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Dear Mean Girl

April 28, 2014

Weight LossFat HealthExerciseMy Boring-Ass LifeDickweedDiet Talk

Trigger warning: Dickweed promoting weight loss.

Dear Bigot Troll Mean GirlMean_Girls_movie,

You read this article on Rawstory (stating a “study” found people more likely to “gorge” themselves if they think of obesity as a disease), and thought you’d get in a few laughs at my (and all obese people’s) expense on a friend’s Facebook post. I suppose it’s my fault, really, because I did respond to the post with:

Or, people have stopped trying to starve themselves (aka diet) and instead started treating themselves with compassion. While I don’t agree with the idea that being fat is a disease in itself, it is often a symptom of diseases, or a side effect of many drugs. As a society, our preoccupation with the symptom or the side effect of multiple prescriptions, actually gets in the way of true physical health.

I’m pretty sure you felt I was opening myself up to the contempt you heaped on me after that.

Whatevs. You are just a Mean Girl and don’t really rate any time I spend on answering you. But I’m going to answer you here, because I can.

First off, I really don’t like that the American Medical Association decided to label obesity a disease. It’s not a disease in and of itself. It can be a symptom of many diseases. It can be a result of growing old. It can be a result of dieting (read: starving yourself) too much. And as I said in my direct response to you, the idea that obesity itself is a disease gets in the way of true health. Rather than trying to find out the underlying cause of the obesity, doctors now just prescribe diets and say “Next.” I mean, more than they used to, because prescribing a diet for every problem a fat person presents with goes back long before obesity was declared a disease.

But I digress. There are many reasons a person may become obese.

So what?

No, I mean it: so what?

My, or anybody else’s, being fat does not impact you in any way at all. No, not even that old bogeyman of “raising your insurance premiums.” Because I can promise you, people who have cancer raise your premiums more than I ever can (just because I’m fat). In fact, I have a friend who has multiple sclerosis (and who happens to be on the skinny side of “normal weight”), and just one of her monthly infusions of a medicine that will hopefully keep her disease from progressing too fast costs the insurance company $12,000. That’s per month. In any normal year, I don’t come anywhere close to $12,000 of medical care (doctors visits AND medicine combined). In a normal course of time, it would take me at least 12 years of doctors visits and medicine to equal one month of her medicine. This doesn’t include her regular neurologist visits, the extra MRIs to make sure she’s going through a flair (when she is, in fact, going through a flair), the extra infusions needed when she’s going through a flair, her pain clinic, her physical therapy, her …  Well, you get the idea.  It seems the only time she leaves her house anymore is to go to some medical provider or another. So, the cost of drugs and treatment for my thin friend does more to skew your and my insurance premiums than I do.

So, what’s your beef? Why do you think it’s okay to call me stupid (your exact words were that I wasn’t intelligent enough to understand something)? Why do you think it’s okay to treat me with contempt?

I know why; it’s something you even said: you think fat people don’t have self control. Somebody else in that thread added that we fatties just need to be educated on good nutrition (aka, we’re too stupid to understand what we’ve seen in every magazine and on every health show in the past 20 years or more).

In your world, it’s pretty black and white: calories in, calories out. And don’t confuse you with anything that may make your poor little brain to have to think. You think you don’t read anything by the diet industry? Well, let me assure you that most of what you read about the OBESITY!!EPIPANIC!! is funded by the diet industry (follow the money). Of course they are going to tell you it’s all the fat people’s fault for not understanding the simple physics of calorie consumption involved! Or it’s the fatties fault for not being disciplined enough to hit the gym for only an hour (or five) each day after they finish their work day.

It’s so simple in your world, isn’t it?

Of course, I’m going to call you on your bigotry. When you tell me “you just want to think people are mean so you don’t have to do anything about your weight,” I’m going to tell you that I think people are mean because they just are. Through your own words, you prove just how much of a “Mean Girl” you are. You are not alone.  And you aren’t even original about it.

You think I, and just about every fat person in the free world, haven’t heard it all, over and over?  Including your attempts to deflect my points by saying I was being defensive because I didn’t want to do what was necessary to lose weight? Including you calling me stupid over and over again? Including your insistence that you had the One Twue Way of Weight Loss Health™ and why didn’t I listen to you?

