One of the reasons most commonly given for refusing to treat fat people with basic human respect, or to represent fat people in the media as happy, or successful at anything other than weight loss, is that fat people aren’t “prioritizing our health” and thus deserve to be treated poorly and denied positive media representation.
For today I’m setting aside the fact that this is both completely untrue and that it even if it was true it would still be extremely messed up, to discuss the almost unbelievable hypocrisy that is committed anytime this argument is made and, specifically, on Super Bowl Sunday, in this annual DWF post.
Today Super Bowl LIV will be played (for those not into sportsball, it’s the annual championship game of the National Football League,which has many serious issues, including with racism.) It has an anticipated audience of over 100 million people. Advertisers paid $5.6Millon for a 30 second spot (up from $5.25M last year.)
The dudes who will play in the game – many of them meeting the (totally bullshit) definition of “obese” – will be putting their short and long term health in jeopardy in the hopes of scoring more points than some other dudes, and winning jewelry.
If we really believe that people who don’t prioritize their health should be treated poorly and denied positive media representation, then I’m pretty confused here:
First is this incredibly long list of injuries.
Or the fact that the rate of bankruptcy means that taxpayers will likely pick up the cost of most of the future healthcare they’ll need.
Football players are given massive media exposure despite the fact that they are clearly not prioritizing their own health.
So if we think that people who don’t “prioritize their health” are poor role models and shouldn’t be represented positively in the media, what is this whole Super Bowl thing about? Where is the insistence that football players aren’t good role models because they aren’t prioritizing their health? Where are the calculations about how expensive football players (from Pop Warner to Pro) will be – not just with sports injuries while they play, but with the fallout from concussions, and the constant pounding their joints take? Where is the WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THEIR KNEES hand-wringing?
Where are the calculations of how much money could be saved if instead of playing football those who participate just walked 30 minutes a day 5 days a week? Where’s the government-sponsored “War on Football Playing”? And all of that despite the fact that body size is complicated and not entirely within our control and we don’t have a single study where more than a tiny fraction of people were able to change their body size, but playing (or not quitting) football is absolutely a choice.
To be clear, people are allowed to play football. My point here is that this whole “It’s because of fat people’s health that we treat them badly” thing is just a crappy justification for size-based discrimination, and it’s long past time to stop using healthism and ableism to justify sizeism, and to end all of them instead.
Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)
Like this blog? Here’s more cool stuff:
New Coaching Program – Walk, Run, or Roll Any Distance, Starting Exactly Where You Are (Registration deadline extended)
Jeanette DePatie and I have created a coaching program for walking, running, or rolling any distance, starting wherever you are now! It includes :
- Our Rock the Road Training Tool that customizes your weekly workouts starting exactly where you are right now, and gives you total flexibility (no more cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all workouts!)
- 6 weekly coaching video calls (you can watch online or just call in on your phone)
- Insights from guest coaches
- A dedicated Facebook group (with no weight loss or diet talk allowed!)
- Access to Jeanette and Ragen via a priority access email address.
Investment: $69 (DancesWithFat members get $20 off, check your member e-mail and member page for the coupon code!)
Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective. This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)
This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)
Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here! (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)
I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .