Yesterday I blogged about how it’s ok to be fat and to not try to be thin no matter what your situation. Predictably, today I heard from people who want to concern troll fat people using a couple of very common, very ridiculous justifications:
The first is based on the suggestion that if the person “wants better” or “healthier” for someone (here “better” and “healthier typically means “thinner” but sometimes mean something else) then that person should definitely step in and start doling out advice whether it’s wanted or not.
Not so much. What we want for other people is our business and has actually nothing to do with them. Other people’s health is not our business unless they ask us to make it their business. It doesn’t matter if someone thinks they can make psychic health predictions based on other people’s size, it doesn’t matter if the object of their concern trolling has diagnosed health issues and they disagree with that person’s decisions about how to handle those issues. It simply doesn’t matter.
People are allowed to want people to be “healthy” by whatever definition they are using. They do not, however, have the right to actually make other people’s health their business unless and until their input is requested. Other people’s right to make choices for themselves without unsolicited advice is not subject to whether or not anyone thinks they are making the right choices.
When it comes to personal health decisions, other people’s autonomy does not have to be “balanced out” by someone else’s desires to try to control those decisions regardless of their reasoning. I do think that there can be exceptions made to this rule (I’m thinking of intervening when someone is dealing with an eating disorder or addiction), but we shouldn’t be surprised if the person we are talking to tells us to search for our beeswax elsewhere.
The second justification I often here is some version of “Fat people are at higher risk for health issues and that costs me tax dollars so I have every right to talk to them about their health.”
Horseshit. Even if it was true. If you want to make an argument about tax dollars then I want to see a list of the things that your tax dollars pay for, broken down into things of which you do and do not approve and the interventions you are involved in for each thing you think makes your taxes too high, as well as your letter submitting to the authority of anyone who says that they know better than you what you should do to be healthy, including your willingness to let them tell you how to live so that they can bring down their tax dollars, otherwise this is just a weak justification for fat bigotry.I blogged about this in detail here.
Our bodies, our business. We may have trusted advisers, we may welcome the input of others, but we are under no obligation to do so and there is no justification for concern trolling.
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