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Topic: Weighing in on Fat Acceptance: A question for the Ridiculists  (Read 10333 times)

Delcat

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So a friend of mine and former casual F+ fan listened to Angry Angry Hippos and was really upset by it.  "I think [the F+] are completely vile pieces of shit and I never want to hear about them again" upset.

Personally, I don't hear it.  I'm fat, I've been stigmatized for it, but I liked the episode a lot (except for the having-to-escape-through-a-window lady, since that seemed like someone who genuinely had a lot of self-esteem and anxiety problems and it was honestly sad).

This has been an ongoing argument for some time now, with my friend claiming the F+ has consistently had "extreme fat-shaming issues".  With the diet thread starting up, I figured this would be as good a time as any to ask: How do you guys feel about fat, honestly?

Please note that I'm not asking for a bias one way or the other.  I just feel that it's more proactive to directly ask people what their beliefs are then try to cobble them together from snark readings.

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I've always thought the end bumper on that episode was a pretty good answer to this question, honestly.
Sherman Tank

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I would imagine that, like most of the episodes, their issue isn't with the thing people get angry about but the fact that they go Full Internet angry. And you never go Full Internet.

But I could be wrong.

(Also if your friend is up in arms about it being "consistently fat-shaming" then she clearly has no sense of humor because fatvoice is never not funny.)

Delcat

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I've always thought the end bumper on that episode was a pretty good answer to this question, honestly.
kal-elk, May 28, 2013, 11:40:39 pm

Me too, honestly, I'm just aggravated by this whole argument and figured it'd be simplest to ask for a direct answer.

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Obviously you shouldn't be mean to someone just because they're overweight, but for me there's a line of absurdity beyond which it's ridiculous to expect anything other than jeers. That line is getting up at dawn to buy 18 donuts which you then woof down in one go.

ETA: To expand, you're ostensibly entitled to your personal health decisions, but don't expect people to not point out the blisteringly stupid ones. You can buy your basket of Twinkies and say fuck you to whoever points out you're trying to live off Twinkies, but it's equally their right to point out that you're killing yourself with yellow snack cakes.
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« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 12:12:33 am by Juice Unlimited »

jack chick

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Hi there! I have not listened to the episode in question, nor did I read on it, but here are my thoughts.

This is a podcast in which we make fun of people. In all comedy, someone has to be the butt of the jokes. Oftentimes a lot of the most effective comedy is where the person telling jokes is the butt. Jeff Foxworthy, nature's most hilarious comedian, is a great example of this.

Now that I'm done baiting Citrus, we make fun of a lot of different groups of people. Some you may feel deserve it, some you may feel don't. But, in general, everyone gets their turn under the microscope. I recently read on something which prominently features someone with severe autism. In real life, this legitimately depresses me. I really dislike the feeling that there are folks that are disadvantaged. However, I can still find humor in the darkest of places. I'm sure that fat folks get put under the gun a bit more than other various groups (Autism for example). We can likely attribute this to two factors.

1) Commonality. How often do we (and by proxy, the average listener) encounter severely autistic people vs severely fat people?
2) Choice. Someone who is autistic is pretty fucked, but they don't have a choice in the matter, so there isn't really anything to condone/condemn. We cannot make the same claim for the vast majority of the overweight (unless you really want to get into a deep discussion about the pervasive efforts of marketing culture in the US and it's effect on weight gain). And like it or not, being fat is pretty much a choice (in most cases, obviously there are edge cases that we can ignore).

Speaking as a fat dude, I eat a lot of pizza and exercise very little. It's not really a mystery to me why I have weight issues. You should totally check out my video on the pizza roll challenge too. It's awesome!

I would say that we malign Juggalos quite a bit too. While less common, they're certainly making very bad decisions. MMFCLFL WOOP WOOP

Please apologize to your friend for me, while I was not involved in this particular incident (nor do I speak for the rest of the group here), it's bumming that someone would be hurt because of a hobby that I particularly enjoy. Alternately give me their info and I'll send an apology myself. That said, I think they're being pretty ridiculous and should grow a spleen (I heard from bunnybread that's what keeps you safe in MMA). If some nerds on the internet talking about not even you makes you upset, you're in for a pretty rough life.

Now everyone knows I'm a dummy, so I'm going to go back to blasting SATANIC SPEED METAL

Sherlockian

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Obviously you shouldn't be mean to someone just because they're overweight, but for me there's a line of absurdity beyond which it's ridiculous to expect anything other than jeers. That line is getting up at dawn to buy 18 donuts which you then woof down in one go.

ETA: To expand, you're ostensibly entitled to your personal health decisions, but don't expect people to not point out the blisteringly stupid ones. You can buy your basket of Twinkies and say fuck you to whoever points out you're trying to live off Twinkies, but it's equally their right to point out that you're killing yourself with yellow snack cakes.
Juice Unlimited, May 29, 2013, 12:03:58 am

Except that while it's okay to make fun of someone who eats a lot, someone who has the opposite behavioral problem-- that is, extreme calorie restriction-- is treated with a certain amount of respect that precludes extreme ridicule.

