Why Fat Acceptance Is Harmful

This article is going to talk about why the fat acceptance movement is bad. It uses examples of arguments and talking points that many of the people of the movement use. I’ve provided screenshots for each point showing an example of each talking point. If you still don’t believe me that people actually say these things, all you need to do is visit the tumblr blog This Is Thin Privilege. It’s full of whiny assholes that complain about not being able to find cute clothes, being “fat shamed” by doctors telling them they need to lose weight, and other various ridiculous things.

Now before we get started, I want to emphasize that I think body positivity is good. But body positivity is not the same thing as fat acceptance. Body positive means accepting your flaws. QueenSkittlez of reddit says it best:

“I consider myself body positive in that self-acceptance and self-love and being content with things you can’t change are things I advocate. Body positivity is loving your freckles, being okay with not being a natural hourglass or being a 6’2″ woman in a world of shorties. Body positivity can include weight in healthy ranges. Body positivity also means making changes out of love and not hatred. I chose to lose weight because it is my preferred aesthetic, I can still be body positive while making changes. I can dye or alter my hair and be body positive. I can tan or be pale and be body positive. Hell, if I wanted breast implants even though I’m satisfied with my breasts right now but I’d be more satisfied if they were different, that is my choice and I am still body positive. Changing my aesthetic in a way you don’t like doesn’t make me less body positive. Body positivity isn’t about being fat. It’s about loving yourself and your flaws and working to improve yourself and not hate the body you have.”

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are ten reasons why the Fat Acceptance movement is harmful.

1. It normalizes obesity

Fat acceptance attempts to normalize obesity by spouting that it’s okay to be fat, by using super morbidly obese people as “models,” and saying that it’s absolutely wrong to tell anyone to lose weight or even want to lose weight.

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Obesity is a disease. It increases your risk factor for a myriad of illnesses and problems, including but not limited to joint problems, heart disease, cancer, premature aging, sleep apnea, and PCOS. It reduces your fertility. And as much as no one wants to truly admit it, it is ugly. Most people do not find obesity attractive, largely because we are genetically predisposed to be attracted to health.

No one should want to be fat. Personally, I do not care if you want to put your own health in jeopardy and stay fat. Being fat is not morally wrong. You can be fat if you want to. But if you choose to remain fat, you need to accept the aforementioned consequences of being fat.

2. It reinforces the (incorrect) belief that weight loss is impossible

Too many proponents of the fat acceptance movement claim that weight loss is impossible, or that we don’t know how to make people lose weight. But this is not true. Anyone can lose weight if they eat fewer calories than they burn. Yes, it’s really hard to feel hungry and ignore cravings, but it can be done. People lose weight and keep it off every single day. Weight loss is difficult, but it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s literally impossible not to lose weight if you eat less food than you need. Your body needs energy. If you don’t give it energy in the form of food, it will use your fat stores for energy. If you don’t have enough fat stores, your body will feed on your muscles and organs and slow down all of its systems until you die. This is what starvation is.

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Also, that “95% of diets fail” bullshit comes from a study in the 50’s that has long since been debunked. Today diets fail because people choose unsustainable diets (crash diets) and when they stop doing the diet, they gain weight back. Big surprise.

3. It creates a victim mentality

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Members of the fat acceptance movement really like to cry oppression. And if you’re oppressed, you’re clearly a victim. They compare their movement to the likes of the civil rights and LGBT movements. But being judged based on your behaviors and people not finding you attractive is not oppression. You know what is oppression? Not being allowed to vote. Not being able to sit in the same part of the bus as white people. Not being allowed to go to school. Not being allowed to get married. Fat people are allowed to do anything that anyone else is allowed to do.

4. It discourages people from solving their problems/improving themselves

Fat acceptance says that you are perfect just the way you are. This is harmful because it discourages people from improving themselves, dooming them to a life of mediocrity. However, nobody is perfect and everyone should always be striving for improvement. And if you are content with mediocrity, that’s fine. Just don’t expect anyone to praise you for it.

5. It places too much focus on a person’s body and not enough on their personality

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Instead of saying that all women are beautiful, we should be encouraging women to decouple their self-worth from their appearance. You’re worth more than what you look like, and not everyone is going to find you attractive. If you choose to practice a lifestyle that makes your body less attractive to other people, then you have to accept those consequences instead of being mad that not everyone finds you pretty. This is not limited to fat either. People do things to their bodies every day that plenty of people find disgusting, like getting tattoos, piercings, funny colored hair, wearing weird clothes…yet none of those people are upset that not literally everyone on earth wants to sleep with them.

6. Like a sith, it only deals in absolutes (Ex: I’d rather be fat and happy than skinny and miserable)

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This entire pinterest board is dedicated to this ridiculous statement, implying that all fat people are happy and all thin people aren’t:

I think they think this way because they can’t possibly fathom being happy while not being able to eat whatever they want. I know that I’ve been like this in the past. But you have to realize that food cannot be your entire life. Thin people can be happy without eating all day because they find things other than food that make them happy.

