Comments

1
Lindy should have grown up in Iowa. The fat shaming there is much less intense because if a person is not fat themselves, chances are their parents and siblings are. I remember being frustrated shopping for a size 36 suit in my late 20's and being told I'd have to go to the boy's department. (P.S. Boys departments in Iowa don't sell suits)

Lindy dear, if you're reading this, congratulations on your wedding. You looked lovely.
2
Totes gorge. Congratulations. (And your boyfriend husband is cute too)
And -- love your writing, as I have for years & years.
3
^ whoops, tried the < s > < /s > for strikethrough around the word "boyfriend" and it didn't work
5
mazel tov!

looks like she got married up here? hope it was early on that hot hot hot Saturday!
6
As a sister fatty, I'm so happy to see her so happy. People come in all sizes. Why is that so hard to understand?
7
Lindy looks fine. Who advised the groom that an Ed Grimley haircut was the way to go?
8
There is nothing wrong with having self confidence, unless that means you are trying to push the idea that being "fat" is great. It's not. I love Lindy's writing. I love her insight on almost everything, but not this. There is nothing ok with being proud of being unhealthy and obese. Chalking it up to "always being big" is an awful excuse to perpetuate.

The bottom line is that you are killing yourself. You are making a choice to be large and unhealthy. If you lost weight, and became healthy, it would not diminish your fight for feminism. You wouldn't be selling out. You would be making a smart life choice.

Stop perpetuating this myth that if you are fat you should be proud.
9
Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple! And Lindy, you look marvelous! (said in my finest Ricardo Montalban)
10
@8 - it is possible to be fat and have healthy joints, low cholesterol, a healthy cardiovascular system, normal blood pressure and no diabetes.
11
Aaaand point proven in 8 comments. (#4 just seems to be general dickishness.)
12
@10 any medical professional would disagree with you.
@11 the belief that fat and healthy can be one in the same is a dangerous lie.
13
@10: but it is a risk factor for the opposite of all those health factors you cite, and increasingly so as one passes 40, 50... plus gall stones, etc (FFFF), etc.

@8's not wrong, and neither is lindy west - her point is not that she's healthy, but that weight doesn't define beauty or worth.
14
@13 Exactly. Weight does not, should it ever, define worth or beauty. But being overweight is a massive issue that is not up for debate. It's not a "personal preference". Being overweight will cause health issues in your life.
15
@13 Exactly. Weight does not, nor should it ever, define worth or beauty. But being overweight is a massive issue that is not up for debate. It's not a "personal preference". Being overweight will cause health issues in your life.
16
I don't give it up on account of sentiment because to me style is sacred, but that gown is dope as hell! With the ocean backdrop and all, it's on point. I'm all for staying in shape, and I don't think obesity is something a body ought to "accept," but if you're getting your ass married, you should look baller as fuck. Mission: accomplished.
17
..@16..gown by mark mitchell
18
Congrats, Lindy!! Love your writing wherever I can find it and so happy you are happy. And what a gorgeous wedding.
19
@15: Whoa, thanks for layin' the knowledge on us, man. You should tell Lindy West! Once she knows that obesity may cause health problems she can stop talking about how she had a great wedding and loves and accepts herself and get back to trying to make her body smaller!
21
@19 Loving and accepting herself would mean saying "I'm fat, I'm not physically attractive to most people, but I am ok with that." Posting pictures of herself and having everyone blow sunshine up her ass by telling her how 'lovely' she is, is not accepting herself. That's like me, a mediocre pickup basketball player at the Y, 'accepting' myself by convincing myself I play in the NBA.
22
So happy for you, Lindy.
23
@20, 21 - thanks for teaching us all that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder but is actually an objective measurement. (Also the idea that all fat people must be eating huge amounts of food has been pretty well debunked. Some do, some don't; but never mind.)
24
@23 I didn't say Wast did. She may be unlucky. But if a person not currently fat wants to emulate her loverly, beautiful appearance, my advise is sound. When are you starting?
25
Nothing wrong with Lindy's body but what's with the Groom's suit? That's an abomination!
26
@24 - Too clever for me. I surrender.

