Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
I don’t usually recommend articles at Jezebel, because the quality of their articles has gotten so uneven. But I love Lindy West more and more every time I read her. She’s got an article up at Jezebel about HBO’s new series on weight and the obesity crisis.* Basically the point of her article is the same one I have made repeatedly, which is that regardless of how or why someone is fat, it really doesn’t matter and that you should still treat them like a human being. Because decades of being mean to fat people has not resulted in any of us being made permanently thinner.
But of course you get the requisite fattie or “former fattie” who never would have known she needed to lose weight if people hadn’t been mean to her. Or the other people desperately defending their tissue-thin excuse to abuse other people they don’t find attractive because they “care.” However, as anyone who has listened to the first podcast here, or read any of the articles here or at dozens of other fatosphere blogs knows, being mean to fat people doesn’t make them thin. It just makes them miserable, and you a douchebag.
And this is the thing, if being mean to fat people made them thin, we wouldn’t HAVE any fat people, because none of us get through our lives without some jackhole telling us we’re unfuckable while patting themselves on the back about how much they “care.” Seriously, if you want to know that being shitty to fat children doesn’t make them thin, listen to both parts of the first podcast for Tammy’s story. Listen to the rest of us talk about the reams of shitty things people have said and done to us and our fat friends when we have the temerity to leave the house, wearing clothes, like we’re people or something.
How dare we?
This is one of the many reasons I love my current doctor. You all remember I fired the last one for being mad at me when my numbers (“excellent cholesterol profile”) interrupted her “YOU’RE GOING TO DIE OF THE DETHFATZ ANY SECOND!!!” lecture. I went to the new one, and braced myself for it, getting ready to deliver the “I’ve had an eating disorder, I do not diet. I eat well. I exercise,” introductory lecture, when he said, “Your numbers are excellent, and I’ve found in my years of practice that weight seems to be about as heritable as height. As long as your numbers are good and you don’t have any impaired mobility, I see no reason to harass you about your weight.”
Because this is the thing. You can be a model patient in every other way, yet when it comes to your weight and inability to lose it, be labeled “non-compliant.” Look, I’ve done the eating disorder tango. It fucking sucks. From losing my hair, to being constantly sick and cold, to being OBSESSED with food in a way that I can’t even imagine now, I’m over it. I’m not ever doing that to myself again. I don’t even want to think about the damage that the years of starvation and the compulsive exercise did to my body. (Here’s a hint: My knees don’t hurt because I’m fat, they hurt because I used to be thin.)
I have a dear friend who had gastric bypass surgery a couple years ago. And, like most gastric bypass patients, eventually gained back the weight because SURPRISE! it’s hard to make fat people thin, just as it’s hard to make thin people fat. And she said this to me when I called her on her diet talk. “I just know I can lose the weight again. I have to try harder.”
How the fuck do you “try harder” than surgically mutilating your body? What’s “trying harder” than that? Don’t answer, I don’t want to know.
Look. Assholes. Here it is. Fat people aren’t costing you money. That’s a fucking lie. I went to the doctor far more when I was “thin” than I do now because I had malnutrition, a series of exercise-related injuries, and caught bronchitis at least twice a year, not to mention flus, mono, and every other illness that made an appearance. I probably averaged doctor visits once a month back then, if not more. And now? I have been to the doctor twice in the past year. Once for the yearly physical to tell me how awesome I fucking am (marathon runners wish they had my numbers), and once for pink eye, which I will stress was NOT brought on by my fat. **
So, listen up, you can try to salve your conscience by telling yourself you “just care so much about those poor misguided fat cows,” but the truth is, you’re just being an asshole for no real reason. You don’t know why someone’s fat. It could be because of medication that saves their life. It could be because they’d rather be happy than suicidal and the weight gain caused by the anti-depressants is a fair trade to them. It might be lots of reasons. Or it might not. You might be right, and they may in fact mainline powdered sugar and lard and wash it all down with simple syryp every fucking night. But you know what? It’s still NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS, YOU DOUCHE!!!!
Don’t find us fuckable? Great. Do us ALL a favor and don’t fuck us. Trust me, most of us have no shortage of sexual partners in spite of society’s issues with our size.
You don’t have to find us fuckable.
You don’t have to want to be our size.
You just have to treat us like human beings. That’s it. It’s not hard. I mean, I said this to a friend the other day about something completely unrelated, but it fits here too: “You know, contrary to popular belief, not being a douchebag is not a superpower. It’s an attainable goal for everyone.”
*That and the obesity crisis is bullshit, because the only reason the numbers keep rising is because they keep arbitrarily shifting the BMI categories.
**For an explanation of “DIAGNOSIS FAT!!!”listen to both parts of the first podcast. Seriously, we are funny fucking fat bitches.