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Do whatever you want. I really don't care. But please try not to promote the idea that denial will make everything ok. In 10 years your "you go girl" cheering section will be quiet. It will be replaced by notes of false empathy as you descend back in to victimhood, this time of diabetes. You will be another in the long line of statistics of people who knew better but chose not to do anything about it.
I would think that if you really were happy you would do what it takes to make your ride in this life as long as possible.
Because, yes, most fat people could lose the weight if they were willing to torture themselves, to greater or lesser degrees, for the rest of their lives (as medical research has shown, the brain of an obese person who loses a large amount of weight will respond to a normal 2000 calorie diet as though he or she is starving. This means a constant and dramatic physiological/neurological SENSATION OF HUNGER [i.e. hunger pain]), but some people aren't willing to live that life of pain for the aesthetic approval of others or the POTENTIAL medical benefits. Because that is what they are POTENTIAL.
So yeah. Maybe the skinny people who are so pissed are just resentful of all the unreasonable sacrifices they've made to fit into society's idea of beauty (5AM trips to the gym would definitely make me a cranky jerk). Because health is a really good excuse for what is essentially capitulation to a narrow conception of beauty, because let's be honest, the beauty thing is the primary reason, not health. And what a price that shallow capitulation demands! I lived with a 52 year old fitness instructor who wouldn't eat fruit because the sugar in it kept her up at night. Seriously? I wouldn't live in that brain if you paid me.
Be skinny or be fat, but interrogate why you're so upset about it. Because when things like that don't add up emotionally, then something else is at work, something that is being projected out and onto people who have nothing to do with your crazy brainz.
*defined as skinny people who are dickish, not skinny people generally.
Now I'm off to share the shit out of this post.
There have been a handful of excellent posts in this very long thread and I have read or scanned every single one (truth). One of the better posts you will see is not too far back @865 from hydrozoa. Definitely worth the time to read the whole thing - rings very very true.
Nice to see new names each time.
Dan will write an article about this - will probably end up as a cover story. He can smell blood on the water, and is a good businessman.....
Nothing about YOUR body is healthy in an ideal society.
~ Hello, You're Obese And Delusional
I have been bothered by this issue at The Slog/Stranger for some time.
I appreciate that you were willing to stand up and speak out. I hope that it does indeed "Get Better".
I haven't commented on slog for maybe 2 years, but I'm commenting here to say how much I love this post (and, okay, to push it towards 1000).
I feel inspired when I see someone do / say something truly radical; In a very personal and brave way, Lindy has really called bullshit on the way Dan and our culture take for granted the idea that it is okay to judge people based on their appearance.
It has been said before, but I think it is worth saying again: All of you people who are giving Lindy advice or telling her how happy she will be are TOTALLY MISSING THE POINT. This has nothing to do with whether she could or should lose weight. You have a right to your opinion, but unless you are asked for advice, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Obviously, you have a constitutional right to NOT shut the fuck up, but that doesn't mean you are not fat-bigot, and it doesn't mean no one is going to call you on it. I get the feeling a lot of the anti-Lindy posters consider themselves liberal, non-racist, non-homophobic, etc., but somehow manage to convince themselves that this is a special case of discrimination - it is somehow deserved, or for their own good.
We need to look at our underlying assumptions and ask why why we feel it is okay to judge people based on body shape alone.
If you still feel like telling Lindy to lose weight, you really need to go back and re-read the post. Her best and most powerful point in #4, and I quote: "But most importantly: I reject this entire framework. I don't give a shit what causes anyone's fatness. It's irrelevant and it's none of my business. I am not making excuses, because I have nothing to excuse. I reject the notion that thinness is the goal, that thin = better—that I am an unfinished thing and that my life can really start when I lose weight."
If this boggles your mind, it's probably because your worldview is having trouble processing it. This means you can either try to figure it out, or go on justifying why it is okay to judge people's worth based on weight, and treat them like little children who have gone astray.
Lastly, about shame: shame is easy to be forced into feeling no matter what your size is. I've felt shame about the smallest weight gain, about missing a week at the gym, about finishing the entire bag of Kettle chips...yadda yadda. Shame does not motivate me to get back to the gym or to choose broccoli instead of chips. It is joy and confidence that motivate me to find the ways that i like to be healthy and stick with them. Lifting weights? Yes. Eating chocolate everyday? Fuck yes. Thank you for this Lindy.
