I don’t think I have to do much to convince you that fat hatred, or fatphobia, is real. People actively hate fat people all the time. They comment on their bodies and give fat people dirty looks for the crime of being outside, or eating, or exercising in any space where they can be seen. Just existing, really. Mocking them is totally fair game. Nobody thinks twice about it — it’s embedded in our society.
Fat hatred is all about the justification for the hatred of fat people. Because they can control it, right? Being fat is a choice. If they don’t want to be hated, then why not just get thin?
Let’s examine this.
Is being fat always a choice? No. Some people can either be thin or be healthy, not both. Some people would have to become unhealthy in order to reach what our culture considers an “acceptable” weight. And people have. Thanks to fat hatred, people have hurt themselves and put themselves at high risk for health problems just to not be treated like shit every time they go outside. There are also people who can’t exercise due to disability, and people who don’t have access to healthy food due to poverty, etc.
So those people obviously don’t deserve to be hated, mocked, or ostracized for being fat, right? But then, do the others?
What happens when you allow a culture of fat hatred to continue despite the fact that there are fat people who are only healthy when they’re fat? Obviously, all fat people will struggle with self-hatred, even the ones that you admit don’t deserve it. So if we don’t change the culture, people will continue to suffer even if they don’t “deserve” it. Isn’t that a problem?
Let’s also consider the idea that people who could possibly become thin without hurting themselves if they put in some level of effort (it varies, of course) deserve hatred and the accompanying suffering. Why do they deserve to suffer, even if they “choose” to stay fat? How does their fatness affect you?
If you answered, “because I don’t like looking at them/it’s unseemly,” consider that this is a personal problem.
If you answered, “I’m concerned for their health,” consider why this is any of your business. Also consider why you’re not so concerned for the health of other people who engage in risky behaviors, and why those people don’t deserve the same amount of hatred.
If you answered, “They cost taxpayers money because they have more health problems,” you should also consider why you don’t give the same amount of hatred to other people who engage in “unhealthy” lifestyles. Why don’t you hate people who drink alcohol? Alcohol is very unhealthy and regular consumption leads to liver problems. Why don’t you hate mountain climbers? Mountain climbers fall off of mountains at a much higher rate than other people, and the injuries they sustain cost taxpayers money.
Why don’t you hate me? I am currently on the birth control pill, which gives me an increased chance of having a stroke than other forms of birth control, yet I still take it, knowing this, because I prefer the pill. I could potentially cost the taxpayers a lot of money. A stroke could cause me to sustain a disability that would require me to take welfare. Do you hate me? I’m sure you’ll let me know if you do.
Do you hate yourself? Emotions like anger and hatred create more heart problems than not hating a large section of the population. Yet you choose to hate fat people.
Have I hammered the point home yet?
The bottom line is that people are allowed to eat whatever they want. No matter what the circumstances, they’re allowed to be fat, no matter what. Just like people are allowed to own guns, no matter how much this causes people to get shot, including children. Just like people are allowed to drive their cars as much as they want, no matter how many car accidents happen in a single day. Why are you hating people for existing the way they want to exist?
You don’t even know these people. Stop hating.
Written by Lindsey Weedston