My Fat Body is ME

Published October 23, 2012 by sleepydumpling

Earlier today this post raced through my online networks like a brush fire.  With good reason, it’s an excellent piece that really lays out how fat hate has permeated so many people’s attitudes, and makes clear reasons why people need to think about what they are saying and what kind of stigma they are placing on the shoulders of fat people.

But, as is always the way with these pieces, the comments kick off with someone who simply doesn’t get it and makes the situation worse.  This person, who calls themselves a feminist (yeah right, as Flavia Dzodan says, my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit) says:

But I’m also a public health scholar. I’m doing my Master of Public Health in Maternal Child Health. Obesity is a chronic disease that we talk about in nearly every class. We talk about markers for childhood obesity, what leads to adult obesity, and how to curb this epidemic.

The comment does go on further and she argues with several people who call her out on this fat hating crap.  You can go and look at it if you like, the link is up there in the first sentence.  You can see how spectacularly she misses the entire point of the piece for yourself if you like.

I won’t go into the ableism and classism of the attitudes of people like the commenter here, as they both deserve posts of their own.  What I want to do tonight is address the attitude that “obesity is a chronic disease” and that we need to “curb this epidemic”. *cough* eugenics *cough*

Not about how this is complete and utter bullshit that other people have busted more eloquently and thoroughly than I could ever do, but how people like this woman are so fucking blind to the hate that they spew.  I mean, this bigot has just compared fatness (I refuse to use the word obesity to describe our fat bodies – same goes to any other medicalised word to describe physical size) to “cancer and heart disease and communicable diseases”.  I shit you not.  How anyone can fail to see this as hatred is beyond me.

Let’s break it down with some statements…

  • My fat body is not diseased.
  • I do not have/suffer obesity.  I am a fat person.
  • I am not a diseased person because I am fat.
  • My fat body is not something to be prevented, cured or eradicated.
  • I do not need anyone, be they organisation, company or individual to try to rid me of my body.
  • My fat flesh is part of me, it is not some parasite to be excised.
  • My fat flesh is not a virus to be vaccinated against, it is my body.
  • I will never again give anyone the power of starving my fat off my body, with absolutely no regard to the damage the methods of starvation cause on my body long term.
  • I will never again allow anyone to force me to apologise for my body.
  • I will never again kneel in subjugation to those who feel they are superior to me because of my fat body.
  • My fat body is not a contagion to be quarantined from “decent” society.
  • My fat body is not an affliction, a blight on humanity.
  • My fat body is not a mark of shame, or an indicator of failure.
  • My fat body is not a communicable disease, nor is it a cancer.
  • My fat body is ME and I have a right to live my life without vilification and stigma.

Anyone who seriously believes that fat bodies are any of the things above or that fat people have a debt to humanity to starve or punish themselves to meet other people’s aesthetic standards is a fat hating bigot.  It’s time we stopped dancing around the subject and named them for what they are.  No one of us has to be polite or respectful to people who believe that we are lesser than others because of the size, shape, ability and function of our bodies.  We don’t have to justify our existence, our happiness, our peace, our dignity to ANYONE on this earth.

It’s time we cut the crap with the whole “agreeing to disagree” rubbish and allowing people to be “entitled to their opinions”.  No, I don’t have to agree to anything with a person who treats me as sub-human.  Nobody is entitled to an opinion that vilifies and stigmatises another human being.  Our rights as human beings get priority over opinion, every single time.

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28 comments on “My Fat Body is ME

  • Make that double A fucking Men here!! The whole ‘fat as disease’ bullshit has been pulling my chain for well over 30 years. And the many fat people whom I have seen live well into their 80’s & 90’s gave substantive proof to what we know to be true…there IS NO KILLER DISEASE CALLED OBESITY. This is entirely a construct built on a foundation of hatred & bigotry &, most of all, a huge profit motive.

  • I have cancer. you are INSULTED to be compared to someone with cancer!!?? You think there is something wrong with ME!?!

    I am beginning to have a panic attack, because this is very triggering. I may be back online later, if you wish to apologize.

    • Slewty you HAVE cancer. I don’t HAVE fat, I AM fat. You are not cancer, nobody is trying to eradicate you, they are trying to eradicate the disease you have. Cancer is a horrible disease that we need to find a cure for because it takes lives. Fat is not a horrible disease that we need to find a cure for because it takes lives. Fat is my body. Yes, I am insulted when people compare fat to cancer. And as a sufferer of a devastating disease that strikes you without reason or rhyme, that deserves research and the utmost of medical support, you should be too. Imagine what could be done for cancer research if people stopped trying to make fat people thin and funneled all of those resources towards cancer research.

  • BRILLIANT!

    Yes – we ALL have the right to live in whatever bodies we’ve got.
    Actually makes me think of that wonderful line from “Auntie Mame”:
    “Live, live, LIVE! Life is a banquet and most poor SOBs are starving to death!” Well, all those fatphobes ARE starving to death, and I don’t mean for lack of food, but rather starved for the ability to REALLY live in this world at whatever size you are. If you are truly living a full life, you haven’t time to meddle in other people’s affairs;maybe it’s just “Get a LIFE!” time for all those phobes, hmm?

  • Her comment reeks of “Fatties: Listen up. I’m thin and educated so I know everything and you all are very stupid. Here I am to tell you all so. I am better than you so don’t you talk back to me.”

    I’m glad to see she’s getting so much push-back though.

