Let's Look at Society's Love/Hate Relationship with Fat People

MarilynWannRomainBolzingerFFF_by_Nicole_Peirce.jpg
Nicole Peirce
Romain Bolzinger followed me to Full Figure Fridays.
​There's some debate about whether the opposite of love is hate or disinterest. Fat people rarely enjoy public disinterest. We are, nonetheless, targets of strongly felt and self-contradictory attentions. Is it love/hate or something else?

For example: Why did a French TV guy from Tac Presse fly here and follow me around with his camera recently, eager to capture "le footage" of the rascally American fat activist for a one-hour documentary? This was the third French TV program to follow me in the past year and a half. (Why don't they talk to fat activists and organizations in France? Or in Spain? Or famous authors and groups in Germany? Or in the U.K.?)

I took the French TV guy -- Romain Bolzinger -- to Tigress Osborn's fabulous nightclub, Full Figure Friday. I left pretty early, but friends tell me he stayed until the place closed. The theme was Short Skirt Night. (It takes a seasoned media professional several hours to get B-roll of boogying fatties?)

I also showed him how passersby of all sizes on Haight Street react with relieved delight to my invention, the Yay! Scale. It's merely a bathroom scale with compliments instead of numbers on the dial. Step on it to find out you're "sexy" or "gorgeous" or "perfect" or "fine." He urged me to find fat people who would Yay! themselves. The next fat woman who happened by not only failed to feel downtrodden, she had read my book.

Am I an exotic specimen? The fat American who (perversely?) feels happy and healthy and even ... hot. According to the by-now constant drip of fearmongering, so-called "obesity" is Public Enemy No. 1. Among fatosphere bloggers, that's called concern trolling. I call it "hating us for our own good." Living well despite all this "love," one risks becoming a fascinating rebel for behaving in ways that, in a weight-neutral culture, would be unremarkable.

A few years ago, acting U.S. Surgeon General Rear Adm. Steven K. Galson got publicity when he said Santa Claus should lose weight. He inspired a PR firm to create a Keep Santa Fat video campaign that raised money for America's Second Harvest.

Keep Santa Fat. That's fat-love. So here's some hate. Or is it love in disguise? I'll explain. Remember the kid in third grade who punched girls in the arm if he liked them? That reminds me of last winter's Conan O'Brien /Kirstie Alley kerfuffle: The otherwise likable and popular Conan went on a spree of stupid fat jokes about Kirstie Alley. (I guess once you make one, you just can't stop.)

Then Alley tweeted about O'Brien, "That guy acts like I bit his d--- off." When Conan retorted with a joke about Weight Watchers advising "a shake, one slice of wheat bread, and then a sensible penis," I suspect he was thinking about her 1991 Emmy acceptance speech, when she said, "I'd like to thank my husband Parker, the man who's given me the Big One for the last eight years."

Poor spurned Conan promised Kirstie he'd make fat jokes about Peru's president Alan García Perez instead. I doubt it -- not enough sexual tension there.

But here's a story that best displays the straight-up hate in all this fat-scination.

Last week, a young woman named Athia was waiting to board a return flight on Southworst -- er, I mean Southwest -- Airlines when, she says, the gate agent insisted she buy a second seat, "for your safety and comfort." Her uncle said he'd sit next to her. Not safe or comfortable enough. The flight was oversold, Athia reports. People were being asked to give up their seats. Nonetheless, Athia said she had to pay $100 and walk past disgruntled passengers to take her seat(s). She says a man made a derisive comment and a hand gesture to describe her body as she went by.

When a man who was traveling with his wife and child had nowhere to sit, another passenger audibly said, "That girl took that gentleman's seat." If that's not safe and comfortable enough, here's the cherry on top: a Southworst (oops, there I go again) employee returned the $100, moved her uncle next to Athia and her aunt, and seated a passenger in the open seat.

This heroic young woman immediately posted her story on YouTube, with brilliant analysis. (I hope Kevin Smith takes a lesson from her on how to respond to mistreatment, whatever you happen to weigh.)

Athia says, "It was the most humiliating experience I've ever had in my adult life. Everyone -- every single person on that plane -- was looking at me. Some people were shaking their heads, other people were sneering; some people were chuckling."

Her response: "I call for a revolution of hearts. By sharing this story, I hope that we can understand how people and policies inform each other. If we direct care and compassion towards one another, we can then begin creating a more beautiful world to live in."

What will happen when everyone who is near the BMI (Body Mass Index -- or, as I call it, Badly Misused Information) categories of "overweight" or "obese" refuses to fly Southworst? What will happen when everyone who has a fat friend or family member refuses to fly Southworst? If Santa flew Southworst -- would they make him pay double?

