Dear Fat Person: You’re Not Welcome


Author’s note: Characters are purely fictional. Trigger warnings for the kind of rank hate and annoyance fat people put up with every day. 

Dear fat person,

1. You’re not welcome to have this job, though you’re the most qualified applicant we’ve seen. Calories in = calories out is so simple, and so obviously true. You being fat means you’re stupid and lazy, despite your qualifications and experience. What we will do if we have to fly you places, pay double? We also can’t afford someone like you on the company insurance plan. I mean, you’ve got to be pretty unhealthy being so big, right? But we’d be happy to have you as long as you sign a contract to be part of our voluntary Biggest Loser program.

2. You’re not welcome at the reunion. Don’t you realize fatness means you’ve failed, regardless of what you’ve accomplished since high school/college? I mean, look at your old best friend–she’s still super hot. What, you won a Pulitzer? Neat. Whatever. Isn’t your friend hot?

3. You’re not welcome in this fertility clinic. Don’t you realize people like you shouldn’t get pregnant? That you’re putting your baby at gigantic risk at all stages of its development? You will surely get diabetes and have a huge baby and need a c-section, and later you’ll overfeed your child and let it watch TV all day. People like you are ruining the next generation. However, we will sterilize you.

4. You’re not welcome to respond to my online dating profile. What made you think I’d be okay with dating a fat person? You need to make your profile all about how you’re fat, otherwise it’s false advertising, baby. You’re just trying to trick awesome people like moi into dating you. Like that would ever happen. I’ll still have sex with you, though. But only because I’m in a dry spell. You know how it is.

5. You’re not welcome at this audition. It doesn’t matter how good your acting/dancing/singing/modeling is. You’re an eyesore. Who wants to look at you jiggling up there, too-large, lacking so much grace by virtue of your fat (though your form is impeccable)? It’s unfair to the other actors and singers, darling. How can you expect them to be able to work with someone of your…proportions? You’re talented, so I’ll make a deal with you: come back when you’ve lost some weight, and we’ll talk. Kisses!

6. You’re not welcome to exist as fat, especially if you want to walk around in public, or to comment on the kinds of blogs or articles I like to comment on. What would happen if a workaday troll like me didn’t harass you, didn’t let you know how unwanted you are? You might get to thinking you’re, I dunno, accepted or something, like you’re not some big ugly problem, or that–heaven forfend–you have the same right to respect as nonfat folks or dieters. Hey, don’t blame me. It’s your fault for daring to be fat at us.

7. You’re not welcome to decide how to take care of yourself, if that decision doesn’t place weight loss first and foremost. I know. I’m a doctor.

8. You’re not welcome in this society, though we expect you to keep making contributions to programs you’ll be barred from using, and paying taxes for a war against people like yourself. Oh, and I’ll appreciate your vote this November, thanks!

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12 comments on “Dear Fat Person: You’re Not Welcome

  1. It’s very unfortunate how fat people are treated.

  2. The Real Cie says:

    In the immortal words of Charlotte Cooper of <a href="http://obesitytimebomb.blogspot.com/"Obesity Timebomb" “It’s great to be slim, if you’re not you’re a crim.”
    Makes me laugh when I feel like crying.
    Here’s the thing. I could tell people that I’m a heroin-shooting, baby-eating puppy rapist, and people would say “you’re a horrible person.” Or I could tell them that I weigh 310 pounds. And they would say “you’re a horrible, ugly, lazy person.”
    It really should not be worse to be a fat person simply existing, and even trying to do good, than it should to be someone who does awful things. But it does feel that way.
    Big, fat hugs to you.

  3. vesta44 says:

    And it all boils down to “You’re fat, you have no right whatsoever to exist so just go off somewhere and kill yourself, please.” I swear that’s what they’re hoping to accomplish with the blaming, the shaming, and all the bullying of fat people that’s done a million times a day, every day. Too bad for them that so many of us are contrary enough to do the opposite of what they want though – live our lives fat at the world and demand the respect and dignity we deserve.