@12 - Sorry, my mistake. She clearly does, or soon will have, joint problems, cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
27
@20: If you weren't so busy saving the concept of beauty from that uppity bitch, you might have noticed that she actually addresses just that tension between fat acceptance and feminism in the Guardian article.
28
@27 well then the people in this thread talking about how lovely and gorgeous she looks should read it.
29
@28: Maybe they did and still think she looks lovely. Is that allowed?
30
@29 then may they and their partners--and you--achieve the same look on their wedding days, and take much joy in it.
31
Not everything I find beautiful is something I want to emulate, Adversary. Some things are beautiful precisely because they have nothing to do with, or are foreign to, me; because they reflect values that I may not hold; or because they reflect values that I may hold but do not put into practice in that way, or aesthetics that I find interesting but cannot make use of in my life. I find facial tattoos interesting, but as an actor, couldn't really get away with them. As someone who likes drink and marijuana and art films, I could probably slip comfortably into some measure of obesity, but as an acrobat, personal trainer, and martial arts instructor, that potential "symptom" of that particular side of my lifestyle isn't compatible with the rest of what I have going on. That doesn't mean that I can't look at someone whose look or body type simply isn't compatible with what I ask of my looks and my body day to day and find it beautiful.
32
@30: Dude, what are you even talking about? The article is about loving yourself and expecting respectful treatment even if you don't fit society's rigid standards of beauty.
Are you implying that Lindy West and...all the other fat sex symbols in our society are thisclose to convincing young women to go out and pack on some pounds?
Or is your mind just so blown that not everyone's idea of beautiful conforms to society's skinny blonde ideal that you've just gone completely 'round the bend?
33
@31, 32: I don't believe you. That's what I'm talking about. Yes, there are a few--very few--people who find very fat bodies desirable, just like there are a very few people attracted to amputees. But I don't believe that you find Lindy West beautiful or sexy. I believe you are mouthing comfortable lies because they fit with your politics: you are feminists, and being a feminist requires believing that fat is beautiful and beauty standards are a social construct.

Why do I care? Partly because yes, I think the growth of fat acceptance will cause more people to be fat. But mainly it's the lying.

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is...in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
― Theodore Dalrymple
34
@33 - There are stops in my sexual history that would surely belie your certainty in my dishonesty, to say nothing of various crushes in the nearly 19 years that I've been married. I suppose that, without video evidence, your clearly inflated sense of self-regard may well exceed your capacity to imagine that I exist outside the strictures of your ill-founded hypothesis.

Beauty standards are a social construct; that doesn't mean we can't have them. Hell, I have them; that I find some of rotund profile (and, funny enough, amputees) attractive in some cases actually speaks to something quite other than my feminism. As you point out above, as a feminist, my point is that anyone can be found attractive than someone, but no one is obligated to be attractive to to anyone. It is only as a man that I think that Lindy West looks lovely here, and I grant no special nobility to my finding it so.

Nor, if we're being fair, do I find anything ignoble about your not finding her particularly beautiful. What's inexcusably asinine is that you don't think anyone else does or should find her so--that you invest so much energy into telling everyone they're a bunch of lying liars.

I know a hell of a lot of people I don't find attractive. Because I find so many of them so many other wonderful things, I spend exactly none of my time talking about their looks, and would consider it far, far beneath my dignity (at best; at worst, I would see it as a pointless inflation of my self-regard) to suggest that those who found them attractive were, deep down, lying to themselves for political reasons.
35
@33 Adversary "Yes, there are a few--very few--people who find very fat bodies desirable, just like there are a very few people attracted to amputees."

Tell us, is it painful being that ignorant? Do you cart around a constant I.V. drip to control it?

