You know those people who pride themselves on “telling it like it is” and giving “tough love” to fatties. Jillian Michaels, the authors of Skinny Bitch, Dr. Oz, random people I meet in the gym…People who defend their bullying actions by saying “Someone needs to be brave and stop coddling these fatties. I’m that person, put down the bon bons and get off your ass fatty”. Here’s what I would like to say to them:
Newsflash – there is not a fat person in this culture who hasn’t heard this before. There are very few fat people who haven’t heard it in the last two hours. We know what you think of us. We are all too aware that you let your assumptions run wild and then treat us like your assumptions and stereotypes are true, and like public health means making fat peoples’ health the public’s business. We are aware that you think “Fat bad, thin good, shame the fatties grunt grunt grunt”. We can hear this message 386,170 times every year. I’ve been fat for 17 years, which means I’ve heard it around 6,564,890 times. How can you possibly think that hearing it 6,564,891 times is going to improve my life? Being 6,564,891 does not make you special or brave, it makes you one more doody in a big ole pile of poo. It is an act of hubris that is almost beyond understanding to not only be a bully, but to ask for credit by claiming that your bullying is an act of bravery.
Maybe you are actually so deluded that you think this is a good idea. Maybe this is all an exercise to stroke your massive ego. Maybe you think you’re the fatty whisperer. Or maybe it just makes you feel good to treat people like crap. I don’t really care because bullying is inappropriate in any guise. If someone is interested in hearing your “tough” talk I’m sure you’ll be among the very first people to know and then let ‘er rip, otherwise how about you sit down and shut up.
Or you could swim against the stream and treat fat people like the intelligent human beings we are- not like confused misguided sheep who need your strong guidance – and encourage others to do the same. Let there be a fat person who only hears 386,169 messages about their body because you refused to pile on the shame and body hate. That’s brave.
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