I’d ask you to think about why it’s so important to you for me to lose weight, since we both know it has nothing to do with health; but I know you’ll just make more contemptuous remarks about me, my assumed lack of health, my assumed lack of physical fitness, my assumed lack of intelligence. I know I’d be asking for more self-reflection from you than you have shown yourself capable of in our dialogue so far.

Rather than continue to engage you I’ll just say this: I don’t listen to Mean Girls. Or Mean Guys. Especially on the internet.

Or, in other words (to use an internet meme), go DIAF.



7 Comments leave one →
  1. Purple peonies permalink
    April 28, 2014 10:15 am

    You know, I really REALLY hate the BS line that fat people just need to be educated because we’re all too stupid to understand basic nutrition. (I’m not talking calories– that’s a whole different line of BS.) I’m actually very well read on nutrition, dietary needs, and how it relates to human biochemistry. I was also an assistant dietitian many years ago, and counseled hospital and nursing home patients about many different types of medically necessary diets, as well as ensured these folks received adequate nutrition while in my care. I find food and nutrition fascinating, and incredibly important. I’ve talked to countless naturally thin people who have no concept of the significance of the nutrition content of their foods, and very little understanding of their body’s nutritional needs beyond the bare basics. But somehow just because we are fat, we need special lessons thin people don’t get…. we’re just too stupid to be treated like equal human beings. Assuming we’re completely clueless is just another way fat people are dehumanized.

  2. April 28, 2014 11:08 am

    Nice. I just had a similar argument yesterday with what might have been the exact same yahoo. Well, they all sound the sound after awhile anyway.

  3. Moose permalink
    April 28, 2014 3:36 pm

    I wrote an article for a BioEthics journal about why the AMA calling obesity a “disease” is horrible. Hopefully it will be published soon.

    [Well, to be honest, I *wrote* an article. They seem to be treating it like some kind of opinion piece, which is depressing. But, hey.]

  4. April 29, 2014 8:56 am

    Metabolic variability is a real thing. To believe otherwise is to ignore a fundamental truth. And I challenge any naturally-thin troll-like person to shadow me for two weeks and consume the exact same amount that I do. If you are that person please contact me through FaceBook.

  5. April 29, 2014 11:10 am

    Reblogged this on Sly Fawkes and commented:
    I just love these clever, clever concern trolls who think that reiterating fat stereotypes is going to make fat people suddenly realize the error of their mistake, stop gorging on whole pies and buckets of Kentucky Fried, quit watching the Honey Boo Boo Marathon, hit the gym, and magically become a Socially Acceptable Size. (TM)
    It seems to me that the concern trolls are the ones who are willfully ignorant, and not particularly creative either.
    I’m also galled that being a “mean girl” has somehow become something that’s to be admired or aspired to.
    Also, as was pointed out, all the concern trolling has ZILCH to do with health and everything to do with making You look just like Number 12.
    It’s an old story that’s gotten very, very boring. But these rather boring individuals will continue retelling it over and over again, ad nauseam.

  6. Dizzyd permalink
    April 29, 2014 3:48 pm

    Yeah, God forbid that these trolls do something that actually challenges their pea-sized brains to actually engage! They are all too happy to just continue the same bullcrap that they are used to because it fits in with their simplistic viewpoint of the world. (“Me good. All others bad.”) I was reading a book called “What’s Wrong With Fat?” (I forget the author’s name, sorry!) and she made some good points about how our society frames the topic of “obesity” (sic!). Thanks to our “lamestream media” (that’s a good term), any scientific articles that try to say what we’ve known all along – that fat is just a descriptive adjective and NOT a measure of your character, moral sensibilities, or worth as a person – are picked apart before it even has a chance to challenge anybody’s way of thinking, but articles that reiterate the panicky “Fat people are bad! And taking over the world!!! OMG! AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!) are treated as if they came down on stone tablets from Mt. Sinai. That way the powers that be can make those little trolls feel good about themselves by patting them on the head and telling them “Now, now, don’t pay ANY attention to those articles that challenge your way of thinking and try to tell you that you may be wrong. Just let us do your thinking for you like we always do”. That way, the trolls can go skipping on their merry little ways, making life hell for anyone that isn’t them. Cie, you hit it right on the head! It IS all about forcing everybody to conform and rewarding the trolls for being some kind of childish tattletales that attack anyone else that isn’t up to society’s image of “perfect” (re: Stepford clone that has no unique personality or quirks nor thinks for itself, but just sits there looking pretty). (And just for the record, I think that a more appropriate salutation for this letter would have been “Dear Idiot”!)

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