Monday, June 10, 2013

The Big Issue Simplified

A lot gets projected onto fat people.  And a lot gets projected onto people when they talk about fat.  So here's the nutshell version of what I was trying to say in my last post:
  1. Be nicer to fat people.  Shaming people is not nice. 
  2. Shaming fat people is also not productive and helpful.  Truly.  Not.  Helpful.
  3. Judge not.  Period.   Really.  Stop judging other people. 
  4. Let go of some of the stereotypes you associate with fatness.  Like many stereotypes, you can find examples where they seem true, but they aren't always true.  Particularly look at your assumptions about willpower and laziness, but there are others you should challenge and let go of, as well.
  5. Fat is complicated, and varied, so avoid assuming that everyone can be fixed by your personal favorite simple solution or that your personal diagnosis or experience fits everyone, whether it is "diet and exercise," "calories in vs. calories out," "emotional eating," "addiction," or "willpower."  Even if you're someone who has struggled with this issue, don't assume that everyone's struggle is like your struggle. And if you haven't struggled with it, don't assume that because you  haven't found it a struggle that it is a simple issue. 
  6. You may think that what needs to change is the other person's fat.  They might need to change, but that's their decision and their business, not yours.  What you need to change is how you treat people, if you're not treating them with kindness and understanding.  In other words, what I said in #1.

2 comments:

NLJ said...

I've been obese ever sinse I worked as a closer at a McDonald's when I was going back to college in the '80's, and I scarfed down lots of left-over chicken nuggets. At my heaviest, in 1998, I needed to lose about 100 pounds. Since then, I've lost, with a couple of ups and downs, about 60, with about 40 yet to go. Side effects I worry about being caused by the fat are my heart, pancreas (read diabetes), and joints, especially knees and hips. I do love to swim, so that helps me lose, but it's hard to take the time to do it. I do worry about the health of others who are overweight like I am.

Cynthia Landrum said...

This isn't a blog about whether or not people should be fat or the physical consequences of fat or how to get rid of fat. It's basically about how we treat people -- the #1 in this post.