Fatphobia On The Campaign Trail

ATTHED~1I was watching the South Carolina Democratic Debate and couldn’t help but notice that the moderator decided to bring up the so-called “obesity epidemic,” asking Bloomberg if he was planning to address it as he had in NYC. He backed away from his ridiculous actions in NYC (“what’s good for New York City may not be good for the country” blah blah blah) but then enthusiastically backed the idea of eradicating fat people. Joe Biden jumped right on board.

This is a common theme among politicians in all parties – using fat people to gain political points. It seems to go like this – the politician wants to do something that scores them points and avoids having to spin a possible downside. Since the country is already whipped up into a fat hating frenzy, they just go after fat people with some random untested policy that promises to rid the world of us whether we like it or not. Luckily for them the diet industry has spent years convincing people (including fat people) that we should not be trusted to tell our own stories, so this works out great for them.

As a reminder, Bloomberg was celebrated for supporting a ridiculous law based on beyond shoddy evidence saying that people in restaurants can’t buy sugary drinks more than 16 ounces.  No word on how much ice has to be in the drink and of course people can add as much sugar to their giant coffee or tea as they want, and it doesn’t affect convenience stores so you can go across the street from the restaurant to a 7-11 and buy a quintuple big gulp 2-gallon barrel of  Mountain Dew (and I’m not shaming you if you do it, I’m a writer – I’ve been there).  It apparently doesn’t matter that there is not strong evidence that the ban will do anything for health outcomes of anybody, or do anything other than cause restaurants to pay for an extra cup and straw for people to buy 2 drinks putting more garbage into circulation. But what the hell, he gets to say that he is “doing something about obesity.”   To show how foolproof this is, Mayor  Bloomberg announced the initiative on the same day that he went around celebrating…wait for it… Donut Day. So he spent half the day saying that businesses should be limited in the size of drinks that they can serve because of big bad fatties, and the other half of the day getting photographed eating donuts.  And people still cheer his “hardline stance” on “ob*sity.” Nice spin if you can get it.

As the campaign season goes on, fat people will continue to be reminded that candidates will be cheered for making campaign promises that they will commit tons of time, energy, and money (including our own tax dollars) in an effort to eradicate us from the earth.

Fat people are people, we deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and that includes not being used to score cheap political points. Let’s put an end to hunting season on fat people, and let’s do it now.

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11 thoughts on “Fatphobia On The Campaign Trail

  1. “To show how foolproof this is, Mayor Bloomberg announced the initiative on the same day that he went around celebrating…wait for it… Donut Day. So he spent half the day saying that businesses should be limited in the size of drinks that they can serve because of big bad fatties, and the other half of the day getting photographed eating donuts. And people still cheer his “hardline stance” on “ob*sity.” ”

    Mike, Mike, Mike. If you don’t lick the donuts and then put them back on the shelf before you go on your rant about the evil gluttonous fatties, you’re just not even trying. Go back in the bakery and do it over. RIGHT this time.

    Seriously though, I think the scariest thing about this all is that, yes, these politicians are pandering to the fatphobes in their base… but they also *actually do believe this crap themselves.* They’re saying fat people are a problem to solve because they actually do believe that, they’re saying fat people can’t be trusted with the same civil rights as thin people because they actually do believe that, and they’re saying the world would be a better place if most or none of us existed because they actually do believe that. They don’t see us as potential voters because they don’t see us as *people,* just some horrific hive-minded blob born from the dark alchemy generated when more than sixteen ounces of Coke meets a king-sized bag of Pop Rocks.

    Tell me how I’m supposed to trust someone who doesn’t see me as human to safeguard my basic human rights. I can’t.

    1. “If you don’t lick the donuts and then put them back on the shelf before you go on your rant about the evil gluttonous fatties, you’re just not even trying. Go back in the bakery and do it over.”

      DUDE, I was KIDDING. I didn’t really mean you should something like that.

  2. Seriously. goes right in with the womanhating crap, but he isn’t about eliminating women. Yet. If it was just one ill informed jackass on a stage, I’d be less worried. It is the screaming cheering audiences that gives me the Nuremberg chills. How many people does it take to vote through something well intended (or not so) that ends up doing a great deal of harm…? First they point, then they point and laugh, then they point, laugh and scream, then they start making ‘plans’. Stay awake people. Remember, politically speaking “When you’re not At the table, you’re On the table.” Were all just a few busy bodies away from, “Won’t the world be a better place once….”

