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Topic: Weighing in on Fat Acceptance: A question for the Ridiculists  (Read 10338 times)

chai tea latte

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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.
sherlockian, May 29, 2013, 01:00:50 am

It's...really not, though. Being thin, whatever, but "extreme calorie restriction" (how're you defining this one, by the by? 500 calories/day? Fifty?) isn't actually all that glamorous either. I'm not trying to equate the consequences of being fat and not eating, but since you did specify extreme restriction...it's not like once you start wasting away in public, people throw rose petals at your feet. When you're ill, really ill (which you are if you can go through with long-term "extreme" restriction), your body is still public property to be monster cockyzed, prodded, discussed. There's no respect there, just suspicion and disgust.

I'm not sure if this is the right thread in which to elaborate further, and I'm also not sure I can go ahead and find you a ton of studies to corroborate what I'm trying to say. But extreme restriction really isn't the same thing as being thin, and it's definitely not a privileged position to hold. Your skin goes grey, your hair falls out, you shiver all the time, you pass out more often than not, you're so weak sometimes it takes a few seconds after standing up for your vision to work, and you've got distrust of other people and self-hatred both massive enough to land you in a psych ward on their own! This is assuming you don't get heart/liver/brain damage from it.

Extreme calorie restriction is really bad for you.

Ironically, the original tenet of fat acceptance (rather than fat activism)--that people should be encouraged to pursue healthy bodies, no matter what they look like--is one that would probably decrease the stigma of restrictive eating disorders. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be quite the focus of the movement anymore, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Lately, I see people interpret HAES (health at every size) as the idea that people, no matter what they weigh, can still be healthy, rather than that people, no matter what they weigh, should still have options open to them to become healthy, and I'm really not a fan.

PurpleXVI

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The thing is, to my mind, that it's not so much an episode about mocking or shaming fat people. It's about mocking the fat people who insist, in the face of all evidence, that being fat is perfect or never a problem. I mean, I know several overweight people who are great people, and part of that is that they're not on some sort of crusade to make being overweight acceptable.

The F+ is rarely about just making fun of people for being who they are, it's more about making fun of those people who insist that who they are is the most perfect thing in reality and engage in some sort of attempt to paint everyone else as the freaks. Like the waifu guys? Who gives a shit if someone wants to marry Aeris or Pinkie Pie or Superman? If that makes it happy, let them be happy. The hilarity starts popping up when they begin ranting about how real women are somehow the inferior, sick choice.

Asexuals? Fine, if you don't get boners, you don't get boners, we don't have a fight there. But once you start ranting about how people with functional libidos are somehow CRAZED SEX-BEASTS and how you're SO GLAD YOU'RE NOT ONE OF THE NORMOS, then we have a recipe for hilarity.

What's being made fun of is not the condition or belief that are at the core of any given episode, it's the monumental piles of hubris and willfully ignoring reality.
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Acierocolotl

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You know, I was trying to distill down ten paragraphs of nonsense but I found Purple's gone and done it for me.  So let me give you the executive summary:  Our comedy isn't the issue itself, but the delusions surrounding it.

count_actuala

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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.
montrith, May 29, 2013, 02:40:46 am
Yarp. I'm overweight in part due to a lot of chilhood neglect and poverty, but I decide what I eat now, goddammit, and what I eat is usuall real food! I also legitimately enjoy picking things up and putting them back down!

Isfahan

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MAN THIS PODCAST WAS FUNNY UNTIL IT SOUNDED LIKE IT WAS MAKING FUN OF ME
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Goose Goose Honk At Me Now

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MAN THIS PODCAST WAS FUNNY UNTIL IT SOUNDED LIKE IT WAS MAKING FUN OF ME
Isfahan, May 29, 2013, 10:01:29 am
I almost had this reaction to the Sherlock episode until I realized, "Wait a second, these people are gross and fetishizing gross things in a gross way. I'm just a fan with opinions I mostly keep to myself."

Also I'm going to go out on another limb and posit that the people who are loudest about fat acceptance are probably the most miserable about their own body image and trying to find an outlet for their pain that takes responsibility for the problem off their own shoulders.

Alpha Starsquatch

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How To Tell If the F+ Is Making Fun of You Personally

Are you:

_completely unsocialized
_a weird pervert who wants everybody to know what you maturbate to
_a horrible writer
_someone who is offended by facts and reality
_a complete moron
_a lunatic

If you answered no to all of these questions, then chances are the F+ is not making fun of you. I think this is a rule that transcends all fandoms and identities.
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« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 10:44:31 am by Al »

jack chick

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I should add, Portaxx & I tried to make multiple anorexia/thinspiration episodes, but the content just isn't that funny.

chai tea latte

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I should add, Portaxx & I tried to make multiple anorexia/thinspiration episodes, but the content just isn't that funny.
jack-chick, May 29, 2013, 01:16:38 pm
Yeah, once you get past the iced butter diet it's basically just shitty teenage xanga poetry and a suicide cult. Probably not great reading.

Keetah Spacecat

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Personally I feel like the episode was doing what it always does. Make fun of insane people. If you are an overweight person and you get up, go to work, cook dinner, read a book, do your laundry ect, WITHOUT any crazy, they are NOT making fun of you. They are making fun of the bathshit crazy idea that FA people HONESTLY THINK, THAT FAT PEOPLE FACE THE SAME OPPRESSION AS MINORITY AND GLTBQ GROUPS. Especially the white American women with internet access who think they have it rough.

I saw a post on This Is Thin Privilege where they were screaming that they were losing their 'rights' to 'cute clothing' and 'having men be sexually attracted to them and NOT be chubby chasers'. Those are the types of crazy they are making fun of. Hell, the person who runs the blog hates thin people and have even stated that 1.If you are starving you still have 'thin privilege' and 2. You only become anorexic/bulimic because of your internalized 'fatphobia', not because of self esteem issues and 3. If you're thin nothing bad has ever happened to you ever.

