QOTD

People really, truly believe that it is not only acceptable, but right to treat fat people with disdain. I’m sad to say that I’ve been inculcated with enough societal garbage that I occasionally hate my own body–but as a thin (white, able-bodied, etc.) person I cannot fathom what it must be like to have others take it upon themselves to hate my body for me. As I’ve said before, if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet.

-The ever-awesome Robin “Miss Conduct” Abrahams, on her blog at Boston.com.

63 thoughts on “QOTD

  1. if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet

    That quote is golden! I like the mind on that woman.

  2. as a thin (white, able-bodied, etc.) person I cannot fathom what it must be like to have others take it upon themselves to hate my body for me.

    Ah, Ms. Conduct, bringing awareness of privilege to the masses. :)

    This is perfect, seriously.

  3. “I’ve noticed that whenever I suggest treating fat people with courtesy, I get criticism for it–even hate mail.”

    Just in case anyone doubts what fat people are subject to. And this is from someone who’s thin!

    I am tickled by this blog entry, and will be reading her from now on.

  4. if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet.

    That is the most awesome quote.

  5. De-lurking to say:

    This made me laugh right out loud. But then, most of your posts here do. And they make me think. A giddy combination. :)

    I recently found Shapely Prose and I’m totally addicted. As someone who has been struggling with body-image issues and been on one diet or another for my entire life (interspersed with a smattering of eating disorders – a sure result of being taught to hate my body if I wasn’t a willowy waif), I thank you for speaking out.

  6. yay! We love Miss Conduct in my house. (always one of the first things we turn to when we get our Sunday Globe, and her blog is great too :)
    And yes, that last sentence totally cracked me up.
    To Miss Conduct: thank you for “getting it”! really. It is so fabulous to have an ally like you.

  7. “As I’ve said before, if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet.”

    Lol, I love that sentence. I’m going to keep that as an inspiration quote.

  8. Lord! I went to her blog to read it and there were pornorific photos on the “Read this blog” bar on the right-hand rail of the Web page.

    Yuck! Not Safe For Work!

  9. So true. I was on a popular forum site recently, and they had just begun selling clothing to promote their site. Someone lodged a complaint that the pajama bottoms came in no larger sizes than a large in juniors, and was met with an overwhelming amount of scorn. The sad thing was, a great majority of the people posting were saying “It’s good that cute clothes don’t fit fat people. If you let them have nice things, they’ll think it’s okay for them to be fat,” and this was held up as perfectly logical and appropriate. It’s just incredibly frustrating to hear over and over again, this refrain: “Bad fatty, bad! No fashion for you!”

  10. I just found this article in The Times (the London Times, that is). I know it’s really country-specific, but I thought the evangelical fervour of it all might amuse you.

  11. That’s right, Wish. Shhh, honey, don’t *encourage* them! Don’t feed the fat people, you’ll just make more of them! Don’t make clothes for them, they’ll think they’re not disgusting! I hate people sometimes.

  12. What a cool blog. Even though we don’t need it, it is nice to have our feelings validated from time to time, isn’t it?

    I wonder if Miss Conduct could offer some advice about what to do when someone you know says something horribly fat-phobic? Should you correct the person, tell them it’s not cool, let it go? I was out with a friend last weekend and he was talking about this guy he used to know (and was not too fond of) and how the guy married “this 400 pound woman.” And he got her pregnant, can you believe it? And friend says, “And everyone asked, well how could she even tell?”

    At the time I just shook my head and refused to laugh, but now I’m stewing. What does Miss Conduct think? Or any of the cool peeps here, for that matter?

  13. Going on my Myspace, next to this quote from Katherine Flegal:

    “Yes, obesity is to blame for all the evils of modern life, except somehow, weirdly, it is not killing people enough,” she said. “In fact that’s why there are all these fat people around. They just won’t die.”

  14. Going along the same vein. Has anyone heard or seen the new subway (the fast food restaurant) commercials. Where the woman asks what comes with her burger extra value meal, and the worker lists off things including like belly fat, saddlebags, stretch marks, low self esteem. And she asks if she can have it without the low self esteem, and the worker tells her that its not possible. The commercial made me angry. I actually like Subway food, but the commercial is basically saying if your fat you don’t like yourself and others will not like you also. Maybe we should send their corporate office pictures of ourselves that say i like myself, fat thighs and all.

  15. I’ve seen that one, moonlight. But I think Subway food is vile anyway – give me a good local Jewish or Italian deli any day of the week, and a *real* sub sandwich. Have that and you can’t eat the bilge from Subway again. Blech. But if I actually ate the stuff, I’d never eat it again with those commercials. Jerks.

  16. “if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet.”

