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A slightly different approach to fat acceptance

October 21, 2007

I’m not really any sort of maverick. Nor am I someone who likes to run around different justice movements being contrary just because I think it makes me intellectually superior. (We all know the type.) But while I love most of the current fat acceptance blogs out there, I find myself frustrated at some of issues that get the most focus or the way some people approach fat acceptance. So it occurred to me to get my fat ass in gear and start this blog to put my voice out there.

By way of introduction, I’m Attrice. I’m what the medical profession likes to refer to as ‘morbidly obese.’ I’m recovering from something that skirted that thin line between eating disorder and disordered eating. I’m a vegan. I’m a runner. I love my dogs.

So now that’s out of the way, why did I start this blog?

I’m glad I asked myself that. It’s a good question.

First, let me ask you to come on a journey of the imagination with me. Let’s imagine that science has conclusively proven a link between adipose tissue and ill health. I already hear the objections, just imagine it! Gah. Anyway, in this world we live in, there are negative effects to carrying a lot of fat. However, good diet and exercise can mitigate most of these even though, in this world, they can’t permanently rid people of their fat. In this world, do fat people deserve ridicule? Shoddy medical treatment? Discrimination at work?

Of course not.

What I’m trying to say, albeit not very well is that I’m a little wary of putting all of our fat acceptance berries in one basket (that’s how you get moldy berries.) The science arguments are interesting and certainly, at this point, there’s a lot of information missing, but, for me, saying that fat is not a moral issue means that it isn’t a moral issue regardless of possible affects fat might have on health.

Or to use an analogy that one of my more brilliant friends recently came up with, skin cancer among pale, red-haired people isn’t an issue of morality regardless of their habits wrt sun tanning and use of sun screen.

It’s not that I don’t like science. I love it. And I want a helluva lot more research done on fat. Studies that really really really look at the effect of fat on people’s health. Not the effect of fat when not controlled for class. Not the effect of fat when not controlled for access to medical care. Not the effect of fat without taking the mental health toll being fat in a fat-hating society takes on people.

But.

I don’t want our very true and very necessary criticisms of mainstream science to become quackery or contrarianism. And I want a movement built on fat people’s humanity, not one that relies on our healthy habits or on incomplete science. And, in the end, if it ends up that fat has a negligible effect on health, then that’s certainly good news for me.

Also, a caveat, I have a private journal where I get down with all sorts of topics, if I ever feel like I’ve exhausted my stores of fat acceptance verbosity, then I’ll stop blogging here.

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One Comment
  1. Hope permalink
    December 8, 2007 5:33 am

    I hope you will continue this blog. I think that your comments at Shapely Prose are great and you have an important perspective. One thing that particularly bugs me about the fat acceptance movement is that discussions about difficulties with eating (disordered eating or eating disorders) are not encouraged. I am both fat and have disordered eating. And even though I am pro fat acceptance (for myself and anyone else who is fat), I still have difficulties with food that are very painful and wanting to address these difficulties doesn’t necessarily mean that I believe I can be thin if I solve the problem. Anyway, I’m not articulating this very well, but I will hope you will keep blogging.

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