No More Excuses


I’m 22 as of 12:28 am on today the 7th. W00t!

In the minds of fat-hating trolls, fat people are always looking for excuses to be fat and fat acceptance enables them to do this. Fat acceptance itself is the ultimate excuse for the massive human failure that is being fat.

(Un)common sense should be telling us all loud and clear that we are not currently witnessing an epidemic of people looking for reasons to get or stay fat. There are no cultural privileges-none-that come with being fat. If you are born fat, you are immediately cast in one of two roles: the hopelessly diseased or the would-be thin victim of evil parents. If you get fat later in life, you are both too lazy to do the work and too stupid to realize how good you had it. It’s like not cashing in on a winning lottery ticket. Fat people are to blame for all the world’s problems, have every disease known to man and it is all caused directly by their fat.

Where are the cultural privileges of being fat again? That’s what I thought. Nowhere. Yet fat people, still, are accused non-stop of making excuses to be fat. I very often have this conversation with my mother and in many of these, she will accuse me of making excuses to be fat. I tell her calmly that I am not. I’m just fat.

To me, making excuses for fatness is making statements along the lines of:

-I know I’m fat, but I don’t have time to exercise.

-I know I’m fat, but I don’t have the time to cook or the money to buy the “right” foods.

-I know I’m fat, but I’m depressed and don’t have the resources to get help for my overeating.

These are all statements that reflect the idea that A) you are fat B) this is a problem and C) that you cannot stop being fat because of some external factor and that people should stop blaming you. You are looking for an excuse to be fat without being judged too harshly, for being fat and for not giving your life towards the pursuit of thinness.

How about “I’m fat?” I am not explaining away my fatness or my failure to fix it. It just is. I am not blaming anyone else for anything because there is nothing to blame on anyone. It just is. This is what fat acceptance tries to do, and this is exactly the opposite of making excuses.

FA is not an excuse to not care for oneself either. In a way, FA purports to do just the opposite. The HAES approach requires that people chart their own course for their own well-being, not just following mainstream, simplistic, one-size-fits-all health advice, often in the face of great opposition. FA does not require that you pursue health, of course, but this is not making excuses either. Again, we are not blaming other people or Society (TM) for our choices or our health. It just is, and we demand respect regardless.

Frankly, they are the ones making excuses, not us. They are making excuses, devising straw man arguments, to not listen to us and challenge their own biases. They may be trying to deflect their insecurities about themselves onto fat activists. The reasoning goes, “I hate myself as a fat person, I am working hard and succeeding at being a thin person, and someone somewhere doesn’t appreciate how special I am because of it.” If the issue can be framed as fat people giving up, the fear of the loss of cultural privilege stays safely out of sight, out of mind.

In addition to accusing us of making excuses, these people very often use the excuses outlined above, like not having time to cook, etc. It is like they are trying to say they KNOW how bad being fat is, but to please not shun them. They are pleading for approval. We aren’t.

The next time you are accused of making excuses to be fat, just ask them:

Why should I excuse that which doesn’t need excusing?

I’m just fat.

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3 comments

  1. Anna Mills · September 7, 2011

    I’m in agreement with you. I’m fat, I’m also tall and pretty strong, I have great skin, my neck is long, my feet are really shaped well becuase I walk a lot. The list goes on and on. Actually I think I’m more big than fat, but why quibble. Also, I do exercise, I do eat a healthy diet (along with some great food that would not be considered “healthy”) And I’m not depressed.

    I look and listen to my thin friends and honestly, they have a whole other set of body issues, excuses and don’t seem all that happy.

  2. Mulberry · September 7, 2011

    People who say you’re making excuses to stay fat are themselves making excuses to dislike you. It’s up to them to change their attitudes because after all (according to them) they have more will-power.
    Many happy returns!

  3. Eve · September 9, 2011

    Your examples of excuses to be fat could easily be made by people who have just started in their fat acceptance journey. People who are just starting to realize that losing a significant amount of weight and keeping it off long-term would require superhuman efforts that are simply beyond their capabilities. And it sounds like they’re asking not to be stigmatized because of their inability to change an innate characteristic. Those concepts are part of fat acceptance.

    But I say early in their fat acceptance journey because sometimes the last piece to fall into place is the idea that there is actually nothing wrong with being fat. You know, the actual “fat acceptance” bit.

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