Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Amoral Fatty.

1. not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.

For the purposes of this entry I'm using amoral with this usage. Not the one that indicates some nefarious things.

The issue of the "Good" Fatty vs the "Bad" Fatty has reared up in the Fatosphere yet again. I've been around for it many times and my opinion hasn't changed.

I do not believe that it behooves fat people (or people in general for that matter) to buy into the idea that there are somehow more virtuous among us fatties.

Now the stereotypical "Good" fatty is about as follows:

  • Good Fatty exercises regularly or a lot.
  • Good Fatty eats a carefully created nutritionally optimal diet.

  • Good Fatty wears stylish and often higher priced clothing.

  • Good Fatty doesn't have an eating disorder.

  • Good Fatty toes the party line.

  • Good Fatty never discusses or admits to any desire to lose weight or otherwise alter the shape or size of their body.

I could go on but you get my point. I don't say these things out of meanness however these are some of the things I've seen "bad" fatties question about themselves and thus feel like they are being edged out or are not welcome in many FA spaces.

I do not buy into the idea that there is a moral hierarchy to the size and shape of bodies. The fat person who does the above things is no more "good" in this context than the fat person who yes has an eating disorder or who is just fat because they (insert reason here) or that fat person who is not comfortable in their skin and does have a desire to lose weight.

I don't buy it, endorse it or take part in it.

I would prefer that rather than pointing fingers and telling people why they shouldn't say this that or the other thing, that we listen.

For me a big part of activism is hearing dissenting view points. If someone comes here and says, I think it's fucking awesome that you are a happy fatty but I'm not and I don't know if I want to lose weight or try to love myself as is, that is fine with me. A lot of people are not going to suddenly come to the conclusion that

It's fine with me because I've been there and even if I hadn't, I am more than happy to help you work it out by just being here talking.

To take this out of being strictly FA related.

I don't believe that good health is a moral issue as I've said before.

I don't believe that if you eat the textbook perfect diet, and exercise for hours on end that you are any better than the person who eats Mickey D's daily and wouldn't walk to the escalator. And the fact is, there are fat and thin people at both ends of that spectrum.

It is what it is.

To come back to FA in particular I think it's damaging to the cause to seemingly embrace this dichotomy. If we can't treat each other like our personal choices are awesome regardless of what they are, how can we expect the word at large to do that?

I would like to see less disclaiming that X persons choices are not at all the norm, oh no we're not all like that type thing.

I personally would like to see that someone like Heidi doesn't have to say things like this:

I am a really BAD fat and there don’t seem to be very many of us, so it’s a little lonely, even in the Fatosphere!

Honestly if people have to keep saying things like this, I don't want to play anymore. I don't want to play if we keep finding it necessary to use these kinds of labels to get ourselves (or those of us who are "good" fatties) accepted.

For the record, everybody is welcome here. Dieting? Unsure? Skinny? Super healthy? Really not so healthy? Fat? Kinda fat? Sorta fat? Super fat? Exerciser? Expert in reclining? Whatever.

You can play too.

This here is not a Good Fatty place.

I am not a Good Fatty.

I am not a Bad Fatty.

My fat is amoral.

I am just, fat.

I think that's all. I'm having a long day and everything is getting on my nerves.

I promised outfits didn't I?

I posted them in my lj here they are if you wanna have a looksy. Feel free to comment there or friend me if you want to. Also remember if you're going to steal my pictures to snark on, don't hotlink.

With that my darlings I'm done. My tummy is telling me to drink some Wu Yi Oolong with my crackers and study my notes for Nanowrimo. HOly shit y'all I'm doing fucking NOTES for once. This might turn out to be yanno a real novel.

Okay my homies and haters. Tomorrow I have a post about haters in mind that I hope will make you giggle and at least one special reader feel better.

Your mission for tonight is to at some point catch your own reflection give yourself the nod and say fuck yeah. I think we all need it today.

