It seems in most books on fat issues that I read, the most damaging thing about being fat is how fat people are treated by society as a whole. This is fat prejudice.
prej·u·dice (pr j -d s)
1. a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
b. A preconceived preference or idea.
2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions.
3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.
What seems clear in the above definition is prejudice is irrational ignorance.
So how come fat people are blamed? Why are we supposed to change? Not only does society support fat prejudice, it wants fat people to buy into it too! To join in on the irrationality of it! WTF?
Then you get the argument, “Well you can change.” Even if that were true, it doesn’t give anyone the right to discriminate against fat people. Why do I have to change my fatness because you hate fat people? And most of the evidence seems to show, that no, we cannot change – at least not in the long term. Most fat people are naturally fat. It’s called diversity folks. Some fat people may not be “naturally” fat, but are fat because of medical conditions – again, no choice.
The whole “you can change” argument reminds me of the early arguments about homosexuality. Finally, most people have come to recognize (if not accept) that being gay is a natural occurrence. It is not a choice. You are what you are.
And I really HATE books that go on and on about how being fat is natural, and being fat is not a mandatory early death sentence, etc.; and then the focus turns to how to win the battle against yourself to be the person you naturally are. Arghhhhhhhh.
It reminds me of Margaret Cho in her one-woman show, I’m the One that I Want – when she talks about having to lose weight to play herself in her own TV show. I can so relate, only people want me to lose weight to be myself in my own life.
So I don’t want to hear about how being fat is okay, BUT … There is no BUT. Please spare me your “concern” about my health. You don’t know me, and my health is none of your beeswax! (where did that phrase originate? oh well, it works)
I just want to know how long before we can turn the fat discrimination discussion around so that the focus is on the real problem – prejudice.