Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Fat Kids

I tense up when listening to recent discussions on bullying. The focus right now is on the suicides of Gay teens who have been bullied. I am sad and angry when I hear about anyone being bullied. But there's a part of me that wonders why there's no national out cry when fat kids commit suicide. If there is discussion about it the focus rabidly shifts to weight loss.
There have always been and continue to be people who think being Gay is a choice. My personal view is that sexuality is a spectrum. People may be on one end of the spectrum but most of us are at some point along the middle and it's not a fixed point. We all make choices. So? Pushing toward the idea that being gay is biological is a way of pathologizing choice. When a person who has been in a straight relationship begins a Gay relationship the narrative is about them finally realizing the truth. Why do we need these strict definitions? Why do we squelch variance?
I firmly believe the fat revolution is constantly subverted by the believe that all fat people can be thin if they would only eat less and exercise more. How much less? How much more? It varies. And what if someone prefers to eat what they want and move when they want and as result they are fat? Again we prefer to simplify. Being fat is biological. Everything we are is biological. But we also make choices.
My personal experience is that I can lose weight but I can never get to thin. I never made a choice to be fat but I have made the choice to not eat or exercise with the intent to be thin. I eat for nourishment and pleasure. I exercise because it feels good. And I'm fat. It begins in biology and continues with choice.
Yesterday when I was going through the blog roll I opened a formally fat revolution blog and read that the woman was going to have the surgery. For a few minutes I searched to find how she got to that choice but ultimately I deleted the link. Hope that works out. The evidence suggests that it won't but ... it's her body and her choice.
I watch the faces of people who are so sad about the bullied kids and some part of me is angry because I believe those same people will encourage fat kids to lose weight. They won't support the bully but they will make the solution be to change the fat kid.
I'm glad there is a narrative in which Gay youth are encouraged to accept themselves. I just wish it would include the fat kids.

4 comments:

april said...

It does seem like we believe people DESERVE to be bullied for being fat. I read an article on a news site about "no fat talk week", and all of the comments left by readers were to the effect of "but fat people NEED TO BE TOLD CONSTANTLY; it's a health risk & they're BAD!"

I take some consolation that such comments are probably a lot like what many people would've said - and some still do say - about queer folk ("that's what they get for being all publicly gay"). We can get to a point where people don't believe tormenting fat kids is good for their health, just as we've gotten to a point where at least well-intentioned liberals think it's terrible to taunt gay kids.

Tish said...

April - SF is such a bubble. When you live here the gay haters seems so fringe. But when I was trying to raise consciousness about the problems when targeting fat kids with health campaigns it was like banging into a wall. I hope we will get past it.

Anonymous - Blogger does the coding and I don't have the skills to fix anything. Is it just my blog or is it other Blogger blogs?

Fat Bastard said...

Fat people can all be thin if they would eat less. The fat girls of the old fat acceptance have mad fat acceptance a farce by claiming the laws of physics don't apply to us fatlings.

I a fat because like every other fatling I am a GLUTTON. I am proud of my gluttony.

Tish said...

Ummmm...well. I might agree that all fat people can be thinner but not thin. I don't really want to argue about it because I'm perfectly OK with people believing they are fat because they eat too much. I tried to say that when I wrote: And what if someone prefers to eat what they want and move when they want and as result they are fat? I was trying to say ...so what? I could have more clear, I suppose. I'm not interested in fat acceptance. I'm interested in a radical articulation of size as a natural function of diversity.