So I'm seeing a lot on Tumblr between the Fat Acceptance crowd and the Anti-fat acceptance crowd.
Clearly, we're all here to lose weight and reclaim our health, but we've all also been the butt end of a fat joke before(I presume) and some of us are still at the beginning stages of weight loss...anyways, I know some people in the Fat Acceptance crowd are actually against losing weight and trying to change your body. On the flip side, some people in the anti-fat crowd can be very cruel, calling fat people 'disgusting' and other such words, stating that if you're overweight it's your own damn fault and you better suck it up and change or deal with it.
Now I am, as usual, between these two extremes, as I think a lot of people are. I don't believe one should police another's habits or body. If you wanna drink, smoke, do drugs, overeat, over sleep, jump off of bridges then whatever. If I love you or you're a good friend or family member, then yes I might bring it up and if it's affecting my quality of life and happiness then it could be a problem, but for strangers, who cares?
On the other side, some fat acceptance folks try to dissuade others from changing their habits even if the individual wants to do so.
Anyways, these are the extreme ends and you can find out a lot more by googling and/or checking out Tumblr or pinterest. I was just wondering what you guys think as people who have or are losing weight? It's a really big topic of discussion.
Few people want to be fat so I have no time for the anti-fat crowd. I have time for fat people and when they are ready to lose weight then I hope they find their way and if they ask me for advice I will gladly give it.
My beef with anti-fat people is that some think fat people can't lose the fat which then becomes prejudice. So when I kick their sorry arses to the curb in the gym, it gets a little interesting.
And then there is the blatent discrimination against fat people in all walks of life. Which is just totally unacceptable.
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I'm pretty much against anyone that tells other people how to live their own lives, which in this case includes both groups. I'm losing weight for my own reasons and it isn't anyone else's business, much less their concern.
With that said, I think if you live in a country with health care coverage, like I do, you have a responsibility to try your best to be healthy and not be a drain on the system. This doesn't mean anyone should be discriminated against for being overweight, or even for smoking and making detrimental choices for their health. Just that everyone needs to keep in mind that they can do something to help, just by trying to be as healthy as they can. It seems irresponsible to not even try, if you plan on using other people's resources to fix the problems that result from your choices. (Again, I think trying is enough).
The fat acceptance crowd has an extreme pro-obesity group within it, just like the anti fat group has the pro-ana group within it. I don't know how to reconcile either of those in my head, since both promote dangerously unhealthy lifestyles which impact more than just the person following their tenets.
This topic drives me bonkers! We are SUCH a culture of extremes, we can never find the balance.
I will say what I hate the most is obesity being labeled as a disease. Maybe it technically is by some doctorate definition but I personally don't like it. Maybe because disease just sounds so extreme in my head, and makes it sound like its a simple illness with a simple solution and easily defined symptoms. That's not to say that are bodies aren't working against us, for a lot of us, there is different hormone levels, etc. But I think its so much more mental then it is physical and the anti-fat people can just be so harsh. I also think anti-fat people often times have the wrong idea about fat, and tend to label even people who are just overweight "obese" and don't understand the different levels. And while you have to change your diet and exercise to get fit, that isn't going to look the same for everyone!!! At all!!!
I don't know how to feel for the fat acceptance. In a lot of ways, I agree and appreciate them, but I know they can have their downsides. I guess I just love the message on the surface, which is "love the skin you're in". I also think you're more likely to take care of yourself and get fit with a positive message than you are with a negative one. But there is a big difference between " love the skin you're in" and "just keep using food as crutch, avoiding your emotional problems and feeling unhealthy because that's who you are!" That's where Fat Acceptance is at its scariest. Yes, you should love yourself, but love yourself enough to make a change where necessary and to learn when you're putting yourself down with unrealistic expectations. Love yourself enough to be healthy and to deal with the emotional issues that lead to fat.
We just need to separate weight from worth I guess. Weight isn't who you are. Weight isn't beauty.
Tuumblr was the only place where I've really experienced that, walrus, and honestly it's part of the reason I don't participate in that community anymore. It's really sad that people feel the need to pressure others into their side, especially since a lot of Tumblr users are young and impressionable.
Started Jan. 2013 | Mini Goal 1: Onederland - Reached 5/20/14| Mini Goal 2: 179 (no longer obese) - Reached 2/13/15 | Mini Goal 3: 164 (15 pounds to goal) | Thank you, 5:2 and Intermittent Fasting!
