In case you’re not familiar, Humans of New York started in 2010 as a photography project by Brandon Stanton to “create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants.” A lovely fat acceptance story about an NYU student named Stella made the rounds of the Body Positive community a few years ago.
That’s why a recent post was so utterly disappointing.
Most of the people responding seem to assume that the subject is male, but I don’t think that can be discerned from the photograph. What we can know for sure is that they’ve found someone amazing and their fatphobia is getting in the way, and that’s entirely their problem but they are going to make it their partner’s problem if they don’t get their shit together, like, now.
Let’s take this bit by bit:
“At first I told myself I could get past it. I said, ‘Let’s just see how it goes.”
You decided to kick off a new relationship with lies of omission. Going out on dates with someone while secretly harboring bigotry against their body is fucked up. If you’re a fatphobe, then you shouldn’t get to lie about that and enjoy the company of fat people.
“We had excellent dates. Everything else about her was exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to ruin something good for that one little reason.”
Then you shouldn’t have. You should have hauled your ass to therapy and handled your issues.
“But it’s been 1.5 years. And I feel horrible, but I just can’t get past it.”
Yeah, well, you should feel horrible. You’ve been hiding your appearance-based bigotry from your partner for over a year and a half. That’s a horrible thing to do.
“And I feel like a bad person for being bothered by it.”
You are a bad person.
“I can’t bring myself to tell her.”
A fatphobe and a coward. That’s fucking great.
“We’re going to couple’s therapy next week, but I still don’t think I’ll be able to say it.”
You’re torturing her. If it were me, I’d want you to break up with me, not tell me why (I shouldn’t have to hear or care about your bigotry issues) and go do your self-work on your own. Regardless, this lying shit has to stop.
“Is there any right way to ask someone to lose weight for you?”
Wrong question asshat, unless you accidentally misspelled “How do I overcome my fatphobia without hurting my partner?”
Happily, most of the responses are clear that this person is the one with the problem, not their partner. Of course in a fatphobic world there’s always someone ready to defend fatphobia — often with healthism — and the comment section is no exception with people suggesting that it’s reasonable to ask her to lose weight because they believe it will make her healthier.
That’s bullshit, but even if it were true (it’s not!) it’s super healthist…
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7 thoughts on “Is There Any Right Way to Ask Someone to Lose Weight For You?”
Man, I was already shaking my head before I started reading. No. The answer is no. Noooo. Nein. Nyet. Non. Nuh-uh.
…or as I’ve learned from Ragen and find very satisfying: Nope, nope, nope!
“Of course in a fatphobic world there’s always someone ready to defend fatphobia — often with healthism — and the comment section is no exception with people suggesting that it’s reasonable to ask her to lose weight because they believe it will make her healthier.”
Ah, the lost Harry Potter spell, “but whattus abouther healthicus kadavera!” What lies, abuse, and neglect WON’T it turn into pure golden Concern?
I am damn sick of this particular fatphobic excuse. Snot makes fun of fat woman’s clothing, gets called on it, tries to pass it off as concern for her health. Loser uses fat guy and then dumps him for a thin man, gets called on it, tries to pass it off as concern for his health. Abuser uses his wife’s weight to gaslight and control her, gets called on it, tries to pass it off as concern for her health. Jerk tries to bully a fat colleague into stepping down so they don’t have to be around them, gets called on it, tries to pass it off as concern for their health.
Dudes, *we can all tell your terrible behavior is not coming from a place of concern for our health.* “Health” is not a magic word you say to make the abuse of fat people okay.
I’m kind of amazed someone managed to go a year and a half without being attracted to their partner. No wonder they are in couples counseling!
I responded to that post with “no”. I thought, however, that it was a woman who was writing about a man. I’m not sure why I responded that way.
I saw this HONY post of facebook and was thrilled that most of the comments were along the lines of “How dare you waste 1.5 years of this woman’s life letting her date your sorry ass while you secretly thought she wasn’t good enough for you? Set her free, asshole.”
This actually happened to me once. I was 26 and gorgeous. The guy decided after a few months that he “couldn’t get over it”. I wanted to punch him in the face and tried to kick him out of my apartment. He whined, and begged, and goddamnit I didn’t do it. A few more months of bullshit and it was over. Years later we became friend on facebook for awhile, I didn’t care by then, I was (and still am) happily married. Then he died, alone and miserable. I regret not kicking him out of my apartment to this very day. Who knows, he may have learned something and things would have ended differently for him.