Is being fat the same as being black?


Obviously I don’t actually mean this literally. This post came about after I had a minor spat with someone on Twitter – as per most of my posts at this point. What can I say? I’m very scrappy. Anyway, the argument started because of someone posting about fat acceptance, and I just could not resist poking the bear a little. I’ve already covered my feelings on the body positivity movement and how overweight people have co-opted it as their emotional blanket. That they can hide from all the haters underneath, while they continue to not fix the real problem.

The way I see it, if people calling you fat is bothersome to you, you have two options. A) do something about it and lose weight in a healthy way. B) stop giving a fuck. Option B) is how body positivity is supposed to be used. In that you’re being positive about your body and it doesn’t matter what others think. However, other people don’t quite see the same thing as I do here… and obviously, they’re an overweight person. This is the tweet that caused this blog post:

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I have so many problems with this, that its hard to even contain my anger. But I’m going to try and keep my calm and just deconstruct this idea. So that if Eleanor actually reads this, she won’t be so boldly stupid in future.

First of all on why being fat isn’t the same as being black or gay. Black and gay people are often oppressed or marginalised for things that they cannot change about themselves. A gay person can’t just stop having sexual attractions towards the same sex. A black person can’t just stop being black, well unless you’re Michael Jackson I suppose. Nor can black or homosexual people really just not give a fuck about people’s opinions – because there is more to racism and homophobia than just people’s opinions.

Whereas a fat person has the two options I outlined above. You can work on your weight problem and be less overweight if you try hard enough, and you can just not give a fuck, its not like being fat is going to stop you getting jobs, or that there is really any kind of injustice anywhere. For most people, the worst you get for being fat, is being told you’re fat or made fun of.

Second of all is the fact that being gay or black isn’t bad for your health, objectively. It is absolutely categorically true that you are less fit and less healthy if you are overweight. This is not applicable to homosexuality or to people with different skin colours. Sure, you don’t need to be at peak fitness, because you’re a fairly well-off white person, living in a rich country, who doesn’t have to struggle for much. You don’t have to walk far because you can afford transport. Everything is catered to you and allows fat people to easily access amenities and services all because fat people are a big chunk of society. This isn’t because its only fair to do that, its because you’re consumers. You will consume and getting you into town so you can get a McDonalds is important for business.

Both high and low levels of fitness and weight are choices which can impact your health – this is entirely different to race and sexuality.

I will concede that yes, fat people are often mistreated and picked on or made fun of for being fat. Nearly every fat character on television is literally comic relief to be made fun of. I won’t deny that. But the idea that its in anyway akin to the struggles and hate received by people for being gay or homosexual is just absurd. Please don’t say things like this again, it just makes you look dumb.

 

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