Did you know that if you’re fat it’s your own fault? I bet you totally didn’t know. I bet no one ever told you. Not a doctor, not family, not the media, not a friend. Poor you! You’ve been lacking this crucial information for your whole fat life!
(Taste the sarcasm.)
Emma Woolf would like you to know that if you’re fat, you’re irresponsible. Her article is boring and trite and full of examples of people who have overcome irresponsibility and it made me yawn. Which is why I laughed when I saw the xojane response article’s title: It’s Your Own Fault You’re Fat and Other Really Boring Things People Say Because They Care Deeply About Your Health.
Honestly, the article was so boring that the fat shaming didn’t make me all that angry. What pissed me the hell off was the ableist andclassist argument being made. Not every person has control over his or her weight. Not all people have access to cheap, healthy food. I’d think that the author, a recovered anorexic, would address the ableist slant of her article, but nope. (Tyler McCall talks about the recovered anorexic angle.) Not even a token nod. Which makes me look at this article as click-bait, and I suppose that’s why the fat shaming was more boring that anger-inducing to me.
My only real response to Woolf’s thesis, that fat people need to be more responsible about their lifestyles, is “No, they don’t.” I’d also like to ask her if she’s seen the information showing that shaming fat people doesn’t help them. Maybe someone should send her this, this, and this, three nifty articles talking about the Florida State University study showing that fat shaming makes people gain weight. But of course, studies like the FSU one are just enabling fat people, giving us ammunition in our war against personal responsibility, amiright?
My personal brand of fat is due to a lot of things, but yes, I could lose weight if I moved more and ate healthier. However, I owe this to no one. My “irresponsibility” affects no one but me, which makes it my business alone. I have the right to be fat and I have the right to be irresponsible. If you want to lose weight, you have that right. Your body, your responsibility, your choices. Everything else, especially articles like Woolf’s, is just noise.