TRIGGER WARNING: Fat hate, body shaming, etc. etc. etc.
Fat Acceptance, My Ass…..mov (by SusanPowter)
She gets a little bit repeat-y at the 6 minute mark, but it’s worth watching for a slap in the face about Fat Acceptance versus Fitness.
I’ve been thinking for a long time on the fat acceptance movement and how I feel about it. Originally I thought it was nice, because it was empowering to see women love their bodies. Wasn’t it? But there was always a voice in the back of my head, thinking, but they’re still so….you know…unhealthy.
If you have a belly because you had a baby, this is not about you (loose skin from babies is natural, beautiful, and should not be vilified. However if you became obese after your pregnancy, get yourself healthy. You owe it to your child. No excuses.)
If you have a bigger butt and thighs because you are a pear shape, I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about FAT. Being REALLY FAT. Medically obese. There is a difference between “loving your curves” and pretending that being obese is okay.
I finally decided to stop flip-flopping on the issue so as not to “hurt anyone’s feelings”—I don’t like fat acceptance. It’s stupid. It’s wrong. Cut it out. This video completely sums up my feelings and my attitude, but I will write my piece on it here.
I’m all for loving your body. I’m all for the understanding that fitness changes everyone’s bodies in different ways. The ultimate goal weight of person A will not the the same for person B. I get that. But if you weight 250 pounds, you can’t walk up a flight of stairs witohut wheezing, and your idea of a good lunch is tacos, soft drinks, and a bag of chips, then something needs to change. Do you even want to live? Do you value your life? You’re so used to feeling like crap that you probably don’t even realize that you feel like crap. I know this. I was that person, once.
I don’t want to be a fitness preacher—I used to hate people who preached healthy living at me. But then I realized it was because I was scared. I was ashamed. I KNEW I wasn’t healthy and I rejected their advice because I couldn’t face it. I’m still not anywhere near my goal but I feel. So. Good.
Seriously. Come over to my house and feel my muscles. After 2 months of weightlifting I feel like a complete badass. By this time next year I’ll be unstoppable. And that feels really fucking good.
I don’t want to be unhealthy. I don’t want to be obese. I just don’t.
If you engage in Fat Acceptance, you are saying that you like being obese. Do you love being at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure? Really? You love that? Your fit friends will outlive you by five or ten years. You LOVE that? That makes you feel like a STRONG, EMPOWERED WOMAN? Are you fucking kidding me?
I do have some small grey areas: girls who are less than 200 but more than, say, 150 pounds (ahh, that’s super general, so perhaps not the best example. Like I said, still a grey area). They’re not obese anymore (Obese = BMI of 25+), but they’re not super-lean. What about these girls? I say: you’re fine. Especially if you walk, run, jog, play soccer, or hit the gym. I don’t care where you are on your journey, just that you acknowledge that fitness and healthy eating are #1. My issue is mostly with extreme obesity among people who choose to do absolutely nothing about it. A person can absolutely be healthy and still be termed fat—but once you’re morbidly obese, it’s time to go for a walk.
But anything up and above the 200lb mark, or with a BMI of over 25? Eat some vegetables, drink some water, and go for a walk. Can’t afford a gym membership? Free fitness videos on youtube. Buy a $2 skipping rope form walmart. Have a health problem that leads to weight gain? Consult your doctor and have them prescribe a fitness plan. Your doctor does not want you to be obese, and will do whatever it takes to help you.
Am I a hypocrite because I weigh just over 200lbs, still? Maybe, but I run 5 times a week, I lift 3 times a week, and I eat the right way. I do not accept my body right now, but not because I hate myself—I do not accept my body because I know I can do better. I can feel better. I can look better.
I understand the basis of the Fat Acceptance movements. I’ve read the blogs. I’ve listened to the podcasts. I don’t like having “ideal beauty” shoved down my throat every day by the media either. I don’t like being told I should look a certain way either. I am a woman and I have to put up with that bullshit too.
But I will not—I will not—accept you for being fat without trying to be healthy at the same time. I know what it’s like, because I was unhealthy too. In some ways I still am—it’s a process. But not for long. Fat Acceptance seems like a good iea—of course I want women to love themselves. But you are loving sickness. You are loving your chance for diseases. you are loving the fact that you have a limited lifespan. You have the chance, every day, to be healthy and fit.
You don’t have to get down to 125 lbs, fully-toned, super-sleek body. But you DO have to get your BMI lower than 25 if you can. Once you get down far enough, you won’t want to stop. Why? Because you will wake up in the morning and nothing will hurt. You’ll run to catch the bus and actually catch it. You will eat food that will make you feel full and energized. You’ll skip your afternoon nap or coffee because you won’t need them. Do you feel like this now? No. You don’t. Because you are morbidly obese.
I denounce thee, Fat Acceptance movement. You claim to challenge society’s “problem” of objectifying women and pushing a supermodel-body on girls, but you are actually just creating a situation just as dire—you are making it okay for women to be fat, unhealthy, and in danger of losing the chance to feel incredible. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the gym pumping iron.