Homo Out.


The Rotund said...


lilacsigil said...

Another kind of good fatty is someone who gets fat through a single, diagnosable, physical illness - I sometimes claim "good fatty" treatment because I put on a lot of weight with cancer. What I don't say is that I wasn't exactly thin beforehand!

Being visibly fat and invisibly disabled, sometimes it's easier to cruise on being a good fatty for five minutes, even if I know I'm doing every other fatty (and every other woman) harm by doing it. And yes, I do feel bad about it. So, word to your post, and I'm trying to stop being the "good fatty" for my pat on the head.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Heavens to Betsy, Thank you.


viajera said...

Not to mention that not everyone fits precisely in all those categories, like we've been talking about over at Heidi's place. You have those who dress well and are all about FA, but rarely exercise. Or those who do all of the above, but smoke. Or those, like myself, who eat well and exercise and are mostly, on most days, on board with FA, but are secretly trying to lose weight (or at least maintain) because I just can't afford to buy new clothes - and especially not the fashionable clothes modeled on the fatshionista-type sites. Or whatever other combination you can come up with. It's just not that simple.

kb said...

I saw this. and while I do at least have some sympathy for the "no, look, we're not all the stereotype of people who never exercise and eat 5 supersized big mac meals a day" mindset, I am with you that good fatty and bad fatty is not the way to discribe it.

Anonimo said...

Yes, I totally agree. I could be considered a bad fatty in that I am continuing to lose weight, on purpose, while also reading a lot about FA and participating in discussions on the 'Sphere. I've never admitted this until now and I understand, respect and enjoy the fact that diet talk is discouraged. I wonder how many of us are closeted about the fact that we're trying to lose weight, though.

I'm not trying to be a size 2 bikini model - I just want to get down below 250# or so (from a high weight of 380#), so I can go out in public and not constantly worry about seating (theaters, planes, etc.) and also in hopes that it'll help improve my cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. and I can go off some of my medications. I think those of us who are "super obese" often have more at stake in these decisions than people who are not quite as fat.

I don't think my personal decisions are incompatible with the main ideas of FA -- treating everyone with respect regardless of size, pointing out misleading science and media articles, acknowledging the complexity of how the body works, and, most importantly to me, forming a community where these things can be discussed.

Bri said...

Ah! The voice of reason! I am so glad you are part of the feed and FA in general. I detest this good fatty/bad fatty polarisation. I understand where it comes from but I don't think it is helpful or relevant. Fat is already 'other', we don't need to create another 'other' within our own cause!

PS I love my word verification for this comment - "etypoop"! lol

JoGeek said...

Don't forget that the "good fatty" isn't sick. At least not with the stereotypical "sicks" that medicine assumes on us (diabetes, high cholesterol, high BP, heart disease, etc.) Once you have one of these you're a "bad fatty" for falling into a stereotype. Which pushes the idea even further into the ridiculous, because everyone, except a few statistical outliers, will get sick. I really love the amoral label. It says that my body is truly outside of anyone's ability to judge, even if they wanted to.

I don't always comment, but I do really enjoy reading your blog.

Heidi said...

Thank you for this (and no, I do not mind being quoted in this context whatsoever!).

JoGeek - this is also an excellent point. I have PCOS, as I think I mentioned in the post which was briefly quoted, and if people offer me sweets in the morning I generally turn them down, because that much carbohydrate early in the day screws up my sugar. On the one hand I want to explain that I'm not turning the food away because I'm dieting (heaven forfend!) but then I end up trying to explain that omg, no, I am NOT diabetic, I just have "this other health condition that means I have to be careful about too many carbs too early in the day)."

Because, you know, if I WERE diabetic, it would mean that I really, really was a bad fatty. If my blood pressure WERE high, it would mean I was a bad fatty.

I need to stop needing to tell people about this condition, firstly, and secondly, stop thinking that anything about my body makes me a sub-standard human of any size!

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