You are a self described body positive badass and think all bodies types are worthy of love and respect. But when it comes to you getting fat….no thank you. You say “It’s fine for others, I just don’t want to be fat”. Hello internalized fatphobia!
Do you secretly hope that you’ll lose weight and dread the idea that intuitive eating will lead to permanent weight gain? That’s fatphobia.
Have you ever seen a super fat person and made judgments about their lifestyle, eating habits or self respect levels? Fatphobia again.
To discriminate against fat people can easily be seen as “acceptable”. Of course it’s not actually acceptable, but your friends likely won’t be offended if you suggest that lady over there should really lay off the donuts. Fat people “deserve” this treatment…it’s for their own good after all. (eye roll)
A preference for thin is so well established in our culture that it is incredibly difficult to untangle deeply rooted negative beliefs about fat. Your own subconscious biases may be, at times, almost impossible to spot.
There are various studies to show that fat people face discrimination at every place in life, making less money than thin counterparts, not being selected for jobs, being prescribed weight loss for any ailment they present to their doctors (54% of doctors reported that they believe physicians should have the right to withhold treatment from “overweight” or “obese” patients), to name just a few.
Fatphobia literally kills fat people.
You may be horrified by these realities, and you should be….but being fat yourself is something you just don’t want. But why?
Because you think fat is bad.
And that is fatphobia, my friend.
If you were truly liberated from societies overwhelming beauty ideals, then you would seriously not care what you weighed. You would not freak out if a pair of jeans are too tight. You would not be embarrassed to be seen with your super sized friend. You would not praise weight loss when someone posts a before and after selfie on Facebook.
Instead, you would see the benefits of being fat, like softness and strength. You would realize that 67% of women are size 14 or higher and that you are great just the way you are.
If you don’t feel like this, then you should challenge these negative biases when they come up. Why do you want to be thin? Or thinner? Who defines what is beautiful? Who has the right to decide what weight you should be? Whose fault is it than none of the clothes in the mall fit, when most women are fat?
When you hear biased comments about fat people, speak up.
Don’t laugh at fat jokes made by people who are "punching down".
Eat the ice cream if you’re afraid it’ll make you fat.
Date a fat person.
Watch shows and movies that feature fat people in a positive light (the new Ghostbusters is ace!).
Hire fat people.
Refuse to talk about diets, cleanses or meal programs.
Include anti weight discrimination policies in your workplace.
Share images of fat people on social media looking fabulous.