If anyone needs to check themselves, it’s you.
You’ve already been bitch-slapped many times over with logic, but I’m here to add some more.
Clearly you’re uneducated as to what fat acceptance is, and you’ve drunk the kool-aid about how bad fat is. You think you’ve got some kind of solidarity, because you ‘used’ to be such a bad, bad fatty, and like, omg! If YOU can do it, so can anyone else.
No. It is the height of arrogance, first of all, to think that just because you did something with your body, and that your body works a certain way, the same thing will work for everyone else, in the same way with the same results.
Bodies are complex. They are multi-faceted and complicated and we’re still learning all about them. No two bodies work the same way. I know for a fact that you have people in your life who can eat and eat and eat and sit around all day and never gain an ounce, stay slim. Do you think they’re healthy? No. But I don’t see you policing them. You know that it’s possible for some people to eat like shit and stay thin, but the thought of the opposite? Someone who eats balanced and works out and stays fat? Well THAT JUST DEFIES LOGIC.
No. Check out this post I made. Chock full of people who are from 200-400lbs in excellent shit, fit and healthy.
Let’s not even get into the socio-economic reasons for obesity, let’s not even touch privilege and food deserts and how obesity levels rise as income levels fall.
Forget all that. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that you’re right. Let’s say every person with a BMI over 25 is unhealthy.
What does it have to do with you?
If someone wants to live an unhealthy lifestyle, if they want to eat everything in sight, if they want to see how long it takes before they have a heart attack, how does it really affect you?
Answer: It doesn’t.
You don’t want to be obese? Bully for you. Don’t be obese. That’s your choice as a person with body autonomy, and no one can take that away from you.
But don’t you dare for a moment think that you have the right to tell anyone else what to do with their bodies. Don’t think that you have the authority to tell anyone that their body would feel better if they weighed a certain amount.
I wake up every day in my morbidly obese body, and I feel amazing. I love my fat, squishy belly. I love my tree trunk legs. I love my thunder thighs. I love my big hips. I look in the mirror and I don’t feel an ounce of self-loathing. I look fierce in everything I wear. I look fantastic naked. My boyfriend loves the way I look and feel. I am happy in my body, every single day. And you know what, if I lost 150lbs, I’d still love my body. If I gained 150lbs, I’d still love my body. Healthwise, every single one of my tests is normal. I’m out of shape because I have chronic back pain, which I’ve had since I was 14. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with my weight.
You have a lot to learn about what fat acceptance is. You have a lot to learn about self-love. Because if you truly loved yourself, you would not feel the way about fat people that you so obviously do.
This is a compilation of over a dozen links that destroys basically every fallacy about fat, from the lie that it causes diabetes, to whether diets work, to what causes changes in body weight, and more. Read them. Read every single link, thoroughly, and seriously think about the things that you’ve been said.
We live in a world that hates fat people. It’s only natural for you to buy into it, because it’s what you’ve been told your whole life. But a vast majority of the information you hear about fat is untrue. You have the tools to educate yourself. It’s up to you whether you decide to use them.
“Stop the insanity!” In the mid 1980s Susan Powter had all sorts of infomercials for her weight loss book/video/whatever called “Stop the insanity!” I agree that we need to stop the insanity, but not in the sense that Powter does.
This is a great response, Amber.
This is backwards thinking. For me to “do what it takes” to be any sort of thin ( Five foot two and one hundred and fourty five pounds and I was still considered obese ) I have to seriously not eat and be active the entire time I am awake. I had an ED from 14 - 16 and only dropped like 20 pounds. Two years of being obsessed about my weight and I lost 20 pounds?! Don’t try to talk about gaining muscle, because I didn’t. I didn’t want to be muscular.
Sure, I could probably starve myself and up my activity level again and lose more than just 20 pounds but why would I want to do that to myself? I eat what’s considered healthy portions of the best quality food I can afford. My activity level? Not what it used to be, but I choose not to make myself suffer like I did back then.
For trying to be healthier you CONDEMN me. You find me morally and socially wrong just by looking at me? Come the fuck on.
The whole point of Fat Acceptance is just to stop being so judgmental about a type of people. You, fail.
If I starve myself I’m still going to lose those 5-10 years of my life you’re talking about. But hey, I’m also left handed which means I’m going to die sooner than most people anyway.
You’ve taken your cruel outlook towards yourself and applied it to everyone else around you. Your specific body mechanics and applied it to every fat person you see.
This is where I not-so-politely tell you to blow me.
I have health problems that can be correlated with my weight, and you can talk about probabilities of having certain problems being correlated with weight. In addition, there is a body of pseudoscience that is more about pathologizing certain body types than it is about health. However, that’s not even how most people judge. It’s usually a visceral reaction to how you look. Fat shaming actually makes it harder for me to be healthy because it makes it harder to contextualize losing weight as self care. Shaming people at a societal level to behave “correctly” is coercive. For me, self care shouldn’t be about coercion.