Fat Acceptance

Chelsea Fagan, on Thought Catalog:

Going through blogs and websites for fat acceptance, one sees endless pictures of women and men smiling and showing off a body they’ve long been told to hide and be ashamed of. It’s a beautiful thing, and a wonderful way to feel better and more comfortable about yourself, as well. But then there are some pictures — and they’re not incredibly rare — which display people of extreme, morbidly obese size: 400, 500, 600 pounds. This is riding, of course, under the same banner as a young girl in a size-16 prom dress who is active and healthy and wants a safe place to show a picture where she looks beautiful. But the former are people who share this title, who also work for fat acceptance, and are by any and all standards putting themselves in grave medical danger.

Not totally endorsing the article, but I think the main thrust is right: the fat acceptance movement should acknowledge a distinction between healthy and unhealthy bodies. While there perhaps should be less social stigma attached to being extremely overweight, it’s ridiculous to imply that all body sizes are equally preferable. Both extremes are dangerous, and impose significant costs on the person and on the rest of society.


About Joe Colucci

From Michigan, now in Boston via DC and NYC. BA in Economics from NYU. A geek and a nerd, of the type that thinks there's a meaningful difference between the two. Avid fan of good TV, good argument, good beer, good food. I work at the Lown Institute on reforming the health care delivery system, and I blog on anything else that strikes my fancy at wonkinakilt.wordpress.com. Obviously, anything that I post on Twitter or Wordpress is my own rambling, and is not endorsed by any employee, colleague, or acquaintance, past, present, or future. View all posts by Joe Colucci

One response to “Fat Acceptance

  • Katelyn Lemay

    When we see a “normal” body, we don’t make any assumptions about how much they eat, exercise, etc., but when we see a fat body, all of those assumptions are suddenly okay to make. There are some people with “obese” bodies who are, in fact, perfectly healthy in the sense that they eat right and get plenty of exercise. Not all fat people are fat by choice.

    Though Catalog posts like the one you link to, while well-intentioned, are just feeding into fat-phobia. It is true that there are some fat people who became that way by choices they made, but there are equally unhealthy “skinny” or “normal” people out there, too. No one seems to want to target the latter population.

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