Recently, The Guardian gifted the world with a piece-of-trash article using the International pastime of bashing fat people who don’t hate themselves. The article, “It’s not fine to be fat. Celebrating obesity is irresponsible,” by “journalist” Lizzie Cernik, demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the concepts of body positivity and size acceptance and puts forth a blatant double standard based on sizeism, healthism, and ableism.
Let’s break this drivel down.
“Body positivity began as a powerful antidote to the media’s obsession with skeletal models and beachball-breasted glamour girls…But as we move away from the skinny goals of the mid-2000s and embrace different shapes and sizes, one group of campaigners has taken things a step too far. Fronted by plus-sized models and social media influencers, the fat acceptance movement aims to normalize obesity, letting everyone know that it’s fine to be fat.”
Not even close there, Lizzie. Fat acceptance came first. Groups like the Fat Underground started clawing for fat people’s rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness in the 1960s. “Body positivity” is the newcomer, a watered-down version of fat acceptance. BoPo not only inherited the issues of fat acceptance — including a lack of marginalized voices including People of Color and disabled people/people with disabilities — but then created more issues by putting limits on who is “allowed” to love their body and who “deserves” to be treated with basic human respect.
Next, we have the tired healthism-as-as-veil-for-fatphobia argument: “While nobody should ever be bullied for their weight or food choices, it’s important to make a distinction between health awareness and cruelty.
The problem with this is that “health” is a difficult concept to nail down, especially since research tends to follow the biases (and profitability) of the time. The distinction we need to make between health awareness and cruelty revolves around the perceived risks doctors are willing to make regarding fat bodies. These include the belief that thin people should be given evidence-based interventions for health issues and fat people should risk their digestive health, quality of life, and lives to have a dangerous (and highly profitable) stomach amputation surgeries.
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