Posted by: CeCe | November 6, 2013

Fatties are worse than Nazis!

So in an earlier post (here), I mentioned a fat-shaming blog post that I happened across.  I was going to let it go, but I’ve been thinking through some of the things said in it, and I decided that I wanted to write a rebuttal.  So that’s what I’m going to do, point by point.  Ready?  Sure you are.

Now, my rebuttal is not going to include those points made with links back to the person’s own blog as a source, simply because, well, what kind of person posts links to their own blog as a source?  And also, as before, I will not link to that person’s blog, but if you do choose to search for it based on the arguments made, be warned that it is not pleasant.  

So, beginning with point 1:
1)  The first thing that this blogger posts is that people who suffer from obesity are also most likely to also suffer from anxiety disorders and PTSD.  They then use this piece of information to make the point that “fat girls are crazy”.  First of all, suffering from anxiety disorders and/or PTSD does not make one “crazy”.  These disorders are treatable, and in many cases, they’re caused by external influences.  For example, PTSD can be caused by sexual assault.  People all deal with anxiety and PTSD in different ways.  Sometimes it will manifest in poor eating habits and reclusive behavior, both of which can lead to obesity.  However, even if an overweight person who suffers from these conditions loses weight, that does not mean that their anxiety and/or PTSD is going to be cured.  So instead of being fat and suffering from anxiety and/or PTSD, they’ll be thin and still suffering.  Further, correlation does not equal causation.  These conditions are likely not caused by being overweight; instead, being overweight may be caused, at least in part, by those conditions.  Therefore, treat the conditions, and chances are you’ll be treating the weight.  

2)  The second point they make is that fat acceptance doesn’t include men.  First, well, it does, and secondly, there is no denying that society tends to be harder on overweight women than it is on overweight men.  For example, overweight men are still depicted in TV shows as having gorgeous wives; take King of Queens as an example.  Overweight women in TV shows, on the other hand, get overweight husbands, get to be punchlines, get to be the funny neighbor or friend, and get to be the social outcasts.  As another example, the study I quote in point 5 states that physical attractiveness for women means “thin to very thin”, while physical attractiveness for men means “average or larger”.  In other words, yes, larger men can be seen as attractive, while larger women… not so much.

3)  Their next point is that fat girls are very unlikely to ever find love; instead, they find “sloppy drunk sex” from guys at bars.  Well, that’s funny, because pretty much all of my overweight female friends are married or are in committed relationships, and most have never done the “sloppy drunk sex” scene.  I’ve been married to the same man for over 10 years, and my wedding dress was a size 20.  So much for fat girls never finding love, yeah?  It’s also interesting to note that I never had a problem finding men who wanted to date me.

My husband and me on our wedding day:
Shawn and me

4)  The next point they made was that one of the “best” things a person can do to a fat girl is starve her of attention.  To quote, he wants them to treat fat girls like they would treat a “child molester or a card-carrying Nazi”.  No, I’m not kidding, this is a direct quote.  I wonder, if it’s all about health, then why don’t they go after severely underweight girls?  Starve them of attention too, right?  After all, they’re often unhealthy, and an argument could be made by some that they’re not attractive either.  What if we treated all people who didn’t fit this definition of beauty and whose lifestyles had the potential to make them unhealthy this way?  Why limit it to fat girls?  See that underweight woman?  Tell her to go eat a cheeseburger.  Tell her that she’s worse than a Nazi or a child molester.  Would that be acceptable?  No.  Body-shaming is never, ever acceptable.

Oh, but they do make one exception: Women who are trying to lose weight.  sarcasm\How kind of them/end sarcasm!  Now my question is this: How would they know a woman or anyone else is trying to lose weight, unless they asked or unless the person told them?  It isn’t always immediately obvious, until what they’re doing is working and they lose a significant amount of weight.  Losing 20 pounds doesn’t make much of a difference when you’re severely obese.  If they’ve made changes to their lifestyle, it may not always be apparent.  Sure, maybe your overweight family member that you see once a year is pigging out because that’s what they do… or maybe they’re having a cheat day after having lost 20 pounds.  Is it really any of your business?  Really?

5)  They then make the “point” that “fat girls are vermin” (almost direct quote), “stupid”, and “unpleasant”.  They include no source with fat girls apparently being “vermin”, but for “stupid”, the point they make is that since black people supposedly have the lowest average IQ (please don’t hate me, this was part of a study, found here) and the highest rate of obesity (no source, they don’t provide one), that obviously these two things are correlated.  First of all, IQ is genetic.  Second, weight usually is not.  There are many different possible reasons for obesity: Medication, anxiety/PTSD, poor eating habits, poor exercise habits, upbringing, an over-abundance of processed food, etc.  While a person may be genetically predisposed to carrying more weight, obesity is more often than not environmental, rather than genetic.  It’s also interesting to note that the lowest average IQ is supposedly found amongst black Africans.  What is the obesity rate in those countries?  Probably not very high, all things considered.  So the idea that IQ is somehow correlated to being overweight is absolutely false.  A person can lose weight, but although they may be able to educate themselves, they likely won’t be able to raise their IQ.

