If You Would Bully Me, I Shouldn’t Exist?

fat-people-of-the-right-to-existIn 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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14 thoughts on “If You Would Bully Me, I Shouldn’t Exist?

  1. I’ve known two people who went from very, very fat to fashion magazine slim and managed to maintain their new sizes. Both of them were profoundly unhappy before their weight loss and they were even more profoundly unhappy after their weight loss. They expected so much about their lives to change, but the only thing that really changed was the size of their bodies. One managed to go forth and work on her actual issues. The other is still a very bitter guy who’s never really moved on from the reality that the world didn’t fall at his feet the instant he got magazine abs. So yeah, bullies will continue to be bullies and if you have issues, they will still be there even if your fat is gone. I also have another friend whose type II diabetes was not magically cured by bariatric surgery and exercise resulting in dramatic weight loss, so nobody chime in with “at least they’re physically healthier!” Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Weight loss isn’t a guaranteed cure for physical ills either.

    Thanks so much for your blog!

  2. It would really be nice if other people could mind their own business about weight, clothing, work, relationships, etc.

    So tired of this attitude that my life (or anyone elses’s) is up for other people’s review.

    1. And before anyone blames the internet, be aware that this in-your-business attribute of human society has been around for at least three centuries, judging by my history books.

      In the olden days, people lived in dread of a scandal, because their friends and neighbors would shun them. Nowadays, we hate scandal because the “friends” and neighbors won’t leave us the heck alone. Either way, though, it’s making personal things public business, and it stinks.

  3. This is the most pathetic, speciues and long term human argument for genocide ever. If I don’t like you, you should change or not exist. My god how original. The only difference, the weight of “pseudo-scientific proof that weight loss is THE answer and the most educated, unbiased caring people in the world, physicians support it.
    You know the “most brilliant minds of the day” have supported slavery, genocide, systematic oppression, torture, and imprisonment for millions of people they “didn’t like” or who “were not like them”. It is as if the whole history of life is being allowed to just live it!

  4. Like I said before, it’s an elaborate game of Good Cop Bad Cop. The bullies routinely fuck us up, and then the Good Cops (the weight loss industry and its sycophants) sweep in with their fake “concern,” all, “OMG, you were insulted/punched/stoned/strangled/sexually assaulted/lured and trapped in an abusive relationship because you were fat? That’s so terrible! Here, let me help you lose weight so you never make someone treat you like that again.”

    Excuse me? Why the hell is the onus to change on US here? WE aren’t the ones who did the insulting/punching/stoning/strangling/assaulting/trapping. Maybe the people who did should, I dunno, be expected to take some responsibility for their actions. Does society really think the problem is that we just make such alluring targets other people shouldn’t be expected to control themselves around us? That doesn’t just vindicate the bullies, it paints them as the Real Victims – poor innocents who just *crumble* in the face of the powerful temptation us corrupt fat sirens and Lotharios present when we exist where they can see us, and we need to exist differently, or at least stay hidden, so we stop driving them to extremes.

    That is, indeed, an elephantine conflagration of hot stinking bullshit.

    (Funnily enough, *just* as I was writing this, another family member flipped it over to the news- dunno which station- and caught some pundit sagely telling the audience that fat “ruined your life in every way.” Why, hello, desk. Yes, my head does come here often. You know what’s “ruined my life in every way” since I was born? Fat-person-hating pundits and the blanket permission they gave society to treat me like a monster and/or particularly valueless toy nobody cared if they broke.)

    1. “That doesn’t just vindicate the bullies, it paints them as the Real Victims – poor innocents who just *crumble* in the face of the powerful temptation us corrupt fat sirens and Lotharios present when we exist where they can see us, and we need to exist differently, or at least stay hidden, so we stop driving them to extremes.”

      This is the very argument that some people use for why women should cover up (burkas or “modest” dress, take your pick), because apparently the me, who should be running the world because they are logical and rational, and we women with our poor ladybrainz can’t manage, just can’t resist that temptation and it brings out the animal in their logical, rational natures.

      That argument is used for soooooo many crimes against humanity. It boggles the mind.

  5. Since we are on the subject of pregnancy, how about avoiding it…permanently?

    I was just denied a much-wanted sterilization procedure by my gynecologist, mainly due to my size.

    I honestly don’t know if this is fatphobia on the doctor’s end or not. She did ask me if I’d like to speak to her associate, a man who would consider the surgery, but I forgot and left.

    Who knows what, if anything, they say about patients when no one is around, though.

    She was very polite and answered all of my questions. I did seem to get an “up and down” look. Is this something with which other fat folks are familiar?

    I notice people giving me “the look” sometimes but cannot be entirely sure if it’s because of my large body or people just being people and…well…looking.

  6. Lady has got it! Yes THEY can bully strike humiliate and even kill you but what did YOU do to deserve it continues to plague mankind. Why is it human beings are so apt to side with the bully in these situations? Fear, the desire Not to be the next target, shame and the belief the bully really is right to oppress us?! I mean what!? A victim is “weak” to let themselves be bullied therefore it is better to be a bully than a victim?! Must be some biology in there some where because for rational thinking beings it doesn’t make sense. Primal and stupid!
    Michelle has got that one too, about the woman who can’t get the op.. Poor woman can’t win, we’re not supposed to be able to get pregnant but to ask for the surgery to avoid it…Why is it the ONLY surgery it is A O.K. to perform on a fat person IS weight loss surgery, while all the other possible procedures are based on losing weight to GET the surgery?

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