Would you agree that smoking is bad for your health? What if this article had been written by a smoker, asking for more empathy in their predicament of being a smoker? Some people think black lungs and smoker's breath are disgusting, but should we tell those people to shut the fuck up and be more accepting? A person could conceivably justify any behaviour to keep themselves from facing reality and changing/growing/moving on.
Too much of ANYTHING is not good.
The health risks of being obese are obvious. They are not shocking news, not new news, and this information is everywhere. A major point of Lindy's article your missing is the anti-fat society we live in, the hatred and the violence that forces people to live in shame no matter how "fat" or "overweight" they actually are IS THE PROBLEM. If you can understand medical science so well to explain why it's dangerous to be overweight, why can't you also understand basic psychology and also, the power of empathy?
Empathy does not mean allowing a person to blindly continue to hurt themselves. Empathy is NOT delusional acceptance of "anything goes".
Maybe some information will help:
"Why are thin people not fat?
Watch the first 1 minute of this clip of documentary from the BBC. Honestly, you and everyone else posting on the thread should watch the WHOLE thing if you really want to have a responsible and reasonable conversation about obesity. The first segment is at:
So, has anything like this ever happened before on Slog or at The Stranger? Is this partly ramped up and dramatized for our benefit, or is there truly a civil war underway?
Echoing an earlier commenter, it makes me wonder about how much tension is rolling around that office...
I hope we *all* do.
This very personal statement regarding her body, and body image has been posted on more than one website. She has (bravely) put herself out there, and for people to insist that no one share their opinion negates the point of commenting or even posting the piece.
Any open discussion about our bodies or self-image is personal and will get heated. I personally made a couple statements that, after reflection, regret and sincerely apologize for if anyone was insulted. I, like many, am a work in progress and need to turn up my empathy at times and try harder to see others point of view.
Here's hoping for 1k and that Lindy's honest negative opinion about her boss's views will not effect her position at The Stranger. Remember Dan: "Variety is the spice of life."
Also: Anyone else notice that Mudede has yet to chime in while most of the (more vocal) staff did?
I think it's more of my business whether people have kids or drive to work than whether they're fat. Which is to say, not at all.
If you don't want to date a fat girl, then don't. If you don't want to be fat, then do your best to lose it, but for christ's sake, don't preach and moralize and say what's healthy and what people should do. you know what would really be healthy and good for the planet? If your mama had aborted you and there would be one less person on this overcrowded earth.
However, she is making the point that her body (or anyone else's body) is none of your business IN GENERAL. If you see her or another heavy person on the street, it's none of your business, keep your judgement and comments to yourself thank you very much.
If someone tells me that they like my outfit or like the color of my eyes, I appreciate that. And, for many clear reasons, I've rarely ever taken such words as a cue that the person wants to fuck me.
If you go back through these near-1,000 comments, I've offered a few other points of view that have nothing to do with objectifying Ms. Lindy.
And up to this point, at least I've aimed for brevity.
My point was that through these almost 1000 comments(!) many people have stated something to the tune of: this is none of your business to have an opinion on which I believe to be false. We will never see progress towards the oppression or frequent offending of fat people unless there is a dialog- no matter how touchy the subject is.
The open sharing and expression of ideas and opinions, however controversial or divergent, is the cornerstone of all free societies.
As far as Lindy is concerned, I don't care. It's her mind and her body. For me weight is not a measure of a persons character but words are. Your words and hers are indicative of a very sick population that seems to want to think everything is ok.
Have some more Doritos ▲▲▲▲ they're good for you nomnomnom
once again, as i said earlier: you and the other well-wishers are very sweet and everything for complimenting her. compliments are nice! i personally enjoy them. i'm just saying that they contradict lindy's point.
i also wasn't really talking about your comment at all (nor did i see it); i was referring to the people who were telling her that she's beautiful despite her fat.
everyone else: thanks for the props. i love compliments.
There may have been some political ones before/after the '08 elections that generated tons of heat, but I'm sure this is the most commented on of all (Slog) time. And nice to see that the vast majority of it isn't even from the standard Slog gang.
