Aah, the holidays. A time full of cakes, cookies, hams, turkey, candy-canes, and some dumb bitches inundating you with justifications for everything they can and can’t eat this season.
“Oh, I can’t have that cookie. I mean, I just had that slice of ham last night and I know I’m still digesting. I think I’ve put on like, two pounds!”
It gets tired really, really fast. At my place of employment I had one of the big wigs bring in a batch of home made butter cookies for me to put at the end of my desk since I sit at the end of my row, allowing anyone who walked by to take their share of them. I got to hear gems like the above all day. Everyone had to give me a reason why they should be allowed to eat a cookie or two. Like they had to justify to me, the guardian of the cookie privilege, why they should be permitted to consume said confection. From “I’m on a diet, but I could have just one!” to “I didn’t have breakfast this morning,” to “I’m pregnant, I’m allowed!”
Why do we have to have excuses to eat food during the holidays? It’s not even just sweets, but any kind of food. Before the holiday season even starts we’re already hearing about all the diets people are going to be going on, their New Years resolutions to lose weight. Cheesus forbid you just enjoy your fucking holiday; no, we have to cram some nice body shaming in there too.
But according to the BBC, we just aren’t fucking doing enough in the shaming department.
So let’s up it by about a million degrees! In addition to throwing the world passive-aggressive curve balls about how everyone should go on a diet and step on that all-important scale, go for the straightforward approach. Just walk up to your friend or relative, put a hand on their shoulder and ready that concerned glance and start in on your prepped speech.
“Look, no one wanted to be the one to tell you this but I thought someone should. We’re worried for you. We’re all really concerned, because– well. Did you know that you’re fat?”
No way! I’m fat? Really? Well by golly, I’m glad you were here to fill me in! All those plus size clothes I buy and constant judgment and shame I get on a daily basis hadn’t really made it sink in yet, but you– clearly you are my savior. My knight in size four armor. What would we poor, stupid fat people do without these helpful assholes?
For fuck’s sake. Let me break this down for you guys who may for some misguided reason think that any part of this article is worth listening to. I’ll move right past the part where this article literally disconnects fat from people by making the image just one of a chubby guy’s midsection. No face required for fat people. We aren’t real people anyway.
Being overweight – particularly around the waist – increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Incorrect. Feel free to read the links I’ve posted right over here if you need a refresher. I do love it when thin dudes tell me how female bodies should look, though. That’s always pretty cool.
But a poll by the groups suggests too many people shy away from the issue.
The survey of more than 2,000 people found 42% of 18 to 24-year-olds would not tell a loved one they should lose weight because of a fear they would hurt the other person’s feelings.
This survey also shows that 48% of 18 to 24-year-olds are ignorant, simple fucks! What the fuck else could you walking up to someone and telling them that they’re fat possibly do besides either inform them of a fact they already know and are very likely already ashamed of as it is? Do you think your bullying is going to make their lives somehow easier? Of course it’s going to hurt their feelings; you’ve just given them something you see as an insult whether they think of it as one or not. You see fat as a problem, so you’ve gone and rubbed it in their pudgy little faces. “Hey, did you know you’re this thing I find disgusting and abhorrent? And by the way, we’re all talking about you and judging you behind your back. In case you didn’t feel completely worthless yet I thought I’d let you know that your paranoia is accurate.”
People are fat for a lot of reasons. Not only are none of them your business, but given you have no idea why this particular relative is, keep your mouth shut. A lot of people are fat, for example, because they have eating disorders. They hate their bodies. They’re revolting and disgusting so they just keep right on eating because they figure no one would ever love and accept them for how they are, so why the hell not? — and congratulations, you just made everything worse! Now they know for a fact that their close friends and loved ones are indeed judging them for their size. If they didn’t feel policed yet, by Cheesus they do now.
