I won’t. I’m sure of it. But just because life likes to give you those little surprises, I decided to write this. To clear up my opinions about a few things.
Fat shaming, a subcategory of body shaming, is a serious problem. It causes suicide among the most sensitive, and a simply shitty life among the least. Because of this, it is a very touchy subject among intersectional feminists. There is an immediate call to arms when they think you could be possibly close to potentially insulting a fat person for being fat. Let me relate my experience.
A post showed up in my feed and I commented on it, replying to the caption (I’m hungergamessin):
Imagine you are a detective. You have two main subjects. Subject A is a subject whom you’re trailing “just in case” because they were thought to have been near the crime scene when it happened, buying a similar thing that the criminal happened to buy while on their journey. Subject B shows all the clear signs of committing the crime that Subject A doesn’t show, including suspiciously shy behavior in front of you when you had them in view. You are running out of time. Both subjects are within a quick two-mile radius of you and your team. Who do you go after? (I’m not saying eating too much is a crime, and I’m not saying this is how detectives really work, this is an analogy about assumption.) Without thinking too much, just say it out loud to yourself – which subject, Subject A or Subject B, seems worth it to you?
This is my mindset behind a comment like that. No, thin doesn’t mean healthy, and fat doesn’t mean unhealthy, but at least you have a lead with fat people, a proven possibility of a problem, so that is the first place you look.
Soon after, the call to arms happened. This was the first comment I got, from a person who I’ll nickname Qt: “lol no ur (you’re) missing the point (No, I wasn’t.) the only person who can asses (assess) anyone’s health big or small is their fucking doctor. U can’t see unhealthiness. (Yes “u” can.) U don’t know their life. (Did I say I did?)”
I commented back to that person “But I care about people! I love everyone and I’m willing to bother someone if they live longer.” This is true. I do care about everyone. I literally mean everyone. It’s hard, because I do get shit in return. And I am willing to bother you for your own safety. I don’t want to get you depressed, but in my mind, short-term (and only short-term, because I care about you) sadness or anger is worth it. If you ask for my help quitting smoking, I will tie you to a chair and feed you there, not allowing you to touch the cigarettes at all. (We could get into the complications of the daily schedule of that slightly unlucky person, but that’s for another day.)
Brutal (I’ll admit) intelligence. logic, and brutal honesty attracts some defensive idiots. Another person, who I’ll nickname Chester, because Qt did not continue the conversation, commented to me “‘i love people!! I want to make people who are already insecure about their weight (the issue is, still, a lot of people don’t even know of any potential problem, much less being insecure about it) even more insecure!! I’ll make people feel self-hatred as long as it makes them skinny because I love people!!'” Oh, joy. There are different types of trolls, and this one is a mocker.
I replied, quick to catch them in their mistake, “I don’t care about people being skinny. If you’re skinny, chances are you’re healthy. (Remember the detective analogy about logical assumption?) But of (if, gaaaaaah typos) you’re fat and healthy, that’s fine too.”
A minute later, a person who never made an appearance again, so I don’t have to nickname them, commented “that’s not even true lmao.” (I added the period.) I have no idea what they were referring to.
Chester came back a minute later from then and replied “and if you’re (Grammar! Yaaaay!) fat, chances are also that you’re healthy. Let people live for fucks sake.” (I added the period. It just doesn’t feel right without a period.)
Eager to end it, I commented my final comment on that post: “Will people stop hating on me. I’m sorry, okay? (Not really. My intentions are pure.) I’ll shut up. (What else could I do?) Stop replying to that comment.”
After that, no one did. I even got a few protectors. One person mentioned me in a comment and said “lowkey protects.” (I added the period.) One person typed out a much longer thing on one of my posts on that account: “Hey I just saw everyone in that comment section gang up on you because of you comment about fat/skinny health and I just wanted to say I know what you were saying and they completely blew everything out of proportion. (Thank you!) You weren’t fat/skinny shaming at all (Told ya!), you were just saying it’s important to try to stay healthy. I hope they didn’t crush you too much.” Wow. The Internet isn’t horrible after all. I am going to be friends with that person.
You might ask to explain my adamant attitude about “fat = (probably!) unhealthy.” Part of it is, as I said, that I do care about everyone but simultaneously have a weird, brutal love for honesty and logic. Part of it is science and simple statistics. But I don’t have to explain that part. My friend (in the same way that the person who commented a sort of apology-on-the-other’s-behalf above is my friend) Amanda did it for me:
I DMed her and thanked her, I was so overwhelmed that someone actually agreed with me.
But this is about if I get fat.
The first thing that will happen is that I will get very, very anxious. Insecure, even. (Ahahaha.) Because I have been told, by the trusty doctors in my life, that my body type and “health type” isn’t up for being fat and completely fine at the same time. (There is an extra fear, too – I have a debilitating fear of needles = no diabetes for me, please.) And you may call me a hypocrite due to my belief that there is still a large number of fat, unhealthy people out there who have no idea what the problem is. But no, listen, I am telling you, I am writing it down here, right now: I would know. I know. So there’s nothing to assume.
The second thing that would happen is I would calm down enough to accept brutal honesty from my peers. I do love brutal honesty. If you act logically, how can the simple (or complicated) truth hurt you? I accept brutal honesty to no end. It would probably take a while for me to settle back into that habit if I got fat, but once I did, I have no problem with you commenting about anything. There are more important things to think about. Like your next story for a book or movie you’re planning, or the color of the clouds, or how to recycle water in space, or how beautiful kindness is.
I remember taking to my best friend about this topic. She was one of those call-to-arms-feminists (I am a feminist as well, don’t you worry, just a calmer, forgiving type) and soon told me “that no fat person deserves to hear an insult about what they look like, especially if it’s a woman.” (That was paraphrased.) And then a few days later (we hang out a lot, I love her), I asked what I would look like if I got very, very fat, and she said “Absolutely horrendous.” (Or something like that. I remember it was clearly an insult about what I would look like.) This is why lying is bad. Because knowing what somebody thinks is better then them talking about you behind your back.
The third thing that would happen if I got fat would be an epiphany about which way I wanted to take my life, depending on my health (if I’m wrong about my prediction that being fat would hinder my health) and my own personal preference about appearances. I will definitely tell you if my body can take being fat and completely fine at the same time, so I don’t have to endure the pain of assumption.
Why does the truth hurt? Why can’t you just fix whatever the problem is? And if it’s not a problem, tell the person gently. They have no idea why they’re wrong and therefore have no idea why you would be mad at them. Why can’t people just accept logic, intelligence, and the truth? (Or the false, but without getting mad?)
I found something on tumblr (via Instagram, I don’t have a tumblr, and I never will) that perfectly announces my opinion:
I have no idea who you are but I love you.
I love everyone.