    That quote is so going on my blog :D

  17. what to do when someone you know says something horribly fat-phobic?

    I try to correct them. Like, my (fat) mom was bitching about how this fat woman at the liquor store was wearing a miniskirt and my mom was all offended at having to see her fat thighs. I just said: “Maybe she likes her legs and doesn’t care what you think of them.” She didn’t really have a response to that. In your situation, I probably would have said something like: “Maybe he’s attracted to fat women, some people are.”

  18. Rockin’ Robin!

    I’m going to be laughing for the next week and a half about that last sentence!

    Hands up… who else wishes they’d come up with that line themselves?

  19. She didn’t really have a response to that.

    Awesome. Yeah, I try to gently correct friends if they make a comment about someone’s body, or at least give them a semi-playful “hey! watch the fat hatred over here!” if someone non-fat says something about “fat people” in a conversation. But in this case, it was just really unexpected of my friend to say something so fucked up, and it happened so quickly I’ve been left with nothing to do but brood.

  20. I generally look down my nose and say, “What an unpleasant remark.” The Miss Manners approach. Might not be appropriate for close friends who might object to the look-down-the-nose part, but it works in most situations for obnoxious remarks. And since it’s all-purpose, you don’t need to think of something specific and possibly lose the moment.

  21. Kate, I was actually mistaken for you today while engaged in an argument on the comments section for the ABC article! (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/OnCall/story?id=4173879&page=1)

    I took it as a complement, though what the commenter actually said to me was, “Arashi-san, We know you are that Kate Harding chunky chick. You filter anything you don’t agree with that’s posted, so that it looks like you have a lot of raving fans. It’s sad. Dan Savage should have ignored your fat butt.”

    Sorry for re-posting such a trollish comment, but I just had to let you know that you have now achieved legendary status. We’ll soon be hearing of Kate Harding sightings: “Oh, I totally spotted a Kate Harding comment today on this article about baby-flavored donuts!” “You actually believe in Kate Harding? But she’s just a made-up rallying point for the fatties. People are always trying to get photos of her or find other signs of her existence, but nobody really has any concrete evidence.”

    Yep, a rallying point who only looks like she has lots of raving fans, which is so not true because she is the queen of censoring. *headdesk* Apparently, you’re supposed to allow hate speech in your blog.

  22. [I]f you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet.

    I choked on my baby-flavored doughnut when I read that.

  23. Apparently, you’re supposed to allow hate speech in your blog.

    Yup, otherwise SENSORSHIP.

    I love the implications that a) nobody could possibly agree with Kate, so you must be a sock puppet and b) that Kate not only filters the trolls (who often are sock puppets, and at best just repeat the same tired old points), but completely manufactures all the posts saying “thank goodness I found this blog.”

  24. We’re all Kate?

    Well, then she’s got the answer to the people who think she’s a dilettante. She’s got to be holding down several hundred–if not thousand–jobs!

  25. “Oh, I totally spotted a Kate Harding comment today on this article about baby-flavored donuts!” “You actually believe in Kate Harding? But she’s just a made-up rallying point for the fatties. People are always trying to get photos of her or find other signs of her existence, but nobody really has any concrete evidence.”

    Like the Yeti!

    I hear that Kate Harding can crush a Brazil nut with her toes!

    I saw Kate Harding in an alley once, beating up some muggers! She was wearing black latex.

    People say that when the moon is full, you can hear Kate Harding cacklling at the trolls.

  26. Man, I read the comments in the ABC article mentioned above. Crazy. I also like the impression that once you follow the hater’s myriad prescriptions… *POP* Magic Sexy! There’s no in between. There’s only obese and anorectic. It’s not like the haters give you a two-year grace period to conform to their standards. Even if you do try to lose weight, you’ll get the same lectures, verbal abuse, and scorn at every weight you are between what you started, and wherever you end up killing yourself to fit their standards.

    And somehow, that’s acceptable. You get the same scorn from beginning till end, and then if ‘end’ isn’t acceptable, you get more scorn for giving up.

  27. Rowan, what I keep reminding myself about haters is that there’s really no pleasing them. If everyone was thin, they’d find something else to grouse about. And the guys who complain about fat making women unfuckable? If we actually were what they wanted body-wise, there’d be something else we’d be doing wrong. Like not being submissive enough.

  28. After I went to bed, I thought that “Spartakate” might have a better ring to it. :)

    But wouldn’t it be awesome if suddenly Kate was everywhere? You can run, but you can’t hide!

  29. I wish I had come up with that line, too!

    When people say something about other people’s bodies in casual conversation and look to me for confirmation, I usually just say, “It’s a policy of mine to not judge other people’s bodies”. If it is someone I know and love, they will usually look a little shamefaced and stop. Since I found the fatosphere and have become so much more aware of the constant judgement, I am amazed by the amount of thoughtful, intelligent ACTIVISTS of all things that feel they have the right to comment on anybody else’s body.

