I woke up yesterday looking forward to a relaxing fourth-day-of-a-long-weekend.
And one of the first things I saw on Twitter was an article which panickedly declared that
And I could go through all the same arguments which rapidly lose me Twitter followers: about the fact that classifications about what constitutes “overweight or obese” are almost entirely unscientific, about the fact this research was done by a “global management consulting firm”, about the incredibly influence and resources of the weightloss industry, about the fact that being overweight, obese, or even deathfat does not put you at higher risk of dying, about the fact that fat is incurable.
But that information’s already out there and if people are refusing to look at it, they’re not going to change their minds. So, I present a personal Twitter whinge-fest about how this kind of unscientific scaremongering affects me, personally.
And in the context of all that, some facts: it has been proven that doctors and nurses are biased against fat people. It’s proven that fat people fear medical discrimination so much they’ll avoid getting important checkups. And inflating healthcare costs actually aren’t the fault of fat people.
Maybe, if we’re really worried about the ~costs of obesity~, instead of promoting more diets (and medications, and surgical procedures) that don’t work and more bullying disguised as “get active” programmes, we could get the medical profession to treat fat people with basic dignity, respect, and proper practice. Might cut those costs a little, you think?
One Reply to “The personal impact of fat-hatred”
That was a positive and liberating read thank you Stephanie. I felt particularly uplifted by the link about fat not being a factor for increased risk of death.
I’ve wondered to what extent medical hysteria about fat promotes society’s existing intolerance of fat people. You’ve only got to look at the “Well and Good” section on stuffed.co.nz to see how obsessed the media are with other people’s bodies and how they dress up their hatred as “concern”. There is a daily barrage of fad diet and exercise advice in that section.Here’s one example complete with clichéd stock photo of thin white young woman being active:
How does this affect vulnerable people who already are suffering low self esteem because of the way they are being judged by workmates, family and friends? Surely such anti fat people diatribes may be psychologically damaging for some people.
As for discrimination within the medical profession – I’ve experienced it. The worst situation was when a specialist mentioned to me that the reason I could be struggling to get work was because I was overweight. He suggested I lose weight to improve my chances of getting work. Stunning eh? I replied that I hadn’t experienced discrimination from potential employers because I hadn’t got as far as an interview once I had applied for jobs….that made him more uncomfortable than me. I also mentioned that not being able to walk due to my injuries was kind of a barrier to weight loss.
Geez! Makes you want to lounge around on the couch drinking wine and eating cheese as a metaphorical two fingers up to all the haters!