Do you find hatefulness about weight lovable or unlovable? Will you join me in refusing to give your attention and money to people and businesses that seek to profit from fat hate? Will you consider that loving our diverse bodies might mean just that and not criticism, ostracism, and the endless makeover?

----
Marilyn Wann has not given any money to Southworst Airlines since it started proudly advertising the policy of charging fat people double. She believes that respectfully accommodating all types of customers is good for business.

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40 comments
glowred
glowred

Here's a newsflash to the fat-haters: Poor food choices alone do not cause the majority of fat people to be fat (there's a certain thing called genetics that determines traits like body size, height,etc.) and even if they did then that would not be anyone's business.Thin people can also eat shitty diets and they are Gasp! even known to get diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease too. Plus it's not like being thin grants anyone immortality. Sooner or later we're all going to die.

MetalhedMissy Swordbill
MetalhedMissy Swordbill

I pretty much so back alot of activism stuff for animal rights and other stuff I can not for the life of me back size acceptance to me your a suicide cult where Rev Jones and his KOOL-AID? if your gonna do it move to guayna or antartica where there are no inhabitants that have to pay for your bad food choices mistakes or lack of gumption at least invest in . like the working poor can't afford they're own or to help them yet fund to feed people who overeat on purpose.  and want to be fat on purpose.  and think it's funny mean while they got all this shitty disorders

razzyjamsey
razzyjamsey

And with all these "suicidal" folks populating the world, we truly do need some words of wisdom. Thanks for taking the time to enlighten us, I'm sure people get a lot of inspiration from you. I hope you enjoy the power of animal rights, have you ever thought about supporting humans? Just a thought, wise missy.

BigDee
BigDee

And I suppose you, Missy, in your great wisdom, can tell the difference between people who got fat because they have a medical condition and those who got that way from eating junk food?  Run to your nearest medical school, they'll just hand you a degree...

This from someone who can't tell the difference about accepting something they can't change and getting ON with their life, and "wanting to be fat"...

sisst219
sisst219

Im so so sorry u had  to experience what cold heart and thoughtless people are like .Please ! Talk about it , get this out of you . Holding bad feelings can do more harm . You are BEAUTIFUL and have brains BIGGER than anyones body . Im so so sorry .

WK-Mod
WK-Mod

Don't let these jerks get to you girls. You are all beautiful.

Mirindabacon
Mirindabacon

The only things mirin' your figure are hippos and casket makers.

Bigdickcheney
Bigdickcheney

death to the fatties! you deserve to be discriminated against you disgusting creatures. you are a drain on society and dont deserve to be allowed on planes and probably smell like shit

Bert Stare My BBC
Bert Stare My BBC

why can't you just exercise and eat well? Srs. I guess fatties gonna fat. Srs do you even lift?

Asds
Asds

stop being fat and making plane crash u stupid fat turds.

Mirin' Bulk
Mirin' Bulk

seriously? two plane tickets? are you fat people not ashamed? I rather let Osama Bin Ladin sit next to me on a plane than sit next to a whale taking up two seats, its sad all you fat ignorant people have to make up so many excuses for being fat. good luck with your health and wellness goals in 2011 fatties

fatass
fatass

Are you aware that there are people in this world that have a severe medical condition which causes them to be that way? My mother for instance is one of those people. She is a truck driver that has bad knees and a bad back from driving the truck but you probably do not care about that case either. Oh well I am not one of those people I am 6'4" 245lbs and I exercise every day. I would love to see you say something like to my mother in front of me. Probably never happen though you are probably just an internet tough guy. I doubt very seriously you would say that to someones face. Just my thought.What do you think. Oh I am sorry you probably do not have a brain. I on the other hand will be happy to buy you a plane ticket to come here and see if you have the nerve to say that to someone I know.

cheeky can't mate
cheeky can't mate

Are you aware that there are people in this world that have a severe medical condition which causes them to be that way? My mother for instance is one of those people. She is a truck driver that has bad knees and a bad back from driving the truck but you probably do not care about that case either. Oh well I am not one of those people I am 6'4" 245lbs and I exercise every day. I would love to see you say something like to my mother in front of me. Probably never happen though you are probably just an internet tough guy. I doubt very seriously you would say that to someones face. Just my thought.What do you think. Oh I am sorry you probably do not have a brain. I on the other hand will be happy to buy you a plane ticket to come here and see if you have the nerve to say that to someone I know.

