The fat acceptance movement is crap!
Yes, I said it, and I full well mean it. But first you need to understand that I am saying this from the perspective that I am a fat man who lives in a fit body. See, at one time I was fat and out of shape, therefore I know what I am talking about here. If you are falling into the fat acceptance movement, I pity you and those who love you since it could very easily turn into your early demise.
As one who is over weight, you have probably heard that your love interest should accept you as you are.
This thought is a common thread within the fat acceptance movement. To an extent, I do agree with this thought as no one should ever feel excluded because of their weight. Your weight has nothing to do with your personality. But, if you are single, is it reasonable for your life partner to accept all of the health implications which will come someday because of your weight?
One popular plus size Instagram influencer asked; can we finally normalize that there are different sized bodies, and each one is deserving of love and respect?
Of course we should love one another regardless of our body type. One does not need to be a glamour model in order to be beautiful. You can be a 300 pound individual, and be a very beautiful individual. But I stand on the fat acceptance movement being crap simply because for me, it is all about protecting your health.
This one particular Instagram influencer who has been promoting the fat acceptance movement is now pregnant. And here are some of her most recent words about how she feels:
Let’s be real. This whole pregnancy thing has been anything but glamorous.
My body feels foreign. My boobs barely fit into anything. I have weird aches and pains. I can barely eat. The toilet is my new best friend. I’m constipated. I’m so beyond exhausted.
Most of the time we don’t talk about what really happens. We like to sugar coat things. But, I am definitely not sugar coating this experience. While I am so grateful and blessed to be growing our little bean, I still feel it’s important to be real and tell you how I am actually feeling.
Getting out of bed everyday is tough. My depression and anxiety is creeping back in (came off my meds when I found out) But, we will get through this. I have less than a week and I will officially be in my second trimester and I’m hoping things change.
Brenda Sue and I became aware of this influencer about a year ago, or a little farther back when she was an attractive and fit young lady who was promoting healthy nutrition on Instagram. She is a nutritionist and was putting out excellent nutrition information, until she went off the rails with maintaining her low weight. Once she had derailed, she then began pushing the fat acceptance movement, and telling people bad information that as a nutritionist, she has to know is not true. Her message changed from the importance of good nutrition and fitness to one where she began telling people that you can be healthy and fat and that people should accept this as gospel.
You do not have to be thin to be beautiful.
A great personality does not rely on what you look like.
However, none of that has anything to do with your health. Poor nutritional habits that lead to obesity will also lead to an unhealthy body. This cannot be argued at any level to be a false statement. Your health may be good in the here and now with an overweight body, but at some point, this is going to change on you. Being overweight will at some point cause you to suffer the consequences of your life choices. And they are going to affect your loved ones too.
I really have to wonder if this influencer who has been promoting the fat acceptance movement has considered just how it is going to affect her baby by being obese during her pregnancy. It should be common knowledge that having a high body mass index (BMI) during pregnancy can have a major impact on your and your baby’s health.
Having a high BMI during pregnancy increases the risk of various pregnancy complications, including:
- The risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and recurrent miscarriage
- Gestational diabetes
- A pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys (preeclampsia)
- Cardiac dysfunction
- Sleep apnea
- The need for a C-section and the risk of C-section complications, such as wound infection.
Having a high BMI during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of various health problems for a baby, including:
- Birth defects
- Being significantly larger than average (fetal macrosomia)
- Impaired growth
- Childhood asthma
- Childhood obesity (1)
From US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:
Maternal obesity is now considered one of the most commonly occurring risk factors seen in obstetric practice, and obstetricians are increasingly faced with caring for women who are obese. Such patients pose particular management problems relating both to increased risks of specific complications, and to medical, surgical and technical challenges in providing safe maternity care. It is therefore not surprising that obesity is associated with increased rates of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Despite these problems, there remains a lack of awareness of both the range and severity of the problems associated with obesity in pregnancy. (2)
Our young influencer here is still a beautiful person. However, she has gained a very significant amount of weight and may soon regret her weight gain. There is significant risk to her baby, the science and biology of this cannot be intelligently argued my friends.
This fat acceptance movement is having a horrible effect on our children!
From Harvard Public Health:
But despite her outspokenness, Kriete, who identifies as fat, has long been attuned to the cultural signals, both subtle and blatant, that her body is not acceptable. After immersing herself in fat activism blogs as an undergraduate biochemistry and women’s studies major, she’s come to the School to acquire the tools to help change the conversation around weight and health. A key part of that is attacking stigma and shame.
Kriete describes weight stigma as a toxic exposure, like air pollution. The more you breathe it in, the more it puts your physical and emotional health at risk—from depression to hormonal changes that can lead to long-term physical damage. It can come from a nasty comment on the street, a blunt physician, or a family member practicing “tough love.” And there’s mounting evidence showing that it’s not just cruel, it’s also counterproductive. (3)
There is not a single individual, most especially our children, who deserve bullying in any form. There is nothing I can’t stand more than a bully. But the fat acceptance movement is not going to stop this.
One might think fat shaming would be trending down as the size of the average American has gone up, but perceived weight bias is actually rising. Among women, it’s now even more common than racial discrimination, according to work by Rebecca Puhl and colleagues at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. They and others have found that most Americans see weight as a matter of personal choice and willpower—and people with larger bodies as undisciplined and lazy. (3)
We, as a society, have been trying to teach our children at home, church, and in our schools that bullying is wrong, but it is not letting up. Nor is it letting up for many adults. But, escaping bullying is no reason to allow our children to become obese.
Obesity during childhood can harm the body in a variety of ways. Children who have obesity are more likely to have:(
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
- Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.
- Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea.
- Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort.
- Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn).
Childhood obesity is also related to:
- Psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.
- Low self-esteem and lower self-reported quality of life.
- Social problems such as bullying and stigma. (4)
For the love of God, I do not want any child to live with being bullied. I cannot emphasize that enough. However, I do not accept the level of childhood obesity we are now experiencing in America. Bullying is bad, but read that list of the complications from childhood obesity and ask yourself if you are okay with your child having any one of these conditions, or even all of them.
The Fat Acceptance Movement is Real!
The Fat Acceptance Movement began as a “fat-in.” In 1967, 500 people came together in Central Park in New York City to protest bias against fat people. Together, this group ate, carried signs of protest, burned diet books and photos of model Twiggy, and were visibly, publicly, and loudly fat without being apologetic. And that same year, a man named Llewelyn “Lew” Louderback wrote an article for the Saturday Evening Post titled, “More People Should be FAT,” in response to the discrimination his wife faced. This was one of the first public defenses of fatness in the mainstream. And I would say the original intent was probably a very sincere act by a loving husband.
Originally called the “National Association to Aid Fat Americans” when it was founded in 1969, NAAFA was groundbreaking in addressing weight bias and discrimination against fat people as a civil rights issue. In their early days, they focused on letter-writing campaigns and providing a social network for its members, which included fat people as well as those who were attracted to fat people. NAAFA began holding an annual conference, which allowed fat people to meet, dance, celebrate, find community, and even find romance.
The NAAFA conference is still an important event for the fat acceptance movement, though NAAFA as an organization has evolved into a more explicitly political force. The organization changed its name to “National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance” in the 1980s. To this day, NAAFA is an important resource on the discrimination fat people face in society, focusing on bias in healthcare, employment, and education. They provide resources to help fat people self-advocate, as well advocating to make weight a protected class, offering fat people some degree of legal protection from discrimination. (5)
Health and Every Size
Health at Every Size (HAES) is now something of a buzzword, and a concept that registered dietitians and clinicians who treat eating disorders like anorexia are embracing with open arms. However, it has its roots in the fat, queer, feminist rebellion of groups like the Fat Underground. The trademark for the term is owned by the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), but the origins of Health at Every Size are older than ASDAH by decades. And while Lindo Bacon’s book 2008 book Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight is often credited with creating the movement, it is a movement that has been building since that seminal Central Park “fat-in” in the 1960s. Intuitive Eating was popularized by the book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, but the anti-diet concept dates back to Susie Orbach’s 1978 book Fat is a Feminist Issue (which dealt with “compulsive eating”), which helped inspire The Fat Liberation Manifesto.
Health at Every Size takes the core tenets of the fat acceptance movement, coined by radical fat activists, and applies them to a weight-neutral approach to healthcare. The ideas behind HAES as a movement were painstakingly advanced by fat activists over the course of decades, which is important to remember as these concepts go mainstream. Intuitive Eating and the “anti-diet” approach are offshoots of the work these activists did to question the conventional wisdom around how we eat. As these concepts become more widely known, it is not unusual for their tenets to be co-opted by diet culture. Remember that social justice and discrimination against fat people are at the heart of HAES and Intuitive Eating, so it’s vital that these movements not exclude the very people they were created by and for. (5)
These people are full of crap, and they know it. Of course, no decent person wants anyone to suffer from degrading behavior by others. If someone were to fat shame another person in my presence, I am not one who would let it slide without confronting them. I would humble them in a moment for their mean and demeaning behavior. I simply will not let it slide, period.
I have often wondered how many times the fat acceptance influencers begin to change their minds when their health begins to decline. Brenda Sue and I have discussed this many times. Well, here is an excerpt from an article on this very topic:
Fashion and lifestyle blogger Maui Bigelow has always been curvy and built a social media presence by embracing every pound.
She hadn’t yearned to be thinner, but she wanted to live at least long enough for her two children, ages 20 and 16, to make her a grandmother.
“For months I talked to my counsellor about how I would share my truth with you,” Bigelow told her followers at Phatgirlfresh.com after the weight loss surgery last year. “I was concerned about how you would receive it. I feared the plus-size and body positive communities wouldn’t understand or respect my choice.”
Pay attention, some of these people who are rightfully speaking out against bullying of obese people can also be the biggest hypocrites when it comes to others losing their weight.
“Some of these influencers, they talk about being fat and how they love their plus-size bodies and how they’re so empowered in the space that they’re in, and they have all of these women who support them, who are cheering them on. Then fast forward, they lose the weight and you see the before and after pictures: Oh, this is when I was 350 pounds. I was so depressed. I felt so ugly. And this is me now. I’m so happy. I’m so free. Wait a minute, girl. Didn’t you say two years ago when you were 350 pounds that you loved your body and that you loved the size that you were? Me, I came into womanhood as a fat woman. I’m not as confident as I was.” (5)
Pop star Adele has recently received a great deal of criticism for losing weight. Some plus sized models report they are being harassed for losing weight. You would think others with weight problems would be happy to see people losing weight. But that is not always the case, as Brenda Sue can attest to after working for a very popular weight loss business before coming to David’s Way.
Rosie Mercado told TMZ in a recent video interview, she endured harsh criticism for going from 410 pounds to 170 pounds. She lost the 240 pounds over the course of three years as a result of making healthy lifestyle changes and having medical procedures done.
“I think there’s a group of people that resented that I was losing weight, because they thought that diet equaled a size zero,” Mercado said, adding that losing weight enabled her go zip-lining, among other things. “I got hate mail. From fans that just hated, I mean, they told me to go jump off a bridge and kill myself for losing weight. Fat activists, they just hated the thought that I was really public about my weight loss and that I was losing weight.”
From plus size model Ashley Graham”
“Body shaming isn’t just telling the big girl to cover up. It’s trying to shame me for working out. It’s giving ‘skinny’ a negative connotation. It’s wanting me to be plus size, or assuming I’m pregnant because of some belly bulge. What type of example are we setting for young girls and their self-esteem if grown adults are on Instagram calling other women ‘cowards’ for losing weight, or ‘ugly’ for being overweight?”
My friends, lets just be kind to each other, and show a bit of respect, love and dignity to all that we encounter. I will never accept the fat acceptance movement, not because I believe being overweight has any impact on you as a person. But I do know from personal experience that being fat is not healthy for anyone. Brenda Sue and I have built this website in order to help people with healthy weight loss, and it will always be a free resource for all.
What we do is 100% about helping you to become a healthier individual. You are one of Gods creations, therefore you are already beautiful. We want you to be healthy and beautiful, never forget that.
(1) May Clinic