Comebacks To Shut Down Fatphobia – Part One

_You have such a pretty face_Recently I asked people on social media to give me fatphobic phrases for which they’d like comebacks. And you delivered! So much so, that I’ll be doing this in several parts. Please feel free to add your own responses (and phrases/situations that you’d like me to include in future posts.)

Before I start, let me be clear that these are just some suggestions.  They may not work in every circumstance  – especially considering things like power imbalances and privilege. Finally, I’m sure I’m not the first (or last!) person to think of these, so all the credit to those who are doing this work, especially those who came before me!

You look great. Have you lost weight?

Nope, just my usual fine fat self!

Nope, I’m the same weight. Maybe just you’ve overcome some of your fatphobia? Congratulations!

You have such a pretty face.

Well yeah, but have you seen my ass?

This feels like a backhanded compliment? Surely you’re not suggesting that the rest of me isn’t pretty?

Have you ever thought about dieting?

Yup, I got duped like so many of us have. So glad I finally did the research and left that BS behind.

Not for a long time, thankfully.

If you just lost weight you’d be so stunning.

If you lost your fatphobia, you’d know I already am stunning!

No, if I lost weight I’d just be thinner, I’m stunning either way.

You are killing yourself!

Nope! I’m caring for my body by loving and caring for it, instead of hating and starving it.

You’re killing this conversation. If I want your opinion, I promise you’ll be the first to know.

Wow, you’re fat!

Wow, you’re…observant?

Sure am! Thanks for noticing.

Medical professionals: “What are you doing about your weight.”

What are you doing about the severed limb I came in here for? Let’s focus on my health, please.

I actually have a whole post to help with this one! 

Doctors: “Every fat person who comes into this office is sick!”

Um, it’s a doctor’s office so…what were you expecting?

Dr. Oz taught us this lesson! 

Sorry but you can’t be fat and be healthy.
Health is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, entirely within our control, or anyone else’s businesss unless we ask it to make it their business. Which I’m not doing, by the way, so no need for further conversation about this.
I’m just worried about your health
Let me relieve you of that burden, I’m not interested in your thoughts about my health so you can feel free to focus on other things.
I’m just worried about your ability to understand what is and is not your business.
Don’t you care about your body?
I care for it so much that I no longer engage with bullshit body-shaming like this.
Don’t you care about our friendship? If you can’t respect me and my body, at any size, then it’s time for me to go.
But I lost weight and now I’m healthier/happier/life is better, so your anti-diet-and-intentional-weight-loss beliefs are wrong.
Believe whatever you want, do whatever you want, it’s your body. I expect you to give me, my beliefs, and my body the same respect. And if you’re among the 95% of people who gains all their weight back, know that I think your body is equally wonderful at any size.
That’s it for now, I’m looking forward to reading your comeback ideas in the comments!

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10 thoughts on “Comebacks To Shut Down Fatphobia – Part One

  1. “Just lose weight.”

    You know, you’re right. I might feel better if I threw some unsightly dead weight out of my life. How much do you weigh again?

    “I’ve got some great ideas how you can lose weight!”

    How sad that you’re going to have to keep all those ideas to yourself.

    1. Way on. And What is wrong with these people? There are a lot of jerks in the world but this one, across the board in modern times seems to have the most offenders. The fat fact that gets ’em I think, is that they too could be fat, unlike race, gender, age, sexuality, height. They see us as catchy. Fear of being infected by ‘sick people’ is pretty deep in the psyche. Up there with “race mixing”. AH, don’t do that, it’s bad…. Right. Eat me.

      House we lived in for thirty five years, saw a lot of jack meat neighbors. This guy was hilarious, knew he didn’t like us, me and my mom, very fat, him, skinny guy who called the neighbors “stray” cat baby girl. HIS name is Willow and he lives two houses down doofus.

      Anyhow. I was on the porch (unseen) BBQ ing… He is walking around his yard and says “Eat a salad.” in that hear me/don’t hear me way bullies use to spew on others.

      Oh Dude, we have salad, I also have cake for desert. Go F yourself! No really, just do!

      1. “Eat a salad.”

        It doesn’t matter what comes
        fresh goes better in life
        with salad, fresh and full of life!
        Nothing gets to you
        Stayin’ fresh, stayin’ cool
        with salad, fresh and full of life!
        Fresh goes better
        Salad freshness
        Fresh goes better with salad, fresh and full of life!

        SALAD! The freshmaker!

          1. I apologize. I just really hate that “eat a salad” line. It’s the “go back to the kitchen” of fatphobia. Nobody with a grade-school grasp of weight science actually thinks eating salad makes fat people thin, just like nobody with a grade-school grasp of history thinks women were ever in the kitchen in the manner that phrase implies. It’s just a veiled way to say “I hate you for a petty, irrational reason, and I’m so proud of it I couldn’t stand the thought of you not knowing, but I’m also too much of a coward to bluntly say ‘I hate you,’ so I’m euphemizing it in a way I know you’ll get the intended message but I’ll still have some measure of plausible deniability.” It’s definitely the sort of line that says more about the person saying it than the person they said it do.

            1. Seriously. The way he said it sounded like Duh, in an offhand kind of way. I am pretty sure he did believe we were a salad away from permanent thinness. I wonder if a woman could say it to a man… You know, I think fat has superseded sex on this, a thin woman can be insulting and condemning towards a man these days, not as overtly, there has to be a comedic element involved, but a thin woman has higher social value than a fat man. It didn’t used to be that way. Scary times.

  2. If the offender is male (-identifying), you say….. “Guys with short peckers always fuss about that.”

    1. I know the feeling but My God, Way to get yourself beat up. I tried a come back once when a guy was telling me I was “fat and ugly” 3x and then sung the Jenny Craig jingle at me. (1996) When I said “Thank you for sharing that.” He lost it. “WHAT DID YOU SAY!? I literally worried I was going to have to run out in to traffic to keep from getting beat up.

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