Dylan Klebold
Dylan Klebold

Personally, I hate fat people because they're just disgusting to look at. If i see one in the wild eating, it turns my stomach, an absolutely sickening sight. Also I hate them because 99.9% of fat people only have their greed and gluttony to blame, they gorge themselves and have no willpower, and i know this as soon as i see a fatty in the street.

They put unnecessary strain on the healthcare system, unless you have a diagnosed disorder or disease which forces you to become a blob of breathing, shitting fat, you should be turned out onto the street and left to kill yourself with your own insatiable greed.

Fat people who raise their children on a diet of crisps and chocolate effectively kill their own children. As a child, they learn directly from your habits, and if you don't give them the right food as a kid they will grow up as disgusting and hated as you, and it'll be your fault when they die of an aneurysm.

If i was sat next to a fatty on an airplane, I would complain instantly, and I would make it known that if I don't get moved I will complain like a motherfucker. If i don't get moved, I will do everything in my power to break that fatty down and make the next few hours very, very uncomfortable for them.

Yuer Ware
Yuer Ware

Fat people are disgusting. They are 100% responsible for their obesity. I love when fat people tell me “I have a slow metabolism.” metabolism is the rate of the chemical reactions in your body. The rate is based on your activity level so basically its like saying “It’s not my fault because I am lazy and don’t exercise.”I love it when fatties say they have tried everything and can’t lose weight. Ya everything but to stop shoving food down your throat or getting off your fat ass once in a while.Fatties should be strapped down and starved until they are healthy because they obviously are too incompetent to take care of themselves.

Bert Stairren
Bert Stairren

Fat fucks think they are people, but they are actually second class citizens.

Myron Gaines
Myron Gaines

Why not just make being fat illegal?

By the way, I read some parents had their children taken away from them since the children were fat... we need to see more of stuff like this in society

umirin?
umirin?

I now feel dumber for reading these comments about how being "fat" is sociably acceptable, and being FAT DOESNT KILL YOU. LOL

Zithertoo
Zithertoo

Based on your post you were pretty dumb to begin with, so it wasn't much of a decline.

Bobby McSlim
Bobby McSlim

They should make being fat illegal in my opinion.

Fat people look disgusting, a drain on society, cost ME hard earned tax money to pay for their health problems....

Killallfat
Killallfat

Disgusting fat whore maybe if you spent less time stuffing cakes down your face you would not be such a drain on society.

Guestington
Guestington

Southwest charges fat people for two seats?

I'm now more inclined to fly Southwest because, if fat people avoid flying with them, my seat will be more comfortable. Thanks for the tip!

Sherry Sanders
Sherry Sanders

I think this is an excellent article.  But I don't think we should forget that much fat hatred in MSM is marketing.  The media's function is to sell products, sponsors play a role in content and VNRs (hidden commercials within the news) abound.  We have so de-evolved as a society that if stigma sells, no one has qualms about using it.  Even more insidious; however, is the power-elites attempt to use fat people to scapegoat the poor(who are statistically fatter) and draw attention away from how they have ripped us off blind. It is no coincidence that fat people, along with welfare recipients and unions are at the other end of the accusatory finger for economic woes; yet the public still has no idea of the degree that they are exploited by the rich and powerful.  It is class warfare!

BigDee
BigDee

Amen Sherry!!! EXACTLY the mentality of the lengthy post earlier from the woman who went into great detail about her medical condition causing her to be fat (vs. the rest of us who got that way from being lazy pigs, loud and clear between the lines) and somehow thinking she could make herself feel better spewing all that hatred against the rest of us!

Yes, you can cut a lot more size 4 dresses from a bolt of cloth than size 24, and that's ALL this is about!  MARKETING!

MarilynWann
MarilynWann

Great analysis, Sherry! I encourage people not to buy stuff that's processed with unnatural ingredients like hate. We can stop buying it. Why live in fear?

jburke723
jburke723

Unfortunately, I'm afraid now to attempt to give any airline any of my money after Southworst did something similar to me...

mirin gains
mirin gains

I understand how you feel, jburke!  I've felt that way myself and hearfrom lots of people who say they just don't fly because of these discriminatory policies, which is a huge loss both for them and for our society. (And the airlines, too.) What I've found is that I am able to shed the fear and live my life fully by telling the story of now, this is the story all about howMy life got flipped-turned upside down And I'd like to take a minuteJust sit right there I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel AirIn west Philadelphia born and raised On the playground was where I spent most of my days Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool And all shootin some b-ball outside of schoolWhen a couple of guys Who were up to no good Startin making trouble in my neighborhood I got in one little fight and my mom got scared She said 'You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air'

Marilyn Wann
Marilyn Wann

I understand how you feel, jburke! I've felt that way myself and hear from lots of people who say they just don't fly because of these discriminatory policies, which is a huge loss both for them and for our society. (And the airlines, too.) What I've found is that I am able to shed the fear and live my life fully by telling the story of my experience with weight discrimination and by joining with other people who oppose weight discrimination in a community of resistance. I'd be happy to connect you, if you aren't already involved. Also, if you want to look into your legal options, I recommend Bay Area-based Sondra Solovay, a fat activist and attorney who has founded FLARE (Fat Legal Advocacy, Research and Education).

