Nike enlisted as allies to the glory of obesity, or: Fat People Are Entitled To Clothes Too

I’m back! After a couple of weeks of being locked out of my WordPress due to an update issue a couple of dear friends have helped to get me back in. Aside from having to deal with a hacked blog post, I’m back.

With that in mind I do have a couple of posts lined up that I’ve had ready following on from LondonEdge but I’ve not had a chance to since having my issues. But I wanted to write this out first as it’s kinda current and I just wanted to share my thoughts on the matter.

You may be aware the recently Nike brought out a plus size range, enlisting bloggers Danielle Vanier and Grace Victory to model. Look at these amazing babes:

Source: Cosmopolitan UK

The response to Nike’s plus size range was completely predictable.

As with anything fat people do it’s all for the glory of promoting obesity, apparently, and that is not limited to wearing and using athletic clothing.

Thin people want fat people to stop being fat because “health!11!1” but make it difficult, if not impossible, to access the means to engage in things like exercise. When they aren’t attacking fat people for using a bike , they humiliate people at the gym like that piece of shit body builder Diana Andrews and model Dani Mathers, or when exercising in general. They don’t care about the process, they just want the end result.

See, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Thin people don’t actually care about our health. They don’t like fatness because we’ve all been conditioned to hate it but need to put a palatable face on their hatred that doesn’t make them look like a bad person, because how can a person who’s advocating for your well-being be a bad person?!

There’s also lots of gross assumptions that this clothing range should be embraced because it enables fat people to stop being fat (an actual thing I saw on Twitter). It should be embraced because fat people should have the same choice and opportunities as thin people.

Not all fat people exercise to lose weight.

Exercise should be a decision you make based on what is good for you and your well being and not because you have to meet some fucked up standard thin people think you should be trying to reach.

“At least they’re trying!” GAG.

Exercise can be a source of pleasure, strength, a means of socialising, and well-being. When I was trying to learn roller derby (and failing miserably) I felt amazing. I loved it. It made me feel good, I made friends in a strange new town, and having a hobby was fun.

It just highlights that no matter what you do as a fat person it’s never going to be good enough so do what pleases you and fuck those miserable arseholes.

 

 

 

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Skinny shaming or: not everyone cares about your diet, Mandy.

There’s been an article floating around my various social media feeds that I wanted to address.


“I was skinny shamed by fat friends!” declares Mandy Appleyard as she tells us that after losing her menopausal weight that she was “shamed” by her friends. Mandy’s definition of ‘shaming’ meaning:

“You’re such a skinny-minny, you don’t need to lose weight” and “Ridiculous! You’re middle-aged, you should be eating what you want now.”


So while not an overall nice thing to say the general idea here is that Mandy’s friends think she’s perfectly ok the way she is and she should feel free to eat what she pleases and not worry about it.

Ok, so anyone making unwarrented comments on your body is absolutely not ok, and those people need to know this. But this whole article feels like an opportunity for Mandy to rant about her shitty friends because several times throughout the article mentions how no one has congratulated her or given her a “pat on the back” as though these things are owed to her.

But what I really wanted to talk about was how easily this term “thin-shaming” is being tossed around and why I really don’t like it.

Thin-shaming, for one, is co-opting language used to describe the oppression faced by fat people. By making the terms similar it is suggesting that the experiences are the same.

They are not. Not by a long way.

As I said earlier, people making unwarrented comments about your body and what you choose to it are not ok. But they are in no way comparative to the systematic abuse and prejudice faced by fat people. 

Even before she lost her extra weight Mandy would not be what I would consider a fat person. So even before she lost her extra weight she could rest easy knowing that there isn’t a multi-billion dolar industry telling her that her body is wrong and needs to be eradicated. Mandy can rest easy knowing that she won’t be denied the chance to adopt or receive fertility treatment based purely on her size. Mandy can rest easy knowing she is less likely to be given inadequate medical treatment or misdiagnosed due to her weight. Mandy can rest easy knowing she won’t be less likely to be employed because of her size, or paid less in the job she has. She can live her daily life in relative ease in relation to her body because she won’t see bodies like hers on tv being used solely as a punchline, or humiliated on weight-loss shows. She will see her body size in every magazine, newspaper, and billboard. Mandy won’t have her body associated with negative personality traits like laziness, ignorance, and greed simply because of her size. Mandy can walk into any high street store and find clothes that fit that aren’t priced out because of her size.

