Thursday, 12 July 2012

Why Hating Fat People Makes You An Idiot


Today I read an article on a ‘Fat Pride Conference’ being held in New Zealand and you know what shocked me most? It wasn’t the idea of fat people getting together & feeling better about themselves, the cost of obesity on our medical system or even the statistics on fat people being treated badly – it was the sheer vehemence and meanness expressed by the 59 people who commented on the story.

To put the 59 comments in perspective, News.com.au on average attract about 20 comments on a popular story. Australia has a much smaller population than the US or UK so 59 commenters is pretty significant for a couple of hours after the story was published.

I sat there and read all 59 comments with greater shock than the article I had just read about a man who chained up & tortured his wife for 10 years. Also – only 2 people commented on the article about the torturer – which made me think “59 comments? What makes a fat pride conference more interesting?”… Little did I know I was going to subject myself to a swamp of people with little better to do than insult their fellow man.

To summarise these comments for you – it appears a lot of people in Australia think fat people are disgusting, gross, less valuable members of society and should be herded into a large barn and kept from the sight of the skinny people who are obviously much better at being human beings. Now let me tell you what I think- I think these people are complete idiots.

Don’t misunderstand me; I am a firm believer in eating healthy, being fit & having the ability to outrun any would-be rapist. But If I am choosing between having my operation performed by a fat surgeon or a skinny person who is “good with a knife” then I’m choosing the fat person. You may as well ask me whether I would like to be served by a person with freckles or no freckles. I don’t give a damn what they look like as long as they are going to take my money & let me keep their store’s goods.

It’s just plain inaccurate to judge someone by one aspect of their life. That would be like praising Hitler as a role model for his artwork. My point is that humans are intensely complex beings – you cannot simply take one look at a person & know them.

If we are judging the value of a human being by their physical appearance then I now refuse to associate with anyone who has longer eyelashes than me. But hey – if you’re not into physical discrimination, we can always discriminate against those that put a burden on our health care system. You may as well say that we should discriminate against those with a family history of mental illness, heart disease or cancer? And anyone who drank alcohol or ate soft cheese whilst pregnant should be thrown off the nearest bridge. Once they’ve had the baby of course. We aren’t barbarians.

Again, it appears a lot of Australians are morons. If I’m choosing between a pilot who is fat and one who is skinny, I choose whichever is best at flying the god damn plane. Give me the same problem with a smoker vs. a non smoker and you’ll get the same answer.

If you are a fat-hater, what do you gain by hating something? No one else cares about your opinion, so you only rob yourself of feeling great. It is perfectly acceptable to dislike something – personally I have a dislike of adults who take up smoking to look cool, lose weight or rebel – but if I let everything I disliked rule my emotions so greatly, I would be declaring war on cans of tuna in no time. And I think we all agree that that would be a stupid idea and a waste of my time.

Sitting around getting angry about fat people gives you nothing. At the end of the day, you sat around feeling outraged whilst all the overweight people had a great time not thinking about it. The same goes for overweight people who decide that skinny people are all terrible people. They aren’t, we are all essentially just ‘people’

So here is the moral of my (somewhat long winded) story – putting down other people wont make you feel better, being mean wont make people like you and judging a book by its cover doesn’t work. And I say that as someone who has bought some truly terrible books because they had beautifully illustrated covers.

Being narrow minded & judgemental means you rob yourself of the opportunity of having some fantastic people in your life. My friends are my friends because they are funny, interesting & dependable people who are there for me when I need support, love & someone to experience good times with. They don’t stop being any of these things because they got fat, they became skinny or they took up motorcycle riding. Those things mean nothing to me. And if those things mean something to you – perhaps you should reassess what kind of a friend you are to them? The answer is probably not a very good one. Your family doesn’t stop loving you because you dyed your hair a different colour. And if they did, they probably weren’t worth keeping in the long run.

As a race, we constantly shoot ourselves in the foot. Our society doesn’t advance by people being rude & petty to each other. If we were at war with an intelligent species, they wouldn’t have to ‘divide and conquer’ they would probably just skip to the conquer part because we divide ourselves without assistance from anyone else.

Our mothers, fathers & grandparents already told us all we needed to know when we were children – but it seems most of us weren’t listening very well. They told us: Work together. Love each other. Be polite. Be kind. Show compassion. Help those in need. Share with those who have less. Treat others how you wish to be treated. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Build healthy relationships. Act with honour. Treat people of all races, religions and sexes as your equal.

If you think mean thoughts, keep them to yourself. Don’t ruin someone’s day because of YOUR issue. Like your mother told you – If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Because when I fall over (which I do quite a bit unfortunately – balance isn’t my gift in life) I just hope someone will help me up, regardless of their waist measurement.

I wish all those at the Fat Pride Conference a fantastic time. All those keyboard warriors hating on fat people should probably concentrate on something better – why don’t you go read that article about the guy who chained up & tortured his wife for 10 years? Surely he deserves some nasty comments a heck of a lot more than the guy who doesn’t like doing sit-ups all that much?

Sunny x

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