This is about the word “fat”, and I’m fucking furious, I warn you.
In two recent threads, two pursed-mouth, peevish harpies detail their horror of fat people.
One recounts a banal story of greed in the workplace, where the man’s physical appearance is inextricable from his irritating but trivial crime. No matter how often other Dopers suggest that his bad behaviour is distinct from his weight, she sticks to her guns: that awful political correctness prevents her from speaking her mind. He shouldn’t be fat.
The other whiny teen doesn’t like her room-mate’s brother. His greatest crime? Being fat, of course. Whingeing ensues.
And why am I so angry with these two trivial, smart-arsed tarts?
Because I love these boards, and have often gained strength from the community I have access to by posting here.
I have met a few Dopers in real life, and I have seen photos of many at the ancillary sites that this metropolis has in its orbit. And you know what?
Many, many of the finest posters here would call themselves (or more likely, be called by others) overweight. They have a big build, they are large. If they’re men they may be stocky, if women, generous. They’re bears, they’re plump, they’re full of figure, they’re brawny, chubby, bulky, husky, ample, king-sized, a lotta woman. Or, as those thin-lipped, smug, scrawny bores would say fat.
Yes, you two purse-mouthed, mirthless whingers. You call them fat, but there’s more than that. For you, fat doesn’t refer to size - it’s a moral choice. Your colleague, your room-mate are morally disgusting because they’re fat, and, added nonchalantly, so indeed are all fat people…
And that’s what makes me pale with anger, as I pound the keyboard much harder than usual. Your insult is so much worse because it is so casual.
It’s an off-hand assumption that none of us reading what you’ve written and posted in a public forum would of course be (earggh) fat, so we can all share your disgust. Fat people are them, not us. Oh, you whine, why can’t I be free to say He’s Fat. Nobody here will be offended, will they?
Yes they will.
One of the finest things about these boards is the culture, not of tolerance of difference, but of defence of the different, and their rights to respect here. As a gay men I’ve frequently been touched by the people who without cant or pomposity, speak out against clearly and promptly against the odd flare-up of antigay or anti-lesbian writing here. These are folk who clearly have a minimal contact with gay life, but who show a respect for me and mine that I too seldom find in this world.
Similarly, people’s religious beliefs, even when hard to defend in themselves, are given credence. The mother who doesn’t let her children read Harry Potter because of her religious scruples has been attacked, and promptly defended. I think she’s wrong, but she’s a valued constructive, member of the boards, and so I somehow find room for her in my world
And that’s why I hate you two ill-bred bumpkins. Or rather I hate the insidious, odorous bilge that seeps from you.
Don’t use “fat” as a term of insult here!.
In case I didn’t make that clear,
Don’t use “fat” as a term of insult here!.
Get the message. There are so many far more interesting, funnier, wiser, kinder, smarter, more valuable Dopers here, who you slur when you use their body type as a gibe.
Don’t come here to insult them to their face and then pretend that it’s about political correctness or the moral slackness of the obese.
And those adolescent boys who like to start threads on “but let’s face it - fat is ugly”, and either aim at a Tom Green “but I’m successful because so many people hate me” bravado, or cover over the sneer with mock concern about health, and actuarial tables - quit it! Shut up!!
Let it be a warning - you’ll find me on your back, and I think perhaps many other Dopers, if you slight the ample in future when I’m around.
Because the other thing that makes me wild is that these people that I respect so much, are being done over, repeatedly by so many others beside you, and even by themselves.
Of course there are health issues about excess weight, and “let’s face it”, adolescent men have been programmed by thousands of years of natural selection to prefer slender young bodies over mature fuller bodies. That’s about Nature wanting healthy babies.
And in our saner moments, we understand that what gets called fat in our lives is so dependent on the culture around us, that it’s laughable to assign any moral value to weight. It’s weight - that’s it.
But I suspect that to many who post here, and whose words I read with pleasure, and whose names I look for and light up when I see them, I suspect that to them the word fat can sometimes be wounding. It can happen that the memories of insecurity and not belonging can be so primal and submerged that the Boards’ most reasoned and urbane wordsmiths can be brought undone.
If you use fat as an adjective of loathing here on these Boards, you are fouling these forums. That is, you are invited to a salon of the brightest, most creative and expressive people in the world, and you are sitting in a corner playing with your own shit.
Beause in the end, it is your shit. It’s the worst form of self-loathing to be so publicly phobic of something that in fact means so little. It’s your own fat you are hating you shrill, irritating whiners. Either the fat you fear you have now or the the fat you fear will take over your body, as you grow older and lose control.
And you’re not always going to be in control of your body, and you are very likely, one day, to weigh more than you want to. And you have so little self esteem to start with, that you’ll be truly fucked.
Even the best are scarred. I have a sad memory of meeting a lovely woman a few years ago through my work. We had only ever spoken on the phone, and were to catch up at a crowded coffee shop. I said “Well you’ll know me because I have a moustache” and she said “Well you’ll know me because I’ll be the largest person in the room”. We met successfully, sorted our business and then stayed to have lunch. We hit it off so well that we talked for two and a half hours. And I kept thinking, you have beautiful hair, a vivacious sweet face, you’re well-groomed, wearing unusual clothes and jewellry, you’re a wonderful human being, and the thought that you came in here with was that you were going to be the fattest person in the room. Of course she wasn’t. Nowhere near. Except in her head, I suppose.
So that’s the manifesto, then. You’re not just insulting my friends, you’re hurting them where they have the least resilience.
In future, you do it at your peril. Stay off the boards if you can’t control yourselves and leaf through junk moviestar magazines instead.
“Jeez, look at Callista - she’s getting sooo fat!”
“Yeah, she’s been going downhill since she adopted that baby. Motherhood’ll do that to ya - ya never lose those extra ounces”
"God, I miss Karen Carpenter - those last photos of her were reely gorgeous, weren’t they?
“Yeah, her hip bones looked like two shark fins - I love that look…”
Go and throw up again, you insulting weaselly little X-rays.