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Why is bacon bad, again?

I am a fatphobe.

I fear and hate fat. I'm scared of icky fat people, and terrified of getting fat myself. I treat fat people like their fat is contagious, and I attribute all sorts of negative traits to fat people. I stare at fat people in restaurants and sometimes I walk up to them and lecture them on how unhealthy they are for having the nerve to eat out in public. I make faces at fat people behind their backs, and make jokes about fat people, because fat people are inherently funny. Gross, but funny.

I'm so glad I live in a country that hates fat as much as I do, because I can't tell you how much it hurts my delicate sensibilities to have to look at fatty fatty fat-faces and not scream at them "you're ugly! Why don't you just go hide in shame?!" (and sometimes, I just go ahead and do it , because they should). It's perfectly natural that we should hate such a terribly unhealthy state of being - after all, all those fatties need to do is get off the sofa, stop stuffing Krispy Kreme in their mouths, and go for a walk! It's simple! The only reason everyone isn't thin is because they're lazy!

Ooooh, I get so mad when I read those fat-apologists, with their "statistics" that say being underweight is actually less healthy than being a bit overweight[1]. Come on - why would all the doctors be obsessed with the current obesity epidemic[2] if it wasn't true? Fat is bad, fat is evil - we should all be trying to look like store mannequins, because everyone knows that thin people are always healthy, and mannequins are our body ideal, so we should alter our bodies (surgically, if neccessary) to look like them.

And, honestly, fat should be outlawed just because it's ugly. All these special-interest groups that insist their feelings shouldn't be hurt by mean people have the right idea - fat people offend me, and I should not have to go through life constantly offended. I mean, it's not like I can close my eyes when I'm walking around! And fat people should be banned from restaurants, like drunks are refused bar service. It's for their own good[3].

Losing weight is easy! And we know that fat is the leading cause of health problems today[4], so we're just doing those gross fatties a favour when we humiliate them in public. They raise my health care costs[5], they cause more pollution[6], and they're UGLY. Because fat is ugly. Curves are ugly. Muffin-top is ugly. Big people clothes are ugly, and I should be allowed to tell them this all day long, because without my help[7], how are they ever going to realize that they'd be happier thin? Because everyone's happier and healthier when they're a size 4, right?

In fact, I just had a great idea! Let's assign every fat person (and by fat person, I mean everyone 1lb or more over their ideal weight according to the size/weight charts)[8] a "coach" who will follow them around and make sure they never, ever eat anything in public! To make absolutely sure that they totally realize what a burden they are being to the rest of society by their presence, the "coach" will also walk behind them on the street and yell "you're fat!" at ten-second intervals throughout the day. People should start losing weight in no time![9]

And fat people? Don't you dare listen to the people that suggest being a bit overweight is no big deal! You may think that extra five pounds isn't a problem, but before you know it, you'll be ugly and fat and no-one will want you! There are some irresponsible doctors out there who think that obesity is a symptom of diabetes[10], not the cause, and therefore being overweight is not your fault! How dare they!!!! It's common knowledge that all it takes to lose weight is to eat less and excercise more[11]!

And we all know that fat is oooogley. The only beautiful people are stick-thin. Bones are beautiful, people! Those curves are a total turn-off for any red-blooded American Man, and all you have to do to see this is true is read the comments sections of anything on the Internet[12]. Why would anyone want to be seen with a fatty when everyone knows that all men deserve a supermodel, and women who fail to meet that ideal are, by default, fat? Come on, people - admit it! You're fat-phobic, too!

It's okay to hate fat people[13], they're bringing it on themselves by having the temerity to be overweight by our [14] standards. There is only one standard of beauty, and everyone has to shoe-horn themselves into it, or else they're just not trying. I'm right, you know I'm right - all you have to do is read any editorial in any newspaper, on-line or off, to know that we're in the middle of the worst thing to ever happen to the human race - fat![15]

So it's okay to hate the fat. Really, you're doing everyone a favour when you point out (loudly) how awful they are for being fat. Fat is totally an indicator of moral worth - only thin people are good and nice. We know this because the fat itself actually changes people and makes them lazy, gluttonous, smelly, ugly losers. Remember: Thin people are never, ever bad. Thinness is a completely reliable indicator of someone's honesty and integrity.

