Fitness Magazine

Fat Prisoners of War

By Danceswithfat

End the war on fat peopleSadly I hear stories all the time about a fat person who has put their life on hold – they skip events, they don’t do things that they want to do, they don’t hang out with friends,  they don’t even attempt to date, so crushed are they by self-hatred derived by bullying and stigma, that their life is a living hell.  We are told (often by someone trying to sell us weight loss) that this person is a prisoner of their fat, that the solution to all of these problems is weight loss.  That weight loss will somehow free them from their prison of fat and allow them to live a full life.

I would suggest that they are prisoners – but not of fat.  They are prisoners of war – the war on obesity.  A war waged on them by the government, which is actively encouraging people to stereotype fat people and make wild guesses about our “cost” to society, and blame us for anything bad in their lives.  They are actively recruiting our bosses, doctors, friends, family, and strangers who interact with us to join in the battle.  The war on obesity has casualties. It also has prisoners.

When there is a movement of public and private interests to stigmatize people for the way they look – for a physical characteristic that they can’t possibly hide, then some will choose to try to escape the incessant stigma, shame and bullying by doing the only thing they can – hiding themselves, withdrawing from life.

And then they get shamed for withdrawing and blamed for the poor treatment that they are receiving.  Surrender, they are told, act the way we want you to act and look the way we want you to look and all of this pain will go away.  Never mind that there’s no proof that it’s even possible for more than a tiny fraction of people to become thin.  Never mind that the cure for social stigma and bullying is for people to stop stigmatizing and bullying people – not weight loss. Surrender they are told.  Surrender and pay the piper – the diet industry can’t make 60 billion (and rising every year) dollars a year without your contribution.

I say enough is enough.  I say it’s time to call for an end to the ridiculous notion that there can be a war on obesity without having a war on obese people.  That war can be waged on our fat but not on the “thin people” they claim, without evidence, live underneath it. It’s time to call for an end to the assertion that the casualties and prisoners of this war are acceptable collateral damage, so important is the goal of a world where everyone has the same height/weight ratio. Well, maybe not so much important as… profitable.

I used to be a prisoner of the war on obesity – spending my time desperately hoping that I could change my body so that I could start living the life that I wanted to live.  Even after I learned that there were options to fight back, to escape, I remained casualty for a long time – deeply damaged by the stigma, shame and bullying that were heaped upon me by family, friends, doctors, strangers and the government the seems to think that ‘inalienable rights” actually means “rights you’ll get as soon as you’re thin.”

Things are different now.  There’s still plenty of stigma, shame, and bullying. There’s still a war being fought against me for how I look. People are still trying to leverage an inappropriate use of power to alienate me from my rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  I still have rough days.  But I’m no longer a prisoner, no longer a casualty.  I’m a combatant now. And If the government wants a war on obesity, I’ll damn well give them one. 


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Booty, Booty, Booty, Booty Rockin’ Everywhere.

    Hey guys, I hope you all have had a great week so far. Mine has been great considering I finally passed my kidney stone! This is the first time I’ve ever... Read more

    The 15 May 2014 by   Heather Murphy
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Correct Your Posture

    Did you know May was National Correct Posture Month? Who knew? Chiropractors, I bet. They know everything…kinda… To be honest, I didn’t think... Read more

    The 13 June 2014 by   Fitfulfocus
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Shape & Tone Your Arms

    Shapely, sculpted arms are possible—at any age. All it takes is this 10 minute workout you can tailor to your fitness level. These four arm toning... Read more

    The 20 June 2014 by   Praveen Dilip
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Featured Sequence: Bone Strength Practice

    by BaxterAs part of my continuing series of special sequences, I’d like to offer a sequence for building stronger bones. To start, please see one of my... Read more

    The 21 May 2014 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Join the Yoga Community

    by Nina Shoe Shelf by Melina Meza I always arrive early to my Friday morning yoga class, not because I want my usual spot in front of the... Read more

    The 19 May 2014 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Sanga: The Importance of Community

    by BaxterThe Transmission of TeachingsI’m penning this blog post from 35,000 feet on my way home to Oakland from an amazing four-day convention in Austin,... Read more

    The 09 June 2014 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Do Yoga in the Office

    Working out may be tough with such a hectic schedule. The office stress and lack of mental and physical exercises could take a toll on your health. Well, not an... Read more

    The 18 June 2014 by   Stylishwalks
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING

Add a comment