I often talk about the war on obesity in terms of the way in which it’s goal is to eradicate fat people. Every once in a while someone will object to my use of the term eradication. They say that even though these people are vocal about their desire for a world without fat people, they’re not actually trying to eradicate us since they would allow us to exist in peace if we became thin people.
I disagree. First of all because suggesting that they don’t want to eradicate theoretical thin me (only actual fat me) is some bullshit. I’m not a thin woman covered in fat, I’m a fat woman, and so a world without fat people is a world in which I do not exist.
But a look at the reality of the situation shows pretty quickly that the people who want a war on obesity want a world without fat people by any means necessary – they are ok if we become thin, but they also seem totally fine if we die trying. Let’s look at some examples:
Consider the drug Belviq, which was approved by the FDA and is being prescribed by doctors for weight loss not because it won’t kill fat people, but because killing fat people is deemed an acceptable risk. (You can even get a coupon online – first one’s free!)
Another in the “acceptable risk category,” among its many, many dangerous and life-altering side effects, Weight Loss Surgery also carries a serious risk of dying. “By best estimates, bariatric surgeries likely increase the actual mortality risks for these patients by 7-fold in the first year and by 363% to 250% the first four years.”
Or how about when doctors were trying to convince fat people to eat 500 calories a day and get urine injections?
Then there’s Devon, UK where they decided that in order to save money they would just deny healthcare to fat people.
And that doesn’t even take into account all the fat people’s lives that are put on hold due to the shaming, stigmatizing, bullying, lack of access, and oppression that we face so that even if they don’t manage to eradicate us, they keep us from living the life we dream of.
Often when people object to my use of the term “eradication” they say something like “this isn’t genocide” and I absolutely agree with that. [Edit: Let me reiterate and clarify because there seems to be some confusion – I am not saying that this is genocide, I am not comparing it with atrocities that have happened to other groups, I am only talking about what is happening to fat people now.] This is something different – they want to eradicate fat people, but they want us to do their dirty work for them. You want a world without fat people? Feel free to find another world because I’m not going anywhere. Me and my fat are here to stay.
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