If you are a good person who just happens to be overweight, you should not have to be bullied or be ashamed of your body. Hell I was raised mostly by my grandmother who is fat, and I grew up kinda feeling like fat = warm positive people so I dunno if that's odd or not.

Me I have the opposite problem where I lose weight badly enough that sometimes my ribcage burns and I faint and nearly break my neck on stairs. Pretty much I have a problem where I can't get nutrients from food well so pretty much I could eat a plate of food but only have like a third of it actually count for anything. I don't want to ask how to gain weight in the Weight thread cause I don't think that's really the place for that :(

Delcat

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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.
sherlockian, May 29, 2013, 01:00:50 am

It's...really not, though. Being thin, whatever, but "extreme calorie restriction" (how're you defining this one, by the by? 500 calories/day? Fifty?) isn't actually all that glamorous either. I'm not trying to equate the consequences of being fat and not eating, but since you did specify extreme restriction...it's not like once you start wasting away in public, people throw rose petals at your feet. When you're ill, really ill (which you are if you can go through with long-term "extreme" restriction), your body is still public property to be monster cockyzed, prodded, discussed. There's no respect there, just suspicion and disgust. kal-elk, May 29, 2013, 04:22:21 am

I should add, Portaxx & I tried to make multiple anorexia/thinspiration episodes, but the content just isn't that funny.
jack-chick, May 29, 2013, 01:16:38 pm
Yeah, once you get past the iced butter diet it's basically just shitty teenage xanga poetry and a suicide cult. Probably not great reading.
kal-elk, May 29, 2013, 01:31:14 pm

I think if I have a sticking point, it's in this area.  Pro-ana/mia stuff isn't funny, because it isn't glamorous and it isn't safe.  My mother graduated college weighing less than a hundred pounds, and if she hadn't gotten help, I probably wouldn't be here today.  People really don't make off-the-cuff anorexia jokes because dude, there are kids dyin' from that.

But the opposite weight scale (derp) isn't afforded the same thing.  Someone claiming that they're healthy by eating eighteen doughnuts at a go instead of attending an event they'd been planning for for months isn't any less deluded or self-harming than someone claiming that they're healthy by getting through college classes on a diet of coffee and uppers.  So why is one fair game for casual humor when the other isn't?

This is honestly something I've been trying to figure out for a long time.  My mom spent half her life barely alive because of underconsumption and overexcercise, while my father has been digging his own grave through a terrible diet and sedentary lifestyle for years and is accelerating in the process.  One I've always viewed with sympathy, the other I've always viewed with disgust.  I am biased because my father is, well, a terrible person, but I know that's not a fair excuse.

I also have a friend with terrible arthritis, to the point that she hasn't been pain-free in years and has to use a cane, or a walker if it gets bad, which it often does.  Largely because of this, it's next to impossible for her to exercise and improve her weight.  I know her and her struggles with pain and health personally, so I don't stigmatize her when she uses a cart instead of a walker at the supermarket, because I know she's doing her best and is in too much pain to do otherwise, but I also know that most of the people who see her are going to assume she's a "fatty on a Rascal" who's going to go straight from shopping to buy fast food.  It troubles me to see that, especially since I used to view fat people the same way.

tl;dr I guess thinking about this stuff is making me face a lot of my own biases, so the ep hits pretty close to home for me.

PurpleXVI

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Because pro-Ana stuff is composed entirely of hideous, horrifying self-loathing of people's own bodies, it's a clear illness and very depressing. While pro-Fat stuff is composed more of aggression towards others, hubris.

This is the thing, HUBRIS, ARROGANCE, this is where the humour is. It's not just funny watching someone be wrong(and if their being wrong is actually hurting themselves or others, it can be quite depressing. Unless we're talking in a slapstick manner of "hurting" like someone trips over his dragon dildo and falls face first into a cake.), it's funny watching someone be wrong when they're absolutely convinced that they, and only they, are ever in the right.

No one here is making fun of your friend, unless your friend starts making internet posts about how it's discrimination if someone doesn't want to bang her for being overweight or something of that sort.

tl;dr you're missing the goddamn point, over and over.

Delcat

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tl;dr you're missing the goddamn point, over and over.
PurpleXVI, May 30, 2013, 08:43:42 pm

Yup, that's why I keep asking questions so I can find it.

I think I've got a handle on it now.  I don't entirely agree with either party, but I have a better understanding of both stances.  Thank you for your open opinions.  Although I must say...

Unless we're talking in a slapstick manner of "hurting" like someone trips over his dragon dildo and falls face first into a cake.PurpleXVI, May 30, 2013, 08:43:42 pm

...putting that out there makes me want this to actually happen and it to be read so bad that I think it's a form of oppression.

KingKalamari

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My general thought on the matter is that I can definitely agree that society as a whole has a very narrow and screwed up concept of body image and that the weight range people can be happy and healthy at is a lot more diverse than what a lot of people think it is. However I don't feel that the FA people in that episode were concerned with being happy and healthy: When you start getting into a weight range where it begins to negatively affect your health (Whether from being too heavy or too thin) then I don't think that society's response should be to enable that.

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I'm a fat guy, and I know it's by genetics.  Most of my direct living relatives are walking balloons no matter what their diet.  One of my favorite foods is zucchini-and-tomato casserole, and I've still got a front-backpack.  I've even talked to friends about fat acceptance and social stereotypes and all that.

But when someone proudly walks around eating eighteen goddamn doughnuts, then maybe genetics doesn't play a part in how fat they are.
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