In a number of online conversations I’ve seen people who are selling weight loss (including organizations that lobby for the weight loss industry) suggest that the fact that fat people, including fat children, are bullied is a good reason for people to lose weight (and for congress to approve expansions on who is eligible for dangerous weight loss surgeries, and for the FDA to approve potentially deadly drugs.)
I’m not sure if I can even explain just how fucked up this is. Saying that “if fat people are bullied then they should become thin” is the ultimate vindication of the bullies. What they are saying is that if people bully us, then we should try whatever the bullies deem necessary, including risking our lives, in an effort stop existing as fat people so that our bullies can be happy.
The problem isn’t that fat people exist, the problem is that fat people are shamed, stigmatized, bullied, and oppressed. The problem is bullies and bullying, not their victims. The solution to bullying is for bullies not to bully, not for fat people to stop existing. Especially because it turns out that once you change to try to appease your bullies, you’ll likely find that they simply find something else to bully you about.
Of course people are allowed to try to manipulate their body size for whatever their personal reasons, but whenever you see someone say that other fat people should lose weight so they don’t get bullied, I suggest you think (or perhaps say, or comment, or e-mail) That is Bullshit! Fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies without shame, bullying, stigma, or oppression and it doesn’t matter why we’re fat, what being fat means, or whether it is possible for us to be thin.
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