“Of course eating ‘junk’ and not exercising is bad for health!”
But I didn’t say a single word about dietary or exercise habits. All I said was “it’s not unhealthy to be fat.”
Let’s talk about this, because it happens SO MUCH.
If I asked someone who said this type of thing “Do you think that every single fat person is sedentary and eats only ‘junk food’?” I’m almost sure they would say “NO of course not!”
Somehow in our society, Diet Culture has taught us just enough about fatness to make it seem like the average person isn’t fatphobic.
We know that there are crazy people who yell at fat people on airplanes and throw food out their windows at fat people and take food out of fat people’s shopping carts and call them names. But the average person isn’t like that! So we must not be fatphobic.
The average person knows that “there are different healthy body types.” They know that “weight loss doesn’t equal health in every situation.” They know that “Not every fat person is lazy and doesn’t eat vegetables.” So they consider themselves pretty weight inclusive and progressive.
However, for the average person (speaking from my own past experience as the average person), there are caveats after every one of these statements:
👉“There are different healthy body types…but all of them are under ___Lbs.”
👉“Weight loss doesn’t equal health…If you’re underweight and anorexic. If you’re not already “too skinny” then it does, though generally speaking.”
👉“Not every fat person is lazy and doesn’t eat vegetables… they just must have not done so for most of their life in order to be fat. And if they keep it up, they won’t be anymore.”
All of these caveats are false.
If you hear someone say “Being fat is okay” and you immediately start talking about lifestyle habits as an argument you NEED TO SEE that you are literally saying out loud “I THINK EVERY FAT PERSON IS THAT WAY BECAUSE OF THEIR UNHEALTHY CHOICES, and every fat person is unhealthy.”
You also NEED TO SEE that that is LITERALLY SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO BE FALSE. (Check out my saved story “resources” for info about that.)
People’s bodies are not determined solely on factors like dietary and exercise choices. There are infinite factors that determine someone’s healthy weight, and there are also INFINITE HEALTHY WEIGHTS that someone could be at.
The truth is that it’s hard to realize the internalized weight stigma that we all have. It took me a long time to get to where I am and I’m sure I still have a ways to go. But it’s SO IMPORTANT that we do this, you guys.
A huge percentage of the human population is fat. That’s not a flaw, it’s a fact. And we need to work at not being fatphobic.