Even though he's gone into total radio silence since early Friday, there's no way Dan cannot do a response of his own, otherwise every comment thread for his posts is gonna have people asking where his response to Lindy is.
It's not like most of us aren't doing something that's bad for our health. People like me, who sit all day in front of a computer screen, are doing something really bad; we're not getting proper exercise. Scientific studies have even shown that people who sit at a desk all day are significantly shortening their lives. Yet unhealthy desk jockeys are given a pass, while fat people are singled out for shame, concern, or bullying, even if they happen to be healthier than a skinnier person. Fuck that. And fuck the arrogant people who do it.
Whatever; time will tell. It gets better, right?
Even if he doesn't get Lindy's post or think much of the hundreds of comments saying "right on" in response, I hope he is appalled and chagrined at both the vitriol and profound medical and epidemiological ignorance of the overwhelming majority of folks posting that she's an ugly stupid fatty.
I hope it gives him pause next time he wants to post on this issue. This is the group you're throwing bones to Dan. You really want to be on their side?!
@865 - that was, also, PER-FEC-TION. hit the nail on the head. said everything i was thinking and said it beautifully.
@dan - speak up, please. and loudly. so that we can all hear. so we can all understand why your plight is any different from anyone else that has ever been bullied, hated, picked on for any reason at all. tell us. inform us. speak your truth as only you can speak it. we are motherfucking waiting.
fat people can get married, fat people aren't excluded from churches, fat people can adopt children any way they want etc etc. fat people are not hanged in autocratic or religiously fanatic countries for just bein' themselves. and fat people aren't assumed to be child molesters and perverts.
so, lindy still wins.
Thanks for spreading the message that body size is a) not necessarily an indicator of a person's health and b) not anyone else's business. In my opinion, if I find someone's appearance unpleasant, it's not that person's problem, and I certainly would never comment on it *to them*
for heaven's sake!
Let's treat each other with respect, kindness and good will. How 'bout that??
And, you can draw statistical conclusions about populations, but that doesn't translate into knowledge of single individuals. Personal fate still holds a bit of mystery. A friend of ours just died at age 88 after chain smoking all her life without a smidgeon of lung trouble until her final 6 weeks. What can you say?
And speaking of self-righteousness, @874, I live off the grid and consume less electricity in a day than you use to make your toast in the morning, and your little screed on sustainability made me want to drive to Seattle in an SUV and go from one Dick's hamburger joint to the next, filling up the back seat with french fry wrappers and plastic soda bottles.
Thin all my life due to my dad's healthy cooking when I was a kid and because a public health person from the state came to my 5th grade class in 1981 and did a presentation, with evidence and arguments, on why sugar was bad for you, which I found convincing so thereafter refused to eat sugar. People thought I was a weird kid. But I've never even had a tooth cavity.
Now I eat like a pig (in my perception; others say I eat like a bird) and stay thin. Sometimes I forget to eat and just starve for awhile, uncomfortable but no big deal. Starvation is a very common experience for animals actually, our bodies have evolved lots of physiological mechanisms to cope with it. Probably good exercise for the cells to just starve every once in awhile.
I do not find fat women attractive, ever. I don't go out with women who worry about their weight/what they eat because it's so wearing and stressful, me having to think about what I eat because it might be making her feel bad because she feels like she can't eat it.
The quantities of corn syrup and -oil filled processed food that Americans eat, and the environmental damage caused in its production, bother me. Spending public money on expensive health care instead of infrastructure, education, research etc concerns me.
I live in Japan now, and every time Americans come on the TV, my reaction is "Wow, they are _fat_! And their houses are huge, and stuffed with junk." The Japanese are not fat. They eat rice, fish, soybeans and seaweed. They ride trains everywhere rather than driving, which means they get exercise walking to and from the train stations.
Fat America just seems like one aspect of overindulged, consumerist, addicted, corporate lobbyist-infested, right-wing-politics afflicted America (farm bill subsidies for corn production, etc).
Get a grip, people.
"You have no idea what I eat, how much I exercise, what my blood pressure is, or whether or not I'm going to get diabetes."
God, I hope so.
"You have no idea what I eat, how much I exercise, what my blood pressure is, or whether or not I'm going to get diabetes."
God, I hope so.
As for other's opinions, I must say; I will always be baffled by the amount of people who think their opinion of how I look is somehow any of my damn business.
