Links!

Miriam: I want you to stop stalking overweight women

First of all, this guy is like a stalker, following her around, monitoring her. He’s creepy beyond belief. Secondly, this once again, for the millionth time perpetuates the myth that everyone who is overweight is secretly and guilty sneaking ice cream sundaes. We should know by now that weight is much more complex than that. Thirdly, this shit is just sensationalist. I want to save your life? This woman does not look like she is at risk of dying because of a few extra pounds.

Also, why is it always skinny white guys who have discovered the secret of weight loss and are going to teach it to women?

ETA: I haven’t looked myself, but I’m hearing that the Feministing comments are best avoided. Which is, sadly, not that surprising.

Renee: It’s All Because You Are Fat

Not everything that is wrong with someone has to do with fat.  I do have three chronic illnesses that maybe, just maybe, might be making me feel under the weather.  These doctors may have the medical expertise to diagnose an illness but they have no idea what it is to live with one on a daily basis.  The fact that they could even suggest that a lack of will stops patients from participating in behaviour that might have the potential to improve health only proves how disconnected they are from how the pain truly affects the body.

Michelle: All women are real

It pissed me off. And because this is my blog, I’m about to tell you why.

First, because it’s fucking patronizing.

Second, because it’s a sneaky little divide-and-conquer strategy, of the type commonly used to pit women against other women.

Third, because we’re ALL real women, you fuckwad.

Michelle’s awesomeness notwithstanding, a new study of dietetic students (with a small sample size, so take it with a grain of salt, but still) shows:

  • More than 40 percent of students reported that they believe obese individuals are lazy, lacking in willpower and are self-indulgent.
  • The majority of students surveyed also agreed that obese individuals have poor self-control, overeat, are insecure and have low self-esteem.
  • Students rated obese patients as being significantly less likely to comply with treatment recommendations and as having worse diet quality and health status compared with thinner patients, despite the fact that all patients were described as healthy adults.
  • Only 2 percent of students demonstrated positive or neutral attitudes toward obese individuals.

In happier news, HAES UK is launching on May 9!

HAES UK is a UK-based organisation whose membership is open to all who support its mission. HAES UK supports the Health at Every Size (HAES) approach as an effective, ethical and evidence-based approach to healthcare policy, practice and research. HAES UK is committed to challenging weight-based discrimination which is considered to be disrespectful and harmful to individual and community well-being.

Via Fat Chic via Fatshionista on Twitter, designer Rachel Roy has Tweeted:

“RT @rachel_roy: @MarieDenee I would love to do a plus size line. I just need the requests so please keep them coming. -RR Team”

Send those requests via Roy’s site.

And finally, the book is out in Australia and New Zealand! I heard from a reader in Melbourne this morning:

Have started reading it and love it already.  I bought it from a Dymocks (chain of independent book stores…if that makes sense!) in Melbourne city, and they had a lot of them on face-out display.

FACE-OUT DISPLAY, Y’ALL! I can cross that off the list of all-time fantasies, even if I never get to see it.  (Hey, if you do see the book face-out somewhere, either edition, would you send us a pic?) One more sleep until it’s out here!

Oh, and hey, our book site — which can be reached via fatosphere.com, screwinnerbeauty.com, and kateandmarianne.com — is live, though there’s not much there you don’t already know. You can also follow fatospherebook on Twitter for updates on upcoming events and media appearances, and/or join our Facebook group.

67 thoughts on “Links!

  1. This weekend I read “Thin Is the New Happy” by Valerie Frankel. It was an awesome description of HAES, or not-dieting as she described. Highly recommend!!!!

  2. Ooooh, a Facebook group. I’ll try to remember to join when I get home. (FB is blocked at work.)

  3. The book is out in the UK as well! My copy arrived on Saturday and it is AWESOME!! I read it on the bus, I read it in the middle of the street and when I finished it I went straight back to the beginning and read it again. Kate and Marianne, you rock. And hey, fat woman reading an amazing book about fat in public while eating? Also pretty cool :)

  4. Wahoo for book releases!

    And I’m glad to see someone else addressing the “real women” rhetoric, because it’s starting to make me deeply uncomfortable. (So much so, in fact, that I wrote about it a few weeks ago; would link but I don’t want to get trapped in the spam queue.)

  5. I just found out no UK publishers took it on and am very very :-( now!

    Also, if someone followed me round with a camera and spied in my house, I would probably club them to death with my shoe. I wonder if the (#*~many bad words~*#) presenter has trouble getting insurance?!

  6. That commercial up at Feministing made me DEEPLY uncomfortable (and warning to others – the comments border on the bad). I agree with Miriam – the guy is creepy as hell, and the whole commercial simultaneously freaks me out and enrages me too much for me to comment coherently.

  7. Re: my copy of THE BOOK:
    May 4, 2009 07:56:24 AM Sterling VA US Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit

    SQUEEEEEEEE! I can’t wait!

  8. I just made the mistake of looking at the stalker thing on the youtube page, and a linked vid is an ‘extended preview’… which nearly caused me to throw my laptop across the room.

  9. I got my book at Dymocks today too. It was in the health section surrounded by diet books, like a ray of sunshine penetrating the darkness.

  10. AAAAHHHHH Kate, I love ya! But this is the second time you’ve argued that the United thing is sexist and used a comparison of you and Al as an example. I presume you’re referring to the idea fat women are more likely to be hourglass shaped and men are more likely to be apple shaped and therefore less likely to encroach on others’ space.

    The only way this can be gender discrimination is if you totally gloss over the fact that women’s bodies are actually quite varied and many are actually shaped are like Al than they are shaped like you. I also think you’re marginalizing men who have big hips.

    I AM STILL A WOMAN!!!. Not all women’s bodies are hour glass shaped!!!! I have a 50 inch waist. I can buckle my belt easily, put my tray down, and don’t encroach on anybody’s space while on an airplane.

  11. “Students rated obese patients as being significantly less likely to comply with treatment recommendations and as having worse diet quality and health status compared with thinner patients, despite the fact that all patients were described as healthy adults.”

    My sister-in-law is a registered dietician, specializing in diabetic nutrition. I nearly fell off my chair recently when she told me she was sad when her daughter returned to college after break, because her younger son then insisted on different foods. “I miss all my low-fat foods,” she mourned. “Guess I’ll have to diet a bit more carefully for a while.” At least she’s never commented on my weight, I should be grateful for small favors.

  12. I also encourage people to stay out of the comments on Feministing. I think context is queen for my use of SW Points – when, ostensibly, the comments are from feminists, I burn through SW at a much higher rate, even if the comments themselves are less inflammatory on the surface. Patronizing, however, causes me to blow a fat gasket.

  13. The only way this can be gender discrimination is if you totally gloss over the fact that women’s bodies are actually quite varied and many are actually shaped are like Al than they are shaped like you. I also think you’re marginalizing men who have big hips.

    I’m not sure where the second time you’re talking about is, but in my original post on the subject, I said explicitly that I’m well aware there are apple-shaped women and pear-shaped men (and all sorts of shapes that don’t correspond so easily to fruits), but on average, women are far more likely to have broad hips than men. Which is just the plain fucking truth. I use Al and myself as one concrete example, but I’m not just extrapolating my own anecdata here. If the policy penalized tall people, I’d say it discriminated against men, despite the fact I know plenty of women over 6′ and men under 5’6″, because on average, men are a lot more likely to be very tall.

  14. The first time was in your CNN interview and the second I was referring to was in the link above.

    Thanks for your response. I understand where you’re coming from. I think its hits me personally since I fit into that demographic and have to see that ‘apple is death fatz’ all too often. I always end up thinking ‘okay well its not enough that I am lectured to about being fat but now I have to listen to how my particular fat distribution is going to kill me even worse and more masculine.’

  15. I wish that guy on “I want to save your life” would intervene on women who have actual health problems. Like me. That would be nice. But because I’m not fat, I guess I don’t get to be stalked.

  16. I got mine on Saturday!!!! via special order at Harvard Bookstore. This morning I called Harvard Bookstore and told how fabulous this book is and some reasons they should stock it and display it, including that IT’S FABULOUS, and that there are lots of Shapelings and Rotund readers in this area (I didn’t use those labels, I said “readers of the authors’ blogs” :)), and that your Boston book launch is next weekend and is sponsored by the Center for New Words (Harvard Bookstore knows CNW, natch).

    yAt!!!!!!!

  17. I read a few of the Feministing comments before hitting my back button. Wow. I shouldn’t have read them, but I couldn’t help myself. Must have been that weak self-control I have. Or perhaps I was too lazy to hit the back button soon enough.

    My fiance and I experienced a little of this attitude from the nurse and PA at the ER this weekend (ended up not being life-threatening – a bleeding ulcer, which is not fun at all, but is treatable). They ran all sorts of tests on him… and were trying to hide their surprise. Cholesterol – normal. Blood pressure – normal. Fat man – healthy, aside from bleeding ulcer and mostly-healed shoulder injury, neither of which were caused by being fat. He was playing racquetball when he tore his shoulder, and grad school finals plus upcoming wedding plus family drama equals ulcer. He commented the next day that he was frustrated that they seemed surprised that he was a fairly healthy fat guy.

    I haven’t explicitly used the words “fat acceptance” with him yet – too much history/family stuff to work through before he’d think fat is acceptable – but we’ve talked about how diets don’t work, and how it’s more important to be healthy than thin (and how our bodies just aren’t made for it – my doctor once told me that if I got down to the weight-height charts recommended weight, I’d be severely underweight and malnourished and be required to go to the hospital). It is frustrating, though, to be constantly bombarded with shows like creepy-stalker-guy following “overweight” women, and with “plus-size” clothing lines that are sized small (the other post)… I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle, sometimes. But things like reminding myself of HAES help. :) It’s about being healthy, not about being a certain weight.

  18. Are you familiar with PastaQueen? I know that she is pro-diet and thus you in general do not agree with her, but her most recent post is a breath of fresh air. She’s gained some weight back, and doesn’t really care.

    http://pastaqueen.com/halfofme/archives/2009/05/so_about_my_weight.html

    excerpts:

    “When I told people, “I want to be thin,” what I was really saying was, “I want to lead the life I want to live.” Losing all the weight has made me confident and taught me to believe in myself and has allowed me to live my life in ways that I never could before, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m living my life. That has less to do with being fat or thin than most people think.”

    and

    “If I got to change one thing about my body I’d fix my headaches first, give myself normal feet second, and attend to the weight thing third, because it doesn’t bother me that much.”

  19. The Feministing comments are so weird. Here we are in this great discussion of how the commercial sucks, and oh, there we are in a “No, but fat REALLY IS UNHEALTHY!!1!!one!” debate. Christ.

    At the same time, I blame commercials and shit like that for the fact that every time I am seen eating a salad I have to endure the looks of shock and horror on the faces of my co-workers. Yes, fat ladies eat things other than cupcakes and ice cream

  20. Also, after seeing this commercial during Golden Girls reruns (well, seeing it in its entirety once or twice, then muting or changing the channel after seeing the beginning all times after) I was wondering when the blogosphere was going to get wind of it.

    It makes me spit too much rage to take it on myself. I’m trying to sell my Macbook and having all that rage on the screen would diminish its value.

  21. The thing that drives me so crazy about the “health” debate is that it always turns into a war of studies about whether fat is or is not a factor in health problems. It seems to me that unless science comes up with an actual way for people to lose weight on a permanent basis, saying that obesity leads to diabetes or obesity leads to heart disease is about the same as saying that your hight contributes to back problems or your sex leads to either ovarian or prostate cancer depending. Maybe an interesting fact, but pretty damned irrelevant.

    And why isn’t society as a whole outraged by this time of shaming. When did meanness become okay? This is making me depressed. Gotta go get some baby donuts.

  22. Oh, got so caught up in the video, I forgot to mention the book. I’m envying the Aussies and can’t wait until my copy arrives. Exciting times, Kate. Enjoy!

  23. It never ceases to surprise me how Feministing can be so full of chauvinistic concern trolls. It always makes me so sad and hopeless.

    I read a funny article today… I assume the study they were referencing to was this, because it’s the only one I could find that came even close. It’s from Journal of Clinical Investigation, about how fructose as a sweetener (as opposed to glucose) apparently increases visceral adipose tissue.
    (Subjects got 25% of their energy intake from fructose-and glucose-sweetened beverages, which to me sounded quite a lot.)
    Guess how it was reported in the dumbass rag I read it from? OMG fruits and veggies totally make everyone fat!!!11! Seriously. (I won’t bother to link, it’s in Finnish.)
    Apparently we’re not supposed to eat anything anymore, because all food is labeled as deathfatzomg. The article did have a small side note giving allowance to eat a little fruit occasionally, because they do contain vitamins and stuff… Tthey’re not even trying to say it’s about health anymore.

  24. @Trabb’s Boy:

    It seems to me that unless science comes up with an actual way for people to lose weight on a permanent basis, saying that obesity leads to diabetes or obesity leads to heart disease is about the same as saying that your hight contributes to back problems or your sex leads to either ovarian or prostate cancer depending.

    I agree, they’d have to come up with a way for intentional weight loss to be safe, effective, and long-lasting — the impossible trifecta. ALSO, they’d have to come up with a way to do all their studies on fatties who hadn’t spent portions of their lives going for intentional weight loss. IOW they’d have to isolate the fatness from the dieting, which in itself may cause all or much of the stuff they blame on teh fat.

  25. “ETA: I haven’t looked myself, but I’m hearing that the Feministing comments are best avoided. Which is, sadly, not that surprising.”

    I abandoned Feministing for this reason–particularly after they embraced the idea that they ARE responsible for their commenters making their site an uncomfortable place for certain people (transpeople, racial minorities, poorer people, and particularly us fatties), but rarely did anything, even in the comment threads they were monitoring. The editors are often wonderful and thoughtful, but the site is far from a safe place.

  26. There’s a “news” release making the rounds today which basically reads “ALERT! BABY FOOD CONTAINS SUGAR! AND FAT!!! OMG YOUR BABY WILL DIE!” – without including the *tiniest* bit of information on how much of such things babies actually NEED! Argh.

    If you want to see it, search news for baby food junk food. Sigh.

  27. I’m having a real craptastic day (not the kind where I want to hide in a bathroom stall and cry; the kind where I want to listen to really aggro hardcore and snarl at people on public transportation) and I’m having a GREAT time pretending that I’m the subject of that hideous stalking show so that when the guy reveals himself, I can LET HIM FUCKING HAVE IT. And his little dog, too.

  28. That stalking show fills me with rage. Do people give their permission to be featured like this?

    And I love the idea that this will help Americans get a “healthy lifestyle.” (TM) Is this how we as a society now think about public health and the common good? Is this seriously all we can manage now that our culture has formed us into people who can’t care about health unless it’s entertaining and engenders prettiness? Such that we need to have a dude stalk women and then put it on the teevee? HEY FUCKERS. Instead of having one creepy guy with AFAIK no medical training follow women around who don’t fit his idea of pretty and tell them they deserve to die for it, and will, if they don’t obey him… how about UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE? Oh, but that’s not good television, it’s just… just. I hate the world. Snarl.

  29. And I love the idea that this will help Americans get a “healthy lifestyle.” (TM) Is this how we as a society now think about public health and the common good?

    You just made it click what this reminds me of — the Stephen King story “Quitters, Inc.” (Crappy plot summary here.) We have a 100% success rate! BECAUSE WE WATCH YOUR EVERY MOVE AND PUNISH YOU SEVERELY WHEN YOU “SLIP.” Now come on, don’t you want to get healthy?

  30. We have a 100% success rate! BECAUSE WE WATCH YOUR EVERY MOVE AND PUNISH YOU SEVERELY WHEN YOU “SLIP.” Now come on, don’t you want to get healthy?

    Kate, shhh, don’t give them any more ideas.

  31. Seriously, that “I want to save your life” bullshit is ridiculous and offensive. It’s so obviously fat-shaming, and no woman should be embarrassed to eat something she wants.

  32. The book is most definitely out in Brisbane, Australia, as I have bought a copy. I bought it from Borders, and it was on the second table display as you walked through the doors – can’t miss it! (For reference, our Borders has three floors). I took a shitty photo on my mobile phone and I’ll send it through later.

  33. Could a woman who is stalked like this have the guy and his camera crew arrested for stalking and harassment if she decided not to go along with it? I guess that would go for any of the shows that “surprise” people (nooo, not Clinton and Stacy!), but really, doesn’t it fit? They follow someone around with hidden cameras and tape them without their knowledge. Whether or not they then show it on the tv, that’s all kinds of creepy.

  34. Honestly, I hate all of the ‘it’ll save your life’ shit. One, EVERYONE fucking dies eventually, and I’d rather die fat and content than starving and miserable [and probably still fat], and two, “It’ll add five/seven/ten years onto your life! Don’t you want to live to 90?!?!?!?!” Bitch please. If they were promising to add five years into the middle, I’d be tempted, but an extra five years of potentially needing someone in a smock and gloves to help me pee at the end? No.

  35. car, that’s the biggest thing about WNTW that makes me uncomfortable (because it’s stalking, and also because there’s an element of shaming to that initial confrontation). It would be slightly better if they had family/friends film the person, but only slightly. I don’t know, otherwise I love the show, but secretly taping people squicks me out.

  36. but an extra five years of potentially needing someone in a smock and gloves to help me pee at the end? No.

    Kaz, I think I know what you’re getting at, but this is horribly ableist. There are plenty of people with disabilities (and plenty of old people) who have perfectly lovely and fulfilling lives, even though they might need assistance with some things that able-bodied people take for granted.

  37. Sorry. Nursing home work appears to have left me a lot more bitter about the very end of things.

  38. Well, lord knows we don’t talk about or handle end of life issues very well in our culture, but this is really not the thread for that discussion. Apology accepted.

  39. car, that’s the biggest thing about WNTW that makes me uncomfortable (because it’s stalking, and also because there’s an element of shaming to that initial confrontation). It would be slightly better if they had family/friends film the person, but only slightly. I don’t know, otherwise I love the show, but secretly taping people squicks me out.

    WNTW participants are nominated by friends/family. So I don’t know. I also don’t know if they’re filmed before or after the confrontation.

    WNTW has had people say no.

  40. Following up with the end-of-life issue, (@Kaz), I think there’s a terrible disservice going on. In my one-degree-of-separation, there’ve been *three* people diagnosed and died of brain cancer recently; and in two of their cases, I’ve heard people saying in utter confusing “But they did everything you’re supposed to.”

    Nowadays illness is all comeuppance all the time, and that’s terribly unfair.

    With healthism, people are given a sense of control that just doesn’t exist.

  41. I’ve been really disappointed in Feministisg’s moderation policy for a while. Miriam wrote in the thread “I think that debate and back and forth is a big part of what comment threads are about,” totally glossing over the fact that half the “debate” was whether fatties are unhealthy and need to be educated or not.

    I just think so much is lost when half the discourse is commenters trying to call out bigoted people on their shit over and over. It’s just not fun to read.

  42. I’m hearing that the Feministing comments are best avoided. Which is, sadly, not that surprising.

    Big surprise there. My “favorite” comment on a fat-related thread was that fat acceptance people should stop being so uppity about it because MORBID OBESITY BASICALLY MEANS YOUR DYING! Yes, it was in all caps.

    Renee’s thread is depressingly familiar. I’ve met too many assholes who think that I gave myself PCOS and low thyroid becuase I don’t diet and exercise enough.

  43. Oh I’m so excited to hear that your book is out, and in Dymocks! Guess where I’m going at lunchtime…. YAY!

    I’ll even try to get a photo if they have a display. After all, the Queen has requested it! :P

    SQUEEE!

  44. I’ve been watching a lot of Golden Girls since I’ve been unemployed and everytime I see a commercial for “I Will Save Your Life” I want to scream and tear something.

    For what it’s worth I Got the impression that these people are nominated by their concerned family, but honestly I don’t a) think that makes it any better or b) care enough to investigate that point.

    re: WNTW they do film people before the confrontation, but my understanding is that they a) use camera-people posing as market researchers and b) enlist friends and family for “secret” footage, for whatever that’s worth.

  45. My congratulations to you both~! Grabbing my copy soon!

    Question: How will your new found fame and riches change your lives? Will your websites change any? What can we devoted readers expect to see different?

    Just curious…..all my best to Kate and Mariann!!!

  46. I have two emails from Amazon as I apparently pre-ordered two copies, both due to arrive on May 6! Hurray!

    Regarding “I Will Save Your Life” — unless I’m being pulled from a burning vehicle, being pulled in from an undertow or on a gurney, I will punch someone who says those words to me, I swear it.

    What’s weird is I was thinking about eating in the car today, and how I do eat in the car, because eating in public while fat is practically a crime.

    If someone lost it on the “I Will Save Your Life” stalker guy and did him some bodily harm, I hope the jury of peers of the fat woman who harms him will really be made up of peers like me.

    It’s times like these that make me wish I had the time and resources (oh, and talent) to shoot video parodies — this one would be of a stalker of the tv show stalkers — who show the “warts and all” and show what that guy has for lunch, or him shouting at someone on the “set” or him getting drunk or whatever he does when the camera isn’t on him.

    Is it only women he stalks?

  47. Nowadays illness is all comeuppance all the time, and that’s terribly unfair.

    With healthism, people are given a sense of control that just doesn’t exist.

    A Sarah and I have spent a lot of time elsewhere (hi AS!) talking about how control pops up in the context of pregnancy and birth. Weight/diet/exercise often factors into this because everyone knows that fat pregnant women’s BABIES WILL DIIEEEEE!, but it’s an issue with non-weight-related areas too. Eat organic real foods and take Vitamin D/C/calcium/supp-of-the-week, and you are guaranteed not to get preeclampsia. If you just move around enough in labor, you won’t need labor augmentation or have a shoulder dystocia. Have a water birth and you won’t tear. Believe enough in the wonders of hypnobirthing, and you’ll have a magical orgasmic birth — one Hypnobabies affirmation is “I deserve an easy and painless birth.”, as if anyone gets a health experience just because they deserve it. Miscarriages happen because you drank that latte and ate a ham sandwich, not because the baby had genetic defects. And, of course, my very favorite, “You’d get pregnant if you would just relax!”

    There are some kernels of truth here and there, but in all cases, the popular claims vastly outstrip scientific plausibility. This doesn’t stop internet mommy boards from groaning under the weight of self-congratulatory posts from women who are convinced that their good births are entirely due to their own actions, rather than a heavy dose of good luck. Sadder are the posts from women who *didn’t* have good outcomes, and who are therefore convinced that it must be their own fault.

    Basically, you’re coming at it backwards, Arwen — it’s not that healthism is giving people a false sense of control, it’s that we are so desperate to have that control that we latch onto whatever smatterings of science we can use for support.

  48. Having watched the promo for IWSYL, the stupidest part that struck me right between the eyes (aside from the usual) was the part when he said “I will look inside” whilst thumbing through the woman’s wedding photos.

    Call me a duffous, but can you really look inside someone while perusing pictures of their wedding? I don’t know about you, but I have not worn my wedding gown since the day I got married. My wedding was a blur and a whirlwind of greetings, vows, music and food jam packed into one day, one event. Looking inside me is not just peeking at posed wedding photos. You will not get a lickety shit of insight into my fears, shame, desires, history of abuse, learning style, likes/dislikes, etc. nor a plethora of other distinguishing characteristics that have shaped me into who I am today.

    This jackass on this show will make a fuckload of assumptions about someone BEFORE HE EVEN MEETS her……which is exactly what everyone else on the planet does, including doctors, the second they lay eyes on a fatty.

    No thanks WETV….I’m gonna pass on this show.

  49. The first time I saw a promo for IWTSYL, my mouth dropped open and I knew it wouldn’t be long before FA bloggers would tear it apart like the garbage it is. A fat person eating a sundae at a diner will not trigger the coming of the apocalypse.

    That said, I was channel flipping late one night last week and happened to catch a few seconds of the show. All I remembered was that the woman stalkerboy was walking with was gorgeous and wore a brown blouse that was to die for. That’s what I noticed, not that OMG, SHE’S GOT THE DEATHFATZ AND SHE’S GONNA DIE!!!!!

  50. Renee’s thread is depressingly familiar. I’ve met too many assholes who think that I gave myself PCOS and low thyroid becuase I don’t diet and exercise enough.

    I have never encountered anyone being that much of a turd to my face about PCOS, but if I ever did, I’d say, “Do YOU PERSONALLY have PCOS?” (regardless of the gender of the accuser). “Do you? I didn’t think so. So if you’re such an expert, tell me, how old was I when I started having symptoms? I’ll give you a four-year-spread in either direction.” I bet they’d still get it wrong. I was NINE.

    And if anyone wants to give me shit about “overeating” (i.e. not being able to stick to a restrictive diet) while on Remeron, all I have to do is ask them if they’ve ever taken it. Anyone who HAS taken it knows dieting is not an option when you’re on it. (Not that it’s a great option when you’re not on it, but it’s especially impossible if you are.)

  51. Oh, and the comments on Feministing: WHY SHOULD OUR CIVIL RIGHTS AND DIGNITY BE A MATTER OF “DEBATE”? I swear, every goddamn time there’s something up there about fat people getting hassled, someone has to butt in with “But it’s UNHEALTHEEEE!” I have to ask those people: Do you go to bars or parties and walk up to people who have been drinking and tell them that two beers is really enough for them and they don’t need any more? Would it be okay with you if there was a TV show that did that?

  52. the comments are from feminists,

    To be fair, many Feministing commenters are not feminists. It has less of a tight-knit community, so there’s no group of regulars to scare off the trolls.

    Only 2 percent of students demonstrated positive or neutral attitudes toward obese individuals.

    I wonder how many of those students are overweight/obese themselves.

  53. Regarding “I Will Save Your Life” — unless I’m being pulled from a burning vehicle, being pulled in from an undertow or on a gurney, I will punch someone who says those words to me, I swear it.

    Funny you should say that because my husband saw something like this happen when he was at KFC the other day. My partner is pretty large himself (6ft3 and big with it!) but he was in the dining area with someone MUCH bigger than himself. A bunch of teenage girls walked past and made a loud comment about this man eating himself to early death and the man snapped! He didn’t hit them (thank god) but he roared at them, “You’re the ones who are going to be dead in a minute!” They ran backwards into a rope fence and fell over it, one of them getting extremely muddy knickers as she fell into a puddle!

    I know a fair few big guys who are very aware that there extra weight equates to extra strength and as a result are fairly confident that noone is going to fuck with them! I don’t know any big women who feel this way probably because their disputes tend to be psychological rather than physical.

  54. I know a woman like that, Robz. She’s my best friend and really knows how to use her size to physically intimidate people when she has to; I never feel quite as safe at a bar, for instance, if she’s not with me.

  55. That’s cool Slythwolf, it sounds as though she’s using her powers of intimidation for good not evil :) It brings another meaning to “if you’ve got it flaunt it” doesn’t it?

  56. Robz,
    I probably wouldn’t actually punch someone who said these words to me. I would want to, sure, and if it were a smug jerk like that TV show guy (who I am ashamed to say is a professor of public health) I would really want to punch him.

    I’m the least intimidating person to look at, short and “cute,” but I have fantasies of playing rugby or joining our local roller derby, which would be good ways of getting the aggression out. I can’t stand to watch boxing but it might feel good to train for it without actually doing it. The idea of hitting someone for sport makes me ill.

    But in a cartoon-y, comic book way, someone saying to me “I will save your life” followed by me saying, “really, because I’m about to end yours” and then I deliver a huge blow to the noggin is a satisfying fanatsy. Other blows could be accompanied by “you messed with the wrong fatty!” and “Stalk this, celery-pusher!”

    Behind these fantasies, and the guy who scared the teen girls, is a desire to intimidate so that people keep their hateful speech and behavior to themselves. I can see how fast food places might be a place this kind of scene would happen. Those girls temporarily forgot that their power in being slim and acceptable didn’t actually trump the physicality of their being smaller, younger and not as strong as the person they were insulting. I’m not saying it’s appropriate for larger people (whether tall or fat or strong) to intimidate smaller or less strong people, it’s just that when basic human boundaries are not respected, we might anticipate that our safety could be compromised — or we might at the very least be treated in return to a similar sort of disrespect.
    Ideas of intersectionality are cropping up when I think about this, and the story you told. Also, teenagers aren’t known for being respectful or tuned-in to personal safety.

  57. Also, this pushes all of my buttons about being relentlessly teasted and harrassed as a young person. I think that if I had felt I could fight back, physically, I might have stopped or stemmed some of it, or at least felt I was doing something to defend myself rather than the passive “just ignore it” — which meant it lasted all thoroughout elementary school. The other kids had much more power than I did, there were more of them, they were stronger, but they would never have expected me to fight them.

  58. Aweeeeesome. Now I just have to wait for the damn mailman to bring my book! But while i’m downtown today, I’ll take a peak and see if I can spot and face-outers.

    That “I want to save your life” stalker-show completely creeps me out. What the fuck, seriously. When I saw that on Feministing, I seriously wanted to track that guy down and spit on him. Or maybe sit on him.

    And thanks for the linky love. I was away from the internets a good deal yesterday and totally missed this!

  59. We have a 100% success rate! BECAUSE WE WATCH YOUR EVERY MOVE AND PUNISH YOU SEVERELY WHEN YOU “SLIP.” Now come on, don’t you want to get healthy?

    Kate, shhh, don’t give them any more ideas.

    They already have that. It’s called ALLI.

  60. Okay, I should have known that actually contacting the network wouldn’t do me any good, but I went ahead and sent them an email about that awful stalker show, expecting that I wouldn’t get a response. Instead, I got harassment. Seriously.

    Their response to my complaint that the show is basically promoting the stalking of women who are fat and the promotion of the false idea that women who are fat got there because they overeat:

    All of the men and women profiled in I Want to Save Your Life submitted applications to be on the show and so far they are all delighted with what they learned and the results.

    WE tv Viewer Services

    But it didn’t end there! I replied and said:

    Doesn’t make it right. Just means that enough people in their lives have told them they’re not good enough, not worthy enough. And enough doctors haven’t listened to them. And so forth.

    All I can say is there are plenty of people who aren’t “delighted” with WE right now: http://www.feministing.com/archives/015224.html.

    To which they came back and completely dismissed the whole thread because “it’s based on the promo”:

    I just realized that all of these comments are on the promo and not on the actual show. Not everyone wants (or needs) help with losing weight as can be seen in these comments but the ones who applied to be on the show really wanted and got help.

    Then I really got mad. My reply:

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

    So you’re just going to dismiss all those objections on the basis that it’s comments on the PROMO??

    That promo basically says it’s okay to stalk women because they’re bigger than the norm. SERIOUSLY?

    I give up. I should have known that any network that would market this trash wouldn’t listen to common sense./blockquote>

    I admit, I got mad. Hey, if they’re going to dish it… Here is where I give up–because they actually replied back yet again:

    You might actually find the show interesting. It’s not ALL IN THE PROMO.

    Um, NO. I won’t find the show interesting. I find the very promotion of it offensive, and they’re telling me I might find the show INTERESTING??

    Yeah. We TV not only promotes the stalking of women on their TV shows, they yell at people who send them complaints.

  61. *taste of bile in my mouth*

    I’m about twice the size of the woman walking down the street in the promo. I’m larger than every woman that man is stalking. Who gives him permission to pry into the private lives of these women? The husbands? The family? Mind your own F***ing business.

    Sorry…just a little upset. I’m not very eloquent when I’m upset.

    I haven’t read the other posts, but did anyone else think that all those women on the promo were really pretty?

  62. @wellroundedtype2, when you wrote this?:

    Stalk this, celery-pusher!

    I took three beats before the pun sunk in and then I went “BWAH! *snort*!”

    Nicely done. :)

  63. Kate, shhh, don’t give them any more ideas.

    They already have that. It’s called ALLI.

    Can I just say, I saw this Alli being advertised in my local Boots the other day, and it was so unexpected and evil I was actually kind of in shock — looking around like, “Does anyone else see this? It makes you shit orange grease. Why is this here and decorated with little flowers?” Somewhat as if Satan himself were dancing around next to the pharmacy. It was very very strange.

    (Did I mention finals have made me insane? Yes.)

  64. But in a cartoon-y, comic book way, someone saying to me “I will save your life” followed by me saying, “really, because I’m about to end yours” and then I deliver a huge blow to the noggin is a satisfying fanatsy. Other blows could be accompanied by “you messed with the wrong fatty!” and “Stalk this, celery-pusher!”

    OMG that would be such a funny comic book!

    Also, this pushes all of my buttons about being relentlessly teased and harrassed as a young person. I think that if I had felt I could fight back, physically, I might have stopped or stemmed some of it

    I had the exact same experience in high school. The bitchy girls make little snide comments constantly and made my life really hard. I had no idea how to fight that ; I still don’t know how I’d be if this happened to me now but at least I feel better about myself.

    My husbands high school experience was entirely different. Somone pissed him off and he threw them across the room: No more problems. I don’t condone this but as a means to an end it worked. While I was utterly terrified to go to school he had a relatively peaceful time.

    High school me is really rooting for the poor big guy that just wanted to eat his dinner and laughing at the bitchy girl with the muddy panties.

    Adult me realises that while the girls may not make comments like that again it doesn’t change their opinion it probably just adds to their fat hatred. I also realise that the man may have felt better for a while after yelling at the girls but if he’s anything like me he will be left feeling shaken and crap.

  65. Hi, just recently discovered your site via Fatshionista… thanks for the inspiration, and even more, for the UK HAES link! Brilliant!

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