Fat-Shaming has Become a Thing

x-ray of a 900-pound manWe already had racism, faith-based bigotry, and several other varieties of divisive doctrines. Wasn’t that enough to deal with? Apparently not, because now fat-shaming has become a “thing.” One of the weird aspects of this type of prejudice is that obese people are by no stretch of the imagination a minority. There is a world-wide epidemic of obesity, but rather than diminishing, the passionate disparagement of fatness continues to grow.

Orson Scott Card wrote a speculative fiction novel, Xenocide, in which overlords tampered with the genetics of an entire planet full of people, so that some of them would be very intelligent but also afflicted with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder to the point where they were easily controllable. Anyone who spends hours meticulously tracing the woodgrain pattern across a floor is unlikely to have time or energy for political rebellion.

A close look at worldwide obesity statistics can inspire the paranoid fantasy that something equally sinister is going on in real life. Why is everybody so big? Can they really not help it? For people who have never struggled with weight gain and obesity, it is important to believe that size is entirely a matter of volition and choice. The idea that a person might just get fatter and fatter and be helplessly unable to do anything about it, is chilling.

For the sake of their sanity, lean people have to swear that this could never happen to them. The next logical step is to accuse obese people of letting it happen to them—because to admit otherwise would destroy the necessary belief that a person can totally wield control over this area of life. And the next step after that is to dislike obese people for being a blight on the landscape, and for demanding two airplane seats, and for expecting the taxpayers to fund their bariatric surgery, and whatever else it is they do to annoy normal-weight people.

900-Pound Man?

The illustration on this page is supposedly the MRI image of a man weighing 408 kilograms, or 900 pounds. At some point it went viral, although controversy exists over whether it is real. At any rate, some Health At Every Size advocates are sick of hearing a certain cliché that this picture seems to represent. They hear the saying too often, and it gets on their nerves, and they are moved to declare:

There is not a thin person trapped inside me.

This, in turn, antagonized Jean-Philippe Dufour, who was impelled to rant against the slogan’s addle-brained critics. The following is only a small excerpt from what he wrote in rebuttal to any food addict who insists there is no thin person trapped inside:

Yes, there is you delusional sea cow. Your obesity is slowly killing the organs desperately trying to keep you alive. Your cardiovascular system is a wreck…Your digestive and endocrine system is on the brink of exhaustion…Your skeletal system, especially around your joints, is at a constant struggle against gravity…This isn’t love. This isn’t acceptance. This is you ignoring all of these valiant struggles to keep you alive and spitting it in the face, leaving it to die a slow agonizing death. That thin person is not trapped, they are being tortured.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “This Xray image of a man weighing 900 pounds goes viral,” TheNewsMinute.com, 06/24/14
Source: “Facebook.com, 01/10/14”
Image by TheNewsMinute

One Response

  1. Being under 500 pounds is unhealthy. Let’s repeat this to ourselves 5 times:

    Being under 500 pounds is unhealthy.
    Being under 500 pounds is unhealthy.
    Being under 500 pounds is unhealthy.
    Being under 500 pounds is unhealthy.
    Being under 500 pounds is unhealthy.

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
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Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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