Fat People Are NOT Oppressed

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Since the 1960’s, the fat acceptance movement has been going strong since it grew out of identity politics so that fat people could be treated equally both socially and legally. That is all fine and good, but here’s one problem. You don’t see the original members of the fat power movement still alive today. But you will still see people who marched with Dr. King in Selma who are in their 70’s and 80’s and who can still tell you how police turned hoses on them as they marched peacefully. Why don’t we see that with fat activists from back in the day? That is because they died years ago from obesity, and from complications due to their obesity.

As society becomes more and more accepting of being fat, and thanks to HAES (health at every size), we are seeing society as we know it, self-love itself into an early grave. We are also now seeing more and more ‘fat’ historians because they now claim to have fat history. I’m sorry, but this is the part where I am going to sound like a closed minded bigot, but I fail to see how fat people are actually oppressed. They complain because on some airlines they have to buy two seats, and then have the nerve to compare their struggle to that of African Americans in Selma to Montgomery march in the 1965.

As a white person, who is also an ally to the GLBT and minority communities in my city, I have to say this really pisses me off. So with all of this so-called ‘body positivity’ and ‘fat acceptance’, I fail to see why fat people feel that they are oppressed. I understand there is this thing called ‘weight discrimination’ in the workplace. As a matter of fact Michigan is the only state prohibiting against discrimination overweight workers thanks to the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act which became state law in 1977, while Nevada Bill AB166 is currently awaiting action.

Now while these laws are fine, and no one should be discriminated against because of the way they look, fat acceptance activists really need to stop playing the victim card. And what I mean by that is every single time I have encountered a fat activist in real life and online, I get the same damned speech…

“I need fat acceptance because I’m sick of feeling panicked about my body.
I’m tired of the misconceptions about health that are rife in the media and even education; health is not simply about being fat or skinny. Health comes in all shapes and sizes.” 

“I need fat acceptance because I don’t believe people should be discriminated against for the way they look.”

“I need fat acceptance because without it, we will continue to dehumanize ‘fat’ people and trap them in a cycle of poor self-esteem, hopelessness and ostracism.”

Just these quotes alone, is playing the victim card. Here is the way I see it, fat people are only oppressed because they CHOOSE to be. Society isn’t the problem, their perpetual victimhood is. So as fat activists scream discrimination at the top of their lungs, let’s remember real struggles that minorities go through every day. Let me cite a few legal examples throughout history.

In the first 144 years that our nation was founded, women could not vote. As a matter of fact, Susan B. Anthony, one of the early pioneers for women’s rights, decided to break the law in 1872 by voting. She was convicted and fined. So if fat people are discriminated against, how come they aren’t barred from voting today?

Another example I want to bring up is slavery. That was a horrible thing our country did and it is still a dark chapter in our history especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. Slaves were taken from Africa to be bought and sold. Children, spouses, brothers, sisters, and whole families were sold to white slave masters to work on plantations. Fat people were not enslaved at all.

And on to the subject of marriage equality, fat people can get married, while some same sex couples in certain states can’t legally tie the knot. So I fail to see where fat people are discriminated against. I have never seen a fat person being hassled by the police, or being wrestled to the ground like Eric Gardner. I have also never seen a fat person give up their seat and move to the back of the bus so a skinny person could sit down.

Don’t think I’m hating, I’m just stating facts. But thanks to fat movements, more and more overweight people are feeling like they are oppressed. And they are feeling an oppression that is not even there. I say it is fine for fat people to love themselves, but leave their oppression BS at the door, because it doesn’t exist. You are only a victim if you choose to be. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog