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    BETHIEBOOPS   11,048
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Is Fat the new F word?

Sunday, October 07, 2012

This article in Allure Magazine has me cringing in despair.

Go ahead and read it:

I am a big proponent of acceptance in our own bodies. Even when society doesn't love your body, it is your responsibility to respect yourself. To stand up for yourself. To find what makes you a good person, to find your own contribution to society and DO IT! But here, we have 2 pages of an overweight woman lamenting about how being fat has set her back. She couldn't follow her dreams, she couldn't have the life she wanted, she was victimised.

I appreciate the advice she gave her daughter - There are many reasons to not like someone - and their appearance is not one of them- but do you think that she sounded like a wounded soldier? It was so defensive. And sad.

It makes me sad that fatness is a disease we have to pray against our children. Good heavens- I thought the feminist movement was further a long than to assume that myself worth is tied into the number of men who find me sexually desirable.

What did you think of the piece? I'd love to hear your (even conflicting) opinions if you have one. So share away!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
GIRLONTHEWING- 10/8/2012 3:14PM

    It's sad to me that in her head she is clearly still the fat girl, the fat kid, not the adult who has control and acceptance; still the child.

She talks about fat like it's a life sentence, whereas acne is simply clearable with Accutane (yeah if you want to take the risks), moustaches can be waxed (yeah if you have the money/time/motivation to go to all that effort!). But none of these things are the simple facts she presents them as. The simple answer for all three would be acceptance and esteem, if life were that simple.

Even as an adult you see the chip on her shoulder, as if she suffered when the bullimic girls didn't ; because she put on the extra 15 lbs, and not them. Bullimic girls suffer AND put on weight AND feel objectively fat. I feel like she is a contender in the pity olympics or something. She is going for the gold here.

I also resent her saying that she has made as much peace with her body as a plus size woman can make. Who is she speaking for? All women in the world ever? Hmmm.

I don't think this article will go down well, she doesn't seem very likeable and seems to have a very small frame of reference.

It's not very encouraging and the life sentence she describes seems self imposed.

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HEATHERHUNTER 10/7/2012 6:34PM

    I really liked the article, and I kind of understood Jennifer Weiner in her hopes that her child wouldn't grow up to be overweight. I think about that often actually. "When I have kids, I sure hope they don't have to be this way too" is something I've definitely said to myself more than once. I still hope that if I ever have the chance to have babies that they will be tall and healthy like M is. I don't know if I'm making myself a victim as well, but I feel like she does that sometimes it does not matter what you try to do... nothing helps.

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HALINHALF 10/7/2012 3:12PM

    I'm wondering if her prayer for her daughter to not become "fat" was more of a metaphor of self worth that she herself struggled with over the years? She describes in detail the life she wants her daughter to have, and yeah the mother wanted to lose weight so her friends would value her from the attention she was getting, but she didn't want her daughter to have that attention, just a loving husband, job ect...

I'm not sure if that analogy makes it any better, probably worse :-P, but it's similar to calling something "kryptonite" that weakens you. No, that piece of cake or shot of whiskey or bad magazine isn't kryptonite rock, but the meaning behind it to the speaker knows the superman story and it's well known enough to them to use it as a description to everything.

Hopefully she is working on changes as well for her daughter's well being, and the fact that she told the girl to find new friends makes me think she doesn't want her daughter to try and fit in and lose her own self worth with people hurting her so bad. She may be making changes that she didn't point out just because it didn't fit in with the overall story. That may be why the daughter isn't fat, or could maybe be why the daughter came up with the connotation that fat is such a negative thing in the first place. She had to learn it somewhere, but unfortunately we'll never know where.

I did like the article, as sad as it is to see the mother have to go through with that with her daughter I really love reading and studying psychology and social interaction and how people got to where they are with their mentalities. The conflict of truth vs fairytale the mother had to pick between was also interesting. Yeah, someone may be fat but calling it out doesn't do anything but hurt, provoke ect, they have to realize for themselves to make the changes only people that seek change can be pushed to change. Just like sin in the Christian realm, you can call someone a sinner, or you can show them a life where you reject sin. Call it out and they get defensive, call you judgmental, although it may be true, it makes one defensive. People have to understand the need to turn away from sin, or an unhealthy lifestyle, their hearts and minds need to understand the difference before anything can happen for the better. Hopefully the mother got through to her daughter about that and her words don't hurt the other girl in the story... but hopefully that other girl (as I notice from the daughter's words) learns the same lesson she did that day.

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CLUMSYPHOENIX 10/7/2012 11:26AM

    We live in a world obsessed with fat. We eat too much of it. Most of us carry too much of it around on us. And it's become a topic of constant news reporting. We know it's not healthy to be overweight, yet still, it's like a siren calling to us from the sea. So yes, I see "fat" as becoming an obscene word. In fact, it's not often that I hear anyone described as fat anymore. They're overweight, heavy or stout. To call someone fat now is like calling them some other derogatory name, and in our politically correct world, we all know what kind of uproar that can cause.

She handled it ok, I think. The end of the article was a bit... wounded, as you put it. To pray that "she won't get fat", well, that seems to be a bit extreme to me. She set boundaries for her daughter, made t clear that calling this other little girl fat was wrong, and talked about judging other based on appearance (and why that, too, is wrong). This was the right thing to do, I think. It's what I would have done. But if she wants to prevent her child from feeling the "pain of obesity" then she needs to instill healthy values like eating right, exercising and positive self-image/self-talk. That's far more important than "Please God, don't let her be fat..." - and far more effective.

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PIPPAMOUSE 10/7/2012 10:03AM

    I agree that the author really does present the story as a victim. Is that the reality, often for young girls and women it is. Being overweight from about 1st grade gives me a childhood that has similar struggles and situations. But I think as an adult there has to be a change in mentality. Yes, we see how "mean" people can be. People often are critical of others in order to make themselves feel better. Does that knowledge make us feel better, not really. But what should make us feel better is knowing that we have choices. Yes, we are all made differently, but we also have choices. For most of us, this journey is about making better choices. My previous choices got me obese. I am working on making choices to correct the damage I have done. I cant blame genes or bad luck or "how I was made" for making me obese. I can only blame my choices.

Additionally, I do believe in the power of prayer, but I would rather have that mother praying for other/better things for her daughter. Rather than pray and take a passive role, take an active role in teaching your daughter valuable skills she needs to know to live a healthy lifestyle. Teach her to be active (like running with mom) and teach her portion control. Teaching her rather than praying for her will certainly help her more in the long run.

That's my take on the article. I do like the idea of teaching our children love and tolerance. Children always have and probably always will tease and bully others, but trying to teach them better ways to deal with it is a good lesson.

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