Why Fat Acceptance is Wrong
Fat acceptance is wrong, and if you’re fat you’re going to suffer for it. For the last couple of years there’s been a huge push for Fat Acceptance. Fat acceptance, fat liberation, fat activism and fat power are all about removing the stigma associated with being fat and accepting fat people for who they are without bias or discrimination.
Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think anyone who is fat should be discriminated against, shamed, bullied or in any way made to believe they are less than because they are fat. That is also wrong and it should stop. We should all treat everyone with respect, regardless of the size of their body.
But, and it’s a big but, being fat isn’t healthy, and to suggest otherwise is bullshit.
I’m fat and it sucks. There is nothing positive about being fat. Even though you shouldn’t be discriminated against, you are. Even though people shouldn’t judge you based on you weight, you are. Even though you shouldn’t be treated differently in any way because you are fat, you are.
And that’s just the beginning.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve found I care less and less what other people think about me. I used to care. So much that I starved myself to be an acceptable size. And even when I was only eating 900 calories a day and working out regularly, the pounds still returned and so I did what most people do in that situation and I developed an unhealthy eating disorder. I no longer have an eating disorder, at least not in the official sense of the definition. I still think about food (mostly the food I deprive myself from) more than the average sized human but I don’t obsessively work out, purge after eating or refuse to eat. I don’t diet anymore because dieting was making me fatter. I started accepting that this was my lot in life. That I deserved what I had and that happened to be fat.
And what happened when I accepted that I was fat?
I got fatter.
As I got fatter I isolated myself more and more. I have a wonderfully large social media circle online, but in real life, I socialize with one or two people regularly. Because I have gained so much weight in the last few years I have made excuse after excuse for why I can’t spend time with friends I adore.
I am ashamed of being fat.
And that’s ok, because I’m no longer willing to accept that being fat is an option.
Being fat sucks. There are so many things wrong with it that have nothing to do with health. We should all want to lose weight because having a lower BMI is more healthy than a higher one. Period. Sure, there are people who are hundreds of pounds overweight who are perfectly healthy, for now.
I’m one of them. Last summer I had a stress test and had fantastic results. My heart is healthy even though I have extremely high cholesterol and a thyroid disorder. I am relatively healthy for an almost 50 year old.
Except I’m not.
I wake up in the morning and my joints hurt. Getting out of bed takes effort because I know when my feet hit the ground they are going to be in pain. I don’t get winded when I walk up a flight of stairs but taking a shower without getting the shower curtain stuck to my skin is a challenge. Personal hygiene is getting more and more difficult. I hate to admit that, but the simple act of wiping my ass is becoming difficult because my fat is in the way.
I walk 10k steps each day but my strength has diminished because I haven’t found the motivation to go to the gym and work up a sweat. And, I’ll be honest, even though I’ve had a good stress test I still worry that working out could cause a heart attack. So I don’t.
Being fat is scary. Being fat is uncomfortable. Being fat might be appealing to some, but to me I feel really unattractive because clothing designed for fat women is not flattering. You may find an outfit or two that look great head on in the mirror, but I guarantee you that if you look at your profile you’ll start second guessing yourself. Most fat women are not shaped like the mannequins in the windows of Lane Bryant or Torrid. Most women who carry extra weight have it in lumps and bumps that don’t allow the clothing cut for larger women to hang properly. How could they since everyone carries it differently.
Being thinner is more attractive because it’s more symmetrical. Fat isn’t symmetrical.
So what? If fat acceptance isn’t okay what do I suggest we do?
First of all each and everyone one of us should love ourselves. We also shouldn’t worry at all about how someone else chooses to live their life. If you like to be fat then by all means keep it up and don’t for a minute give a crap about what I am writing here. The thing is, most people don’t like being fat. Most people would choose to be thinner if given the option.
The thing is, for many people, being thinner isn’t an option without intervention.
I truly believe that being fat is a symptom of bigger issues. Most people who are fat have suffered some kind of trauma. Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as therapy. By the time most people get to therapy, if they ever do, they’ve developed horrible eating habits and have likely disrupted their metabolism.
Does that mean they can’t get back on track? Of course not, it’s just going to be a lot harder.
We should all strive to be more healthy and we should mind our own business. But to suggest that it’s okay to be hundreds of pounds overweight is foolish and unhealthy.