fleshy fatties. He’s not really concerned, see. He’s just using the health statement to justify—to himself and others—his visceral disgust and more cultivated hatred of fat people.

So how to parse what these comments are really about? Simple! Just remove the health part. The above comment turns into:

“Do you see all that jiggling flesh and rolls and bumps and spilling over and flesh and rolls?”

Voila! The visceral reaction it’s meant to be.

Here’s an example from the comments on a real, live webcomic that I LOVE LOVE LOVE (Spike is amazing, please read Templar, Az if you don’t already. Reagan, I love you! And Ben too! And Scip!).

The two comments read:

COMMENT 1: Funny how opposite ends of the BMI spectrum can both be so damn unattractive…

COMMENT 2 (in reply to 1): What you said.

It’s like…wow. RIBS. and then FLESH. and then some more RIBS.
Can’t be healthy. (Isn’t, rather)

Now, COMMENT 1 is at least honest. No blaming ‘health’ for not being attracted to those body types. That’s fine, except for it being too general of a statement.

COMMENT 2 is like, “Hey, COMMENT 1 is Armchair Fatphobic candy! I’m going in for the kill!” But how should it really read, to get the author’s true intent?

It’s like…wow. RIBS. and then FLESH. and then some more RIBS.

And there it is, boiled down to the true statement, the immature visceral reaction.

Just another tool to add to your toolbox. Hopefully this will save you a few Sanity Watchers Points in the future!

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It’s the Little Things…

I was reading up on lower back exercises, when I had the distinct pleasure of coming across this little gem:

Circled text:

In addition to imparting strength to your core back muscles, this exercise, will also keep a tab on your waistline! Isn’t that a great incentive to do this lower back exercise, specially for the fairer sex?

Fat hate in everything, specially for you laydeez. We know you love fatphobia, and specially like keeping a tab (is that like the soda? Cuz that stuff is gross) on your waistline.

This is just one of the too-many examples of fat hate and size restraint/obsession just about everywhere one looks. It’s especially bad during the height of Diet Season, but this stuff is pervasive, regardless of the time of year. It’s only during Diet Season when it’s the focus of every. damn. conversation.

(NOTE: FFS is my favorite internet acronym, “For Fuck’s Sake!” I even use this in RL, lots. But I always speak it longform)

We Do Not Revel In Fat

We do not revel in fat. We do not choose the physical difficulty, social ostracism, and too-small world as ends in themselves.

We do not revel in fat. We are not gleeful when the numbers on the scale get bigger. We do not hide skinny photos in shame, evidence of an awkward era of less-than-perfection.

We do not revel in fat. We do not make a careful study of ‘healthy’ foods so that we may eschew them, turning up our noses like children at the idea of greens as we reach for boxes of processed sugar. We do not avoid healthful avenues or parties hosted by vegan friends.

We do not revel in fat. We are not disgusted when thinner people walk past. We would not deny a thinner person—thinner than fat us—his or her chance to grace the pages of a magazine or star in a film. We do not curse out our children if they aren’t fat like we are. We don’t cry if they refuse to gain weight Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving, or think that they’re less worthwhile for their non-fatness.

We do not revel in fat. We are not unmindful of our own mortality, sickness, age. We are not blind to the Reaper, nor do we wish to invite him sooner. We do not choose to exchange momentary pleasure for future consequences. We are not numb to struggle, sickness, or pain.

We do not revel in fat. We are not enamoured with sugar, lard, sloth.

We do not revel in fat. We are not addicted.

We do not revel in fat. We are not diseased.

We do not revel in fat. We are not morally bankrupt.

* This is a piece intended to run counter to the myth promulgated by anti-FA that Fat Acceptance means Fat Revelry. It is intended to expose the myth of Fat Acceptance as necessarily pro-fat, instead of what it really is—pro-human.