Readers push back against the notion that Fat Acceptance (FA) be treated like an oppressed group:
I take issue with Anna Mollow comparing fatness to sexual orientation: “Body size is determined primarily by genetics”. This statement is missing half of the equation. Genetics plus caloric intake determine body size; the two halves necessarily go together. Compare that to sexual orientation: you can be gay and celibate but you’re still gay. If you’re genetically predisposed to fatness but your calorie intake is low (because of food availability, quality, poverty, or whatever), you won’t be fat.
Fat attraction is different. That sounds more like another sexual interest along the great spectrum of human sexuality.
I’m sorry, but give me a freaking break. Do we need a separate acceptance movement for short people?
Or people with ugly noses? With bacne? What about an acceptance movement for unintelligent people with lousy personalities? I mean, why should I have to try and not be a stupid asshole towards people; shouldn’t the onus be on them to accept me for the stupid asshole I am? After all, it’s not like I can control my stupid genes or asshole-ish upbringing!
Look, nobody’s perfect. Some of those imperfections can be fixed, mitigated or papered-over. But sometimes, we just gotta do the best we can with the hand that the good lord dealt us, and hope to meet people who either don’t mind the imperfection or to whom it’s not an imperfection, but a bonus. Demanding that everyone ignore your particular imperfections or be branded some kind of bigot is both unrealistic and a bit self-centered.
And I say this as a fat person whose family is full of fat people. No “thin privilege” here.
“Body size is determined primarily by genetics.” Anyone who wants to convince us of that needs to explain why our genetic pool has changed so drastically in the past half century to produce the dramatic rise in obesity within the US. Fat-shaming is not cool and may well be counter productive. But if one is going to make extraordinary scientific claims about genetics, one needs to produce extraordinary evidence to back them up.
If obesity was primarily a genetic disease, you’d see it all over the world, not just in large numbers in the United States. In most other countries in the world, people simply don’t get as fat as they do here. And more interestingly, immigrants from those same countries to the US become obese at the same rates as Americans. Unless people have conditions like hypothyroidism or the rare Prader-Willi syndrome (most obese people don’t), making a comparison between gay people and fat people is irresponsible and unfair to both.