Comebacks to Shutdown Fatphobia – Part 5

What ABout the _obesity_ epidemicHere’s the latest installment of my series of comebacks to the fatphobic nonsense we have to deal with. If you have a phrase you’d like me to create a comeback for, or if you have a comeback that you love, please leave them in the comments!

Read the first four installments here:

Part One
Part Two

At your weight I don’t care what the lab results are, I will never say you are healthy. – A “doctor” recently.
With that attitude, I don’t care what your degree says, I will never call you a competent doctor.
My mother to my husband – u have to make her go to <diet group she went to> My husband handled it beautifully by telling her it was my choice and nothing to do with her.
Me to my mother: If you want to remain in my life you will respect my decisions about my body and stop trying to convince my husband to treat me with anything less that respect.
When I am out and ask about gluten free items on the menu (I have coeliac) and people say “how is it going, how much have you lost” I generally tell them all about the awful symptoms of coeliac that I have lost! Puts the off their dinner, serves them right for asking.
Well, in addition to the extreme diarrhea and the ability to eat out at a lot of places,  I’ve lost a ton of time having fatphobic conversations like this. Celiac sucks and diet culture just makes it worse.
“But what about skinny shaming!?!?” Any time someone mentions fatphobic things.
Skinny shaming is wrong, but this conversation is about fatphobia and I’d appreciate it if you would not derail it. If you want to talk about skinny shaming, we can have a separate conversation about that.
While I don’t support shaming bodies of any size, I do want to point out that in this culture there is a vast difference betwen the way that thin and fat people are treated. “Fat-shaming” in the way that you are thinking of “skinny shaming” is only part of what fat people face – they are hired less and paid less than thin people, they don’t have the same access to clothes, transportation, social events, or medical care, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our culture oppresses fat people and privileges thin people and the fact that so many conversations about fatphobia gets derailed by thin people who want to make it about them is an example of the probem.
You’re just making excuses!
Nope, I don’t need excuses – there’s nothing wrong with my body or my choices. You’re just putting your nose where it doesn’t belong, now would be a dandy time for you to stop.
Lizzo is only popular because people are trying to justify fat being good!
Lizzo is talented AF and the only reason people say things like that is because they’re  upset that racism and fatphobia didn’t succeed in keeping her out of the spotlight she deserves. *cough* Jillian Michaels *cough*
You can’t have short hair. You need to have long hair to go with your large body
I’m not actually taking applications for someone else to be the boss of my hair so you can keep your thoughts to your own head.
Once you realize that you aren’t obligated to use your hair in some kind of attempt to create an optical illusion to satisfy other people’s fatphobia, you realize that you can wear your hair however you want!
My mother to me, on hearing that my daughter was in hospital after just 5 days on Atkins “tell her I will pay for her to go to <diet group she went to> and give her £XXX for new clothes when she makes her goal weight” I was in the hospital car park at the time, and I think my anger and language scared some people.
First of all, I’m absolutely co-signing anger and language that would scare people as a response to this. Here’s another option just in case it’s helpful:
I will not allow my daughter to have her self-esteem and well-being used to bribe her into diet culture. Your weight loss talk is no longer allowed around my daughter. If you wish to spend time with her and stay in her life, then you need to celebrate her body just as it is.
Are you gay because you’re too fat for men to be attracted to you anymore?
Oh wow. It sounds like you lack the basic critical thinking and logic that would be required to have this conversation with me.
Oh sweetie, everyone doesn’t suffer from fatphobic bigotry like you. I can get a dude anytime that I want one, I just don’t want one…because I’m gay.
My diet worked for me. I just got a stressful manager at work and couldn’t do it anymore.
I used to say stuff like that too. It turns out that almost everyone loses weight short term and almost every gains it back longterm. The diet industry has done a great job of claiming credit for the weight loss and getting us to blame ourselves – or our stressful manager – for the weight regain. I don’t make excuses for that corrupt industry anymore.
Some asshole makes pig noises or cow noises
I have no trouble believing that you have the manners of a barnyard animal, there’s no need to prove it with sound effects.
You see a fat person, then you make animal noises? See, that’s just bad foley work. (Note: this may only work in LA.)
That’s your opinion” or “I don’t agree with you” after I’ve just explained whole bunch of published peer-reviewed research. As if I’ve not been working in this field for more than 30 years.
I understand that research can be confusing – especially when it conflicts with the stereotypes and prejudices that we hold. Look, if you ever want me to explain it to you just let me know. Until then, I’m kind of done wasting my time having these conversations with you.

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6 thoughts on “Comebacks to Shutdown Fatphobia – Part 5

  1. “Bad foley work” 😂😂😂😂😂😂!!! OMG! I love it!

    I just had that “difference of opinion” conversation with a coworker when I said that one can train for a marathon and not lose weight. I gave her the citation and let it drop. She will never look it up, or believe it if she does.

    1. “I gave her the citation and let it drop. She will never look it up, or believe it if she does.”

      “The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” – Isaac Asimov

      And when you factor bigotry into this equation, with its bigot-logic that any ol’ one of Us off the street knows better than the most expert of Them, and that They always have some vague-but-sinister “ulterior motive” for what they say and do, it transforms into “my ignorance is BETTER than your knowledge.”

  2. “Are you gay because you’re too fat for men to be attracted to you anymore?”

    Are you a chauvinist who believes that if a woman isn’t “branch-swinging” around a bunch of rich “Chads,” that can only mean she doesn’t have the “SMV” to be able to, because it’s evolobiogenicologically impossible she could genuinely not want to? Because when you say crap like that, you sound like one.

    ““But what about skinny shaming!?!?” Any time someone mentions fatphobic things.”

    In addition to what Ragen’s already said about skinny-shaming being wrong and harmful but also not a systematic problem the way fat-shaming is, it’s important to note that a great-deal of skinny-shaming actually stems from the hatred and fear of fatness, not thinness. I know how that sounds, but let me give you two very recent examples to show you what I mean: Linda Kelsey’s 2014 editorial about “fat girls” on public transportation and Lizzie Cernik’s 2018 horrific revisionist history of fat acceptance. Both of these letters said stomach-turning things about skinny women, calling them “anorexics” and “skeletons” whose breasts were by turns “beach balls” and “fried eggs.” And both of these letters said those horrific things about skinny women in service of the goal of harming FAT people. You know how they’re saying this is a War on Obesity? Well, wars don’t just have casualties among the enemy combatants. They also have friendly fire, a level of collateral damage viewed as acceptable if it leads to a victory. And to the writers of those letters, to many fatphobes like them, skinny people are acceptable collateral damage if it means they can score a win in the War on Obesity.

    TL;DR Much of the skinny-shaming out there is not the work of a world that hates skinny as much as it hates fat, but the work of a world that’s willing to go through skinny to get to fat if it thinks that’s the safest, quickest, most “optics”-friendly route. Don’t be fooled. This isn’t skinny vs. fat, it’s fatphobia vs. everyone.

  3. “,,,bad Foley work”?? BRILLIANT! That made my day –thank you, Ragen!

    As always, you find the best way to get the point across, no matter the situation.

  4. “You must have lipedema, just look at your thighs” “The only real cure for lipedema is liposuction”

    Well in that case it was my mother and I bothered to look up the website of a self-help group and ticked off, which of the symptoms I had. Spoiler: None.

    Other comebacks:
    “Well thick muscles and generous padding take up space”
    “Want to come to the legpress with me?” – I happen to have done weight training for 14 years.

    To doctors
    “My legs are usually painfree, strong and can move fully. I don’t see how this state can be improved by an operation.”

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