fat lady“Look at those thunder thighs “How can she look at herself in the mirror?” “That’s just gross! Why would she even put on a bathing suit? There’s no cover-up that can hide that.”

Or we could go with the more juvenile versions of verbal abuse a lot of us grew up with. How about, “Lard ass! C’mon over, we have cake!” “Don’t send her over for Red Rover! She’ll land on someone and they will suffocate!” “Hey Tubs!” “Fatso! Have another one!”

Oh wait!  I forgot about THE LOOK. That was always a really great way to make me feel like I had just crawled from under a rock. That slow look that someone (usually the most popular girl, right?) gives you that surveys you from your feet to your head with an expression of disgust or pity or contempt or, worse, smugness that clearly said, “You are gross.”

I also heard “Hey fat-ass!” Which was, looking back, kinda funny, since for a fat person I have a pretty flat, non-existent butt. “Wide load, comin’ through!” were pretty common for me to hear during any average week. This was during the middle/high school years. Can there be a worse set of years??

finger pointed

Why is it so acceptable to make fun of fat? In this uber politically correct world, where saying the slightest wrong thing can ruin a person’s career, how is it possible the ridiculing of fat and obese people is still mostly ok? Even as adults we are subjected to it. We still get THE LOOK, but we also get studied when out to dinner to see what we eat and how much. At the grocery store, our carts are always openly scrutinized and then if what we have is mostly deemed unhealthy we get THE LOOK.

Aside from a select few, it’s still cool to make fat jokes and seems to me to be increasing. As I said, last post, since race, religion, politics, and gender are no longer considered fair game, there has to be some outlet for the underlying angst/frustration people have. Fat is so complicated in it’s origin and there are so many different theories for solving it that it’s impossible to make generalizations about it. The opinions about fat people still range from “it’s a disease”, to “it’s a mental health issue”, to “it’s all about will power”, to “it’s as simple as calories in, calories out”, to “they are just lazy, weak people.” From my own personal experience, apart from laziness, I can tell you that it is ALL of those and many more!

I think there are two major reasons it’s still mostly acceptable to ridicule fat people. I believe instinct plays a major role in both.

First, I think there is a major revulsion factor in a hugely obese person because, back in the day, the just couldn’t keep up. I mean, waaay back in the day. When people were tribal and moved around a lot more than they do now, the fat ones would, of course, slow everyone else down. They would eat more of the supply, they would be just more unhealthy and unable to contribute as much to the community. They would cost more to maintain than the rest of the healthy aggressive dog

members and could possibly cost lives. This is all completely my own take on it, not based in any science that I have studied. It just makes sense to me.

Watching people (particularly toddlers and the very young) react to a very fat person is quite informative. You can see their reaction is almost instantaneous and seems instinctive to me. There is clearly no thought process behind their revulsion and disgust, it’s just there, immediately. That fat person is a threat to the tribe on some elemental gut level that we probably don’t even realize is there-like the natural born reaction to run from a big scary, growling dog.

I’m not saying this reaction is right nor am I defending it on any level. I just think it’s there, a throwback to a time when the weak ones were a problem because they weakened the whole tribe. Next time, we’ll get into the other reaction that I feel is almost as strong and instant. Until then, I’m here, I see you and I know what it’s like.