    1. “When you’re not At the table, you’re On the table.”

      Oh, I like that quote! And it’s certainly the truth. If they say they want to invite “everyone” to discuss an issue and their definition of “everyone” excludes you, there’s a reason for that, and it’s never a good reason.

      1. I know. I heard that on something political, not sure if it was current or historic, but it fits for so many things. Never a good thing when small groups of people with no real information and a lot of self interest make decisions ‘for everybody else’.

        1. Another frightening angle is how these anti-“obesity” crusaders seem to really believe they’re dishing out “justice” on criminal ne’er-do-wells who “deserve” it. We’re either passively or overtly denied medical care on the premise we get sick “on purpose” and therefore “deserve” to not only stay sick, but suffer the fullest extent of the illness, as punishment. The go-to “treatments” for “obesity” – dieting, purging forms of exercise, and bariatric surgery- stem directly from the stereotype that we engage in gluttony, sloth, and hedonism, and can be most effectively “corrected” with penalties meant to punish those behaviors, penalties of starvation, of overwork, of painful and potentially fatal binding. And, ultimately, because our bodies are so big and visible and this, too, is something we did “on purpose” because “everyone knows” fat people can just be thin people whenever they “choose” to, we “deserve” to have our images and contributions photoshopped out of society, made invisible as punishment for our ostentation.

          I really, REALLY do not want someone who thinks about me like this in a position where they can make laws that affect me.

          1. Profoundly Seriously, Lady Rhapthorne,

            I notice Millennials are a more pro active and political group than mine was (GenX) This is good and bad. They are actively engaged and determined to make “good choices” “do the RIGHT thing” etc. but they are not quite as ‘woke’ as they want to think they are. The underpinnings of extremely active/opinionated people often feature a fair amount of guilt and fear. It is literally like weaponizing morality (like humanity is never guilty of that).

            A lot of “really bad things” started out as “really good ideas”. They start with “doesn’t everyone want, deserve, need to be healthy?” and they end up with Draconian measures against others, (groups of others) “for their own good.” And when they already hate the person they are “trying to help” a bit of corner cutting, knee jerk reacting, assuming and over looking things like, oh I don’t know Civil Rights, privacy and The Constitution tend to go overboard.

            You know what will be “interesting” if CORVirus turns out to be our Spanish Influenza, global pandemic, we will get a very sore thumb nail example of when fear and chaos make decisions. Scared, angry people make the same kinds of decision scared angry self righteous people make, only faster.

            The rate we are moving with legislating fat people (Sorry, People With Fat), behaviors that result in Fat, things that have an assumed causal relationship too fat is sort of slow motion compared to a pandemic. Maybe it is worse, This slow motion questioning/disabling of individual rights and freedoms, on top of the already intense Social Restrictions and Consequences of ‘Choosing to Be Fat’. (Even if you are actually doing all you can NOT to be).

            Separating entire groups of people from basic human rights is never good. Is it worse when they are doing it for your own good? Some how it seems so. You can be executed by the state, but to be executed by the state when the state was wrong in convicting you feels leveling. No one is safe.
            You’re still dead, but it is like you’re dead and they’re laughing.

            It is sooo creepy. I have been IN THE ROOM and listened to a millennial age niece discuss me (fat bodies), with another Millennial like I wasn’t there. The basic discourse was: ‘Look what I have to be worried about, I have ‘People with Fat’ on both sides of my family.”

            I have flaky religious airheads in my family, should I start avoiding them, try to vote them out of existence?

            They know What they are doing. They think they Know Why they do it. We still get treated like non-persons. Persons Not With Humanity?…

            1. “We still get treated like non-persons. Persons Not With Humanity?…”

              -Persons suffering a lack of humanizing thinness.

              -Individuals afflicted with non-normative endomorphism.

              -The woman struggling with a chronic over-extension of both middle fingers.

              …wait, that last one’s just me.

              1. Pahahaha, “over extension of middle fingers…”

                Hmn, I think it is a more use, better usage kind of strain…;)

  3. I was thinking earlier today how we finally live in an age where a lot of people have access to food, so most of the population isn’t constantly starving. And yet – we are punished for abundance. Humans are effed up.

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