Notblueatall
Notblueatall

Hate is hate, simple as that. You know it's hate, too, when they sneer or shout at you from cars. I call them ignorant cowards. Ignorant for simply believing the lies the $64billion diet industry has consistently fed them and cowardly for not questioning that information and all that mainstream media shoves down our collective throats. Look deeper and you find the truth that fat doesn't kill! It doesn't! Plain and simple.

MetalhedMissy Swordbill
MetalhedMissy Swordbill

always playing the anti discrimination card every time something don't go their way or someone disagrees with them. still the grim reaper fancies a bbw from time to time more often then most mortal men anyhow size acceptance folks are usually oblivious and hate any "FAT" person who wants to overcome the infirmities they will suffer and ignore and are oblivious too. work on losing weight i have endrocine issues that cause weight issues real medical conditions ya know the ones the "other fat fools"lie about having to cop out i work on becoming better then this and living longer and trying to be healthy frankly life is too short to be into size acceptance rev jones suicide cult . do they have iv hooked up to themselves at NAAFA meetings "BBW" conventions with direct adipose stuff going into them so they can out die a mayfly hmm curious? as a fat person myself i don't see the sense in supporting the suicide cult NAAFA

too try shorten my previous post make it less novelish and more interesting here I want to say is oblivious to the fact death happens cause of obesity forensic medical examiners can prove that they peer into dead bodies then make up some fairy tale or myth as to how that person passed on. I am pretty sure they can tell that obesity leads to the cause of death or co-morbid conditions that cause death relating from obesity. I am working on My issues It takes me a long time to lose weight cause of having pcos(polycystic ovarian syndrome a illness that mess with the bodies ablity to use insulin making us resistent causing us to gain weight and other issues that makes us feel less feminine it a pure horror to have this believe me it's not something I'd make up to seek attention or cop out. I am disabled cause of this condition as caused other issues hypthyroidism as well. I still "do not use" these illnesses as a excuse or lie about having them like some folks do as a excuse to be 'FAT" I am very proactive in life and try to over come these . I was chastized a year or so ago by this author for adding her or wanting her as a facebook friend cause" i wanted gastric bypass surgery at the time or the lapband" "they will not as i will quote these bastards associate with anyone who has weight loss surgery or want to lose weight. I have in the past been made fun of by "BBWS" aka big beautiful women you know the animals Norway can still hunt legally.and do so commercially haha. i know pot calling kettle black here like cartman they poke fun of me cause i am a norse pagan/satanist metalhead type person they think I am weird and a freak i Joined they're groups online and forums and stuff online to try help myself feel a bit better bout myself emotionally and for my self esteem issues wanting to see how the other large women did it. so called a freak cause I listen to some off colored dark twisted music hmmm least pt barnum wouldn't of put me in a trailer years ago like he would the ones who lay in fecal matter for some Buffalo bill type mentality freak on a internet fetish porn site god forbid they actually shake their nasty shit on youtube some poor young girl sees them isn't it cute i can commit suicide with donuts and it's cool and some poor fuck wants to jump off a bridge and they yell stop at them don't do it don't jump the fat person gets away with so much crap it's unreal and cries ohhh people are being mean to me bullying me i was bullied in highschool i had depression i sought a "MENTAL HEALTH team to help me" i didn't go crying to NAAFA or the govt to stop these kids . i went about my own way and have been working on weight loss most my life but cause I have the slow metabolic issues it takes me a long time to lose so why wouldn't want a solution to help me sooner the surgery well actually wasn't able to have it due to mental health issues caused by the pcos(pmdd kinda of like bipolar) you gotta be pretty stable and up to standards cause even the lapband is major surgery not like the bypass but it has it's complications . know it never deals with why some folks eat anyhow just fixes the physical stuff the stomach. i keep working i have lost 60 lbs on my own while that might not seem like much to these folks or bullies or trolls or haters it seems like alot to me cause it took me so long with my conditions to lose that. . too these size acceptance folks i am a evil heathen for even wanting to try to feel better and lose. so know what I as a satanic pagan metalhead can't "associate" with fatties that want to kill themselves and you think my music