You are missing the point of Lindy's post, which is that she was able to feel comfortable in her own skin on her wedding day, and that is empowering. After a lifetime of messages that women over a certain size are not worthy, not valid, not attractive - and apparently now equivalent to missing some limbs - she found she could buy the dress of her dreams and feel beautiful on her wedding day.

That does not mean YOU or anyone else has to find her body attractive. It sure as fuck doesn't give you license to tell the rest of how to define ourselves as feminists, and inform us that if we don't agree with you, we're all lying in order to remain politically correct.

As well, Lindy's post does not have a single thing to do with her current or future health. Leave it to the cruel or truly blind to always be counted on to drag that in to any attempt by a woman to try to celebrate that she has found a way to love herself and find herself beautiful without fitting a stereotype. If it's not "You're an ugly bitch", it's "I'm just concerned about your health". I'm sure those of you inclined to hide behind that argument spend just as much time finding women who are clearly underweight, and trying to make sure they know they are hideous and near death. Right?
36
"I don't believe you. That's what I'm talking about."
Well that's good news. It just means that you're a small minded and unimaginative twit who hangs around too many frat bros (some of whom are probably into big chicks but are too scared to admit it) and I no longer need to engage with you.
Buh-bye
37
And also (must. stop. responding to numbskulls...) what is the minimum number of people who consider you fuckable needed before you're allowed to be proud and happy on your wedding day. Mine's over but maybe I should be feeling some retroactive shame.
And I assume you go around on Facebook or whatever expressing your outrage at people telling women with overbites or weak chins that they look gorgeous and beautiful in their wedding pics, right? I mean they aren't looking like Charlize Theron or anything so...how dare those PC liars!!
38
Anyone's allowed to feel proud and happy on their wedding day. Feel it, don't feel it, it's got fuck-all to do with me. But if you write 1000's of words in a major newspaper about how you feel, not just proud and happy in your fat body, but beautiful and as if fat bodies are just as good as other bodies, then you are effectively trying to redefine the word 'beautiful' for everyone else. No way.

And yes, @37, if there were a movement--if feminists had made it a cause--to celebrate people with fucked-up faces as beautiful...if someone wrote a long screed about how she'd struggled with her weak chin and overbite, and then posted her picture and demanded people call her beautiful? I'd have a problem with that.

You know what? Screw it. I'm going to take a picture of myself curling 10lb dumb-bells, post it on Facebook, say how strong I feel, and demand everyone tell me how strong I am.

Btw, I notice no one in this whole thread has said they actually want Lindy's body, or want to date someone with it, or want their daughters or sons to grow up to have bodies like that. Put down the carrot sticks, there's McDonalds everywhere. Take your kids. Don't you want your children to have lovely, beautiful, gorgeous bodies like Lindy's? Of course, her kids will have a big head start, since obese parents are much more likely to have obese children....
39
Adversary dear, tl;dr, as the kids say. If you don't like her body, that's your right. But no one really cares.
40
@38: No one was demanding to be called beautiful, they are demanding to be treated with respect, as worthwhile human beings deserving of love and happiness.
But go ahead and post your pic if you want people to tell you you look great too. Lord knows 90% of Facebook is already doofuses looking for validation.
41
@38 - She didn't demand anything of the sort. Not of you, not of anyone. Some of us said she looked lovely because, to our eyes, she did. I'm sorry you took that to mean we needed anything from you, and amused that you believe you have some rare, undemonstrated insight into our "real" reasons for opining as we did.

Depending on how long you've been lifting, what you're doing with the dumbbells, and how much you were lifting last week, the strength demonstrated by way of your 10lb. dumbbells might well deserve kudos. You would not, of course, have any grounds to demand that anyone acknowledge as much.
42
Ah. So the many fat women posting pictures of themselves online in 'fatkinis' or whatever aren't demanding to be seen as beautiful. Ooookay.
43
Adversary dear, your fetish is your thing. But seriously - no one cares what you think.
45
LOL @ the men's rights guy who only comes here to shit on women telling people they're doing feminism wrong.
46
As a straight woman, I often compliment other women (especially when they are dressed up for a big event) if I think they look lovely or beautiful, and it doesn't have anything to do with "attraction." When my mom looks beautiful, I tell her. Is she an 18-year-old fashion model? Obviously not. She is in her 60s. Would "adversary" find her attractive? Probably not, but are you seriously going to be mean to my mom when she's wearing her pretty dress for her granddaughter's preschool graduation? Please.

