Surf the internet long enough on weight loss or fat acceptance sites and you will encounter hatred and discrimination that is hard to believe. Fat hating is one of the last forms of accepted discrimination and it’s even making its way into newsprint.
Daily Mail columnist Amanda Platell, wrote a column recently in which she proudly claimed to be a fat hater.
“I am a fattist. I find obese people unappealing in almost every regard. They are physically unattractive, they lead unhealthy lives, they take up too much space on public transport, and (most of all) they are a strain not only on their clothing but on NHS resources. The secret of their size? Their outsized appetites are matched by a lack of self-control and even less self-respect. There, I’ve said it.”
The problem is, a lot of thin people agree with her. I know a lot of them that think this but either would not or can not publicly share those views. And worse? For part of her argument I actually agree with her. I understand the part where she writes about her “pet thesis that, far from being a complex social problem, weight comes down to a simple equation – energy in (food and drink) versus energy out (exercise).” For me this is the reason I am obese and I feel that it is the same reason for many (not all) no matter how much they want to deny it. Calories in and calories out sounds dull, but it usually is just that simple.
I also find it fascinating what the obese people she interacted with said about their weight and who’s responsibility it was.
“The story was the same whoever I spoke to. Yes, people worried about their weight, but said they didn’t know how to lose it. They wanted help and saw it as the Government’s responsibility, not their own.”
I’ve seen this myself before. While I am willing to take responsibility for my weight, others aren’t. I will say, “I eat too much in the past and still. I am not consistent in exercise. I know why I’m fat.” Others will say, “Oh that’s not my problem at all! I’m fighting against my genes! It’s not my fault I’m fat. Someone should help me lose weight.” Really? Not your fault? Not your fault at all? Did you have no control over what was put in your mouth for the last couple decades? Do you not have the power to change your life?
In the rant against fatties, aka her column, the author mentions the obesity problem stems from less exercise yet increased food consumption. Sounds pretty logical. Although the facts may support her on this, no one wants to listen when the next paragraph bashes the fat people she is writing about. The words and overall tone of the column are meant to sting and they do. The undercurrent of anger and pure disdain colors everything she says.
She ends by saying:
“In a world where many suffer terrible diseases through no fault of their own, it’s hard to muster up much sympathy for those whose ‘illness’ is self-inflicted, who refuse to take any responsibility for their bodies and actions, who blame everyone but themselves for their misery – then leave us to foot the bill. If that makes me a fattist, so be it.”
While I want to agree with her about those who blame everyone but themselves, I find it hard to agree with anything she says. Her “fat-is-evil-and-I-hate-fat-people” thinking is full of hatred that leads to wrongful discrimination. There is no understanding or compassion in her words. Obesity might be unhealthy, but does it make anyone less of a person? Does being obese make me a dumber person? Does being obese make me “unappealing?” Does it mean I don’t deserve the things a thin person does?
Maybe to some people it does.
I’m happy, I’m fun and I’m taking responsibility and trying to change my life. But does that even matter to someone who judges based purely on looks? I guess not. Thanks, Fatty Hater. Love you too.