promotes suicide hehe not like you big bitches are doing on youtube and fetish sites online. no offense calling you that and i am fat myself but seriously if the shoe fits wear it. if it fits haha i hear you ladies look like a oilfield inside yourbodies lay on a semi trucks pallete to get to a doctors appointment and stink worst then the worst smelling liquid cow manure farm does in northern ny. and are covered in maggots one of my metal buddies aid these ladies get so fat they gotta shit in a bathtub they can't fit in a toilet imagine some guy actually "wanting" that type of woman or even loving a mess like that well suppose it's like a car accident you can't help but look look but don't touch. folks to these "FAT" acceptors and freak sof nature even as i am physically lket hem they "HATE" metalheads haha what areyou afraid of our music being so fast might race your hearts and you could lose a few calories that way so you can't be on youtube's most hated list. or clogging your organs with fat . yep what you fat things need to do is go to a morgue have a good look at your future. cause it's not so bright now is it? it's rather grim and morbid look at the dead fat people before you ask the pathologist to show you how YOUR GOING TO DIE much as a freak as i am and weirdo i speak my mind the truth and no offense but IF I CALLED MYSELF A BBW i'd have myself checked into a institution somewhere. cause to me thats SUICIDAL AND YOU NEED TO BE ON A WATCH FORTHAT. or should be . overeating passive suicide my therapist told me how that is. you seriously folks should go in somewhere for that. why wouldn't someone want to not lose weight socially it's more acceptable to be thin you live longer your healthier again those dead bodies those dudes slice open and theyc an tell how you die from being fat they don't lie do they? science never lies it's in your face honest as morbid and creepy as dissecting and autopsies are the truth never. i notice once on "DR oz show he was showing a rather large lady what a acid reflux esphagus looks like ya know freak like me just love his show all those dead body parts on there lol showed how eventually that "leads to cancer" and the lady he was talking to showing afterward said she was gonna start a diet soon as she got home see how gore can shock you back to reality you outta be thanking the bulilies for being so mild with yas. and haters. they were harsh on me but i learned hey i can over come these dudes by fixing myself up and showing them i am just as good as they are and i care about mse nad love me . being morbidly fat and cool with that is self hatred and deceitful to everyone in america that's trying to help you people. such a waste of poeple NAAFA. BBWs ssbbws (the admires aren't real they lie to get a free piece of cam ass so they can make fun of ya later on with real good looking women lol) . they defend ya for the same reasons. they know fat gilrsl are easy lays and such til someone better comes long. anyhow thats all I wish to say and spit out as a fat person I SAY NO TO SIZE ACCEPTANCE. AND FAT ACCEPTANCE I SAY NO TO "BBWISM, SSBBWS, FEEDERISM, ETC" IF YOU WANT YOUR SUICIDE CULT TAKE IT SOMEPLACE OFF THE NET peeps do not need their kids watching this shit and please die a death of dignity not laying in your own feces then humiliated by being carted out on a whale stretcher a whole cut in your house to get you out a smell that gags the rescue workers being covered in that maggots and all this and that least the maggots will be "FAT and happy ones anyhow haha .". humliation alone is this lifestyle you morons are into worth all the pain and dead end and bitter end your going go have? why fight a system that is doing what it does for your own good as you put it which it does. like dogs if you over feed them they say you kill them with kindness. well to not do that and to say no when they beg is for their own good. same with hater and bulliers unlike the bbw admires and fetish freaking liars that they are the haters re outright honest and care about you and shortened lifespan. suicide is ugly even "anton lavey " the church of satan's leader pointed out that suicide is self destruction the worst sin even to a satanist and self deceit is ' so to me bbws are SINFUL. and stupid too if you ask me very stupid. i was a honor student i build computers etc I might not have the best grammar or spelling but eh i know what needs to be said SAY NO TO FAT FETISHISM SAY YES TO SIZISM FOR THEIR OWN GOOD 14/88

BigDee
BigDee

Missy here has "endocrine issues" so she has a "legitimate" excuse to be fat and pass the judgment that all us  other fat people got that way from sitting on our arses eating ben & jerry's.  How amusing!

Bert Stairren
Bert Stairren

Fat doesn't kill, strong knowledge of health & wellness.

Zithertoo
Zithertoo

That's not a complete sentence.

Fuckslayer
Fuckslayer

ha ha ha ha, oh wow it's like the fat has spread to your brain and made you mentally retarded.

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