    • Clara – that awful blogger who posted the fat-hating comments (Gina Crosley-Corcoran, or the Feminist Breeder) is also not a “public health scholar,” she is halfway through her first semester in an MPH program in which she is not doing well academically. Gina is renowned for insensitive and unkind remarks. I feel awful that she trolled her way to another blog – maybe she gets tired of banning people who disagree with her on her own page? Here’s to loving your body as it is, no excuses or biting remarks from those that reek of ignorance!

      • This is so weird, that the FFF-associated blogs that I read because I enjoy them, wound up mashed up with my biggest hate-read on the internet, TFB.

        I can totally verify what Kim is saying. Gina has a BA in Management, and decided that because she’s passionate about homebirth, attachment parenting, and breastfeeding, that she would pursue an MPH degree. I’m not even certain she wishes to practice public health, I think she mostly wants to remain a natural-child-birth advocate, and I know she’s said wants to write a book.

        So she’s had approximately 8 weeks of public health schooling, and I’m guessing no real post-secondary level education in any of the sciences during undergrad. The cornerstone public health class for any understanding about disease and disease determinants, epidemiology, is actually the class she’s failing and dropping out from.

        So yeah. I’m not sure why she’s concern trolling about the internet, using a false appeal to her own imaginary authority on the topic.

      • Thanks for the clarification Kim Marie! I knew nothing about her, but the way she talked I just assumed she actually had some “credentials” to back up her rude and snobby comments

  • If I headdesk enough, does this stop hurting?

    I’m not fat, but I am disabled, the invisible, “but you look SO good!” kind. My body does need to be cured and prevented, but I’m not cancer. To call every fat person cancer . . .

    Besides, I swear it’s all genetic. My husband is fat. I’m too thin. He’s got perfect cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. I’ve got high cholesterol, alarming blood pressure and a heart rate that’s technically tachycardic at rest. He goes on a diet and he gains weight and I lose weight. He’s on Weight Watchers, and so far he’s gained 9 pounds and I’ve lost 4. This happens every single diet. And there are lots, because he is convinced that if he just loses weight, everything will be perfect. Look at all those happy, thin people in magazines and TV. Happiness is just 150 lbs away!

    Maybe someday I’ll convince him that happiness is right here, fat rolls and all.

    • It’s hard to fight what we have pushed on us all the time. “Lose weight and everything will be perfect.” It is literally a daily struggle for me. I had to stop dieting because every time I dieted, I gained the weight back and then some. I literally had to stop dieting so I wouldn’t get fatter! When I stopped dieting, my weight stabilized.
      Like you, I also have invisible diseases. I have bipolar disorder and fibromyalgia. I also have hypertension, although it’s in the fairly mild range, and I have a wonky thyroid. I often feel utterly exhausted, and I swear I’ll kill the next person who tells me that if I just “exercise more” I’ll start losing weight. I exercise at least an hour a day five days a week, so they can go f**k themselves.

      • They have shown fat to be transmittable between rats, but given the rats had to eat poop from the genetically manipulated obese rats to become fat I’d just avoid a dinner invitation from anyone who believes it is transmittable…

      • Haha, I’d love to be able to go up to her and lay my fat hands on her and watch her freak out because I’d infected her with my fat. It would be so cool to watch her reaction.

  • Yes, I saw that The Feminist Breeder showed up. I am so sorry you had to endure her flawed logic. She is an insufferable know it all…who knows nothing much actually.
    And if anyone disagrees with her, as they did rather politely, then she gets all pissy.
    She is the queen of delete and ban for any opinions other than hers.

  • Good for you for standing your ground, this blogger isn’t very bright to begin with and think she is the model of tolerance and kindness…NOT! Being fat isn’t a disease and it isn’t Cancer,shame on her for comparing the two!

  • You are wonderful! As I sat in the waiting room of the Osteopath this morning I picked up a magazine and read an amazing article about you. I was blown away! I am a fat person and have struggled with this over many years because friends (pah!) family and medical professionals all tell me that I NEED to lose weight because I will look better, feel better etc etc! BULLSHIT! I lost lots of weight once and still felt the same. I will feel better when society stops telling me that it is bad to be fat. It is not bad, we are who we are and people need to deal with it. I have finally come to the conclusion at nearly 40, that I am fat and there is nothing I can or want to do about it! As long as I am happy and healthy (which I am, mostly apart from my stuffed back!) who fecking cares what size I am? It’s everyone elses problem not mine. Thanks for this blog, I will follow and be empowered and inspired. :-)

    • Louise, you thrill me with your comment! This is exactly why I agreed to do the Women’s Weekly article, to reach out to people like yourself. It thrills me when I hear back from you!

  • And when our fat *does* come from, or with, disease or disability (cancer survivor here!) we deserve to be treated with all the respect and appropriate care of any other sick person.

  • I think what bugs me… is that I eat salads regularly. I drink water 90 percent of the time because I like the taste? But oh wait… I’m fat. So… ya know… I must LOVE me some McDonald’s. Screw that McNasty’s crap. LOL! (However I have a deep love for southern cuisine. ROFL!) I am annoyed that I have been told that I’m less pretty, less worthy, because I’m fat. It’s taken me YEARS to admit that I’m not hideous. Taken me YEARS to see that I don’t have to hide behind dark clothing because it “flatters” me. I stayed up fairly late last night reading your blog, and I love it. You certainly have a fan in Mississippi (US)

    • Nikki, even if you lived off McDonalds and never moved a muscle, you would still deserve the same respect as anyone else. Every human being, regardless of their “lifestyle” or body shape/size. We are all human beings worthy of our place on earth.

      Welcome to the light – no more hiding ourselves away and feeling shame!

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