Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There will be a debate on Nightline titled: is it OK to be fat? You can watch it here. It took me all day to get through it because of the rage that would well up. I had to keep taking breaks. It was previewed on GMA.
The rage was mostly triggered by one of the woman saying it was not OK. I saw her on CNN the other day and Paul Campos wrote a bit about her in which he linked more info. I can barely control my rage when she speaks. One of her more notable comments was to quote a study that said fat people's brains are smaller.
But the sad truth is that the women speaking for size acceptance didn't totally work for me. They got stronger as the debate went on but there was so much I wished they were saying. I'm sure the pressures of television are intense and I don't know that I could have done any better. Rage makes me stutter.
The debate was badly framed. If someone asked me if it was OK to be fat all I could say would be - it's all right with me. There was more than one question in the actual debate mostly having to do with health. There was full agreement that healthy food choices and exercise are a good thing. The point of departure begins with the assumption that those two things always create weight loss, or weight control. And that they are never employed by fat people.
I get frustrated with these conversations because it seems hard for fat activists to say that being fat might cause health issues. I know that it does. I also know that thin people who crap food and don't exercise have many of the issues being blamed on being fat. And fat people who eat better food and exercise moderately are healthier than those thin people with the crap food and lack of movement. The people who say that being fat can never be healthy remind me of that old saying: when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
The only way I will get good health care is when my doctor is size neutral. I need to be able to walk in to the doctor's office knowing that my weight won't be blamed for everything. I never object when it's mentioned as a part of the things going on with my health. I only object when it's the beginning, middle and end of the discussion.
And I get frustrated when the question of discrimination isn't confronted clearly and with vigor.
I think the show I linked to will be edited for tonight's broadcast. I won't be watching. I need to take a few deep breaths and calm myself.

1 comment:

Monica said...

I wrote a little tidbit the other day when the whole think happened with Kevin Smith and it was in response to a post I read somewhere - don't remember where. But I never posted it. I was going to write a post on it but I didn't. The whole thing infuriates me so very much - I think you know that - but I find it hard to express. I guess I feel that I'm going to be judged talking about it when I'm not fat - especially because the main issue I have with the weight discussion is that people don't seem to have any idea what they're talking about when they go right ahead and say it's not okay to be fat. But shit, I don't have to be fat to feel in my goddamned bones how stupid the whole thing is. And more, I don't think people have the right to butt in like that, and yea, I do feel like it's a dictatorship of sorts. Wanna educate people on the subject? Great. Perfect. My issue is with the totalitarian approach taken, not completely unlike forcing me to buy sunscreen SPF30 because of skin cancer, telling me I have to wear a seatbelt in my car or putting disgusting pictures in my cigarette pack. I happen to know about skin cancer but I want to be able to buy SPF10 sunscreen - my skin, my decision. I don't mind wearing a seatbelt but since it's my own damn life, I'd like to not be forced. And I know how bad smoking is - I put up with ads on TV whenever I turn it on - and I know a lot of people hate it, but you know what? If I work and then I choose to spend my own money - an obscene amount of it because of the taxes I pay to be allowed to commit this crime - I shouldn't have to put up with these pictures in my own damn cigarette pack.

Does that make any sense?