Your “Concern” and My Fat Fist!

 (Sincere thanks to Whaliam for the title)

And the award for the worst idea ever goes to Structure House, a North Carolina-based weight-management facility that offers an online refer-a-friend program which sends an e-card detailing Structure House’s offerings to your pal’s inbox, with a note reading, “I saw this program online and thought I would share it with you.”

Can you imagine?  I would hope there is no one in my family or friends who would think doing this is a good idea.  And if I ever got one of these and found out who sent them, I promise they would have a near-death experience.

Apparently out of concern for what damage the Structure House method might do, the Chicago Tribune ran an article “Broaching a Weighty Subject” (Get it?  “weighty”?  How fucking droll), giving advice on the proper way to talk to someone about their weight.

That’s easy.  How about, not at all?  How about it’s none of your flipping business?

At least the article points out that stigma is a poor motivator and most fat people know they are fat and understand the possible (but not inevitable) health risks. Also many fat people have tried to lose weight may times and you should assume their lack of success has to do with ineffective treatment options and biology. 

 Okay – so most of us already know more about being fat than most average sized people.  Then, what exactly would the point of the advice be? 

 Apparently, the person giving the advice is supposed focus on concern about the fat person’s health.

 Yeah, that’s helpful.  Because let’s be honest, you voicing concern over the health of my fat ass, means that you are already making assumptions about fat and health and the life I must be leading.  And what do you call that?  Oh yeah …

 prej-u-dice  (noun)

An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts; A preconceived preference or idea; The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. …

 What I found most offensive was the attitude that us poor fat people need to be treated with love and support so we will deal with our “problem”.  How about the problem of fat people who have to deal with people who have not bothered to educate themselves about fat facts, HAES (health at every size), and size acceptance? 

 So please, if you want to “motivate” me when it comes to my weight; why don’t you examine your own motivation and leave me the hell out of it?


12 thoughts on “Your “Concern” and My Fat Fist!

  1. When I read this I don’t know whether to laugh, shake my head, or be aghast at the poor schmucks who must be out of a job by now for coming up with that kind of marketing tactic. I bet the person who thought up those e-cards were either bulimic or anorexic. I don’t mean to poke fun of the thin (I’m somewhere in betwween … oooh that rhymes). Anyway, I wouldn’t want to get an e-card like that either.Sending one is an an automatic criticism …

  2. Saw an article come across my RSS feed from Discovery News earlier today about that recent study about stigma, obesity, and headless fatty pictures.

    The article itself was pretty full of fail. First because the author thought that, since pictures of headless/legless fat people were being called stigmatizing, it would be best to use a picture of a headless/legless *thin* person instead. One wearing pants about five sizes too small and pulling them out, the same way MeMe Roth did that stunt with the really large pants on that one talk show. Only thing I get from pictures like that is “This body is normal. See how much thinner and more perfect it is than the body that would fill out these pants?” – yeah, not exactly an unloaded metaphor there.

    The article was also a fail because the entire second half of it was the author saying that since a lot of stock photo images of thin people are also headless or from the back, it means that the dehumanized pictures of fat people being used as scare fodder for a made up epidemic aren’t stigmatizing at all either.

    Then they closed with an observation that most American’s are fat, and that the unflattering image of fat people that everyone sees isn’t just in the media, but also in the mirror. Hyuk Hyuk.

    And then, the comments. There are only three as of the time I am writing this, but the first two are basically the usual “humans are Bunsen burners, get off your ass fatty” comments we’ve come to know and love. I wish I had the energy right now to argue it, but frankly I’m just too damn worn down today by all the other fat hate crap I’ve seen this week.

    If anyone else wants to though –

    • urp, sorry about the linkfail there. And it’s supposed to read “five sizes too large” not small, I am just having one of those failtastic nights.

    • What the article also fails to mention is that the Yale Rudd Center now has an online photo gallery for use, free of charge, with non-negative images of fat people, so there is no excuse to use the stock headless fatty photos anymore.

      As to the rest of the article, what a load. Thanks for giving me the link. I had hurd murmurings in the fat groups about it but had not read it yet.

  3. A lady approached me once after I’d performed at an open mic, to tell me how much she liked my singing and to give me something, and “I hope you won’t be offended.” It was a Weight Watchers food diary pamphlet and her name and e-mail address. I definitely used the e-mail address to explain to her how very, very wrong, rude, presumptuous, and other adjectives she was to do such a thing, and why, since clearly it never occurred to her.

  4. I can’t stand the fact that we get article after article after article after article about the dangers of fat, and how to “help” your fat loved one. And not ONE major article about the fact that 95% of diets don’t work, and 50% of the people who diet end up fatter than they were before they started dieting (and those are the conservative numbers). You would THINK that would be major news!!

  5. I have always wanted the opportunity to to tell someone to “go piss up a rope”. It has a nice ring to it no? I think a concern troll email like that would warrant such a reply

  6. Yikes. If a friend sent me this, they would not be my friend anymore. If they were family, they would be recieving a stern lecture on why body shaming is NOT okay, my weight is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS, and also, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

    Not because I feel bad about my weight, but because this kind of shit could really hurt someone else.

  7. Hmm, unsolicited advertising in my email box – as far as I’m concerned, that’s spam, even if I happen to be personally acquainted with the spammer.

    Should anyone of my acquaintance have the sheer mitigated-only-by-passive-aggressiveness gall to send me weight-loss spam (’cause it’s not like I’m getting any from total-stranger ‘bots, oh no), it seems appropriate that I spam them back, with much linkage: to articles at Junkfood Science and other such sources, to pertinent blog posts in the Fatosphere, to the Fat Hate Bingo cards, etc, etc.


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