The online world is absolutely full of people arguing with Maria Kang alternatively known as "fit mom" or "what's your excuse mom". She stirred up a whole lot of controversy with her picture showing her teeny tiny sports shorts and perfectly toned abs next to her three children along with the headline, "What's Your Excuse?" Naturally this photo infuriated a lot of women who didn't feel they should need an excuse to not look like Maria Kang looks.
“By choosing healthy over skinny you are choosing self-love over self-judgment. You are beautiful!”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
As I sat down to start my work this morning, I saw a news story on my reader that made me very….well, I guess annoyed is the nice way to put it. Maria Kang is at it again. It’s not enough that she decided to start a fat-shaming campaign by trying to say that her body (which is genetically predisposed to be thin) was “fit” after having her children. I mean, really, what is our excuse for existing as fat women, right? (Major eye roll here).
Later, Kang was banned from Facebook for basically saying she was “Sorry but not sorry” for the campaign. Nice.
Now, she is at it again! She appeared on CNN last Saturday basically saying that someone can tell how healthy or unhealthy a person is depending on their weight. The Daily Mail article had plenty of info on Kang’s interview, which also featured plus size lingerie store owner, Chrystal Bougon. In a nutshell, Kang believes, as I stated above, that you can just tell when a person is unhealthy. She was “peeved” when she saw Bougon’s Facebook website promoting plus size women as “what a real woman looks like.”
The article stated:
Miss Kang took to Facebook and her own website stating that she was ‘annoyed’ by ‘news stories about how overweight, nearly obese women should be proud of their bodies.’
Kang also stated that she wasn’t bashing those who were “proud and overweight,” she was just trying to empower those who were “proud and healthy” to become leaders in society.
*sigh* Okay Ms. Kang, what about fat people who are healthy? Have you ever thought about that? There are fat women who exercise, fat women who eat healthy foods, and guess what — they’re still fat! Why are they still fat? Well, that’s pretty simple — diets don’t work, and there is no long-term weight loss program, surgery or plan that results in typical long-term weight loss. Science doesn’t know how to do it, and no matter how much it annoys you, it is just a fact.
What does it mean to be healthy? The definition of the word “healthy” is literally “being in good health.” Well, I got up this morning, I took my kids to school, I went to the store, I took a walk, I drank some water and now I’m sitting here writing this. I do not have any ailment that would tell someone I am not in good health — except my 400 pound size, of course. But, we can tell when people are unhealthy? Tell me this — if someone smokes, but they do not have any smoking related ailments, are they unhealthy? If someone is thin, but they eat fast food and other junk constantly, while living a sedentary lifestyle, are they unhealthy? You don’t know if someone is unhealthy by looking at them!
There are plenty of thin people who die from cancers, heart disease, stroke, etc. every day. It happens. No matter what they do to try to stop it. But they were healthy! No, they were at risk because of genetics, or because of drugs, or because of the food they ate, or because of the air they breathed. It drives me nuts when people try to make such a case against fat people not being healthy, as if thin is the only way. I’m sorry, but not all thin people are healthy, and the reverse — not all fat people are unhealthy — is true as well, no matter what Ms. Kang thinks.
If you are interested in an article about fat women exercising or not exercising, you can go to the Dancing with Fat blog post called “Fat People Need To…” I also have a link on my Tumblr page about Michelle Gibson, a fat chick who exercises regularly and teaches an aerobics class every week.
What is the point of this post — I guess that Chrystal Bougon, owner of Curvy Girls Lingerie, said it best,
You can’t tell whether or not I work out. You can’t tell how healthy I am by looking at a photo of me. You just can’t.
I couldn’t have said it better myself, Ms. Bougon. As for Ms. Kang, she can go back to her loyal fan base and work on making them feel worse about their lack of progress. Do I want to get healthier? Yes, I do. Am I ever going to be thin? Nope. But I’ll still be healthy.
"As long as my insurance and tax dollars continue to pay for there diabetes, and heart disease, I'll continue to feel justified in telling every overweight person I see that they need to lose weight. Shame is powerful and there fat is costing me real money"
So I read when I broke the cardinal rule of being fat on the internet and read the comments.
First of all, thank you so much to everyone who offered congratulations on the marathon (did I mention that I completed a marathon?) There has been some confusion about my desire to do the marathon and what it means to have done it and I want to try to clear that up. This is from an e-mail that I received today:
Trigger Warning: This is a blog that will quote some people (I use the term lightly) who hate fat people. The words are not made up, and they are not kind. If this is not something you would like to read, please choose another post.
I grew up in a very Horton Hears a Who household. A person was a person no matter how small, big, tall or short. This inclusion also covered skin color, sexual orientation and gender identity. A person was just that — a person. I never learned to hate people because they were different. I learned to embrace people’s differences, and that made me one quirky girl. However, I’ve realized that not everyone had my upbringing.
