True or false: Fat is bad

v“The Fat Studies Reader” explores our culture’s view of fat. Write co-authors Sondra Solovay and Esther Rothblum:

Fat is Bad.

Isn’t it odd that people deeply divided on almost every important topic can so easily agree on that assertion? Isn’t it strange that countries significantly divergent in culture, attitudes, and approaches apparently share the sentiment? In fact, one of the few disagreements that seem to exist in the popular media is which country is hardest hit by the “obesity epidemic.” Regardless of which country is actually the “fattest nation on earth,” in 1995 the United States declared a “war on fat” with the support of former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

And thanks, Bro. Tod, for the link.


23 responses to “True or false: Fat is bad

  1. That pic you have linked in so sexy and free.

    Reminds me of photo that appeared on the fat-positive sites years ago of a very large woman standing nude in a field. It was b&w and stunning for its simple dignity and joy.

    And gosh, did so many people hate it.

  2. Why not a photo of a male?

    Ever notice how the language leans toward a particular gender?
    e.g. Male: husky, heavyset
    I think “fat is bad” leans toward women more than toward men.

    • You know what? I actually originally had a large man’s photo loaded, and then thought — as you said — that this particular message seems aimed particularly at women. Here’s the photo that almost-ran, though:

    • To a point. But you might be surprised. Cruise the fat or bbw/bhm dating sites and look at the distribution. Look at the distributions in the forums at (warning – lots of adult content).

      One of the truths that one will eventually come to is that there is discrimination in the fat community about who is a BBW (Big Beautiful Woman), whether a mere size 14 or 16 counts, or is the term really only for those who used to be considered SSBBWs (Super-sized) which used to be those 350 and up. Now the scale seems to shifted even higher.

      Further study will highlight that not only is the Female FA (Fat Admirers – chubby chasers) relatively few in number, many fat women openly disdain fat men in favor of the muscle-bound studs.

      Clearly, society is much more tolerant of chubby/fat/pot-bellied men. Not so true of the SSBHM…they are often left out in the cold. Literally. But not always.

      • That’s interesting. I guess within every demographic there is something like a pecking order? Like in this case, a “more-fat-than-you” mentality?

  3. Yep…along with “black enough” etc. A way to maintain identity.

  4. I love that picture. I wish I had her hips.

    While I’m not fat by American standards (I was and still am considered HUGE in Nigeria), I’ve come to love the fat-positive bloggers like Kate Harding and such. She’s let me know that fat isn’t bad, one can be fat and healthy, and slowly I’m shedding those bad ideas about fat away.

    But once in a while, those “fat” comments from the past come back to haunt me.

  5. I love the FA movement for helping me feel human and for reinforcing the truth that food and fat are not issues of morality. But I’m going to diet and lose some weight. I don’t mind being heavy by society’s standards (size 12/14) but I feel like crap at the weight I am now. But I am shunned in the FA world because I would dare to diet.

    • I know this is true. But you have to be you, and only you can know what you need.

      I wish you luck…and I won’t shun you.

    • I wish it could be about personal choice rather than labeling. I think we all have our set weights, and mine’s not yours. I feel best when I am at that weight and if I strive to get there — without being all weird about it — who’s business is that?

    • I thought 12/14 was the average size for a woman. Whatever your size, it’s good that you’re listening to yourself and going by how YOU feel about it.

  6. What’s really weird is tall clothes (I have a 34 inch inseam) in general do not have sizes above 14, and certainly no 14w (etc) you have to choose to have pants that are long enough or have room for hips and a belly. I guess all us tall gals are Uma Thurman.

    • Well, I certainly am.

      No, I’m not. I have hips and a middle-aged fanny pack, that thing I carry around on my stomach, no matter what. I’m finding it increasingly annoying to go shop for pants that don’t have elastic at the waist, and I’m far from large.

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