Dear Fat People… A bit of Response…

September 12, 2015

So I watched that video with this woman going off about “Fat People” and I have learned there is quite the reaction to it.  Now, I understand the outrage.  I do think she goes a bit too far in this rant.  However, I do think there is a conversation to be had.

The problem I see is that there is a conflict in how we handle ourselves.  We are simultaneously trying to encourage everybody to be happy with who they are while encouraging them to be healthier.  I don’t really believe there has been a real effort to reconcile those ideas.  Everybody is different, so trying to get people to a physical and mental place where they are at their best not an easy task.  And as a society there are a lot of conflicting ideas.

For example, the stigma of women working out.  There’s the idea if they get too into it, they’ll start getting too muscular and look manly.  That’s not quite how it works.  And even if women do put on some muscle, there’s nothing wrong with that.  A lot of those women, including the more hardcore bodybuilder types, are very attractive individuals.  But that stigma is there and it is a limitation.

And that is just part of the issue.  There are plenty of people who have legit medical or psychological issues that contribute to their weight issues.  But there are some cases where we try to rationalize the our bad choices with irrelevant nonsense.  Take for example, somebody I know that told me she thought she was putting on weight because she was too comfortable in her relationship at the time.  Now this conversation occurred on our way back from a “Maple Festival” where there was a baked goods competition and she had made a Maple Cheese Cake.  And this same individual had made two dozen apple pies in preparation of an apple pie competition a few months prior.  Now, I highly doubt that the significant other in that relationship was forcing her to make two dozen pies (Hint, he was not).  And on a regular basis she will make 6+ pies in a baking spree, just for the hell of it.  Or make other baked goods, just for the hell of it.  And yet the reason she put on weight is that she is too comfortable in a relationship?  If you can’t take responsibility for your choices, don’t call yourself a grown-up.

And yet, there is feeling that people don’t responsibility for their choices.  In the video, she brings up airline seating.  Probably one of the more publicized issues in connection to “Fat Shaming”.  I can see both sides of this argument.  You buy your ticket, you’re paying for one seat.  But, if you’re taking up more than one seat, that’s a seat they cannot sell to someone else.  You can argue for bigger seats, but should they be redesigning planes/seats because we are taking up more space than we used to?  And in the end, wouldn’t that reduce the capacity of the plane in general, and therefore forcing airlines to either raise rates or take a loss? (Hint, I doubt they are going to take a loss if they have a choice)

My point is, we can talk about being happy with who you are all you want.  We can talk about fat shaming all you want.  We can burn the woman who made this video in effigy all you want.  But that doesn’t change the fact we need to work out a better approach on all levels.  We cannot continue to rationalize and accommodate.  Personally, socially, emotionally, economically… we need a better approach.  As a society, we need to take more responsibility.

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