When I think a black woman is beautiful and say so, it doesn't mean I wish I was black. I don't wish I was blonde every time I see a beautiful blonde woman, either. When I think a woman with large breasts is beautiful, it doesn't mean I'm going to go and book a plastic surgery appointment so that I can have large breasts, too. And when I see a woman who is much thinner or much fatter than me who I think is beautiful, it doesn't make me feel like I need to lose or gain weight.

The reason I felt compelled to comment here is the whole "put your money where your mouth is" thing, where you're somehow not allowed to think fat people look good - nice, pretty, beautiful, attractive, whatever - if you yourself are thin. It's always: prove it! "Become fat yourself or better yet, date someone fat!" they say. Well, I have, and I am a thin woman. I've dated men who would not be out of place in an ad for men's underwear, body-wise, and also men who are more the male equivalent of Lindy West. And do you know what? I did not love the fat ones less. Here, let me say that again: I DID NOT LOVE FAT MEN LESS THAN FIT MEN. I did not feel that I had "scored" lower. I did not love those men BECAUSE they were fat (a fetish) OR IN SPITE of it (being "PC"). And importantly, I was not LESS attracted to them. They were people I met, and was attracted to, and fell in love with. Same for the more fit guys. And you know what else? I dated thin men who ate like pigs and never worked out. I dated fat men who ate only healthy food and worked out several times a week. Same goes for women I've known. So please STFU about this "healthy lifestyle" business. And stop telling strangers 1) what they should or should not find attractive in a romantic partner and b) that I can't, as a straight woman, tell another woman she looks beautiful when I think she looks beautiful, whether she is a fashion model, my 60 year old mom, an amputee, or a gorgeous young blonde woman that many people think is beautiful like Lindy West.
47
@46 You loved overweight guys. Great. Anyone can be lovable and I hope people of all sizes have someone to love them. But that does not make them "beautiful."

@44 What women am I harassing? This is another thing that makes people roll their eyes at feminists: the constant insistence that disagreeing with a woman online is "harassment."
48
Oh, and @46: I take it you would be perfectly happy if your children, should you have any, grow up to be morbidly obese. Would you mind writing that out for me? "I, vaness, would be perfectly happy for my children to grow up morbidly obese." If not, why not?
49
@48, You just spilled hundreds of words in this thread degrading fat people while also openly wondering why people might not want to have a fat child. Kind of dumb if you think about it for a second, which is evidently more time than you've spent thinking about anything.

If I had kids I would rather they grow up to be fat than the kind of person who trolls women and fat people on the internet. Mostly I would just want my kids to be smart, happy and kind to others.
50
@49 so now voicing the opinion that someone is not beautiful is 'degrading' them. Words: their meanings just keep a-changin'. If I say Danny Devito is not a hunk, am I degrading him?

So your claim is that other than unreasonable prejudice against fat people, you'd be happy if your children grew up fat. Well, I think you should get out in front on this. Don't let society keep you down, man. You going to let ignorant, prejudiced people tell you what to do? Raise your kids to be super fat and strike a blow for fat acceptance.

...why do I think you won't, though?
51
@50 ...Because you're incapable of thinking, period? We've already established that. I mean, you just completely mangled my point and it was like 2 sentences of one and two-syllable words. I would ask you to try to keep up but we wouldn't be having this conversation if you were capable.

Fat kid >>>>> Douche kid. Does that help?

