Saturday, February 9, 2013

F-A-T-P-H-O-B-I-A

Fat Phobia: Norms, values, and practices of a culture that devalue fat people and value thin people as the norm.

I’ve had it. I’ve honestly had it. my patience has worn thin. My kind and enlightened words are a little harder to say to individuals who are fat phobic and my mind can’t comprehend their ignorance. Ignorance, after all, in any form is ignorance. With all the phobias and the -isms (Homophobia, racism, sexism, classism, colorism, and all those words/realities), this one surprised me. I‘d known of it, experienced it, but never knew there was a name for it. F-A-T-P-H-O-B-I-A.

I didn’t even know that there were different types of fatphobia (Such as cultural and personal fatphobia). Please read this carefully. Some of you may have even done it but weren’t necessarily aware of it. Personal fatphobia involves shaming. Shaming a person when they eat their foods by saying ignorant ish to a complete stranger like “Are you sure you should be eating that?” If no one asked for your help, don’t volunteer it. You have no idea if the person has tried dieting and exercise, or anything about their heredity. YOU ARE NOT A DOCTOR; your diagnosis is not needed for every fat person. OK. Got that? *pausing for dramatic effect* Thanks. Just think of someone coming up and psychologically attempting to diagnose why you may feel the need to tell a complete stranger more about them than you think they know. Sounds like it might be uncomfortable right, to have your sanity in question and your own self esteem in question? (Thought so, moving right along.) Thus, please refrain from speaking.

Another type of fat phobia is cultural. Such is perpetuated through media images, magazines, etc. It’s not necessary at all to engage in personal fat phobia when the media does it ever so eloquently (Please pick up the sarcasm). Every image, every commercial that harps on weight loss and shows unhappy fat people is more than adequate enough to make a fat person feel fat, there’s no help needed thereafter that. Some of those images are enough to make fragile young minds look for the nearest bridge (again, a reminder why personal phatphobia is unnecessary).

Those are just a couple examples.

Correlation between fatness and ugliness go as far back as childhood. We are inherently taught that to be bigger is to be ugly and villainous. Look at cartoons for instance. Look at characters such as Ursula from the little mermaid. Wicked, masculine looking, big boned, eel creature (you catch my drift yet?). Name one Disney or Pixar movie where a plus sized character is not a villain, is not dressed horribly, or is, dare I say it, LOVED. Don’t worry I’ll wait for the answer... You figure out one, shoot me an e-mail. My point is the disdain for fatness begins early. It continues through adulthood. We are in a culture that profits off of self-hate. You must hate something about yourself in order for it to be perfected in order for companies to make money from your self-hate. Thus, commercials and images will remind you of how fat you are, and how you must hate that. How, when you become skinny, you will have a better job, love life, and stamina. Unfortunately, you’ll have the people who have bought into that bull constantly saying, “I’m fat, I’m fat, I’m fat” (Insert whiney voice here).

The truth of it is that you’re not fat. You’re delusional and need to sit in a corner alone (especially when you’re saying this when you’re a size six or so). So, I’m saying all of this to say be aware of fat phobia. If you’re practicing it and you’re attempting to be enlightened and not some shallow douchebag please pick up a book about it and educate yourself. Your words and your actions have a greater effect on individuals than you’d care to know, and not everyone is as comfortable as they should be in the skin that they’re in. If you’re comfortable in the skin that you’re in, spread that self-love because it’s so much better than spreading self-hate. That is the key to eradicating any form of ignorance.

- Midnightrose

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