Friday, January 11, 2013

What do I want?

A while back someone asked me (I believe they were being an asshole) what I want, what is my point in talking about fatness so much.

Ultimately what I want is for my fat or not fat not to be an issue.

I want people to stop equating moral goodness to body size.

I want for people who are not fat to shut the entire fuck up about fatness.

I want for "diet" gurus and lying ass liar harmful ideas about what one should or should not do about weight (excess or no) to shut the entire fuck up.

I want for the diet and weightloss industry to stop being the "experts".

I want for us not to encourage abuse and unhealthy UNHEALTHY practices if a person is fat.

Here's the thing.

When you are fat, people will yap about your health but as anyone who has ever seen the Biggest Loser we know that people will applaud you doing some unhealthy things that could kill you, in order not to be fat or as fat.

I need for people to stop for a minute and really think about what we're saying and the message we're sending.

If being fat, or really really fucking fat is honestly the most awful evil thing a person can be, what does that say about us?

Let's be logical here for a minute, yes even those of you who do believe that being fat or really fucking fat is the biggest moral failing a person can have.

If morality is only based on fitness, being healthy and being thought to be attractive or trying to be attractive wouldn't it follow that a large segment of the population could never be good people?

What about people who are disabled and unable to ever be Healthy as far as the monolithic everyone should want to be/look like an elite athlete type health.

If being fit, healthy and attractive is the highest point of morality, how does that actually work?

If it is morally imperative to be healthy, why aren't more people angry about so many people being unable to get proper medical care? If it is morally imperative for people to be fit, why aren't more people demanding that gyms be more accessible and treat fat people well?

So no, you're lying if you aren't equally as strident about those things as you are that fitness, health and beauty are moral imperatives.

If it were in fact such a moral imperative to get our populace fit and healthy as Mrs Obama has been doing, why is the onus of healthy food put only on individuals and why doesn't she talk about all the shit in our food? Why is the focus on telling kids they are not good enough when there are multi billion dollar industries who only care about mass producing shitty food for the masses and nobody says boo about it?

If people, yes you included were so invested in the moral goodness of being a fit, healthy, attractive person, instead of putting all the pressure on individuals who are operating in a system that is frankly against them, wouldn't you be more inclined to attack the systems in place that make attaining that moral goodness virtually impossible?

Here's the thing.

As I have said for years and as science is now starting to admit, health is not a monolith.

No two human bodies are ever going to be healthy in the same way. Not every human body is capable of penultimate fitness, not every human body is capable of elite athleticism. Human biology and physiology doesn't work that way.

We need to change our thinking from making health and fitness about appearance and impossible standards.

We need to stop lying.

The lies are multiple and dangerous.

In spite of tons of research to the contrary, we use scare tactics so now people (including health professionals) believe that obesity is the worst thing to ever happen to humanity.

Even though, science says that causation for obesity correlated illnesses that people are so afraid of, is not what we thought it was.

The simple act of being fat or obese, will not kill you or most people. In fact, some people will live longer. Some people will survive major cardiac emergencies.

We have so successfully made fatness into the scariest of the scary, our children are developing eating disorders (and in many cases are encouraged to do so) before they even hit puberty.

Parents are lauded for forcing their pre-pubescent children to diet, in spite of the very real future health risks.

This is the same society who looks down their nose at tribal body modifications that still exist in the world. This is the same society who is grossed out by a child being too "Grown" but will pat their parent on the back for changing their body before their body has even started to become what it will eventually be.

If you can't see why that is awful and insane, you are part of the problem.

So, to recap quickly the problem is not fat people.

Fatness as a state of being has been made into a problem.

Why?

Because it makes money. The more society is afraid of fatness and misled about fatness, the more money the diet industry makes.

The more ways we encourage people to do whatever it takes to not be fat, the more abusive diet and weightloss methodologies will make money.

And I'm not just talking about fat people at this level.

These people, these charlatans make money from self loathing that is spoon fed to all of us fat or thin.

They help you hate yourself so much, they teach you to ignore any signals your body might be sending out, they teach us that we are supposed to hate ourselves so much we have to talk hatefully about our bodies, we have to eat food we may not like, we have to be afraid to eat, we have to hate ourselves so much, we are willing to engage in practices that can ruin our health and kill us.

Kill. Us.

This is an industry that pushes body ideals that are impossible for most of us to attain, and it trains us to hate ourselves for it.

This industry has warped our collective minds so much, we can't even see how dangerous this is until there's the BE AFRAID documentary on tv.

Until we see the poor people who are dying of anorexia at 18, the exploited people who's bones we can see, who's voices we can see and then we cluck and say oh that's too bad.

We blame their parents and never take a minute to look at ourselves. We don't wonder how children (because as we know, more and more younger children are developing eating disorders) got the idea that if they aren't thin enough, they are worthless. We wonder how girls fully believe that signs of puberty or impending adulthood are to be avoided at all costs.

We should blame ourselves.

We should blame the liars who are feeding this shit to us in the guise of "self improvement". We should blame the famous internet doctors who give advice based on the size of their paycheck that day. We should blame diet and fitness gurus who promise the moon but don't follow up by explaining that this is their job, they got a tummy tuck, that they take diet pills, that the ONLY thing they do is exercise, etc etc.

We should blame ourselves because when no one is looking we troll people on the internet under the guise of pseudonymous handles. We sit by and watch people be shamed on "humor" websites. We only speak up for people who look like us. We sit by and let "ugly" people get picked on and harassed.

We cheer for Thin Pretty White Ladies when they have a bad body image day. We ignore the work of fat people, disabled people and people of color because, well it just looks better coming from that Pretty White Lady doesn't it?

It is our fault for falling for this bullshit time and again.

The state of bodies right now is the biggest moral failing.

The fact that because of size, race, economic status etc, so many of us are abused by the health industry that we don't get adequate preventative care and then become that scare statistic because we roll into the ER with stage 4 cancer.

Or we are dying because they are fat and can't handle having doctors and nurses laughing at them in the ER or refusing to diagnose them with anything beyond being fat.

That is immoral.

If you believe that this the current state of how our culture deals with and treats bodies of varying sizes is fine and is "solving" obesity, you are misled. I say misled because I don't want to believe that you are purposefully letting people die including children. I say misled because I don't want to believe that you're all for keeping the numbers of people suffering from eating disorders up.

If you are not misled and you are aware of the actual science and still think that being fat is a persons worst moral failing, I feel sorry for you.

Our culture needs to change because we are killing each other from all angles.

The issues fat people talk about aren't necessarily strictly interpersonal. These things are not going to continue to be confined to fat people, I fully believe that the way things are going you morally upstanding folks are going to get bigger and bigger doses of the treatment fat people get.

It's not okay.

We need to slow down with that and stop killing each other because not all of us fit into a tidy neat little idea of fitness, health and beauty.

It's hard as hell but in the end, how much is saving the lives of countless people worth?

How. Much.

Homo Out.


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3 comments:

vesta44 said...

Word!

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes!

Tempest Nightingale LeTrope said...

I too want all of these things, and I want them yesterday! Or better yet, in my childhood, before I developed bulimia.

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