I will note that I, personally, wince when the Ridiculists make off-the-cuff fat jokes, especially about people whose real faces we've never seen.  The equating of fat with unhealthy behaviors (that are unrelated to food) is fairly common in pop culture and leads to widespread bias in much the same way that other common media stereotypes can cause problems. (Fat people-- women in particular-- are less likely to be hired, and less likely to earn as much as their skinnier peers. Pervasive stereotypes and jokes about fat people being lazy and disgusting are not exactly conducive to a positive hiring experience if you're overweight.)

OTOH, I simply chose not to listen to the FA episode under the assumption that, as fat jokes make me uncomfortable, and it would be an episode about fat people, I was probably not going to be happy with the humor in that particular podcast.  Pick your battles.

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2) Choice. Someone who is autistic is pretty fucked, but they don't have a choice in the matter, so there isn't really anything to condone/condemn. We cannot make the same claim for the vast majority of the overweight (unless you really want to get into a deep discussion about the pervasive efforts of marketing culture in the US and it's effect on weight gain). And like it or not, being fat is pretty much a choice (in most cases, obviously there are edge cases that we can ignore).

jack-chick, May 29, 2013, 12:20:56 am

While I can agree with most of it, sometimes (not most of the time) being fat is an issue beyond someones control, most of the women in my family have hypothyroidism, which usually leads to weight gain, and there is nothing they can do about it. My aunt does more exercise in a week than I generally do in 4 months, and she is still overweight.

That being said, my aunt doesn't complain about her weight at all, she still does things, she's fairly productive, and she works to ensure that she doesn't get heavier. She doesn't victimize herself for the sake of blaming others, or at all. The subjects prodded at in Angry Angry Hippos, and their ilk, are deserving of the mockery and criticism they receive.

I'm not too worldly so my views are probably naive and ill informed. So take it with a grain of salt hehehehe.

Now everyone knows I'm a dummy, so I'm going to go back to blasting SATANIC SPEED METAL

You are such a plebeian. NSNOSDTBDM is the only genre anybody worth anything in metal plays anymore.

Delcat

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I will note that I, personally, wince when the Ridiculists make off-the-cuff fat jokes, especially about people whose real faces we've never seen.  The equating of fat with unhealthy behaviors (that are unrelated to food) is fairly common in pop culture and leads to widespread bias in much the same way that other common media stereotypes can cause problems. (Fat people-- women in particular-- are less likely to be hired, and less likely to earn as much as their skinnier peers. Pervasive stereotypes and jokes about fat people being lazy and disgusting are not exactly conducive to a positive hiring experience if you're overweight.)sherlockian, May 29, 2013, 01:00:50 am

Yeah, I'm actually actively listening to the episode again now and finding it worse than I remember.  I find it funny objectively, but there is a lot of misunderstanding about how fat works, and it's frustrating to hear "We don't know how to make fat people skinny" suggested as absolute idiocy.  Fat is as much genetics as it is diet and exercise, and once you are fat, it's hard as hell to not be fat.  Worse, that assumption causes people to write off fat people both in derogatory ways and, perhaps more importantly, in health.  I spent sixteen years being passed around from doctor to doctor being told I needed to exercise more and eat less because I was overweight before I was diagnosed with a condition that didn't let my enzymes process food properly, thus making me too fatigued to exercise and too hungry to avoid temptation.  I'm healthy now because I'm on medication that lets me actually process food, but I'm still fat, because...we don't know.  Despite my nightly blitzkrieg assault on the Pit, I'm active during the day, and I eat a reasonable diet.

That having been said, there are a lot of unhealthy, addictive attitudes in the episode, although I don't see eye-to-eye with my friend on some of them.  I think we agree on the Hispanic lazy Mexican people bit being worthy of a brisk beating.

montrith

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I'm not a Ridiculist, but I'm just going to jump in here and say that Fplus actually helped me to be more in tune with my own body issues. Not going to lie, when I was a teen I was one of those "Omg you said something negative about my weight fatshaming you piece of shit". However, now that I'm older I understand there's a difference between people genuinely trying to help me make positive life choices and people mocking me just because they can. FAs are people who have not discovered there is a difference between those two groups. To them, everyone is an enemy who is trying to hurt their self-esteem. They've developed denial into an art where even massively unhealthy choices are applauded because the person is being "brave" and "standing up to themselves". They also have absolutely no sense of humor about themselves, nor do they realize that EVERYONE gets made fun of sometimes. These are the people that are made fun of "for being fat" in the Fplus episodes. It's not as if the Ridiculists would turn away in horror if they met a fat person who's generally a nice guy and fun to be around, nor would they bully anyone genuinely having a hard time because of their appearance. There is a big difference between "I can't go hot air ballooning, everyone is oppressing me!" and "Yeah, I guess I have a few extra pounds, but I'm cool with that and happy the way I am". An adult human being should be able to understand the difference between general goofing around and personal attacks. We have people here in the podcast who've had to listen to people tearing their fetish and/or fandom to shreds and yet they are still fans, because they are able to understand that there is a comical side to their interest. Just because the Ridiculists might find it amusing, it's not as if they have any special sort of animosity or ill-will towards their subject. At least, not if that subject isn't something inherently loathsome to most sensible people coughPUAscough.
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jack chick