7. It actively encourages people not to listen to their doctors

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The above image is a card that you give to your doctor asking them to provide you with shame-free health care and not to prescribe weight loss as a health intervention. This is fucking dangerous for a variety of reasons, namely the fact that losing weight actually does treat and cure a lot of diseases, including type 2 diabetes. The fact is that fat is a hormonally active tissue, it puts weight on your joints and bones, and you can’t just pretend that it has no bearing on your health.

8. It actually objectifies women, which is what they want to avoid

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Fat activists like to talk all damn day about how if society would just change its perceptions of beauty, that more fat women would get laid and be in relationships. This is objectifying. It reduces women to nothing more than something made to please men. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be found attractive and have a mate, but it shouldn’t be your only goal in life.

9. It’s full of liars and science deniers

There are the people that claim they eat 800 calories a day and still gain weight (impossible). There are the people that claim that weight loss is impossible and we really don’t know why people gain weight (untrue). The fact of the matter is, fat acceptance denies the science about weight loss and how obesity is unhealthy, and fat activists lie about what they eat (or are simply mistaken) to prove a point.

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This is probably what pisses me off the most. There are thousands of studies out there that prove a link between obesity and disease, and thousands more studies about how caloric restriction makes people lose weight, yet people still claim that we have no idea how to lose weight and we don’t need to anyway because weight=/=health. Well guess what? It does. Yes, thin people are unhealthy too. That doesn’t mean that fat people aren’t unhealthy.

10. It’s not actually solving any real problems

Fat activists complain about a myriad of things, but offer no practical solutions to those problems. Among these complaints include:
• Paying more for airline seats. They claim that it’s wrong to make a super morbidly obese person pay for two seats if they need two seats because after all, they need it! But the simple fact of the matter is that if you need two seats, you should have to pay for two seats. You’re taking a seat away from another paying customer.
• Not being able to find cute clothes. First of all, everyone has trouble finding cute clothes that fit them, not just fat people. Tall people, short people, and overly thin people also have trouble. Clothes are manufactured to fit an average body type, and if you fall out of that average, you are SOL. Their solution is for stores to just make bigger clothes, but that’s impractical. If the demand was there, the clothes would be there. But it’s not. Stores are not purposely going out of their way to lose money just to shame you.
• Getting turned down for employment. I can admit that this one could potentially be a problem. After all, fat people are traditionally seen as lazy, and no one wants to hire a lazy worker. But I’ve seen enough obese people with jobs to know that this is bull. Unless you have a spotty work history, smell bad, or are applying at a place that’s managed by fucking assholes, you are not going to have any problem getting a job.
If you need any more reasons, check out this tumblr blog: http://fuckfatlogic.tumblr.com/page/21
And this article: http://thoughtcatalog.com/carolyn-hall/2014/04/6-things-i-dont-understand-about-the-fat-acceptance-movement/

4 thoughts on “Why Fat Acceptance Is Harmful

  1. I accept you… as being a fat person who I’ll never find attractive, never date, and never feel sorry for when the *known* health risks of obesity catch up with you.

    But I accept your decision to be overweight.

  2. So when did it become o.k. to be fat? It certainly wasn’t o.k. to be fat when I was – back in the late 1960’s through mid-1970’s. I was close to being 50 pounds overweight . I was fat-shamed, bullied and shunned by my High School classmates, and I deserved it. I chose to change my life style, lose the excess weight and maintain a healthy weight (115 at 5’4 1/2) for the past 37 years. If I can do this, anyone can!

  3. You forgot one of the favorite rallying cries they use-‘CORRELATION DOESN’T EQUAL CAUSATION!’ Like you’d seriously be hard pressed to not see that overused and abused on fat acceptance blogs. Yet, they’ll talk about how ‘life expectancy has increased as weights have increased!’. Never mind better healthcare technology, medicine, sanitation, etc. All of a sudden, correlation doesn’t equal causation. Convenient, isn’t it?
    When they talk about that 95% stat, calling people like me or the individual above that lost weight & kept it off ‘anomolies’-you did mention that study has been debunked, but besides that-when I or anyone I know lost weight & kept it off, we were never research subjects, never took part in any surveys or studies. I’d be willing to bet we’re by far not the only ones. So how could that stat be accurate for the whole population. Also, it seems like when people lose weight & gain it back, it’s because they were lax (or totally went off) the plan that helped them lose weight. I can’t recall ever hearing of someone that lost weight, kept the exact same routine, & gained it back. Not saying it’s never happened, but I’d be willing to wager it isn’t too common (I’d also be willing to wager that the fat acceptance camp would claim it happens all the time, & when asked to elaborate say something like ‘it’s not my job to educate you!!’)

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