You know it's true.

Okay, okay! April Fool!

Fat-haters suck.

[1] This statistic is true - the height-weight charts so beloved by anti fat people consistently fail to mention that the mortality rate for underweight people is higher than the mortality rate for moderately overweight people. Now, we all know statistics are dodgy little suckers, but if you're going to push one part of a statistical group as gospel, it's blatant dishonesty to skip the other part just because it doesn't support your bias. Keep in mind, too, that the height-weight charts aren't an indicator of health, or even a healthy weight, they're simply (poorly-collected) data on the correlation between weight and mortality. I can go on about this for hours.

[2] This phrase should be in scare quotes. There is no obesity epidemic. Really. Even my anecdotal evidence (charmingly known as "anecdata" in research circles), i.e., standing in populated areas and counting fat people going by, shows far fewer seriously overweight people than the evening news would have us believe. Yes, even in Denny's.

[3] This was actually said by someone in the comment thread of a ridiculous Australian article that said size 14 people (women) are ugly, and everyone should just lose weight. I think my eyes rolled so far back in my head I saw brain matter.

[4], [5], [6] Not true. Not proven, not even properly statistically studied.

[7] Because obviously, overweight people have no idea they're overweight if someone isn't telling them so every second. (/sarcasm)

[8] There are a bunch of people that think this. Clearly, they are appalling human beings.

[9] Starting with the dead weight that is their "coach". I recommend shoving them in front of a truck. That's at least 120lbs lost, right there, with no dieting and the minimum of exercise.

[10] Abstract here. Sadly, too many people prefer to believe that obesity is the cause, even though a significantly large number of overweight and obese people do not develop diabetes, which no-one ever bothers to mention in those ridiculously poorly-informed "news" shows about diabetes and obesity. Other conditions, like PCOS and cortisol disorders, cause weight gain, as do a large number of medications, so why is diabetes different? The link between overweight and health problems is poorly understood. The other thing that isn't clearly said is that any health problems start at significant overweight, not the 15-20lbs that most people think they need to lose. In any case, yo-yo dieting is a lot more dangerous than simply being 10lbs "overweight".

[11] Um, yeah, no. If it was that easy, no-one would be overweight, especially in a weight obsessed culture like ours (think about it - if everyone is screaming at you that thin is the only way to be beautiful, would you choose to be fat? Most people would not). Some people (I am one of them) may be lucky enough to be able to control their weight with fairly little effort, but the overwhelming failure rate of diets indicates that something much more complicated than "eat less, exercise more" is at work for most people. But why spoil a good hate with some awkward facts?

[12] Not recommended.

[13] Oh, for fuck's sake. If you believe this, I do not want to know you. p.s. You suck and are a horrible person.

[14] Completely arbitrary

[15] Unfortunately, this is true. Stay away from ill-informed and bigoted Op-Ed sections.

For more insight into what it's like to be a physical non-conformist, check out NAAFA, Mary Mc's Fat Acceptance Stuff, and Shapely Prose. And  here is the idiot article that inspired the "fat people should be refused restaurant service" comment.

The hate, it is alive and well, and working on a number of false assumptions, not least the one that thin people are always healthier. I like being thin, but I'm really, really vain, and I have to admit that I was in better shape when I was heavier. I hurt less, anyway.  And that's no April Fool, though it sometimes feels like it.

Irony - it's what's for breakfast.


( 124 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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Apr. 1st, 2009 11:55 am (UTC)
Chubby hugs, Happy Spring, and I'm fond of you.
I wish you a pain-free day with joyous greetings from people who care about ou
Apr. 1st, 2009 12:10 pm (UTC)
A Modest Proposal? =)

Nice write up.
Apr. 1st, 2009 12:19 pm (UTC)
Oo! That was wht I was going to say! Babies have way less meat than fatties like me. *wicked grin*

Apr. 1st, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
But this sort of thinking is so easily absorbed into the psyche from an early age--it's one reason why I have an eating disorder.
Apr. 1st, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
It is, that's why I try to drag it out in the open, where everyone can laugh at it for the ridiculous nonsense that it is.

