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Is it okay to be fat?

This is the question posed in the Nightline debate linked to in withoutscene's posting below. The way I see it, when we ask "is it okay to be fat?", we're really asking a bunch of other questions:

  • Is a person allowed to have and maintain a body that is larger than average?
  • Is being fat a health problem?
  • Is a person with a health problem allowed to choose to not treat that problem?
  • Is fat caused by lifestyle choices?
  • Is a person in a group health plan allowed to make choices that might cause them to need more health care in the future?

When you break it down to what we're really talking about, I don't see how any rational person could conclude that it is not okay to be fat. What are your thoughts?

Fat Discrimination Costs Us, Mmmmkay? | How I am like a giant ass

rebelle February 24th, 2010 | Link | I hate even the question,

I hate even the question, likening it to having to seek permission/approval of others to exist. But the points above are valid.

Devalen February 24th, 2010 | Link | I guess it will have to be

I guess it will have to be OK to be fat because I am fat. I don't see how any rational person can think that all it takes to be thin is to go on a diet, make rational food choices, as it was described in the clip, and then you will be a socially acceptable weight. So get with the program, FATSO! If this is the answer why do 95% of people who lose the weight regain it all and then some within the next five years or so?
It is always possible to motivate yourself and watch every thing you put in your mouth and work out like crazy and lose some weight. That doesn't make you a socially acceptable size person. It basically makes you temporarily not fat. What naturally slender build person that you know needs to work out every day and watch the amount of calories they put in their mouth daily to stay the size they are?
Another thing that is never mentioned is the fact of the increase of foods that trigger the appetite produced by our food industry. Since I started eating whole grains, I have noticed that if I do eat their processed counterparts I am unbelievably hungry a couple of hours after I eat. This includes any pasta, bread, cracker or pizza dough made with white flour. In the modern food processing world, when they remove all the nutrients from the flour during processing,then "enrich" it by adding back some vitamins and nutrients, the product is left without the essence of the food that fills you up. The same is true of any food prepared for consumption in restaurants or prepared in the supermarket. This is a source of lobbying money for those who love to pile on massive government nanny programs however, so you can expect to keep taking the blame for your personal failure to stop shoveling food into your craw to the expense of the government health care programs all the skinny folk are going to have to subsidize for the lardos. Are you prepared to opt out of any government run health care program so you can be fat? Sure I will opt out of paying any state and federal income tax as well, thank you very much. So bite me, Meme.

richie79's picture
February 25th, 2010 | Link | Like Rebelle says, even the

Like Rebelle says, even the phrasing of the question bothers me. Have we really reached the point where a late-night news show can ask a minority group to justify its own existence? For that's the underlying foundation of this debate. The massed forces of the media, medical industry, government, anti-obesity activists and popular opinion all say you shouldn't exist - give us a reason why we should believe otherwise, fatty.

In my view, the question is rhetorical - the MSM have long ago agreed amongst themselves that being fat is absolutely NOT acceptable, and any pretence at debate on the matter is always going to end up being skewed to cast fat people as deluded, in denial etc and their opinions as invalid.

And having concluded that being fat (whether through our own 'choosing' or genetic misfortune, they don't especially seem to care) is A Terrible Thing, no doubt they've their own ideas about what Should Be Done about and to us (because heaven knows, it's not as though we're going to be asked for our aforementioned, automatically discredited and unreliable input).

"A waist is a terrible thing to mind" - Tom Wilson

wriggle99 February 25th, 2010 | Link | Sounds more tentative to me.

Sounds more tentative to me. They're basically trying to take the temperature on attitudes to fatness. It was OK when the media was able to keep out any obvious resistence to fat hate, now it's becoming increasingly clear even to them that we are not taking it any more.

As this is not a rational argument, but an emotional crusade, they're having a moment of doubt. They are doing a vox populi, if they find enough people think it is OK to be fat, they'll change their tune.

CarrieP's picture
February 25th, 2010 | Link | Something I found

Something I found interesting about the Nightline debate is that one of the participants actually flat out said that staying her now-thin size took an incredible amount of will and work (plus Meme mentioned the whole running 4 miles every day thing) and nobody managed to point out how ridiculous it would be to expect everyone to make this effort FOREVER just so their bodies can be smaller. What exactly is the point? Are fat people just never allowed to relax and live? Must we forever strive to fit some societal ideal?

closetpuritan February 25th, 2010 | Link | Ugh, just after reading this

Ugh, just after reading this I came across an awful Dick Cavett column in the New York Times where he flat-out said, "no, it is not OK to be fat". It was about how fat people shouldn't be in commercials, because that would lend approval to their fatness. Just as it's obvious to us that the answer is "yes", it's still obvious to a lot of people that the answer is "no".

I think that there are, unfortunately, a lot of people who don't think it's OK not to treat a health problem. Even the ones who might grudgingly admit that we ultimately have the right not to do so will get very agitated about anyone actually making that choice.

rebelle February 26th, 2010 | Link | Yes, I remember that

Yes, I remember that horrible Dick Cavett piece, too, which as I remember it, basically concluded fat people shouldn't ever be seen publicly, lest their existence be validated; shouldn't appear on TV for fear someone, somewhere might think "they are human beings like me," and how there shouldn't be plus-sized clothing, because that takes away our "incentive" to lose weight.

I just remember being stunned that the NYT published something so blatantly bigoted. But, of course, he can bite my large, juicy ass.

vesta44's picture
February 28th, 2010 | Link | Asking "Is it okay to be

Asking "Is it okay to be fat?" makes as much sense as asking if it's ok to be short, or tall, or thin, or blond, or brunette, or blue-eyed, or brown-eyed, or Asian, or Native American, or Black, or blind, or paralyzed, or different in any way from what is considered the "norm". After all, we have just about as much control over fatness as we have over all the other ways we are different from one another.
Of course it's ok to be fat, just like it's ok to be thin, or anything in-between fat and thin. The best way to make it mainstream acceptable to be fat is for more and more fat people to learn how to accept themselves as fat, learn to love themselves, and demand the respect and dignity we all deserve as human beings.

WLS - Sorry, not my preferred way of dying. *glares at doctor recommending it*

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