Aug 28, 2011
commented on Savage Love
Dan, your sizeist advice to HARD is appalling. It's the partner's responsibility to be attractive to the other? Really?
Is that true if it was reversed. What if HARD fell for her when she weighed 400 pounds, and has since dropped to 140, and no longer finds her attractive. Would you still tell HARD that he has "a right to expect that your partner will maintain some base level of attractiveness"?
What if his wife was black, and her skin has darkened with age, and now he no longer finds her attractive. Is it still her responsibility to lighten her skin or it's disrespectful to her partner?
Now, you're probably thinking "This is totally different. Being fat is unhealthy, so if she lost weight she should stay that way. But if she gained it, she should lose it."
Well, that's untrue.
Being fat is actually more healthy: (This will download a PDF) http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM…
And the idea that being fat kills you has been disproven: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/293/15/…
You might also be thinking "Way to pull the race card, but unlike race and skin color you can change how much you weigh. Being fat is just a sign of being lazy or overeating."
But that's wrong too:
There is no proof that diet can result in long term weight change, and any changes over about 5 bls go away after 6 months to 2 years (and you'll note they've been married for 10, so unless she gained this weight in the last 6 months when this was written, it's not because of diet or excercise):
Ultimately, the human body packs on more weight as we go through middle age, and then loses it as it breaks down and heads towards the grave. There's nothing we can do about it.
You should not be advising people to change.
The advice should have been for HARD and his wife to go see therapists. HARD should see one to explore his emotional and intimacy issues. And it seems possible that his wife has an eating disorder given that she's eating food that's wrecking her skin and giving her digestive issues, especially given that a) she's a woman in America and b) she's living with a man who hates the way she looks and she clearly knows it, but even if not, going to a therapist would help her deal with her feelings about her superficial husband and anything else going on. And finally, they should see one together, because they've clearly got a lot to work out between the two.
Even with your fatphobic advice, not suggesting a therapist in your advice to investigate her potential for having an eating disorder is shocking. I mean, if you're going to attack the marginalized woman, at least send her to someone qualified instead of just having the husband, the man she's suppose to trust the most of unconditional support and love, tear her down.