I get where the fat acceptance movement gets it’s motivation from. It annoys me, particularly as a former fat guy, but I get it. There are people who want to treat those who are overweight as subhuman filth. They’re mean, cruel people.
But the problem is that fat acceptance isn’t really the answer to this issue. Instead, it’s going to take us places that we, as a society, shouldn’t want to go.
I remember watching that at the time and thinking how that would never happen, that someone would see some sense.
These days, I’m not so sure.
Wall-E is our future
While the fat acceptance movement may have started out as a good and noble thing–in other words, simply demanding that overweight people be treated decently–it’s turned into something differently.
It’s no longer about treating overweight people decently, but about demanding to be viewed as healthy. They even attack their own who decide to lose weight.
What this tells us is that it’s not just about being treated decently, but about promoting obesity as a lifestyle choice, one that cannot be criticized due to social justice reasons.
More importantly, though, they attack anyone who points out that yes, being thin is generally better for your health. They ignore scientific reality on how obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
In time, I expect to start seeing the claim that it’s somehow superior to be overweight. They’ll demand not just protection against discrimination–which is funny since overweight and obese people make up the majority in the United States–but start discriminating themselves.
The culture will shift and we’ll be expected to see obesity as desirable and fit, trim physiques as disgusting.
In short, we’re becoming the people from Wall-E.
Can it be stopped?
Yes, it can.
The problem is, I have no idea how. None.
After all, my normal suggestion is to just be an example and not be a judgemental jerk. The problem is,
So how can you help someone you give a damn about and talk to them when you run the risk of being labeled as fatphobic (a ridiculous term, in my opinion)?
“But that’s not what the woman in the article said happened,” someone might say, but I’ll also point out that those are anecdotes from a biased point of view. No one asked the doctors’ side of the story.
The truth is, if doctors can’t point out weight loss as a medically necessary step–and excess fat makes some medical diagnosis more difficult–then how can you talk to a loved one at all.
And sometimes, you need to.
We are now living in a society where the fat acceptance movement can say whatever they want and counter any criticism as bigotry. Worse, people let them!
Fat acceptance and the Barbarian Way
The Barbarian way is to let people live their own lives, and I stand by that. It’s also to not give intentional offense without cause. In other words, you don’t say things just to get a rise out of people. If you intentionally insult someone, it’s for a reason.
After all, the Barbarian way is to assume such instances will result in violence (even if they’re probably not going to).
It’s also to apologize if
Through my own journey, I’ve found it’s difficult to not become an evangelist. It’s tempting to scream at the top of my voice about all the ways I feel and look better.
Live. Be strong. Be healthy. Go and live your life to the fullest, doing all kinds of things that unhealthy people simply can’t.
They claim you can be healthy at any size? Great. Invite your fat acceptance friend to backpack the Grand Canyon or to do some white water rafting. Ask them to be part of your world, one filled with excitement and adventure.
They will, of course, decline. They’ll claim they’re not interested in that sort of thing.
Then ask what they do like to do. When they answer with the sedentary activities, that’s your way in. You can point out that if they can be healthy at any size, then why aren’t they doing anything to be healthy?
Call them on their BS, but do so in a way that reflects a genuine desire to understand what they’re thinking. I suspect that a few will start to change their minds and start moving more. They’ll get tired quickly, and you can point out that clearly they weren’t all that healthy.
Then offer to help them. Offer advice–not about food, not to start with, but about other things like exercise. In time, many of those will start wanting to lose weight, too, and that’s the in.
Of course, that’s just one former fat boy’s opinion. I didn’t need prompting to lose weight, so I have no idea just why we’d need to encourage people to do so. Then again, I’d been obese for years, so what do I know?