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2) Choice. Someone who is autistic is pretty fucked, but they don't have a choice in the matter, so there isn't really anything to condone/condemn. We cannot make the same claim for the vast majority of the overweight (unless you really want to get into a deep discussion about the pervasive efforts of marketing culture in the US and it's effect on weight gain). And like it or not, being fat is pretty much a choice (in most cases, obviously there are edge cases that we can ignore).

jack-chick, May 29, 2013, 12:20:56 am

While I can agree with most of it, sometimes (not most of the time) being fat is an issue beyond someones control, most of the women in my family have hypothyroidism, which usually leads to weight gain, and there is nothing they can do about it. My aunt does more exercise in a week than I generally do in 4 months, and she is still overweight.

That being said, my aunt doesn't complain about her weight at all, she still does things, she's fairly productive, and she works to ensure that she doesn't get heavier. She doesn't victimize herself for the sake of blaming others, or at all. The subjects prodded at in Angry Angry Hippos, and their ilk, are deserving of the mockery and criticism they receive.

I'm not too worldly so my views are probably naive and ill informed. So take it with a grain of salt hehehehe.

Now everyone knows I'm a dummy, so I'm going to go back to blasting SATANIC SPEED METAL

You are such a plebeian. NSNOSDTBDM is the only genre anybody worth anything in metal plays anymore.
MicroMissles, May 29, 2013, 01:04:58 am

The hyperthyroidism & genetics issues are exactly why I mention edge cases. It's rare enough that we can discard it as not being a significant contributor to the greater overall issue. We don't go to the "obese because of genetic glandular issues" forum to dredge content, as all of us would find it pretty gross. Also, people with actual reasons for their issues don't generally create support forums to make excuses.

Anyone who follows trends in metal is a poser.

Delcat

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The hyperthyroidism & genetics issues are exactly why I mention edge cases. It's rare enough that we can discard it as not being a significant contributor to the greater overall issue. We don't go to the "obese because of genetic glandular issues" forum to dredge content, as all of us would find it pretty gross. Also, people with actual reasons for their issues don't generally create support forums to make excuses.jack-chick, May 29, 2013, 01:43:37 am

Actually, you'd be surprised.

Sorry, I just get sick of this argument.  Those are general studies, but the condition I have affects 5-10% of women.  That's a minimum of one in twenty, which isn't exactly rare.

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Actually, you'd be surprised.

Sorry, I just get sick of this argument.  Those are general studies, but the condition I have affects 5-10% of women.  That's a minimum of one in twenty, which isn't exactly rare.
Delcat, May 29, 2013, 02:08:17 am

Which also doesn't touch the documented weight bias that's present in the health care industry. To find out if there's a medical complication that's causing you to gain weight, you have to have a doctor willing to consider fat as something more complicated than diet+exercise. That's not always easy to find.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 02:35:56 am by sherlockian »

montrith

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The hyperthyroidism & genetics issues are exactly why I mention edge cases. It's rare enough that we can discard it as not being a significant contributor to the greater overall issue. We don't go to the "obese because of genetic glandular issues" forum to dredge content, as all of us would find it pretty gross. Also, people with actual reasons for their issues don't generally create support forums to make excuses.jack-chick, May 29, 2013, 01:43:37 am

Actually, you'd be surprised.

Sorry, I just get sick of this argument.  Those are general studies, but the condition I have affects 5-10% of women.  That's a minimum of one in twenty, which isn't exactly rare.
Delcat, May 29, 2013, 02:08:17 am

Obesity may be determined by genetics, but until someone comes up with a similar study on being a whiny asshole I'm going to keep making fun of whiny assholes.

Seriously though, every single woman in my mother's side is overweight, so I have no problem believing there's genetics involved. However, you can't just blame genetics if you never exercise, eat greasy food and weigh 400 pounds. Alcoholism has genetic factors affecting it too, but it still doesn't excuse people from personal responsibility if they turn out a violent drunk. My sisters are still technically overweight, but because they take care of themselves they turn eyes everywhere they go. I know I will never be model thin, or pose for the cover of Sports Illustrated, but I'm damn sure that despite my unfortunate genetics I don't have to be obese. I don't approve FAs who tell people like me that even if they want to lose weight it's impossible and they should just give up now. Not everyone can be Heidi Klum, but that doesn't mean I can't aspire to Not Fat Albert.
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Delcat

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Obesity may be determined by genetics, but until someone comes up with a similar study on being a whiny asshole I'm going to keep making fun of whiny assholes.
montrith, May 29, 2013, 02:40:46 am

A breakthrough!  No wait, false alarm.  Proceed.