Diet & Weight Magazine

Think We’re Doing Enough About Obesity?

By Danceswithfat @danceswithfat

Enough reallyI have arrived in Surfside, Texas for Hottie Hoop Camp. It’s amazing so far and I look forward to blogging about my super fun experiences over the rest of the week.  But for tonight, I want to address some feedback from yesterday’s blog post.  I got a bunch of e-mails and comments (which of course I did not approve) talking about how the fact that there are fat people, like me, who aren’t dieting (which is to say fat people who are opting out of the “health” plan of “feed your body less food than it needs to survive in the hope that it will eat itself and become smaller and somehow also healthier even though there’s not a single study where that worked for more than a tiny fraction of people” model), is proof that we aren’t “doing enough about obesity.”  Obviously these people have taken a swing and a miss when it comes to getting the point, so let me try this one more time:

When people express concern as to whether we are “doing enough about obesity” they are typically suggesting that we  ponder such important ideas as:

  • Are we shaming fat people enough?
  • Are we ostracizing fat people enough
  • Are we oppressing fat people enough
  • Are doctors doing a good enough job of ignoring fat people’s actual health issues and focusing on our body sizes?
  • Are we making fat people feel horrible enough about themselves?
  • Are we stereotyping fat people enough?
  • Are we doing a good enough job of conflating weight and health?

The answer seems to almost always be “No, we could be doing more.”

Look, if you are one of these people, I imagine it must be very stressful to constantly try to take responsibility for, and worry about, the business and bodies of so many people who aren’t you, so let me help you out:

You have done enough; more than enough even. It’s time for you to go look for your beeswax at your own home and in your own mirror.

If you want to make the lives of fat people better, the absolute best thing you could do as far as I’m concerned is help end the stereotyping, stigma, bullying, and oppression we deal with.  I have been thinner and I can tell you that it didn’t improve my quality of life even a fraction as much as not being constantly stigmatized, stereotyped and oppressed would.  Seriously, trust me on this – you’ve done enough, go sit down now.

I know this may be hard to wrap your head around, so feel free to read this sentence a couple of times:  Fat people’s bodies are not a signal that we require other people’s interference in our lives.  No, really – it’s true! We are capable of doing our own research and making our own decisions about our health and bodies, so you are totally off the hook. Isn’t that great?! Aren’t you just SO relieved?!

If you are interested in public health, then it would be great if you would focus your efforts on making sure that everyone has access to the foods that they would choose, safe movement options that they enjoy (and that means physically safe and also emotionally safe so that they know that they can put on a swimsuit and walk around without even the thought that they would be treated poorly or shamed about their bodies), affordable evidence-based healthcare, and true information.  Then you can make choices for you and let other people make choices for themselves.

I promise – you’ve done enough about obesity.  Please return to your homes and the policing of your own bodies only. Thank you.

I’m fat and I approved this message.

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