  4. Patsy Nevins says:

    Amen, we are generally not welcome most places. I have to admit that I have been lucky living in Maine about not getting casual abuse on the streets because of my body size. I am not certain whether that is because we are a small population of mostly very independent people who don’t like to have others tell us how to live, or because we have a large population of fat people here, or because I have cerebral palsy, so my disability gives people something much more noticeable to latch onto when they want to bully me. As far as doctors are concerned, I almost never go near one &, since I have been involved in fat acceptance for 32 years now, I am always very direct & unambiguous about not dieting, about knowing that any health problem I have also happens to thin people, that I want to be treated the same way & with the same respect as a thin patient & that, should a doctor belabor my weight, I understand that I have the option of firing said doctor.

    Now that I am disabled, fat, plain, & growing old, most of what I am around here is invisible, or a pretty well-accepted part of the small community in which I function daily. But I certainly see & hear enough to know that the United States & in fact most so-called ‘civilized countries’ is not a good or safe place in which to be fat & I know it is much more difficult for others than for me, especially for those who do have to be out more in the world than I do, have to work, etc. We may not be welcome in the world, but we are here & in many places, including the US, as much as it doesn’t SEEM like it, we are actually the majority. That is what part of the panic is about, though of course we know that most of the fat panic is about prejudice & even more about profit…some are afraid that they are going to be smothered & consumed by the wave of creeping fat. Of course, if they keep lowering the bar on who is considered acceptable, soon everyone WILL be fat.

    • bigliberty says:

      Patsy, you’re right. The power players of our culture — government and crony capitalistic corporations — know the behavior and desires of people are easier to control during a state of war or panic. Hence the “war” on pretty much every deviant activity or way of life (including fatness), and these epidemics-that-aren’t-epidemics that constantly pop up in epidemiological literature and scienterrific news articles (like the so-called obesity epidemic). There’s a general societal consensus at the moment that fat is bad and needs to be ‘addressed’ no matter the cost. The power players already have the fatties consuming weight loss products and procedures as vociferously as common wisdom would have us snarfing Twinkies; why stop there? Why not redefine and tweak so everyone has a weight problem and needs to submit to government and private intervention?

      That’s why what fat activists are doing has been and continues to be so subversive, and so important. We need to keep the conversation going. Keep exposing the weight/health myths. Call out the trolls, no matter if they’re family members, friends, beloved political leaders, ‘objective’ writers, etc.

  5. You forgot the part about how we should not be allowed to live, period.

    • bigliberty says:

      I was trying to cover that one with the troll point, but I know — it’s not easy, is it? Not even a little. Often I feel like the whole purpose of the ‘War on Obesity’ is erasure — erasing us from visible field of view, erasing our worth, erasing our contributions to society, erasing our sexuality, erasing our characters, erasing our talents…

  6. Hedda Wilson says:

    #3 is why I decided to become a fat activist and have started my own Chubby Mums group here in my city. The treatment fat women get when they are pregnant or want to become pregnant is intolerable. I would go in for my ultrasounds and they would tell me that because my baby was ahead in his growth stats that surely I must have gestational diabetes, even though I didn’t, thank you very much. My baby was born perfectly healthy and at the right size for his age. I now have a friend who is undergoing pre-conception care and they have focused on nothing but her weight. It has to change. Thank you for this list!

  7. kimmaryelizabeth says:

    When I attended my 30 year high school reunion, I REALLY stood out weight and size wise (perhaps I didn’t get the UNvitation!). Did the rest of my fellow fat classmates get the message to stay home? Or could I be the ONLY fat classmate?

  8. sonofmydad says:

    Very good article! Before I became fat myself, I still loved large women most of my adult life (I’m 62). The world’s “tolerance©” and “mercy©” it reserves for *persons-of-circumference* (kindly bear with me) is not new to me. But you have articulated it a lot better than I can (with my signature blend of sarcasm & Orwellian-DoubleSpeak-parody). Well done!

    I’m the same Sonofmydad as on Twitter, but not necessarily the only user of that nick on the Net. I’m the Sonofmydad who is currently quite well-impressed by your writing. Very best regards.

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