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May 21, 2010 / Katie

Today in fat-hating America

Today I was reading this really interesting, thoughtful PCWorld article about Facebook and privacy, which I came across through StumbleUpon:

60 Percent Would Quit Facebook? Yeah, Right

Seven great paragraphs of analysis about people’s behavior and predictions about whether there will be a mass exodus from Facebook; whether people will listen to the experts about the ways that their Facebook accounts violates their privacy.

And then comes paragraph eight.

I doubt they will. Experts are full of great advice that we don’t listen to — they’ve been talking about this exercise thing for years, but obesity still lives large — so why would people quit a service that offers so much for something not immediately noticeable like privacy? The masses won’t leave Facebook unless a better product comes along. And obesity’s going to stick around until someone invents a vegetable that tastes like bacon.


Seriously, WHAT.

It just really blindsided me.  I mean, I expect that if I’m reading anything that has to do with exercise, food, health, or some combination thereof, there will be some mention of obesity.  I also tend to expect it from more philosophical/ethical discussions about overconsumption and environmental sustainability.  I expect it when people are talking about kids, or clothing, or being “good” or “bad.”  I expect it because it happens so often; not because it “should” be that way, but because it just is.  So I prepare myself for the fat hate when I encounter those things.

What I don’t like—at all—is the idea that I should have to prepare myself for fat hate, all the time.

The last paragraph of the article left me angry.  But upon reflection, I’m not just angry at that particular writer, I’m angry that I live in a culture so saturated with fat hate that there truly is no public space that is safe.  At any moment, I could be going about my business and bang—out of the blue—FATTY HATE!!



Leave a Comment
  1. Meowser / May 21 2010 7:35 pm

    Oh, man. I know what you mean. It’s hard to watch or read anything, on any subject anymore, without some bit of fat-bashing sneaking in. But you know what would NOT surprise me? To find out this writer is actually fat himself, and is referring to himself. I can’t count how many times THAT has happened.

  2. Heidi / May 21 2010 8:47 pm

    I’ve had similar experiences and they always leave me feeling angry and a little shell-shocked.


  3. meerkat / May 22 2010 4:50 am

    It does pop up as a metaphor everywhere. Today I was looking for household substances that repel ants and I clicked through to a page about writing which compared bad criticism to fried foods and annoying overly-critical people to “overweight” people (they eat the fried foods, see, so you should not listen to them because they don’t know how to eat healthily, or something). Major headdesk. (Also, I have no idea what bacon tastes like, yet still fat! Someday I will try the tofu bacon, maybe.)

  4. Lillian / May 22 2010 12:26 pm

    I’ve had veggie bacon. It’s quite good. I never cared much for bacon before I became vegetarian and I’m not a big fan of fake meat. By the way, I’ve been vegetarian for 15 years. Real bacon was a food that I ate because it came with eggs at restaurants. Fake bacon is something that I order. It’s a treat. I highly recommend that you try it.

    By the way, there are many, many vegetarians that are overweight or obese.

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