Seriously, what could possibly be the point of doing this? Making yourself feel better somehow by patting yourself on the back and going “I helped a fat person today. Their lives will have been better for my efforts?” Or validating their existence somehow for you? “They may be fat, but I’ve talked to them. I know they’re doing something to not be fat, so it’s now acceptable to be seen with them. They may now exist in my presence. So long as I see weight loss progress anyway, because it is absolutely my job to police their body.”
But with families and friends getting together up and down the country over the festive period, the experts believe there is an opportunity that should not be missed.
Oh, experts! This will surely be accurate and wholly scientifically based data with not a single taint of fat-prejudice to it. After all doctors are here to help us get healthy, right? That’s got to be their focus. I mean, this is science. Not politics.
Prof David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “Suggesting to someone that they should consider losing a few pounds may not be a comfortable conversation to have.
“But if someone close to you has a large waistline then as long as you do it sensitively, discussing it with them now could help them avoid critical health risks later down the line and could even save their life.”
You’d think someone with a title like “chair of the National Obesity Forum” would be a pretty good source for this shit. I mean, they’re scientists. Not– oh, wait. You mean these are the guys who coined the Obesity Epidemic? And wrote this book right here where he describes obesity as a preventable disease that exists “despite advances in hygiene, science, and public health,” and is basically just because all us fatties are too fucking lazy to go to the gym? The guy who makes his entire living on the existence of this very “disease” his own organization coined?
Nawww, he’s got no reason to continue to propagate an obvious bias.
But let’s assume he’s not full of shit. Obesity is a terrible disease and it exists solely because all us fuckers are lazy. So his advice is to walk up to us and tell us that by the way, we’re fat and that’s bad. I’m sure the scenario you’re imagining in your head is one where, with glistening eyes, they look up to you as their revered savior. They thank you profusely for your ever-so-helpful advice and, near tears, clasp their hand in yours and thank you for saving their lives.
I mean, it’s a tempting thought. It’s human nature to want to be a hero, to save someone. It makes us feel fan-fucking-tastic, doesn’t it? The knowledge that you have shown someone the light, made someone’s life just a teeny bit better. Unfortunately that motivation can often blind us to the reality of how the person on the other end might feel about our heavy-handed attempts to be their savior. But let me hand you a nice slice of reality:
More than likely? They’ll be completely mortified. You aren’t telling them anything new, you’re just making sure they know that everyone knows. Everyone knows and everyone’s judging you. If their weight is caused by an eating disorder you have most certainly just triggered them. At the very least you’ve just embarrassed them and made them feel like every bite they take has to be justified now. At worst? You’ve just sent them on another ED cycle. Either way you haven’t helped their health; you’ve actually made it worse.
Dr Jean Pierre Despres, scientific director of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk, agreed.
“Start by encouraging someone close to you to make simple lifestyle changes such as becoming more active, making small alterations to their eating habits and replacing sugary drinks with water.”
Believe it or not a lot of us already do this. We have heard that strange myth that drinking water instead of soda is better for us, that exercise is good. We know this! It’s really, really hard not to know this if you live anywhere with a television, radio, or human beings. And guess what? We’re still fat! Amusingly enough at the bottom of that very article is a link that pokes some holes in the knowledge that just working out makes all that fat melt off like magic. Here’s a formula for you: person gets fat. Person is told that they are hideous and should not be seen outside. Person stops going outside. Can you make the huge mental leap required to connect the dots on why fat shaming doesn’t work yet? Unless by “work” you mean “gets those fatties out of my face.” In which case fuck you, I post my photos every Tuesday.
Not to mention that the thought that you can’t be fat and in shape– even an athlete– is complete bullshit anyway.
Newsflash: if you see a fat relative or friends over the holiday all you now know is that they are, in fact, fat. If you take it upon yourself to walk up to them and make them feel like shit under the guise of “saving” them, you are a self-important asshole and I hope you catch on fire. Don’t you dare fucking do it.
The only thing that anyone can diagnose, with any certainty, by looking at a fat person, is their own level of stereotype and prejudice toward fat people.