I am of the firm opinion that nagging at people and telling them how horrible they are for being fat simply makes things worse. If everyone backed off with the hate, people would be much healthier, and we could actually address the physical issues that cause weight gain, while eliminating a lot of the attitudinal ones.
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Apr. 1st, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
Oh I dunno. Muffin-tops are pretty ugly. ;)
Apr. 1st, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
It depends on the muffin, I think. Clothes that fit poorly are less than attractive, not the flesh underneath.

mmmmm, flesh. :)
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Apr. 1st, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
I am so tempted to send this to the two stick thin women in my office. Who seem to spend all day talking about how horribly fat they are, and how they need to diet. I doubt if either of them is even a size six.

I'm carrying some extra weight, and am currently a size 18. Every time I hear them moan about how fat they are, I wonder what they must think of me?

*sigh* I am this close to losing it with them. If they want to hate their bodies, that's fine with me. But I just wish they'd shut up about it!

Edited at 2009-04-01 01:00 pm (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
Heh. They probably don't think about you much at all - they're too busy berating themselves for not fitting to a societal standard they have bought into, hook line and sinker. It's a brutal world for everyone who doesn't fit into the completely unrealistic standards set by Hollywood - even gorgeous women get airbrushed and "trimmed" into inhuman perfection in magazines and stylized to within an inch of themselves in movies and on TV.
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Apr. 1st, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
I had to go read the Australian article. One thing struck me, so many people forget that age is a part of this formula. I live near a secondary school and there is this phase where most of the kids "shoot up" and they are all long and gangly, and incredibly thin. And that's normal for a large section of that age group. And then there is the rest of the population most of us over 20, working at non-manual labor jobs, women having children in many cases.... etc. So why on earth should it be "normal" for us to look like a "youth"? It's a fallacy sold to us based on the old thin = young perception.

Sorry for rambling on. ... Just musing.
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
Nope, its' exactly that. Our culture is obsessed with youth, and youth=thin.

One of the more terrifying things I saw last night was an ad for a talent agency looking to kids and teens 9-17, and their "spokesmodel" was a cartoon teenager with no hips, a bare midriff, and massive DD breasts. As we obsess over youth, we sexualize our teenagers into an ideal that has then starving themselves and getting massive breast enlargements for their 16th birthday. This is healthier than being 10lbs overweight how?
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Apr. 1st, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
I love statistics. I'm taller than 94% of the female population, and yet only heavier than 92%. Whoo hoo! Give me more numbers to crunch, they're tastier than chips!

(But not chocolate. I'm not a chips person. Gimme chocolate. Oh hell. I'm hormonal. Even this post is making me hungry.)
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
I don't know how I ended up as a statistician (or a QC to statistitians), but I have discovered that statistics are like sausages* - what you get out of them is exactly what you put in.

Sausage made of cockroaches and pig snouts is still cockroaches and pig snouts, no matter how you alter their appearance.

*Politics and sausages, I think that's what Mark Twain said - I'd add statistics. It's too horrifying what some people come up with to support their foregone conclusion.
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Apr. 1st, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
Dammit, now all I can think about is a gooey chocolate chip muffin.
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
I think you've hit the nail on the head- it's not about size, it's about health. One day, I was watching "The Real Coyote Ugly" reality show (don't ask) and they had all these thin women auditioning to be dancers. 20 minutes into a routine, they were winded and ready to fall over. And that brought something home for me- because my dance troupe is filled with women, most of whom "could stand to lose 20 pounds or so" (not my assignation, but you get it) and we could dance those girls under the table and come up grinning.

Apr. 1st, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
So happy you put this up. I know that the society ideals are much harder on women, but it ain't no fun for those of us knuckle dragging males, either. I know I would be happier at a lesser weight than I am now, hell, my knees and back would be a lot happier. However...when I go look at what the BMI says I am supposed to weigh, makes me want to say why even bother? I am 5'7'' and currently around 285. The BMI says I should be at 145. I have a 53 inch chest and 19+ inch neck...if I went anorexic, I would not weigh 145! The "ideals" put out there are not just the Hollywood ones...the medical community is not helping, either.

And hell yes, it is frustrating. Why even bother if you know you will never get there? I am never gonna look like Vin Diesel or Brad Pitt...might as well eat what I want an deal, ya know? It is a nasty, vicious little circle that folks can fall into.

