Monday, May 28, 2012

Open Letter to Fat-Haters

Dear Insecure Assholes,

Some fat people are fat because they eat too much. Others (usually the ones who are so fat that you make fun of them) have genetic make-ups that cause them to balloon in weight because of our modern, sedentary lifestyle.

What we call a genetic disorder was actually an advantage in the not-so-distant past. You see, if food was scarce, then being able to efficiently store as many calories as possible would be a huge bonus. And so would having a huge appetite, especially for sweet and fatty foods. But with today's plentiful food (including foods that are full of empty calories), this is no longer an advantage. So these people end up with more calories coming in than they are expending. Making fun of somebody who is genetically prone to obesity is like making fun of a woman who comes from a long line of ancestors with breast cancer.

Next let's talk about the people who are fat because they eat too much. People eat too much for a variety of reasons. Some people just don't make it a priority to watch their weight. There's nothing wrong with that choice, despite what our society preaches. Being moderately overweight has been shown to be beneficial in a lot of medical outcomes. Others have been sexually abused, and become obese so that they are "unattractive" in a dysfunctional attempt to ward off future abusers. And still others use food as a form of comfort to survive abuse or tough times. (This is what I did when I was going through a tough time.) In other words, at best you are making fun of people who have made a morally neutral choice, but more than likely you're piling further pain upon already-hurting people.

Next let's talk about your misconceptions about fat people. They are not inherently lazy. They do not all shovel doughnuts into their mouths by the dozen at all times. And, just because you see someone eating a Big Mac, for all you know that could be a special treat for the person and not a regular occurence! They often eat balanced diets. They often exercise. They are not dirty and gross. They are just normal people trying to make it through the journey of life.

If you are making fun of fat people, you must be feeling really hurt and insecure yourself. Well, just remember that we all have our ways of accommodating for our insecurities. Some people overeat, and others make fun of other people. Your behavior is no less dysfunctional than theirs.

Oh, and making fun of people because their body deviates from the ideal is so junior-high. Please grow the heck up already!

No love,

1 comment:

Jenny F. Scientist, PhD said...

My word! I hope that whomever inspired this does not cross your path again.

I would also add, sometimes people go through personal or biological changes that change their metabolism and that can make them struggle too! (Pregnancy, small children, chemotherapy, new job, my chubby 7-months-postpartum current self...) And yes. We are, by and large, all doing our best to make it through.