Fat, Fillyjonk, Media

Big fat love to Carolyn Hax

Because when you ask her whether it would be cruel to have a fat baby, this is what she says.

Carolyn, the fat activism movement needs more people like you — thin, unaffiliated with the movement, possibly never heard of fat activism, but just living and advocating common sense about common decency.

And preferably with a syndicated column.

20 thoughts on “Big fat love to Carolyn Hax”

  1. I’d just like to say that being me has been torture since my earliest flickers of self-awareness.

    But it’s not ’cause of the fat. It’s just exhausting to be this awesome.

    Carolyn Hax would understand.

  2. I was really pleased with her response. But for the love of all things good and right with the world, stay awaaaaay from the comments. You’ll just find yourselves flipping off the computer screen and muttering, “fuck you”.

    Which might not go over that well if you’re in your cubicle at work.

  3. My favorite part is that, far from sneaking in the usually-inevitable “but your health blah fucking blah,” she actually said “hey, I see you threw your ‘unhealthy lifestyle’ in there for me to nag you about it, I’m not gonna though.” So awesome.

    Jane, yeah, we’re all on the Sanity Watchers comments diet today. All non-SP comments are 30 billion points, Kate says. (See comments to this post. There are also links to Fat Hate Bingo for anyone who’s avoiding comments but still wants to read stale, fallacious anti-fat arguments. See, the Sanity Watchers diet still lets you read whatever you want!)

  4. The writer says that her sister and two friends have all expressed concerns about the absolute moral depravity of bringing a child into the world who is just doomed to be fat.

    I’m surprised that the two friends themselves aren’t fat, since everyone knows fat people pass on their fattiness to their friends. Or so says the latest bunk study.

  5. Well if you want to get all depressed about it, then every one of us is nothing but a ticking time bomb to a date with the funeral home from the very second we come flying out of our mothers.

    Seriously, when even bother being born????

  6. but just living and advocating common sense about common decency

    Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? In between giant mouthfuls of fancy cheese donuts, that is.

    But yeah, it’s refreshing, considering all the ZOMG YOU’RE KILLING YOURSELF WITH FOOD propaganda out there.

  7. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do?

    Yeah, but a lot of people find us easy to dismiss. We’re just fatties trying to make excuses for our failures, or we’re radicals who are too caught up in our cause to listen to reason, or whatever. Harder to write off an unaffiliated thin person with a syndicated column. Or at least that’s what I choose to believe, having avoided the comments.

  8. Right on. I’m sure Hax doesn’t see her column as a bully pulpit, but that’s what it is. I’m glad she’s using it for the force and not the dark side.

    As a side note: the newspaper I write for has a daily Guest Speaker editorial column, in which community members are invited to speak their mind on any subject they choose. You don’t have to be a professional writer, just one who can clearly and succinctly argue their points within 400 – 500 words. I’m sure other papers have a similar platform. I would encourage more people to take advantage of media resources like this at their disposal. There’s so much bias against fat in the media and here’s a perfect chance to present an alternate point of view.

  9. Of the many ways to approach the issue, I’m most fond of this one: realizing what your nearest and dearest have just said to your face, and sitting here speechless.

    Seriously! I can’t believe the nerve of some people! Don’t they realise that what they are basically saying to this poor woman is: “It would be better if you had never been born”? It’s just… it’s cruel. And presumptuous… even with all the baggage that comes with being fat in our society, I am still very happy to be alive and very grateful that my fat parents chose to concieve me.

    Also? Doesn’t this whole: “Fat people shouldn’t reproduce and bring more fat people into the world” idea contradict the: “Fat isn’t genetic, that’s just an excuse for people who are too lazy to change” idea?

    All that being said! I agree that Carolyn Hax had a great response.

  10. Don’t they realise that what they are basically saying to this poor woman is: “It would be better if you had never been born”?

    Oh wow. Yes they are. I hadn’t realized this but you’re absolutely right.

    I, too, have been struck by how easy it is for people to accept the “fat is genetic” argument when it’s easy/funny/convenient for them. Like, if I say it, I’m just a fatty looking for excuses. But when Ben Stiller makes a joke in his shitball comedy about how his wife is going to get fat like her mama? That’s just SO TRUE!

  11. Becky, you are so right!!! They can’t even keep their fat hatred arguments straight anymore.

    What is wrong with these people???

  12. Well, I read her column all the time, and she frequently beats the exercise and healthy diet drum. Just because she gave it a pass here doesn’t mean that she does with any regularity.

  13. Yeah, but I’m all in favor of exercise and healthy diet! I’ve never seen Carolyn use it as a bludgeon, though. (And I don’t remember her saying it will make you lose weight, though I wouldn’t be surprised… everyone and their mom believes that one, just because everyone and their mom believes it.)

  14. As awareness of the genetics of fat spreads, I can see the eugenicist arguments coming down the pipe. Fat people will be pressured to not have kids, as fatness will be seen as a genetic defect akin to Tay-Sachs or cystic fibrosis.

  15. I’ve thought about whether it would be right to have kids if I knew that they were most likely going to be fat and clinically depressed, courtesy of moi. But then I realized that I’m that way, and I’m beautiful and smart and fun. I have a wonderful life. If this life that I have is what I’m thinking of as a bad thing to inflict, what’s wrong with me?

    I told my mom my epiphany, thinking she’d be thrilled that I would give her grandchildren (eventually). I don’t know when I’ve seen her look so hurt and sad, just knowing I would think such superficial (though difficult) things would be worth not creating life over.

    IMHO, nobody should let her “concerned” friends and family breed since they’ll only produce mean, judgmental beast children to terrorize the earth. If we’re going to be having a citizen’s eugenics squad, let’s start with the things that matter and stop the meanies. :-)

  16. Stef, there was a survey some years back in the UK where couples were asked what they’d do if they were having a baby and discovered it had a gene that would predispose it to obesity (OK, I know the genetic component in body weight is way more complex than one single gene, but anyway…) 6 out of 10 said they’d choose to abort.

    Don’t know who did the survey – it was years ago sometime in the 90s, I’m going on what the Body Shop quoted in its fabulous little book on body love and self-esteem that they had out at the time. But it wouldn’t surprise me if the figures were higher now, to judge from some of the things I hear. Sick, sick, sick.

    I have a great-nephew just over 1 year old, and I’ve already had snide comments from my mother to the effect that he’s ‘fat’. He’s actually a big kid all ways, as is more or less everyone on my dad’s side of the family. And he’s a sweet little guy. The fact that she’s hung up on something so superficial in a baby, FFS, says so much more about her.

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