Again...thank you for putting this out there. The only way to combat stupidity is to shine a very bright light on it and say "LOOK! STUPID things, right there!" And you always do it with style and wit. Thank you.


Apr. 1st, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
Remember, the BMI and the height and weight tables were created ages ago, and haven't really been changed. They do not take into account body type, muscle mass, or anything like that. Everyone knows that muscle weighs more than fat, and yet no one takes that into account. If I weighed what the 'charts' say I should weigh, I'd look like a walking skeleton! It's just not the correct weight for my body type.

There was an article written, and I can't remember where I saw it, that stated that body fat % was a much better way of determining obesity than the charts. It also stated that while a certain percentage of body fat was ideal, those with a slightly higher percentage of body fat were actually more healthy than those with the ideal.
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Apr. 1st, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
The last time I went to the doctor, she told me I needed to lose at least 20lbs to be in the "comfortably healthy but still overweight" weight range for my height. She told me my BMI was too high.

Funny how the rest of my checkup (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc) was all "textbook" for someone who is considered a "normal"/healthy BMI for my height and age.

But she reinforced the fact that she wanted me to lose 20lbs by the next visit.I'm 21 yrs old and I'm far more active than most college students. My 5'6" 120lb sister who smokes has a "healthy" BMI and she's saying I'll have more troubles than my sister?

These doctor types can't just be considered correct just because they're doctors.
Apr. 1st, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
BMI is such a crock. It essentially penalizes you for having muscle.
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Apr. 1st, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
I lost about 100 pounds via Atkins (done responsibly) and exercise. And then I stalled. I plateaued for 4 months. Nothing changed, not weight, not measurements. My exercise? 5 days a week, I walked 2 15-minute miles at lunch. 2 - 3 days a week, I went to the gym and spent 45 minutes on various aerobic machines (rotating from visit to visit between stair stepper, elliptical, treadmill, bike) plus another half hour on strength training. I religiously diaried my food, and counted not just carbs but also calories. I knew I wasn't cheating. I knew was expending more calories in exercise than I was taking in, while making sure I was maintaining a healthy calorie intake of 1800/day. I was eating from good food groups ... dark green veggies, whole grain unenriched starches, responsible meat, fresh fruit.

Nothing. Changed.

And I had not reached my "natural" weight, the one that I should be at. I had gotten down to 275. That is not a normal weight.

And that's pretty much when I fell off the wagon.

That's what's so hard about loosing weight. It isn't sticking with a responsible diet. It isn't about not getting enough exercise. It isn't even about changing your lifestyle and your habits. It's about the way your body fights you over every stinkin' ounce, and consistently wins, no matter how well you stick to the plan. Maybe if obesity researchers could figure out how to deal with that, maybe we could make some headway on weight loss.

Great post!

Apr. 2nd, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
A-men. On January 1st, I banished all forms of sugar from my diet, cut out nearly all commercially processed foods and simple white carbs (white potatoes, white rice, pasta). I incorporated more fresh fruit and vegetables (although, I was a pretty solid veggie eater already), and inserted two small snacks into my day (something I've never tried before). I lost 13 pounds and then stalled for 5 weeks. However, I got as obstinant as my fat and refused to buckle. 3 more pounds finally dropped off last week.

I didn't do it specifically to lose weight, as much as to have more control over the amount of filler/sugar going into my body (like HFCS). The secondary results have been rather amazing, in that my skin has improved and I generally feel better.

Stress, lack of sleep, all kinds of things affect your body's reaction, and I can't always control that. It's frustrating when you are doing what you think is right, and the body develops a mind of its own...

I don't intend to never have a piece of chocolate again, but until I feel I've reached a point where I feel like I have the power over my body's reaction to sugar, I'm avoiding it.

Much love.
Apr. 1st, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
thank you. :) I needed that today. I got lectured by a 'friend' at school who mocked me (gently) about not walking today. Then she (who has been dieting for two months and only gaining weight) called a mutual friend and they decided to go eat pie. Um... yeah. :P

It's true that there are sometimes reasons other than laziness for weight gain. You know my health history, but I've only recently been okay'ed to get back into exercising and dieting by my doctor. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons that someone CAN'T diet and exercise, and judging them without knowing why they're overweight is just, well, sucky. :P

Happy April Fool's day to you! :) hugs!
Apr. 1st, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
I don't know you and friendly you because we have many friends in common and I'm hoping to scour your LJ for sewing tips and info.