That is all.
What I find interesting is that we're still using universalities and generic formulas to say "she HAS to be eating 4000 calories a day and getting no exercise!" Which entirely misses the point of how you know absolutely nothing about her life and more importantly about how her body works.
If you looked at me I'm sure that's exactly what you would assume. I can tell you that's exactly what a few of my (short lived) doctors have assumed. Only to shock them with my incredibly low blood pressure and cholesterol. Also I take several medications that have weight gain as a side affect. And while yes, my personal situation is more unique than most, I tell you it because you CANNOT know simply by looking at a person or reading a few basic facts about them what sort of lifestyle they live. And if you think medication that makes you gain or retain weight is unusual, look up a few common birth controls, a prescription that is fairly common for a wide variety of reasons.
So to come into a post like this and assume she is unhealthy is the height of arrogance. And frankly the only information I've seen on the long term health affect of being 'fat' is a POSSIBLY increase in risks, or the use of the word 'may' all over the studies. A person MAY find an increased risk of X, Y or Z. Well a person might also find an increased risk of cancer if they go to the beach every day of summer for 30 years. Or a person MAY find an increased risk of liver problems if they drink moderately heavy on a regular basis for 30 years. And yet I don't find people making huge assumptions about those people's lives and saying they are definitely, no questions asked, going to get a debilitating disease sometime in the future.
2. There are only limited number of reasons someone gets overweight and you're discounting all the scientific studies about health and obesity ?
3. Not sure what you're getting at - precisely we live in a society that affects each other and everyone's health insurance goes up when we have more unhealthy people (whether they're overweight or not).
4. "I don't give a shit what causes anyone's fatness" - you should be. What if it's the hormones they put in the meat? The excess sugar/starch/fat in kids' diet? The chemicals or advertisements that make people addicted to certain foods? the list goes on and on.. I'm sure you'll be up in arm if certain food are found to cause cancer.
http://www.metafilter.com/100491/Hello-I… (409 comments)
http://www.reddit.com/r/TwoXChromosomes/… (373 comments)
It's on a ton of tumblrs as well and I couldn't even tell how many Twitter retweets. You guys... bump this. Wow.
You know what you get if you have been thin all your life? Accusations of anorexia. Being told you don't eat enough, because of course other people know better. My point is that it's bullshit all around. Do I have friends I think would be healthier thinner? Yes. Do I SAY this to them like I know better, like I have any idea what they deal with ? No, I'm too busy paying attention to the reason we're friends in the first place and dress size isn't on that list. I very much second pissy mcslogbot's comment:
"Shame is a tool of oppression, not change."
hell to the fuck yeah!!!!
And as far as being attractive goes, I think you've got it now. The ridiculous amount of pressure to look a certain way has long ago superseded the things that really matter. And your "appropriate weight" isn't going to match an airbrushed magazine ad. Ever. You'll look better, because you're real.
It's a stupid debate. Both Dan and Lindy are right, and both are wrong.
We're a nation of obese people, and that is not normal or healthy; but shaming individuals or describing their bodies as revolting is in fact subjective and destructive.
In case it's in any way unclear, I'm on Team Lindy on this one.
(written by someone who worked for dan and thinks he's an ass)
Obesity is disgusting, appalling, and gross. Because it's unhealthy and because there are so many people out there forming complex justifications for it. It's delusional.
Dan is snarky. He doesn't sugar-coat anything. He doesn't respond to fawning or flattery. He tells people what he thinks with brutal honesty, and most of the time, we love him for it. When he's calling out the Fundamentalist Christians, we say "Yeah!" When he's railing against people, and gay men in particular, who don't use condoms, we say, "Yeah!" But when he talks about obesity, and suggests that our current high carb, drive everywhere society may be contributing to the problem, all of a sudden he's an asshole who doesn't get it. Slog reviews cheeseburgers, poutine, and showcases the yummiest looking cupcakes...and Dan Savage is an asshole who dares to tell people that maybe, just maybe, their eating habits have something to do with their waistlines.
"excuse me, i don't know you, but i'm looking at you and i don't have a boner right now--you need to do something about that."
Funniest thing I've read in a long time!
Savage, like all bullies, is ultimately a coward.
So Dan is not missing the point; he's just pointing out the obvious.