It starts with a guess: “I know that you don’t take care of your body because you are fat”
Then add an assumption: “You eat tons of junk food and don’t exercise”
Now make a judgment “You are lazy and don’t care about your body”
Confuse your experience with everyone’s experience: “I once gained 10 pounds after I got in a fight with my boyfriend and I was able to lose it by drinking two chocolate shakes for breakfast and lunch and eating a tiny dinner.”
Draw an illogical conclusion: “Since I lost 10 pounds on my first ever diet, you can lose 200 pounds on your 20th diet by doing what I did just for a longer period of time”
Confuse correlation and causation: “Besides, if you don’t lose weight, you’ll get diabetes.”
Repeat something you’ve heard a lot but never taken the time to verify: “Plus you cost the workplace billions of dollars –won’t somebody think of the tax dollars!”
Loudly misinterpret the concept of personal responsibility: “You are personally responsible for looking how I want you to look and doing what I want you to do or there should be consequences!”
Make a broad sweeping generalization: “Health at Every Size? It’s just like a fatty to eat Twinkies all day and call it healthy.”
Try to tell other people what they need to do with their bodies: “I don’t know how much you’re eating or how much exercise you’re doing and I don’t care – you need to eat less and exercise more.”
Insist that we don’t get to tell you what to do with your body: “It doesn’t matter that I partake in all the behaviors that I criticize in fat people, I’m at a healthy weight so as long as I’m thin I can do whatever I want.”
Ignore the facts and insult people: “What do you mean there are unhealthy thin people and healthy fat people? I don’t want to hear about these studies and this science – quit wasting your time justifying your fatness and do something about it.”
Become frustrated and call me names: “Shut up, you’re just a big fat fatty fat pants.”
Repeat this conversation so often that people start to believe that it’s true.
I see this line of “logic” all the time and once you start to dig, you realize that it’s a house of cards built on a foundation of toothpicks.
First, if your argument starts with a guess then it doesn’t really matter what you say afterwards. You absolutely cannot look at someone’s body and glean any information other than the size of their body, and what your feelings about that size of a body are.
Second, unless you are starting a campaign against Iron Man Triathletes, climbing Everest, sedentary thin people, and jaywalkers, (because none of these activities prioritize health) then you don’t get to pick on fat people. Of course, none of it is actually your business at all. You always have the right to remain silent, what you seem to lack is the capacity – maybe work on that. Repeat after me: Other people’s bodies are none of my business.
Most of this could be solved if people were self aware enough to honestly answer the question ” Do I actually know what I’m talking about or am I repeating things that I’ve never verified for myself” and “Would I want to be treated the way that I’m treating this group of people.” But most people either can’t or won’t be this introspective. So as a fat person this isn’t my issue per se, but it becomes my problem. For me it helps to remind myself how utterly ridiculous this whole thing is and how much of it is based on someone guessing, assuming, misinterpreting, repeating without verifying, and just being an ass.
There is a revolution happening, but there are no guns or knives, and very few epic battles. It’s a revolution of tiny acts. In the culture we live in, every act of liking ourselves is revolutionary. Get out of bed and don’t hate yourself – you are a revolutionary. Go on a walk and enjoy moving your body (despite the possibility of having to deal with idiots)? You are a revolutionary. Enjoyed your lunch without guilt? Viva la revolution! Rest assured, all of these acts are adding up. More people see what we are doing and choose to step away from the self-hate everyday, and soon all of the assuming, misinterpreting, repeating, asses in the world won’t be able to stop us. It’s a fatty uprising, join in!
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