Thank God I figured this out in 1 paragraph! I guess it's going to be more than just sewing that I enjoy in your journal. Thanks!

Apr. 1st, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting this.

My wife was fat by any standard and hated herself for it, for years. She learned the self-hate from her mother (a woman who didn't quite reach 5' tall before age and shrinkage) who learned it from her (secretly adoptive) mother.

Since that very loving but also insane grandmother was the refuge that the mother-in-law escaped to when she left her husband (way too messy to detail) ... the grandmother had free reign to work on the feelings of all three grandchildren as well. She gave my wife one of those "sauna suits" for her sixteenth birthday.

I saw the feast of crap they served her at every family meal at every holiday. They got her a prescription for dexedrine to lose weight in high school because she was 125 pounds at 5' 2" and no woman should ever weigh more than 105 pounds. She did get a very nice eating disorder and THAT made her fat, thank you very much. Eventually she managed to work through it once she was away from that toxic household.

Eventually she was able to forgive herself, but on the way (thanks to nutra-system) she had gallstones, which Kaiser deigned to remove only after the attacks were continuous.

The doctor was not the infamous "Dr Death" who botched so many laparascopic cholecystectomies - but he was a colleague, and may well have learned his techniques, because the lacerations on her liver and the leakage of bile nearly killed her, and this was "because she was fat" and his instruments wouldn't reach properly. Allegedly.

Long-term gallstones damage the pancreas, because bile backs up. She got diabetes. The bile leakage from the botched operation spread carcinogenic bile into her abdomen, increasing susceptibility in the endometrial tissues there.

And when after ten years of micronase and metformin and an utter inability to get her body to lose weight for any length of time, they put her on insulin ... yeah, imagine that, she gained weight every time the diabetic drugs worked ... she was diagnosed within six months with endometrial cancer.

I know that the weird flows had started a month after the insulin. Insulin can trigger endometrial cancer especially for women who don't have regular periods. The surgeon said "This cancer is driven by the estrogen pumped out by all those fat cells."

Yeah, having cancer was HER fault now. I managed not to punch him and instead explained to him that it was worthless to blame her for it. We had to tell him how he would accomplish the surgery, because he was afraid that she was too obese for an abdominal incision.
"Yes, a partial laparoscopic approach with a vaginal entry to remove the uterus, since it's early stage 2, and don't give us any crap about not being able to schedule a room for long enough; take two sessions." (Not spoken: You fine example of a fecking clueless cutter.)

Why it took four months? Dr. Vacation. Four months gave it long enough to go from early to mid stage 2. Concerned Doctor Was Concerned, but the two months of aggressive radiation did wonders for killing off every cancer cell.

And when she had her insulin increased two years later, a month later, the cancer came back but this time we didn't realize it until it was far too late. And again "it was driven by the estrogen" ... no conversation had taken place about estrogen blockers, and oh yeah, no conversation about maintenance chemo because endometrial tissue exists elsewhere than just the uterus.

Then again the published study showing the mechanism where insulin triggers endometrial cancer wasn't out yet. Just like the published study showing how Nutra-System's diet caused gallstones was published AFTER we had done it. But it was all because of the fat, not the fifty other factors. Right? And they doubtless added her to the statistics of how being fat will kill you.
Apr. 1st, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
OH, God, I'm so sorry. And this is why I crusade against simplistic ideas that simply blame the victim and don't deal with the cause.

I've know a couple of people who actually managed to make the "eat less, exercise more" equation work for them (I'm one), but I've seen (and experienced) too much of what medical issues, mental abuse, and medications do to the body's ability to regulate itself to believe that such a simple answer is all it takes. Like I said in the serious part of my post, given how much systemically supported abuse and ugliness is directed towards fat people, why would anyone choose to be fat if the answer was simple and easy?

Doctors in particular should know better than to buy into the moralizing bullshit.
(no subject) - foomf - Apr. 1st, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
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