Over the last year, I’ve gotten a lot of comments on this blog. Some have been supportive, and some have been argumentative. But, until yesterday, I’d never had anyone troll my blog — never had anyone leave a truly hate-filled remark. While I’m sure the trolls hoped they would upset me, they actually did quite the opposite. They bolstered me. I know that I’m doing something right if I’m getting these horrible messages.
The first one was from “Seriously, Fuck Fat Chicks.” The troll listed their website as “NastyFatPorkers” and their email address as “FatWomenAreTheScumOfTheEarth@EatMoreSalad.com.” I actually started to laugh when I read that because I thought, “Oh boy, there must be a humdinger coming after that buildup!” Unfortunately, I was letdown by the lack of imagination. The post only read, “Damn you sound like a stupid fat cunt.”
Do fat haters know that many of us have been fat our entire lives? I mean, I run a fat positive, fat acceptance blog. Do you really think that calling me fat is an insult? I can assure you, that I’ve heard that before, and survived being called way worse than that. I mean, that’s not even the most imaginative thing I’ve been called today…let alone ever!
The second comment was a little bit longer. It came from “lolfatty” and the email address was “email@example.com.” This message posted on my entry “When a Skinny Man Loves a Fat Woman” and it was about my relationship with my husband, a man who is only 160 pounds.
The message was a bit confusing. It read, “So why marry a 160lb man? Why not marry a man heavier or close to your weight?” Then is said, “Is it taaaaaaaruuuuuuuueeeeeeee (I think this troll is trying to type True, maybe?) Yeah you have double standards you fat whale. Men come in all shapes and sizes fatty. Were not all 160lb super dudes that put up with your shit because you’ll do everything he wants including eat shit.”
Where would I start with this? I mean, I can’t believe there are actually people out there like this. So, as a fat woman, I should only date fat men? I’m sure that person also believes that there should be no gay or interracial marriage. Also, why would my marrying a 160 pound man be a double standard? I have never said that I’m not attracted to fat men, or that I would never date a fat man. However, the man I ended up falling in love with was not a fat man. Sorry, I’ll try to change that, lol.
The other issue this troll brought up that is synonymous with fat hatred is the thought that fat women are easy, and will do anything a man wants. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When I was single and wanted sex, I got sex. When I wanted to go out, I went out. Fat women are not desperate, and I feel sorry for the men who think so.
It begs the question — why is fat hatred the only for of acceptable prejudice? Global Grind Blogger Brittany Lewis blogged about this in the blog Is it Okay to Hate Fat People? This woman listed several things that people may or may not think when they see a fat person, and then went on to talk about why fat shaming is not okay. While I don’t agree with everything she said, I agree with the spirit of the article — that it is not okay to hate someone just because they are fat.
So what do you think Blogosphere? Am I too hard on the SSFC and LOLFatty? Are these trolls right or wrong? You decide.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
― Harvey Fierstein
Do you ever notice that when fat people are portayed in news story, in a magazine or online, their heads always seem to be cut off or their faces are hidden?
Here are a few examples:
All of these pages, two of them portraying obesity and fat people in a more negative light, have people’s heads cut off. Is it really that hard to set up a picture or ask someone permission before taking their picture? I was a journalist for 2 years, and I can assure you, it isn’t.
This is a form of fat shaming. By cutting fat people’s heads out of a picture and blurring their faces, the news agencies are taking away their identity and their humanity. By doing that, we fat people are no longer people — we are a problem, we are a disease, we are the enemy, we are an epidemic.
Blogger Brittany Gibbons discusses this in her February Huffington Post entry. I think there need to be more fat acceptance blogs, more fat activists and more voices of fat people out there to tell our side of the story. Don’t let a news agency make you feel bad because you are fat. As far as the “studies” mentioned above that say healthy while fat is a myth, just remember — every study has a counter study, and every time you see a study like that, you have to research who did the research, as well as who funded it.
Have a lovely day!
I just created a subreddit on reddit.com called “Happy Fat.” Why would I do that?
I guess it is a simple question to answer — I made Happy Fat because I want people who are fat to have another safe space to talk about their lives without the judgements of outside society. If you’re having a bad day, and you want to talk to someone about it, you need a place you can go where people aren’t going to yell “just lose some weight, you fat cow.” If you want information about the Health At Every Size movement, the Fat Acceptance movement, etc., you have a place you can go.
I am all about positivity. I fully believe that people should strive for health, but that health should not be tied to what a number on a scale says, what a measuring tape says, or even what a clothing size says. Don’t keep waiting for that day to come when you are the ‘perfect’ weight to start living your life. You may be waiting for a weight that may never come. I believe that people should try to be the happiest they can be with the lives they have right now, and if that means they are happy fat, then so be it.
I am happy fat. Are you?