Body-shaming overweight and so-called ‘obese’ people is arguably the last acceptable prejudice. Whilst many in society have thankfully (if belatedly) shunned their previous racist, sexist and homophobic outlooks, these same people apparently believe it is perfectly fine to abuse and discriminate against the horizontally-gifted. Instead of understanding, accepting and celebrating fat people for who they are, too many people are quick to judge the obese lifestyle as ‘unhealthy’ or ‘undesirable’, failing to recognise that fatness is a social justice issue.
Since 1969, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) has worked hard to improve the rights and “the quality of life for fat people…[and end] discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through advocacy, public education, and support.”
NAAFA takes to task the ignorant view, held by many, that fat people are largely (no pun intended) responsible for their own fate; according to this flawed insight, laziness, poor behaviours, lack of self-discipline and willpower, terrible dietary choices, failure to exercise etc. are the cause of obesity. Wrong!
NAAFA wishes to educate society that fat people are not to blame for their body shapes: “Our thin-obsessed society firmly believes that fat people are at fault for their size and it is politically correct to stigmatize and ridicule them. Fat discrimination is one of the last publicly accepted discriminatory practices. Fat people have rights and they need to be upheld!” Quite.
Take a walk around your local neighborhood and it is all to easy to see how fat people are discriminated against and stigmatised, sometimes by just the smallest of micro-aggressions:
- Coffee joints routinely extol the virtues of a ‘skinny latte’ (what’s exactly is wrong with an overweight latté, barista?)
- Food is much more expensive when you have a prodigious appetite. One Subways sandwich might suffice for a slim person, but someone with greater food needs would have to buy several. We believe it should be mandatory for all food outlets to offer an ‘eat all you want buffet’ option so that each individual can consume according to xer needs
- Many items of furniture and equipment are simply not built to withstand the additional loading capacities needed to accommodate fat people. How distressing must it be for a large person when a flimsy chair made of oak collapses when sat on, as intended?
- Shop doorways are often too narrow, meaning that fat people are shamed into entering the stores sideways and can sometimes get painfully stuck at half-way point
We leave the last word to NAAFA:
We Come in All Sizes…