52
Is that a fat kid fucking a douche kid with a real long cock? That's unrealistic because fat guys' cocks get hidden by their FUPA's and tend to look short. Also I'm pretty sure that is child porn.
53
So the many fat women posting pictures of themselves online in 'fatkinis' or whatever aren't demanding to be seen as beautiful. Ooookay.
I don't imagine you're "demanding" that we think of you as thoughtful, coherent, or relevant because you post your thoughts online. I do imagine that you think we should consider the possibility that your ideas have merit, and would hope that we'd judge them on our merits as seen through the filter of our own biases. And had you never gone so far as to question our motives, or to suggest that our stated opinions were politically motivated lies, I don't imagine I, for one--who have many, many more important things to do than try to teach a troll that crossing streams is precisely what bridges are for--would have spent any energy disavowing you of that notion.

Likewise, no woman can demand that we find the pictures (in which she finds herself beautiful, or would like to find herself beautiful, in which she would certainly like others to find her beautiful) she posts online beautiful. But she can offer up whatever her conception of herself as beautiful is, and we can find it as we will. In most cases, I'm unlikely to say whether I find a given stranger beautiful or not; if I make an exception, I'm likelier to make that exception for those I find beautiful, rather than for those I find ... less so.
Anyone can be lovable and I hope people of all sizes have someone to love them. But that does not make them "beautiful."
That may be so; one may be loved without being found beautiful, I suppose ... if we're talking agape, philia, storge (though, unlike Lewis, I think those constitute different modes of expression more than entirely separate emotional frameworks). Eros, almost by definition, tends to involve some reactive conception of beauty.

Beauty, though it means something, is still a subjective construct. Being "funny" could be said to have a fixed meaning, but we don't all find the same things funny. Some people find Adam Sandler funny; it isn't a reflection on my character (or Sandler's) or my veracity if I say that I don't find Adam Sandler funny (though it would if, say, I went to a comments thread to tell people what stupid assholes they are for laughing at Adam Sandler). You may not find Louie C.K., Jenna Kirkman, or Amy Schumer funny; I really wouldn't care unless I was having you over for dinner (not gonna happen).
I take it you would be perfectly happy if your children, should you have any, grow up to be morbidly obese.
I would expect to do my best to teach my children to eat a healthy diet and stay active. It's possible that my corollary message that moderate and enlightened engagement in vice enriches life may produce unintended consequences, including overindulgence in certain vices. If the result of such was morbid obesity, I might be concerned less about the obesity--which is less a problem than a symptom of a problem--than about the possibility that they aren't taking care of their strength and flexibility, eating enough vegetables, overdoing inflammatory grains, etc. But it wouldn't, I hope, occur to me to think that they weren't allowed to find beauty and satisfaction in the bodies they happened to have at the moment.

54
... so now voicing the opinion that someone is not beautiful is 'degrading' them.
So you admit, now, for pretty much the first time in this whole conversation, that beauty is a matter of opinion, and any number of people may find agreement or disagreement in the question of any one person's beauty?

My god, it's almost like you understand.
55
I think we're pretty much done here. You all will keep insisting that morbidly obese people are beautiful. 98% of the country will keep disagreeing with you. Companies will continue to not hire fat models, except for the occasional stunt hire for the publicity. Obesity will continue to be a MUCH bigger health problem than anorexia or 'poor body image.' We all good? cool.
56
I feel like we could all have saved a lot of time and headache here if only Adversary had stopped scratching his taint and sniffing his fingers for long enough to look up the definition of the word "subjective."
57
@54 - see @55. It was a nice thought.

@56 - are you trying to imply that somehow this was a waste of time?
58
Well it's less of a waste of time if you imagine him having the "comic book store guy" voice as you read his posts, because my god does it fit.

59
"Allow me to explain to you, at length, why MY opinion should be seen as the objective definition of beauty. Firstly, you'll note that at NO point do any of Captain Kirk's love interests resemble Lindy West even remotely. This is to be expected, given that the traditional Western culture in which Star Trek was conceptualized rababdlaheiarljdxmdkedlrje..."
60
Bonefish @58 & 59: That is a little piece of perfection, right there.

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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