Heather

The Unhealthy Fatty

I get a lot of mail from fans and haters alike. I get trolls, I get my images stolen, I get mail praising me or chastising me, and it’s all in the name of art and fat acceptance. Lately I’ve gotten quite a few about how unhealthy my images are with one person saying that “a little bit of weight is fine, but” and another saying “aren’t you glorifying obesity?” I already wrote a post on my own blog about glorifying obesity, but I also wanted to address the “but health!” argument. Now, I could go into a whole rant on why fat isn’t unhealthy. I could post statistics and studies and links  on research and then I could try to justify my fatness by talking about how healthy my lifestyle is… and I’d just be playing right into the troll’s hands. You see, because they don’t care about health and, even if they did, my health is none of their business.

The big thing I wanted to talk about today is ableism. As it sounds, ableism is the intolerance and/or discrimination of people who are less able bodied than the social ideal. I myself see the fallout of ableism as I have bipolar disorder, hypothyroidism, chronic tendonitis, and plica syndrome (and a few other things). All of that means that I’m often in pain, tired, moody, and/or unable to perform normal daily activities. My spoons get used up fairly quickly. It’s even worse for fat people in general because our bodies are touted as diseased and flawed in and of themselves. Even worse are illnesses that people think of when they think of fat like heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, etc. Because even though thin people can and do have all of those same problems, fat people get double the dose of ableism because they’ve already had their humanity stripped away by fatphobes who see their bodies as an illness and nothing more.

What’s my point? My point is that it doesn’t matter how unhealthy a person is. They’re still human beings. They still deserve to be treated with human dignity, compassion, and fairness. This is why I don’t need to justify my health to  anyone- because I’m a human being regardless. Because you being an ableist fatphobic dick isn’t on me- it’s on you. Someone being in poor health isn’t a reason to discriminate against people or to hate them or loathe them… I mean really, what’s wrong with these people who think they can take a person with diabetes and treat them as sub human just because their health status is different, not worse, just different, from their own? The solution to discrimination and bigotry isn’t unhealthy people getting healthier, it’s ending the discrimination and bigotry.

I’m sorry and I don’t mean to step on your childish little toes, but there is no such thing as perfect health. People are different, not superior or inferior to each other. I’m not inferior to someone who doesn’t have hypothyroidism and I’m not superior to someone who has diabetes. We’re not playing the good fatty/ bad fatty game and we’re not playing the healthism game anymore. You can complain about it draining your tax dollars, but you could say the same about children with disabilities or people who do sports or kids who jump out of trees. Their health, their business. Back off.

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  • anotherkate

    I have hashimoto’s hypothyroidism too. A lot of people underestimate the impact it can have on your life. I’ll be on medication for it until I die and it’s not cheap. I get headaches and somedays I’d rather stay in bed. I’m trying a new thyroid friendly food plan cutting out some stuff that interacts with your hormones etc. But it’s hard to manage sometimes, I physically can’t lose weight. And I’m slowly coming to terms with that.
    I try to be healthy for me, to the best of my ability. But I completely recognise that health isn’t the be all and end all and that a lot of people are sick, injured or differently abled. People being shamed because they don’t fit the ‘picture’ of what healthy looks like are ridiculous. Thanks for writing about this.

  • Heather Kolaya-Spealman

    I don’t know if it’ll help, but my doctor suggested going gluten free and it’s made a huge difference in my life! thanks for reading and remember, you’re fantastic no matter what :)

  • anotherkate

    Thanks – am trying gluten free at the moment – going to try for about 6 months or so to see if there is any long term difference for me. I have been checked for gluten intolerance and coeliac recently but the tests were negative.
    I am fantastic – well starting to feel that way slowly – thanks to blogs like this.

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