Fat News!

[Content Note: This post contains discussion of news items that include fat hatred and/or body policing.]

There's so much Fat News today, I can hardly stand it! (No, really. I can't stand it. Barf. Barf cake all over everything.)

First! Shaker Elky forwarded this item about a New York-based gym chain, New York Sports Club, taking out an ad in the New York Times, ostensibly addressed to Paula Deen, reading: "Paula, you made a fortune off of fat. Call us if you want to be around to enjoy it."

You know, one of the main criticisms of Paula Deen has been that she did not disclose her diabetes diagnosis immediately upon receiving it, and I will just reiterate, once again, that it might be worth considering whether Deen didn't disclose having diabetes because fat people who disclose "fat diseases" are viciously mocked.

And it doesn't matter if you're a "fat pusher," as Deen is erroneously accused of being, if you're a diet- and surgery-proponent, if you're a Health at Every Size advocate, and/or if you're a person who fervently believes that being fat is nobody's business but one's own: No matter what position you take on fatness, if you are yourself fat, your position will be exploited in some way to make hay about the fact that you're gonna die because of your fatty-fattitude.

Paula Deen had to know as well as anyone, and better than most, this would be coming whenever she did disclose her diabetes.

So the next time you hear someone snort derisively about how she only made public her illness after making a business deal that ethically required its disclosure, point them in the direction of that ugly-ass ad and say, "If I had to navigate that sort of shit, I'd wait until I was getting paid to do it, too."

Second! Shaker George sent along this article underlining the manifest absurdity of the labeling of children as "obese" according to arbitrary standards that don't properly account for the unpredictability and individuality of childhood growth spurts and fail utterly to account for natural variation across a population.
Four-year-old Logan Knowles's mother was stunned when she received a letter from the NHS saying he was 'clinically obese'. The letter warned that the little boy was so 'overweight' he was at risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

At 2st 12lb, Logan is three pounds outside the recommended weight range for his age, which is between 2st 1lb and 2st 9lb.

Logan's mother Stefanie Mrozowski, 29, said she was 'furious' he had been labelled obese... The stay-at-home mother, who also has two daughters Taiyla, 11, and Sydanie, ten, said labelling children obese while they were still growing was 'dangerous' and could lead to them developing eating disorders.

"Kids these days have enough pressure to be the right size from magazines and TV," Miss Mrozowski said. "They don't need it at school as well. After she was weighed, my eldest daughter came home saying, 'Mum, I'm the thinnest in my class.' I was furious. She is 11 years old. I don't want my kids coming home talking about how much they weigh, or thinking it's some kind of competition."
Right on.

Shades of the Georgia campaign targeting fat kids. Which brings me to...

Third! Some good news: Shaker Beth_in_Mpls emailed: "Marilyn Wann has created a Tumblr site 'Stand4Kids' and a poster template for personal photos and accompanying messages responding to the terrible Georgia campaign that shames fat kids. ... People who want to participate can send their photo and their message 'I Stand for...' to marilyn[at]fatso[dot]com."

Fourth! I wish I could end on an up-note, but I guess that just wouldn't be realistic, anyway, now would it? Shaker Heidi forwarded this piece in which a columnist for a local paper defends his fat joke about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with a charming column delightfully headlined "Fat Guy Deserved Potshot." Oh, well, as long as he DESERVED it!

My favorite part of the piece has to be the closing shot:
Compared to the temporary gratification of tossing down a pack of Twinkies, cutting your risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer seems like the ultimate no-brainer.
Seriously, I cannot even begin to say how tired I am of people being SO GODDAMNED SURE they know what fat people eat, as if every fat person in the world is fat for exactly the same reason.

The best parts about this argument, by the way, are:

1. Lots of behaviors reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer (including being slightly fat! but only in the right way!), and there are vanishingly few people who are engaging in all of them at all times. Singling out fatties is straight-up lookism. Your failure to be perfect is more of a problem because you're GROSS! It's also a way of futilely pretending we've got more control over preventing disease through diet than we probably really do.

2. If a fat person really can't prioritize hir health (and, no, possibly "reducing your risk" of things that some fat people get doesn't count) over "tossing down a pack of Twinkies," that is very likely evidence of disordered eating, making what this jackass is saying akin to saying to someone who is experiencing life-threatening medical complications because of anorexia, "Putting a sandwich in your face is the ultimate no-brainer!"

Which maybe this guy is insensitive enough to say in his column. But somehow I doubt it.

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