The ("F")at Word

"Fat is unattractive, it's a fact."  
I read this sentiment (and many variants) in the comments of a music video meant to portray women of all differences, even the fat ones, as beautiful and worthy.
I thought about speaking up, merely to enlighten, on FACT versus OPINION.  But I didn't.  

Apparently, the only reason people become fat is through lack of discipline.  It is a choice, fatphobics claim, to be lazy and large.  It is O.K. to put someone down for his/her size because it's a choice.  
I wanted to tell those jerks how many of us big people would make the CHOICE to be thin, if only to shut up deliberately mean bigots like them.  I couldn't.

These people, I acknowledge, have but a passing glance into anyone else's reality.

So let's talk about reasons... and choice.

1.  Genetics can (and do) play a factor.  I know skinny people who eat three times what I do, despise exercise, and still weigh as much as my leg.  If some people have great genes/metabolism, others can have crappy ones.  Working harder can compensate for difficult genes but, for some, there's barely a chance to break even.

2.  Food addiction is real.  Some people receive more Dopamine than they should from eating, giving them a high akin to drugs.  I understand addictions can be broken but think about this:  If an alcoholic had to drink two beers every day to live, would she be able to stay sober?  There is no "giving up" food.

3.  Medications mess with weight.  Pharmaceutical companies even list weight gain as a potential side effect for some medicines.  If that drug is the only one available to help a person, no amount of vegetarian meals and hiking will reverse it.

4.  There are emotional eaters.  Some get the dopamine rush of food addiction, but many don't.  These people eat to not feel empty or to get through stress.  It often happens for them in spurts and becomes comfort.  Over time, these people can learn how to channel their emotional need to something else IF given the tools and support.

5.  Compulsive eaters seek out food without being hungry, or even really know they're doing it.  They can ingest hundreds more calories a day than the average person and think they're sticking to a diet.  This is a hard pattern to break, but it can be done.

6.  Poor people are way more likely to be overweight.  Why?  Because starchy, processed foods are a hell of a lot cheaper (and more filling) than most healthy foods. A box of Mac' & Cheese is a dollar and can be a meal without anything extra.  What healthy, filling meal can you buy for that price?  When people complain about those on food-stamps buying soda instead of milk or juice I shake my head.  We all know the reason they do!  Budgeting can only help so much, if there isn't enough money... 
 About being lazy (a personal note):

Most people will look at me (see my size and the wheelchair) and make the assumption I'm one of the "lazy tubbies wanting to rest".  They don't know I have Cerebral Palsy.  They don't know I've had so much back and joint pain my whole life, that showering is a torture and crawling to the bathroom is extremely uncomfortable on the best days.  Some days, I lie in bed and scream until my body calms down.  It hurts badly to sit up more than a couple hours at a time.  Someone walking by me on the street will get a nod, a wave, or a smile, not knowing the little agonies I safeguard behind those congenial gestures.  It's my pain, after all, private and undisturbed.  
There are many people like me, tucking away discomfort like shame.  Unsurprisingly, people like me don't exercise.  You can't tell by looking at us how we ache, you'd never know.  Without movement of any kind not absolutely necessary, you can imagine, weight becomes unwieldy.
Of course, fatphobic people will say I'm making excuses.  I suppose I am.
But good excuses, factual even, which is a lot more than I can say for snide, unfounded prejudice.


  1. I often take the time to look at the comments on videos I watch or on articles I read, but so often I come away with little hope for humanity. I doubt most people would say such things in "real life", but they're probably thinking it.

    In my view, commenting is a privilege, not a right.

    1. I believe people are their worst selves online. Anonymity is great for it.
      It's better to have it occur on a computer because I can turn it off, anytime.