    The worst for me is when a Libertarian does it. I just have to laugh at them.

  30. Anyone else feel better and better every day? I love that I can get up, get dressed (in non pinchy clothes), and go out in the world and not have this weight (ha ha) on me. That I have become able to give myself permission to feel lovely, no matter what size I’m currently working. And that someone might not find me lovely at this size doesn’t seem to bother me much, either. I just don’t worry about it.

    What freedom to think wild thoughts, now that I’m not beating myself up every day for not wanting to pay attention to every calorie I put in and every calorie I expend and flog myself in accordance when I fail? Because I always failed, even when I did it “right”.

    Miss Conduct, you rock. And the Shapely Prose team, you knows I loves you. Many thanks, as always.

  31. kristin, I love your statement. It’s short, it’s not confrontational, but it really gets to the point of what the other person is doing.

    javamama, absolutely. Today I’m wearing a cute semi-trendy shirt, cute jeans, and I think I look good, dammit. Two years ago I could never have fathomed feeling this way about myself at this size.

  32. “That I have become able to give myself permission to feel lovely, no matter what size I’m currently working. And that someone might not find me lovely at this size doesn’t seem to bother me much, either. I just don’t worry about it.”

    That’s such a universal statement Javamama. It’s brilliant! I’m wearing pj’s because I’m sick…but still!

  33. I am wearing black leggings and a hot pink velvet mini-skirt. The haters would hella hate me today.

    And I…I would like to steal this ensemble from you :-D

    Seriously…I think I need to go clothes shopping *lol*

    And Robert, I’m sure your PJs are wonderful :)

  34. I am wearing black leggings and a hot pink velvet mini-skirt.

    Is this for your photo shoot??

    Also, I’m not wearing anything special, but yesterday I was wearing sweatpants, pajama pants, a tank top, a sweater, a pajama top, and a coat.

    Okay, not ALL day, just in the evening. Because heating is fucking expensive.

  35. Oh and for the record I’m wearing jeans, a long-sleeve pink shirt, and a black cardigan sweater that has specks of different colored yarn woven inside it. And black converse sneakers.

    Woohoo for casual jobs…though not as casual as yours Kate ;)

  36. Alexandra Erin–this is wicked! I heart soundbites!

    “The whole calories in/calories out thing is stupid. Even car commercials tell you “Your mileage may vary.”, and cars are built to specifications.”

  37. I’m NOT wearing anything black. That right there is a revolution. I agree, fillyjonk, what are you wearing for Friday Fluff!

  38. You know, “what are you wearing” would be such an excellent Friday Fluff.

    Excellent idea! Also, I want Jae’s sweater. My own sweater is a fine-gauge knit in a colour called “port”. It has velvet trim at the neck. J. Jill sales – whoohoo!

  39. ooh, TR, where did you get your black leggings? (or anyone else?) I really want some (cold legs under dresses=sad; tights, esp. nylon ones=evil) and I cannot figure out for the life of me where to find plus size leggings. help, anyone?

  40. if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet.

    Me like. Me put in Favorite Quotes file.

    Anyone else feel better and better every day? I love that I can get up, get dressed (in non pinchy clothes), and go out in the world and not have this weight (ha ha) on me. That I have become able to give myself permission to feel lovely, no matter what size I’m currently working. And that someone might not find me lovely at this size doesn’t seem to bother me much, either. I just don’t worry about it.

    Today I’m wearing a cute semi-trendy shirt, cute jeans, and I think I look good, dammit.

    I’m wearing a pencil skirt! Take that, fat-haters.

    Also, I’m not wearing anything special, but yesterday I was wearing sweatpants, pajama pants, a tank top, a sweater, a pajama top, and a coat.

    I’m wearing the t-shirt I slept in and underpants right now. I <3 being a blogger.

    Is nice. Kind of like when the freight train you’ve been watching someone try to push down the track starts to actually move.

    Wishing I was Kate right now ’cause Kate does good things.

  41. Considering the cumulative awfulness that so many of us have endured all of our lives from parents, relatives, classmates, playground bullies, strangers on the street, random assholes in trucks, random assholes on the Internet and just about anyone on the planet who feels they are entitled to pass judgement on a fellow human being, it’s a fucking miracle we’re not all homicidal maniacs.

  42. I absolutely love that quote, it’s one of my new favorites.

    The other day when I was getting dressed, I decided that my waist/hips is one of my favorite parts of my body; I like how it curves in and out. :)

    And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who wishes they were Kate. I have her listed as one of my heroes on my Myspace page.

Comments are closed.