If I Get Fat

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):

photo 1-6

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:

photo 2-4

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:

photo-15

I have no idea who you are but I love you.

I love everyone.

 

The Paradox of the Park (Warning: Long)

This is, incidentally, the same “headline” as one of the arguably most important articles in the Yellowstone-themed issue of National Geographic (“May 2016, Volume 229, No. 5”). I made the connection on purpose.

This blog post is about nature, human nature, and what happens when the two clash.

Let’s start with what defines human nature. From Wikipedia: “Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling and acting—which humans tend to have naturally, independently of the influence of culture. The questions of what these characteristics are, how fixed they are, and what causes them are amongst the oldest and most important questions in western philosophy.”

The most “obvious” characteristics, for some, can be complied in a very short list:

  • Complacency – this is true – there are a lot of bad things that you already know about but refuse to do anything about for some pretty weird reasons…the current statistic is that “Despite making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths logged this year by an ongoing investigation into the use of deadly force by police. ” (From an article from theguardian, three months old at the time of writing, part of “The Counting.”) And yes, this is the sadly familiar racist, horrible killings you’ve been hearing about. “‘This epidemic is disproportionately affecting black people,” said Brittany Packnett, an activist and member of the White House taskforce on policing. “We are wasting so many promising young lives by continuing to allow this to happen.'” (From the same article.) Black people are definitely protesting about it, yes, because they have a deep, worrisome connection to the problem. If you “know what’s up,” you should know this is very wrong. Yet…what are you doing about it? What is the average person doing about it? Do you notice any change? Any real change? Any actually effective things happening? Our mindsets are shifting, less so the actual problem. The cycle just repeats. And the reason for it is this: once someone has been ingrained into your brain as normal, maybe by just existing for long enough, it never leaves. It only dies with you. This is why a mad scientist would have no trouble with us, we can’t fight in the end. If the Hunger Games (from The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins) actually started, at first we would be shocked and disturbed, as expected. At first. Then…well, let’s just say in advance – I hope my District wins. (Pride and glory for District 1!) Another, more vague, example is that there are many, many problems with the U.S, nearly dystopian problems, even without President Drumpf, and yet…these problems keep happening…looks like the rebels aren’t getting any progress…
  • Agression – the definition is “hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront.” Does that ring any sort of bell for you? It should. Where might you have seen this before? ISIL, the U.S military, pretty much any military, it’s kind of a military thing, it’s kind of a war thing, rape, murder, homicide, the survival instinct…boy, we’ve seen this a lot, haven’t we, ladies and gentlemen and other classy people of all different genders? (Is there a non-binary word or phrase that can be used to the same purpose as “ladies and gentlemen”?) There is no disputing this. You have seen it.
  • Contradicting Morals – This one is less obvious, so I will explain it for you. We tell our kids not to hit, and become proud when they go off to join the army. When these brainwashed anger machines come back and regain their humanity, we cast them aside. We stress the importance of self-control, and seem to lose all of it, along with all of our common sense, in the race for survival in a crisis, even leading to the brutal killing of another human, which we are all supposed to understand and forgive completely. Yet, without an obvious crisis, we are absolutely merciless towards a murderer, unknowing how to act when the crisis is inside their heads but still very real. Pigs are smarter than dogs, and intelligence is considered a virtue worthy of life by humans, and yet one is a delicacy, and the other is considered way, way off limits. And yet even this varies from country to country. (I believe neither should be eaten, I’m a practicing vegetarian.)
  • Selfishness – We are only kind when we feel it will benefit us (conscious thought), or when we psychologically know it will (altruism). Even when it does not psychically or tangibly help you, just the fact that some of you enjoy making others happy, safe, or healthy proves my point. If you enjoy it, it helps you stay happy. Whoomp, there it is. Just broke your mind.
  • Selective Kindess – This goes hand in hand with the other one. This requires no explanation, but instead, an example: Think of any time that you have been nice to one person but not another, for whatever reason. Why? Seriously, why? Were they rude to you? Why should that stop you? Kindness has benefits, right?

(If you have any to add to my list, email me with a descriptor similar to mine at zoefblog@gmail.com – I’ll edit them in.)