I'm pretty involved on the anti side these days because of what the Fat Acceptance movement seems to have turned into as time has passed. I don't believe anyone deserves derision for their size, regardless of what that size is, but I see three major issues in the Fat Acceptance crowd these days.
1. The insistence that you can be fat - and by fat I mean morbidly obese not just a few pounds overweight - and still be healthy. The original idea was to say that you can be fat and still try to be healthy, and that just because someone is overweight doesn't mean they're automatically less healthy than a thin person, both of which are true. But the science shows that obesity is linked to risk of several conditions which are much less common among those who are thinner.
2. More and more I see people in these movements bullying other fat people who DO want to lose weight. They are not telling them, "You don't have to lose weight unless you want to because you are beautiful", they are telling them, "If you lose weight you are a traitor. You will look like a sack of bones and no one will love you. How dare you want to lose weight?"
Sort of related to #2, #3 is the increasing insistence that skinny-shaming doesn't exist or isn't a real problem. Vocal members of the Fat Acceptance movement deny that this exists in large part because they are the ones doing it. My thin friends are constantly getting snarky comments from others both on blogs and in person, accusing them of having eating disorders, telling them they need to eat, or making fun of their bodies. As soon as I lost weight, I started getting the same sort of comments from friends and relatives - What are you eating? Don't you want more food? You're not exercising too much, are you? I'm not saying it's worse for thin people by a long haul, but it happens, and denying it happens or that it hurts people is ultimately harmful and dismissive.
Fat or Thin Shaming is bullying. If you read the forum rules...whether we be for or against a particular weight loss plan that someone else is really enjoying, it's none of our business. We're not to step on their toes, give them our critical assessment or tell them what they really should be doing. That always goes over like a lead balloon. It really is best if we stay in our own lanes.
We're all individuals and the folks here are trying very hard to have success. We lead by example. What others think of us is really none of our business. We're here to spur one another on and offer up a kind word. Life is tough enough without our critics who've resigned themselves to completely giving up. We could all give up and simply settle for a life without challenging ourselves.
Failure is not falling down. Failure is refusing to let others help you get back up on your feet.
I fall between the two extremes as well.. though I'm more pro-body love than anything else. I recognize that studies have been done which show that shaming people, bullying, and belittling them actually lead to further weight gain. I also have noticed the trend anecdotal where many folks will claim someone is obese/overweight who isn't so, so I think there are dangers there where I've seen someone trying to be "concerned" about an individual because they've gained weight, just as I've seen people be "concerned" about folks who have dropped weight.
Anyway, what I've always involved myself with as acceptance, is just not bullying, basically. Not judging someone for what they look like, and then making assumptions on the habits of that person. That includes assuming just because someone is what you consider to be fat, that they must also be lazy, eating completely unhealthy, and never exercising. I absolutely hate it when people act like losing weight it completely as easy as "eat less, exercise more".. that's like trivializing every on these forum's struggles with weight and food, and completely oversimplifying the problem, on top of not being helpful. It's sort of akin to telling an anorexic person to "just eat more".. doesn't really address the problem.
All that being said, I avoid tumblr for societal type things. Extremists tend to lurk there for basically any pre-social type group.. so I mostly go there for comedy topics. Talking with people around me, or on forums, seems to get a much, much more mellow.. middle ground.
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I think that it is reasonable to accept that one is fat but that seeking support for such a situation will lead to a lack of desire to change ones' lot. Especially if the particular view of your group is that there are no or few associated health risks and that there is no need to change.
Sometimes I think such movements are counterproductive and that the effect of the movement may actually be far removed from its original intention.
Body positivity is a great thing, and it's definitely something that our beauty addicted society could use. People should be comfortable with their bodies and with perfectly natural things such as fat, stretch marks, cellulite, etc. without having an impact on their self-worth or on how much they are valued by others. Especially when it comes to things as trivial as physical appearances.
However, I hate to encourage any behavior that harms others, and that includes the person themselves. While I love to see people comfortable with their own bodies, I can't support those who are harming their own bodies and taking serious health risks, wether it's to lose weight or by accepting too much weight gain.
I just try to keep in mind that people have every right to be happy and healthy, which is what both of these aspects support. (:
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