The biggest arguments I hear from people against Fat Acceptance is typically something about the following:
- “Being fat is unhealthy! It’s been proven!”
- “You’re going to get diabetes!”
- “You might be healthy now but what happens when it catches up with you?” (aka a Vague Future Health Threat)
And so on and so forth.
Now I’ve gone over in my sticky post how most of the so-called ‘facts’ about obesity are biased, incorrect, or blown completely out of proportion. And I stand by all of that. Weight simply doesn’t determine your health. Full stop. Fat people can be healthy, just as thin people can be unhealthy. This is one of the main points I would like people who read my blog to take away from it.
Within the fat community itself, whilst combatting fat-shaming and bashing in stereotypes, I’ve come to realize that Fat Activism has its very own ‘good fatty/bad fatty dichotomy’ (read an excellent post about this by Tasha Fierce.)
When combatting fat hate, I tend to see the same arguments over and over from fat people.
- “I eat healthy and go to the gym!”
- “I’m vegetarian!”
- “I follow Health At Every Size!”
- “My blood pressure/cholesterol/glucose is totally normal!”
- “I have Hypothyroidism/Cushing’s/a low metabolism/etc.”
I understand that these people are trying to prove that fat doesn’t equate to unhealthy, but in doing that, a perhaps unintended consequence is that it causes a huge rift within the Fat Acceptance movement itself.
There are fat people who don’t work out, who don’t want to work out. Who live off junk food and being sedentary. There are fat people with diabetes and heart disease. There are fat people in the feeder community who enjoy eating unhealthy foods and enjoy gaining weight. There are fat people who simply don’t have access to healthier foods or the ability to be as physically active as they’d like to. There are unhealthy fat people.
What about them? Since they are so-called ‘bad’ fatties are they somehow less worthy of respect?
I’ve had friends of mine who’ve felt like their voices didn’t matter, who’ve flat out refused to speak up, because they assume that since they’re not healthy or virtuous, they do nothing but exacerbate stereotypes about fat. And this kind of mindset is so detrimental to the community at large.
When I represent Fat Acceptance, I represent it for ALL people. Skinny people, fat people, disabled people, healthy people, unhealthy people, an entire spectrum.
Your personal health does not invalidate the movement. The very CRUX of Fat Acceptance is the mindset that ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES, is the mindset that everyone deserves respect, not to be judged, not to be lambasted for their choices.
Health is absolutely important but it’s not a high priority for many people and that is okay. At the end of the day your body the only thing that’s 100% yours. You can do what you want with it. We all end up the same way, some of us sooner than others, but dead is dead. You have, above all, the right to use your body as you see fit. To some people, keeping in excellent shape and only eating certain things makes them feel good. To other people, not working up a sweat, and eating anything with sugar or carbs makes them feel good. To still other people, it’s a combination, or something different. You may not be able to understand why someone else makes the choices with their body that they do, but that’s okay, because you don’t have to understand. It’s not your body. You don’t have to understand, but you do have to accept.
You do not owe health to anyone. You don’t even need to bring it up. Health is private.
Being a so-called ‘healthy’ fatty does not give you any leverage over a fat person who’s not healthy. And it’s important that people realize this.
To everyone who’s scared to speak out in support of Fat Acceptance because of their own personal health: please don’t be scared. We need you. Your voices are so important, let them be heard.