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16 February 2015 @ 02:29 pm
overweight != unhealthy  
In general, I like the Simpsons. Sometimes the episode isn't that funny, but in general there's usually a good laugh or two.

The episode "Walking Big and Tall" was completely offensive and damaging. It continues to perpetuate that all overweight people are that way because they're eating horrible food choices, actively working at it. But really, that's still par for Hollywood right now. What was horribly offensive was getting the positive body image movement completely wrong.

While I'm sure there are groups out there that might encourage bad eating habits, the idea of loving yourself as who you are is NOT an unhealthy thing to do. Fat shaming is damaging and does not cause people to make better life choices. I've spent a lifetime hating myself and I'm working hard to unlearn that. I am sick of people equating overweightness and unhealthiness. If you eat crap and don't exercise, then you likely aren't very healthy, even if you you are "the correct weight."

There have been countless studies that show that weight is a combination of many things, but highly determined by genetics (and a good part is the gut biome). Including a few that were done at a time when they could do things like force feed prisoners 10000 calories a day. Some didn't even gain weight and all them returned to their starting size when allowed to return to normal eating habits.

And then to end the episode implying that yo-yo dieting is healthy and that you just have to "get it right" by reaching "emotional maturity."

I don't know how to change the world, but I wish I did. People talk about never seeing representation of themselves on TV, well I would love to just once see a non-rail thin actress who isn't completely obsessed with any food in frame.

Promote health at any size. Being active and eating right, despite being fat or thin. Call out fat shaming when it happens. It never helps and can often hurt horribly.

Don't tell people it's worth taking health risks for them to reduce their weight (like liposuction or unhealthy fad diets.) That's not healthy either.

I don't know if writing fox would do any good at all. I wish I were more eloquent and could be a voice. I wish I were stronger and could stand up to the hordes of people on the internet who look at fat like a cancerous growth. That in their mind being overweight is a disease all in itself. And the ones who think it's "easy" that anyone who is overweight just isn't trying, and just needs to stop drinking soda, eating hamburgers and get off the couch.

EDIT: I seem to be alone in these thoughts. The only news about the episode was the cameo.

P.S. Don't thin shame either. People are different shapes and sizes, accept them!
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Shooting for the moonintuition_ist on February 16th, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC)
you're completely right, and i'd encourage you to add your voice to those others who are doing things like starting the Adipositivity Project, blogging about fat shaming and the like (like here!), and calling out the idiots who think that anyone who isn't shaped like twiggy is disgusting and awful.

i had hopes when the number of overweight people started rising that we'd see some shift in culture that made being fat more acceptable, but if anything it's gone in the other direction. i've heard it's worse in California, Colorado, and Florida -- places that promote athleticism, have a high percentage of people in image-conscious industries, or have a climate that encourages fewer clothes (or some combination of those factors).
The Water Seeker: pushupplymouth on February 16th, 2015 09:13 pm (UTC)
On Joss Whedon's TV show Dollhouse the character Millie was a size 12 and was portrayed as attractive and even shown having sex with one of the other characters. It was kinda refreshing. The show was only on for a couple of seasons and the actress herself lost a bunch of weight later (probably at least in part because the roles open to here at that weight were limited). It was a kind of strange show that I didn't love but it had a bunch of good and interesting things about it.
chenoamegchenoameg on February 17th, 2015 12:52 am (UTC)
Sympathy. Nothing constructive to add.