As far as fat people being “unpleasant”, not from what I’ve seen.  I know this is anecdotal, but that’s as much evidence as they provide too.  Sure, some fat people are unpleasant, but so are some thin people.  I’ve known some extremely unpleasant, angry, and judgmental thin people.  And it’s also interesting to note that when I was bullied for my dad being dead and for wearing glasses, it was never the fat kids who were guilty of it.  So does that prove that thin people are all bullies?  Of course not.

6)  This actually should have been part of the last response, but the next claim that they make is that fat women are “sluts”, citing the study found here.  The problem is that the evidence regarding that idea is ambivalent, though the study does state that overweight women were more likely to have more partners.  From this study here, which was cited in the aforementioned study, however: “With the exception of ever engaging in sexual intercourse with a man, sexual behavior differs little between women of different body mass indices [emphasis added].”  Another study cited in the former study states that “dating and sexual experience were unrelated to subsequent dieting and weight concerns.”  Now perhaps overweight women are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, or maybe not, but generally speaking, one’s sexual behavior is informed by three factors: Societal moral values, personal/familial moral values, and childhood exposure to sex.  If a person is molested or assaulted, they’re more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior later in life.  If a person suffers from anxiety or PTSD, they’re more likely to self-medicate, which often leads to risky sexual behavior.  However, this can happen regardless of a person’s weight.

7)  This also should have been part of point 5, but I figured point 6 was long enough and it was time to move on.  The next claim that they make is that fat women are horrible, abusive mothers.  As a source, they cite another blog (which I won’t link here because it’s awful), and the Daily Mail.  Never mind the fact that the Daily Mail is hardly better than a tabloid, I went to the article itself and what I found is that although they cite a study, they do not link to this study at any point during the article.  That is bad journalism.  One should always cite their source when it comes to making claims like that.  What’s more, the claim that was actually made was that women who gain a lot of weight while pregnant do tend to pass on diabetes and other health problems to their children.  This is nothing new, really.  Women are encouraged to gain no more than about 25-30 pounds while pregnant for this very reason.  I did find a study which states that women who were “obese, diabetic or had high blood pressure during pregnancy” had an elevated risk of having a child with autism or other developmental disabilities, but the risk was still very small.  Let’s also keep in mind that the autism spectrum has expanded greatly over the last couple decades, and children who would not have been diagnosed as autistic even fifteen years ago might be diagnosed as such now.  

Overweight women are more likely to have overweight children, yes, but it’s not necessarily because they stuff their children’s faces with Oreos and double cheeseburgers.  I would consider that abusive, if they did.  And here’s the thing: Even thin parents can pass on bad habits to their children.  Not every person who is thin is that way through always eating healthy and exercising regularly.

8)  The final point they make is that “fat-shaming does work”, citing the fact that Asian women, who are often picked on by their families if they gain any weight, tend to be thin.  What they fail to say, however, is that eating disorders among Asian women are on the rise.  Oops.  See here, and here.  It’s also interesting to note that “fat-shaming” tends to have a hugely detrimental effect on young girls, because they begin to see their “physical attractiveness” as being the most important indicator of their self-worth.  This is especially dangerous, because a fear of gaining even five pounds and having a distorted view of one’s body can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, both of which are extremely unhealthy.  See source here.

The best thing that we can do for our children is teach them healthy habits, rather than picking on them for their weight.  It’s obvious that yes, there is an obesity epidemic in western countries, and yes, many of us have horrible eating and exercise habits.  However, if we engender healthier habits rather than harping on weight, we won’t have to worry about the obesity rate nearly as much.  Girls and boys should both be taught to love their bodies and treat them with respect, and should be taught to understand that their self-worth is not determined by how “attractive” they are to others.  Otherwise, we risk raising a generation of both boys and girls with very unhealthy standards towards others and themselves.  And I don’t know about the rest of you, but that is not what I want for my own children should I ever have them, and I don’t believe anyone else should want that either.

Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment, and thank you as always for reading!

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I can’t stand that in today society it is worse to be fat than to be a murderer. I see little girls under the age of 10 already suffering from eating disorders. I see thin people shoving crap into their children’s mouths. People don’t believe my son is mine because I am fat and he is rail thin… Oh this list goes on and on and on. Oh and my IQ is 139. My mother who is also larger is 142…yeah IQ and fat have no correlation.

    • Amen to that!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: