Because this bullshit is evidently gaining traction.
Carrying a spare tire or two around the waist has become socially acceptable in the United States as the population’s waistlines have expanded, according to a study released on Tuesday.
Yeah. I’m not even kidding. They really fucking published that.
What are they basing this on?
In 1994 the average woman tipped the scales at 147 pounds but she wanted to weigh only 132 pounds — but less than a decade later the average woman weighed 153 pounds but said her desired weight was 135 pounds
Because the average woman’s desired weight has gone up three pounds, there is obviously “less social pressure” to lose weight!
Um, except for one thing. In 1994, the average woman wanted to lose 15 pounds. Today, the average woman wants to lose 18.
Can you see the headlines if you spun the numbers that way?
STUDY: AMERICAN WOMEN UNHAPPIER WITH THEIR BODIES THAN EVER BEFORE
STUDY: AVERAGE WOMAN WANTS TO LOSE MORE THAN 10% OF BODY WEIGHT
STUDY: AS WAISTLINES EXPAND, DIETERS BECOME DESPERATE TO LOSE MORE
But no, we get this fucking bullshit about fat suddenly being “socially acceptable” instead.
The other basis for that outrageous conclusion is “a previous study in which 87 percent of Americans, including 48 percent of obese Americans, believed their body weight fell in the ‘socially acceptable’ range.”
Once again, that tells us exactly jack shit. What it tells us is that 48% of people in the obese BMI category believe their body weight falls in the “socially acceptable” range. We’ve already discussed that being in the “obese” BMI category and looking like the headless people they illustrate these articles with are two very different things.
See the difference?
Edit, because this may not have been clear before: Please note that there is absolutely no difference between me and the woman in the other photo in terms of our humanity or the respect we deserve. There may very well be no difference in our overall health, either. There is, however, a vast difference in our social acceptability — and yet we are both clinically obese. By implying that a majority of “obese” people A) look more like her than me and B ) believe their bodies are socially acceptable, the researchers and reporter here are propagating the myth that fat people are ignorant and/or delusional.
And believing you fall into a “socially acceptable” weight range is not the same thing as believing you are not fat, or not hated for it. I believe I fall into a “socially acceptable” weight range, insofar as I’m not harassed by strangers about my weight very often (though it’s happened), I can fit into airplane seats (barely), and I’m still small enough that people talk shit about “real” fatties in front of me.
But do I believe most people look at me and think I’m a “healthy” weight? No. Do I believe I could get into a club that only lets the Beautiful People past the rope? No. Do I believe the average straight man in this culture would look at me and think, “Yeah, I’d love to have her on my arm?” No. Do I believe I could walk into any doctor’s office and not be harangued about my BMI before I’ve had my blood pressure taken or cholesterol checked? No. Do I believe that if I have ice cream in my grocery cart, some asshole won’t look at that and go home and blog about how fatties are killing themselves by overeating? No.
Do I believe fat is socially acceptable? FUCK NO. And I am fat. But I would still say I fall into the “socially acceptable” range if asked, because 20 years past the 7th grade, I am no longer directly bullied for being fat on a regular basis. I can walk into an interview for the average office job and not be judged unfit to do that job before I ever open my mouth. I can walk into most stores and not be ignored by the salespeople. I can sit next to a stranger on a plane without him asking the flight attendant why I wasn’t forced to buy two seats. Some fat people don’t have any of those privileges, and I am very aware of mine.
I’m also totally willing to believe that 87% of Americans do fall into the socially acceptable range, if you define it like that. People built like the woman who unwittingly became the illustration for this article are a tiny percentage of the population. And believe me, those people know goddamned well how socially unacceptable they are.
I am so FUCKING SICK of these articles that all purport to scientifically demonstrate the same basic thing: fat people are stupid, deluded, and living light years away from reality. We don’t know we’re fat. We don’t know how fat we are. We don’t know that being fat is supposedly unhealthy. We don’t know that apples have more vitamins than Twinkies. We don’t know that people in this culture don’t like our bodies. We don’t know that Dane Cook doesn’t want to fuck us. We don’t know that most people think burning more calories than you consume will guarantee long-term weight loss. We don’t know that if we say we eat a normal amount of food and exercise regularly yet remain fat, the “scientific” response will be that we are big, fat liars.
WE FUCKING KNOW.
For Christ’s sake. Have these people ever spoken to a fat person? A claim like “Carrying a spare tire or two around the waist has become socially acceptable in the United States” is so PATENTLY FUCKING ABSURD, the only conclusion I can draw is that some thin scientists and reporters are stupid, deluded, and living light years away from reality.
And this particular piece of bullshit doesn’t just infuriate me; it terrifies me. Because once they’ve established that fat is “socially acceptable,” the next step is ramping up the organized campaign to “teach us” that it’s not.
I don’t even want to imagine how they’ll do that.