The politics of fat

Some of you will no doubt recognise moments from this story.

In a book I was reading, the author told a true story of being best man at a wedding and embarrassing the line up by asking a large lady he didn’t know, when the baby was due. She replied she wasn’t pregnant.

But instead of huge embarrassment, why couldn’t he have simply asked, “How can you tell?” Or she simply reply, “I’m not pregnant, I’m just fat.”

I’m sure I’ve read of one fat woman who went to the toilet and came back out with a new born baby – her own! Apparently she had no idea she was pregnant.

Amusing stories aside, an intriguing serious issue is at the heart of this. What is it with the fat condition? It’s like the elephant in the room story (that’s either a brilliant analogy, unfortunate or both); everyone knows the woman is fat but they have to studiously ignore the fact at all costs. What is going on?

Presumably, If you have a guest who is in a wheelchair, you don’t pretend that they can walk and expect them to use the stairs. If they have to use a ramp why isn’t everyone excruciatingly embarrassed about asking them if they need any help? Maybe some people are.

Equally, if it is known a guest has a drink problem, you avoid giving them alcoholic drinks and might even ask them not to have any (if you invite them at all).

So why is it politically incorrect to say to say to a fat person in a fast food establishment “don’t you think you’ve had enough?” What is the correct term for a fat person anyway – clinically obese? Is the word ‘fat’ pejorative now?

Is it not their problem that they are fat? Is it the fault of the fast food companies or the media for making them want this junk? How many people can really have a medical condition that makes them fat?

It’s not even that they are victimised, in some parts of the first world, the obese heavily outweigh the not so obese (hardly anyone in the first world today is the weight they should be, and yes, I confess to being several pounds over my ideal weight).

There is something taboo about discussing obesity. It opens up a whole barrel of worms. Is it wrong to be fat? If we all agree it is okay to be whatever shape, size, weight, look, you want to be in today’s society then why was this author embarrassed about making a perfectly understandable assumption?

Are we embarrassed because it is not okay to be fat? Is fat a moral issue? We are constantly shown images in the media of the starving poor in the third world – should we be ashamed to have so much when they have so little?

Only now are people waking up to the causal issues. Obesity is a terrible indictment of our modern society, it shows everything about it is going wrong, from globalisation to television viewing habits.

People get fat for a reason. It is not a lifestyle choice. Every fat person would rather be thin. Fat people eat because there is nothing more interesting going on in their lives than food. Multinationals and governments prefer this, they like passive people.

Next time you eat a burger, remember it’s not just ‘food’, it’s an anaesthetic injection dispensed by your power hungry overlords.

One Response to “The politics of fat”

  1. [...] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptSome of you will no doubt recognise moments from this story. In a book I was reading, the author told a true story of being best man at a wedding and embarrassing the line up by asking a large lady he didn’t know, when the baby was due. … [...]

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