Fat shamed?

A comedian I listen to a lot, I like her work and she sounds lovely, just sounded off on Twitter.  She’s a larger lady and apparently a cosmetic company and a cancer research charity have been “fat shaming” this week.  It seems their crimes were to publicly point out that

a: 2/3rds of the UK adult population is overweight or obese.

b: 70% of deaths have some lifestyle aspect or preventable cause about them (obviously 100% of people die but eg smoking would contribute somewhat towards an earlier death)

c: obesity is the 2nd most prevalent preventable cause of cancer there is (after smoking).

She was NOT happy. And made this known in quite florid language.

So is this “fat shaming”?

Seems not to me.  But I’m only in the “overweight” category, maybe I’m not the target audience for the “fat acceptance” movement (yes there is one).

Nothing these orgs wrote is untrue; and it doesn’t seem that how they said it was in any way accusatory (it was basically in the tone of the words I wrote above).  You could argue that Cancer Research UK’s job is to get more people to avoid cancer and information is part of the mechanism.  I was vaguely aware that weight was a risk factor for cancer but I had it much more as an issue for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  So it’s done its job of informing me that it’s a big cancer risk.  Is it “shaming” me?  No.

Is telling women to have their kids younger so they avoid a drop in fertility and an increase in Down’s risk once they’re in their 40’s ageism or sexism?  I’d say not – it’s just medicine isn’t it?  Likewise encouraging people to stop smoking isn’t “smoking shaming”.  Yes older women can have healthy babies, yes smokers can live full and sickness-free lives and fat folk do live to a ripe old age and not get diabetes or heart disease but the tendency is that certain conditions bring about certain risks.

Is the “fat acceptance” idea simply that the world should simply avoid pointing out stuff to everyone on the basis that fat people might get upset?  That’s the only thing I can see here.  Surely this just means that there’s shame already there just under the surface.  There must be at least some awareness that, on average, obesity isn’t a healthy life choice.  (And yes I do know how hard it is to lose weight and that mental health issues and certain physical issues also contribute.)  But whatever we should risk some people not getting information that could be helpful to them on the basis that some other people might get upset by hearing that information?

Living a certain way because you either have to or want to is fine.  No shame for doing so but to deny the reality of the consequences of that is ridiculous to me.

But then, I’ve never lived with people pointing and whispering or shouting “oi fatty” at me.

Leave a Comment

This blog is protected by Dave\'s Spam Karma 2: 36253 Spams eaten and counting...