Mandy says that she would “never call a larger person fat so why is it ok for them to call her skinny”

You know why, Mandy? Because it’s ok to be skinny. You’re allowed to be skinny. It’s encouraged to be skinny. It should be ok to be any size you want, but that isn’t the world we live in. You need to get back into reality and learn the difference between having your feelings hurt and being systematically dehumanized at every turn. 

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Steve Miller, can you not?

According to former-fattie Steve Miller, the irrelevant banshee of fat hate from Fat Families, fat people don’t have a sex life and are not found attractive.

I can only assume this wretched dullard has some book or some shit coming out soon and he’s being especially antagonistic. Maybe he got bored with his cancer rants?
I’m curious to know what Steve Miller *thinks* he knows about the inner workings of other people’s lives but considering he appears to barely have a soul I’m not sure he’s really an authority on anything other than to hate fat people because he hates himself too.

Like any fat-hater with a platform they are unable to tell the difference between correlation and causation. Sometimes being fat puts you at higher risk of certain disases, but this isn’t ever 100% of the case AND it’s not the cause. It can be related but that’s it. So scaremongering with providing no scientific evidence is pretty standard.

What’s interesting about this particular outburst is he’s trying to play on a lot of what the fat community works to improve on. Fat people ARE marginilised and kept out of mainstream media, and through blogging platforms and other areas, we work to improve our visibility. By using it against us to contradict us he thinks this somehow gives his bullshit any legitimacy. But it’s also a very real, very human element to it that he can use, moreso than trying to push the easily refutable ‘science’ he spouts.

However, my biggest issue with this is coming from both sides. Naturally people are firing back with their own evidence of relationships, babies, and excellent counterpoints. But why are we even indulging in this narrative that sex and desirability are at the core of our value and self worth? Why is it only when people find us attractive does that invalidate any fat hate?

Someone doesn’t find me attractive? Big fucking deal.

Some people aren’t interested in sex at all. Lets stop erasing asexual identities with these bullshit narratives. Stop giving creedence to this ridiculous argument. Fat bodies are already fetishized and objectified by those that do want to fuck us. In turn fat bodies are ridiculed and reviled by those who don’t. Stop both sides deciding that their fucking boners are worth shit.

Steve Miller, I couldn’t care less of you, or anyone else wants to fuck me because my sexual desireability isn’t the core of worth. What I think of myself matters more.

 

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A Plus kinda week.

I’m currently up north in the Lake District visiting family. The weather has been wonderful, the scenery has been breathtaking, and seeing my family after five months has been really amazing. I haven’t had much chance to be online aside from checking in on my phone. What a week to dip out of social media! .
This week we’ve seen Plus Size Wars hitting the tv, and like anything that puts plus size people in a remotely positive light, there is the usual furore. Then we had Jamelia, former popstar and now gob-for-hire on Looose Women (blergh), made some heinous comments about people in “extreme” sizes, noting “they” should feel comfortable when trying to buy clothes and in fact sizing that is less than a 6 and greater than a 20 shouldn’t be available in stores.
The plus size community fired back with Debz from A Wannabee Princess creating a hashtag #WeAreTheThey. You can find the original posts from her here.

The basic premise was that people like Jamelia want to talk about “they” without considering that “they” are real people. So this hashtag put faces to the anonymous people that were being spoken about with little to no thought or consideration.

The hashtag took off, and even made it into mainstream media. The plus size commnity really came together and made their voices heard. It was amazing to watch it snowball over a few hours. I felt helpless, hiding out in the middle of nowhere with barely any signal. I have been slowlyl catching up now I’m in a more signal friendly part of the lakes. Everyone’s pieces have been wonderful to read; sharing their heartache growing up fat, sharing their insecuritites and their own journeys to self acceptance.

What people like Jamelia seem to conveniently forget, when they preach about loving yourself but so long as you are “healthy”, is that health is NOT an obligation and it is certainly not a measure of worth. But most importantly is that when she, and people like her, talk about how people in these sizes shouldn’t have these things seems to think that we actually HAVE these things.
If people really knew how fat people were treated on a daily basis; how fat people are given inadequate medical care, less likely to get jobs, are physically abused, humilated, and used as a societal scapegoat for just about everything wrong, she would think twice before suggesting that simply by trying to live in peace was “gloryfying obesity”.

I don’t care if you think being fat is going to make my joints all fall off. I don’t care if you think that being fat will clog my arteries and stop my heart. I don’t care if you think that being fat will give me diabetes. I don’t care of you think that being fat is a strain on the NHS (have you ever bothered to ask WHAT the money is spent on?). Even if all those things were true (they aren’t) that is MY choice and you don’t have a say in it (No your tax money isn’t funding it.).

You don’t get to make me feel less of a human being because I am fat. You don’t get to make me feel less of a human being for anything.

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Obesity: the real cost could be your life.


I had the displeasure of trawling through celebrity choreographer and Loose Women panellist Arlene Phillips twitter after she posted a hashtag she was trying to trend: #fitnotfat. The usual apologetic diatribe you’d expect from someone telling fat people to “close their mouths” and “pick up a skipping rope.” Naturally, my heckles went up and I had a few choice words.

But after I calmed down, and with cup of tea firmly in hand, I started to think about why yet another hashtag, why yet another anti-fat campaign was rearing its ugly head. January is a loathed month for most fat people as our social media news feeds begin to clog with the “New year, new me!” mantras as people’s self-loathing drips like sweat at the newly joined gym.


Not that I feel it’s necessary but I want to preface this with a couple of things.
Firstly I am not claiming to be, nor have I ever claimed to be, a medical professional. These are my opinions, my thoughts, based off my own lived experiences and my own reading. It is very easy for people to scoff and undermine me because medical professionals allegedly know better than I do. But know this: doctors are people too and therefore will carry their own biases. Fat people are more likely to receive inaccurate medical care.
Twitter hashtag: #diagnosisfat

 My doctor thought it was appropriate to address the issue of bariatric surgery when I went in to discuss HIVES.
In fact that was why the BMI chart was created in the first place: by insurance companies and was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources.
I’m not saying that weight doesn’t carry risks. But what I am saying is question just how much risk, instead of what people are telling you because you can’t really be sure how much of their concern is pourely objective and factual. As you’ll read on you’ll see these figures being thrown at us are based off very old research models.
There are a lot of scary figures out there about what obesity costs the NHS. If there’s one thing that is going to put fat people in place is the guilt of pressuring a precious, and already strained, resource like our free healthcare system. Who would take you seriously then?
But I got to thinking, sure enough I’d seen enough figures in the billions, but I’d never seen an actual breakdown of the costs. WHAT was costing £4 billion? You can’t just say “obesity”. It’s a very vague term and tells us literally nothing.
David Cameron gave a speech where he stated that obesity was costing the NHS £4 billion a year, with an expectation of it rising to £6.5 billion by 2015. This figure coming from the Department of Health and estimated by Foresight report: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reducing-obesity-modelling-future-trends

I found a website hat stated the report was “..looking at current obesity and associated costs and sought to model future trends in obesity and its impact on health. Doing this, the study produced a series of cost estimates for obesity to the NHS, for elevated Body Mass Index (BMI) to the NHS, and the wider costs to the economy of elevated BMI. All of the projections are set at 2007 costs for easy comparison.”

Wait..hold up. There’s that horrible little word again: BMI.

HELP! IT’S THE ATTACK OF THE MEDICALLY INACCURATE HEALTH MODEL!

Immediately my eyebrow went up in a quizzical stance. If we are created a supposedly accurate report then why are we referencing a proven inaccurate model like the BMI scale?
As I continued to read the website it stated that : “The Foresight report goes into some detail on the associated conditions. For example, the note that: “The risk of developing type 2 diabetes, for instance, is some 20–80 (OK, anyone else think that is a huge jump?) times more likely for people who are obese compared with lean people. Coronary heart disease (which itself is slightly more common among obese people) is 2–3 times more common among diabetic men and five times more common among diabetic women.) Other health risks are also mentioned, such as strokes, many cancers, and osteoarthritis. “

Associated. Associated conditions. Herein lies the problem. Many people fail to realise that correlation does not equal causation. So while there is a risk factor, it is not fat exclusive diseases we are dealing with. The only thing that I can think of that is directly associated with obesity is mobility caused by a fat body, and even then this is only in extreme cases where people have become bedbound by their size.
Another thing I found interesting was that since that report was published in 2007 there has been no significant research into the economic costs of obesity, according to the National Obesity Observatory. So everything we are reading is based off an outdated model. These figures are also based on upon obesity levels where no action is taken to address the problem. So general and outdated still. Most research since has been based in the US and not from Europe.

So where does that bring us? I don’t feel any closer to understanding the real, factual impact of Obesity ™ on the NHS. Given that all of the reports used an outdated, inaccurate, and medically false mode in which to group people it gives it a crumbling foundation insofar as all diagnoses made in terms of health and diseases are based off an inaccurate guide. Simply put the bmi scale says you’re obese-you are “treated” for being obese (medication, surgery, healthcare initiatives)-NHS picks up the bill. But if the BMI is inaccurate then how much treatment is necessary?
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