And now for the other type of nature, the one out of our comfort zone. “Beautiful but terrifying” is the common way of describing Mother Nature, the goddess of all things out of our control. We are slowly but surely learning how to take advantage of and use her, or so we think. (For examples, try watching “Generation Earth,” (without the comma) available on Netflix – there’s only three episodes, and it is quite educational.) Mother Nature can kill, using brute power, the waves of the ocean, the scorching heat of the cracked desert, or one of her foot soldiers, our brethren, raised in the wild. Mother Nature can give birth, she can give life. Mother Nature isn’t only in charge of Earth, she holds the entire Universe (and just possibly the Multiverse) in her hands. She is not a being, but we personify her for the sake of understanding her weird ideas and movements. We create theology out of her, we try separating her, with water, and fire, and death, we create gods out of her. Mother Nature is endlessly complicated, and very strong, but very vulnerable. She is strange, indecipherable, manic. She is very beautiful, we mistake her for something that is there for us. No. We are a piece of her. Yes, I am vegetarian, but I believe in the natural order of things. Is that so contradictory? I believe humans, the pieces of the Universe that have become self-aware, should be vegetarian because they have the choice to remove that heavy burden. Other animals do not think in the way we do; we should not try to think in the way they do. We should not be aggressive, even in our crises, but they can be, because their biology suggests that they must. So yes, I am vegetarian, but I understand that other animals deserve to be forgiven and loved, predator or prey, because they simply do not think the way we do. There is a natural order to things. Innocence is a human construct. When we try to bring it upon our furry/scaly/feathered brethren, well…things go badly.

Here lies the connection to The Paradox of the Park: an excerpt from it, and a few thoughts.

On August 7, 2015, in Yellowstone National Park, a ranger found the chewed-upon body of a man near a hiking trail not far from one of the park’s largest hotels. The deceased was soon identified as Lance Crosby, 63 years old, from Billings, Montana. He had worked seasonally as a nurse at a medical clinic in the park and been reported missing by co-workers that morning. Investigation revealed that Crosby was hiking alone on the previous day, without bear spray, and ran afoul of a female grizzly with two cubs. The sow, after killing and partially eating him (not necessarily in that order), and allowing the cubs to eat too, cached his remains beneath dirt and pine duff, as grizzlies do when they intend to reclaim a piece of meat. Once trapped and persuasively linked to Crosby by DNA evidence, she was given a sedative and an anesthetic and then executed, on grounds that an adult grizzly bear that has eaten human flesh and cached a body is too dangerous to be spared, even if the fatal encounter wasn’t her fault. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim,” said Park Superintendent Dan Wenk, a reasonable man charged with a difficult task: keeping Yellowstone safe for both people and wildlife.

Do you see the problem? I do.

“…on grounds that an adult grizzly bear that has eaten human flesh and cached a body is too dangerous to be spared…” This is illogical. She was just doing what bears do. And she had kids! What are you doing about the “innocent” cubs who now have no one to take care of them? If our brethren see a possible source of meat, they go and try and get it. This is natural. This is the natural order of things I was talking about. Bears have an uncanny sense of intruders. I’ve heard they even wake up from hibernation, and they can tell where you are from miles away. Everyone knows this. And also, bear spray is a thing. And also, he was already old and close to dying anyways. I wouldn’t have killed him myself, but my point is that the bear was just being a bear. The authoritarian way of making sure that nothing can be more dangerous than us is nothing more than desperation, a sad imitation of the justice system. You cannot subject our brethren to the justice system. They’re just living their own life, in the way they know how. And besides, the have no lawyers! They have no idea why there is a need for a justice system. It’s like clashing two completely different planets together and only using the ideology from one.

The paradox of the park is that we are loving it to death. Humans destroy things, they crowd things, they spread trash everywhere, and yet they love nature. So every human wants a humanless place. This is the paradox of the park.

And as for human nature…we must rise above it. It sounds strange, but it will leave us in a better place than we are now. Complacency can be used for good, if we are complacent and non-rebellious in doing the right thing. Aggression can never be used for good, but it is admittably natural. (Natural. That word I keep using.) It arrives with adrenalin, a property of humans worth saving, it gives us psychical excitement, it contributes to fun. The contradicting morals are illogical and confusing, they cannot be used for good. The selfishness of altruism can be overridden when you act with kindness not because you enjoy it, even though you may as a bonus, but because you understand its benefits for others. Selective kindness should be stopped, it can never be used for good.

To simplify all that for myself, I made this promise to myself and wrote it down everywhere I think I would need to:

The Promise:

I promise to never force death on someone, or let it happen, no matter what, no matter who. I promise to be as intelligent and “clever” as I can, if only to be more efficient in creating solutions for the betterment of others. I promise to be honest to no end, for if you act logically, this cannot harm you.

ZMKF

Save Earth, save us. Save us, save Earth.

Published on the day before Earth Day 2016.