Four Types Of People Who Break The “No Weight Loss Talk” Rule in Fat-Positive Spaces

WEDONO~1In response to my post about how we can and should have spaces that don’t allow diet or weight-loss talk -a question I got a lot is “Who are these people who blatantly break the rules?

I think they fall into four basic groups:


These are people who are trying to do harm. Sometimes it’s because they personally hate fat people for whatever twisted reason, sometimes it’s because they are desperate for approval and they are trying get it from other trolls. There are options to deal with them – I wrote an entire guide about it.

Fully Bought-In and Over-Entitled

These are people whose buy-in to the weightloss paradigm is so complete that they believe they should be entitled to talk about weight-loss wherever and whenever they want. They like to start their post with phrases like “It’s ok to love your body but…” and “Except, I mean, you can’t deny that…” etc. They’ll defend Weight Watchers like you bad- mouthed their mother and often weaponize their internalized fatphobia, saying things like “Well, I’m fat but I still think [insert anti-fat belief here]”

The Specialist Special Who Ever Specialed

These are people who think that their weight loss talk is such a special case that they deserve to break all the rules. Their posts often talk about health issues or disabilities or age. This is a double issue because not only are they breaking the rules, but they are adding healthism, ableism and/or ageism to their fatphobia. Weight loss doesn’t get any more likely to succeed because someone has a health issue, disability, or is aging, but people in those categories can face even more pressure to give up on their Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size practice, which makes this rule-breaking even more harmful. People are allowed to attempt weight loss for whatever their reasons might be, but there is no reason that justifies breaking a group’s rules of no weightloss or diet talk.

But The Group Had Fat In The Name

These are people who saw fat in the name of the group, assumed that the group would be anti-fat, didn’t bother to read the rules, and then charged into the posts and comments with their bullshit. It’s not even that they were trying to harm fat people, as much as that they’ve literally never considered that there might be a space where fat isn’t vilified. When called out they are likely to morph into a member of the Troll or Fully Bought In Group.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, we have a right to safe spaces – to create them, to maintain them, to participate in them. We do not owe anyone a debate on our right to exist. We deserve spaces safe from the people and beliefs that oppress us, and we have every right to create and protect them.

Like to laugh? I used this post as the base for some comedy.

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9 thoughts on “Four Types Of People Who Break The “No Weight Loss Talk” Rule in Fat-Positive Spaces

  1. “and often weaponize their internalized fatphobia, saying things like “Well, I’m fat but I still think [insert anti-fat belief here]””

    If you’re fat and you still think [insert anti-fat belief here], you’re a fatphobe. Being a fat person (or “former” fat person) isn’t a Get Out of Jail Free card for being shitty, and if you’re supporting things like overcharging fat people for clothes and airplane tickets, barring fat people from certain jobs, spreading misinformation about fat people, and giving fat people substandard weight-first medical care, trust me, you are being shitty.

  2. So glad to see this, and will share it. It continues to amaze me how many people feel entitled to break the rules in fat-positive spaces. And they are often the ones who don’t even imagine that there might be rules to read, or that they are blatantly breaking those rules. And what amazes me even more is that when they are informed -usually quite politely- that they are breaking the rules in a fat-positive space, they usually get all huffy and angry. Do they apologize? Never. (Hey, this might be a subject for a column: How people who break the rules in fat-positive spaces respond when they are called on it.)

    1. That’s a great idea, I’ve put it on my to-blog-about list! I’m always super surprised when they threaten to leave. Do they actually think I’m going to respond “no, your rulebreaking and harming our members is a vital part of this community, break any rules you want, just please please don’t go!”

      1. Absolutely. I love that. “I’m not discussing this. If you continue to talk about this, I will leave.” I practice mentally quite a bit, and I thankfully have my own transportation so I can follow through 🙂

  3. ““It’s ok to love your body but…”
    Whenever anyone begins a sentence with that chestnut, I just know that I’m going to want to push them in front of a bus. Or more likely a tractor, since I live out in the middle of nowhere.

    1. Mmkay–switching to my Facebook account since WordPress won’t let me reply to my own comment with my WordPress account.
      Furthermore, the idea of “loving my body” is such a foreign concept to me that you might as well be telling me to go dance on Jupiter. I can’t imagine loving my body. It’s a fight for me to even be neutral towards my body. I have to fight all the negative messages about my body several times a day every day and probably will for the rest of my life. Forget “loving” my body. I would be happy to be able to just ACCEPT my damn body and move on. But jerks who begin sentences with “it’s okay to love your body, but…” do their level best every day to make sure that I will never even be allowed to just accept mine.

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