Are You a Good Fatty?

Fat girl bikiniThis is a mindset that I have struggled with and one I’m working very hard to correct. Why? Because the Good Fatty is bullshit, that’s why.

Here’s how it works.

People make generalizations about fat people. They’re lazy. They eat like garbage. They’re unhealthy. You know, the same song and dance folks have been performing since before Jane Fonda made jazzercise a thing.

Immediately, my reaction is, “Not all fatties! I’m not lazy. I exercise. I do yoga. I belly dance. I count my steps. I lift weights. And I eat healthy! I rarely eat fast food. I eat vegetarian meals several times a week. I don’t eat a lot of processed food. And my health has been more affected by not having regular access to affordable healthcare than by my weight.”

Now, all of those things are true and generalizations are garbage. But, the fact that I feel the urge to defend my honor and separate myself from those other, “bad” fatties is bullshit. I shouldn’t feel that way. I shouldn’t actually have to do that at all.

Why?

Because there are thin people whose only exercise is walking out to their car so they can drive to a fast food joint. There are thin people whose diets consist of not much more than Starbucks and cigarettes and cupcakes. No “good” thin person has ever felt the need to distance themselves from those “bad” thin people by saying, “I’m not like them! I run twenty miles a week and take a spin class and do hot yoga. I eat gluten-free vegan. I’ve never drank or smoked and I haven’t set foot inside a Starbucks in my life!”

No, no thin person, good or bad, feels the need to defend their life choices because they are, by default, “healthy” just because they’re thin. Regardless of their choices, they’re treated with basic human respect. They don’t have to worry about anyone judging their choice of fries over salad. They don’t feel the need to remind everyone that they walked their five miles yesterday and today is just an off day. They don’t feel the need to say, “But I’m not like them.” They know it doesn’t matter. They will still get that basic human respect.

That simple respect isn’t extended to all fatties, just the “good” ones and only if they prove that they really are “good”.

So, riddle me this, Batman, why is that?

Why is some lazy, Whopper-eating thin person treated with more respect than a fat person who does the same thing? Why is perceived health the basis for simple respect? Why does a fat person not deserve respect because they’re not “healthy”?

Who the fuck came up with that rule?

Here’s the real skinny, Minnie, until proven otherwise, we all are entitled to basic human respect. All of us. Even the “bad” fatties.

I’m not going to draw that line between me and the “bad” fatties anymore. I’m going to work really hard not to do it. If I don’t draw that line between me and the smokers and the drinkers and the “bad” thin people, then there’s no need for that line to exist between me and other fatties. Their health choices are theirs, such as mine are mine. End of.

The respect thing, though, that’s non-negotiable.

Regardless of my weight, regardless of what I eat, regardless of how much I move, I refuse to accept anything less than simple respect.

I insist upon that.

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4 thoughts on “Are You a Good Fatty?

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! And also something I’ve witnessed happen to my sister that I feel like fits in here. She is skinny, and I’ve seen her try to justify/defend her natural “skinniness” by eating unhealthy and bad-for-you foods at times. Explaining that she doesn’t do crazy workouts or she just went on a walk because the weather was nice, but it is not something she always does, or she just ate carrots because they sounded good not because they are good for you, etc. Just so people don’t think she’s obsessed with having a perfect body or being super healthy or uptight. It’s ridiculous! Both sides of the equation! I agree with this post so much. Respect all and quit having people defend their body type.
    *steps off of soapbox* Thank you.

    • You bring up an interesting flip side, Hannah. In a society that is currently obsessed with talking about Crossfit and posting how many miles they run/walk on every social media platform available and bragging about being gluten-free or vegan or paleo, it’s easy to forget that some people are naturally thin and don’t have to work for it, that some folks make healthy choices because that’s what they like, not because they’re on some special regime. Though I don’t think that the stigma of being “health obsessed” or “fitness obsessed” is as bad as the stigma of being fat (my opinion based on personal experience), I do agree that it is definitely equal parts bullshit. No one should have to justify their existence in the body they currently occupy.

      • I can see how you would feel that the stigma of being overweight is worse. I think what I’m trying to say is that there is no good thing coming from being assigned a label based on body type/size. It all involves hurtfulness and shaming of the person being labeled. And it leaves the person who is labeled doing their best to distance themselves from the negative things associated with that label. And if a person wants to put a label on you (negative connotations and all) than you really don’t need to justify/explain yourself to them because they simply aren’t worth it. I think that’s why I’m happy to see this post. I appreciate you speaking your mind.

        You have my respect as always.

        P.S. I saw this today and I liked it. Just thought I would share. https://www.facebook.com/TheCurvyFashionista/photos/a.394056287954.172641.74793562954/10153206152182955/?type=3

      • Oh, I absolutely agree with you that any body shaming is harmful regardless of the size and shape of the person. Telling someone skinny to eat a burger is just as much bullshit as telling a fat person to eat a vegetable. It all boils down to someone spewing negativity, usually in a vain attempt to make themselves feel better. More a reflection of the spewer than the one being spewed on, for sure. You’re right; those people aren’t worth the oxygen and vocabulary.

        You also have my respect and I appreciate you expressing your thoughts!

        And thanks for that link. I’ve seen that around before and I love it. Never fails to adjust my attitude.

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