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A huge hidden problem 

LAM LU / THE REBEL YELL

 
I’m tired of suffering under the oppression of being fat. Obesity is socially constructed, but sometimes, a person can carry around some extra weight and still be considered healthy.

I used to watch the World’s Strongest Man competitions, and most of those guys would be considered “fat.” Regardless, they were strong enough to deadlift two young women and pull a plane strapped to a harness on their backs.

Various cultures have changed the definition of “fat” throughout history. Being chubby could be viewed as a positive symbol of fertility, strength or security. If a concept can mean different things to different people throughout time, then it must be a socially-constructed idea.

There is a skinny bias that you slim people probably aren’t even aware exists. Thin privilege helps someone in the case of job interviews, when searching for a mate and even when they try on clothes.

I’m treated like the “other.” I rarely see images of people who look like me on television, movies or commercials. I never see an Abercrombie & Fitch ad with chunky models.

Where is the romantic comedy with two overweight people coming together to find love? Fat people do show up in comedies from time to time, but usually as bumbling idiots or brash humorists who are insensitive and mean.

The stereotype of the “funny fat guy or girl” has been perpetuated in all facets of media. It shows that my people only exist to be laughed at.

Do you realize that it’s a big reason why so many of them are introverted and afraid to come out of their shells? Being ridiculed for being different is something that many other groups have suffered, yet there is no shame in laughing at fat people.

I have a family history of obesity, therefore I believe that I am fat based on biological principles rather than by choice. It is hard-wired into my DNA, and I can’t change it without surgery. No matter what diet I try or how often I work out, I still cannot lose enough fat to slide comfortably into my assigned BMI category.

LAM LU / THE REBEL YELL

LAM LU / THE REBEL YELL

According to a July 2013 Time magazine article, “New Genes ID’d in Obesity: How Much of Weight is Genetic?” scientists have dicovered various genetic mutations in mice that were translated to humans whose effects range from increased cravings of high fat foods, to realizing that some people are simply “sequestering fat rather than breaking it down for energy.”

So, not only has the definition of obesity changed over time in our society, but I may be at risk for genetic issues that would keep me in the obese category no matter what I do.

Healthy eating may not be as easy as prescribed in the media. For those of us fat people who are also on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder, we can’t just go out and buy grass-fed beef, almond milk or gluten-free flour. Whether our genetic disposition is a factor or not, some of us have no choice but to eat less healthy alternatives.

MSG in fast food makes it addictive, but it is often cheaper to eat at McDonald’s than to eat at home. It is much less expensive to buy 80 percent lean meat than it is to buy 93 percent.

Canned vegetables are worse for consumers, but cost less than their fresh counterparts: Even grocery stores seem to be against fat people.

We need to stand up for rotund rights.

Let us march on Washington D.C. and demand that fat people get our own special protected class. Businesses should no longer be able to discriminate against the double-chinned. The media must stop utilizing only the skinny to sell products. We deserve equality.

Michelle Obama can rally against childhood obesity all she wants, but as one who is clearly not genetically predisposed to being fat, she is simply exerting her own thin privilege in trying to combat an illness that may not be treatable.

It would be akin to her wearing a $12,000 dress to a party while telling the rest of us that she understands poverty.

Instead of trying to force all of us to fit into the skinny person hierarchy, we should focus on removing the negative labels and stereotypes affecting all of us.

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One Response to A huge hidden problem

  1. Rich

    Or, you can just get off your couch and go get some exercise. There is only one reason that you are fat, and it has nothing to do with your genetics. Your caloric intake is higher than your energy expenditure. In other words, you eat too much and don’t burn any of those calories. Losing weight is hard, and keeping it off is even harder. I know, I’ve been there. No matter what you tell yourself, you are not healthy. Stop being a victim and do something about it. Creating a special protected class based on one’s poor health choices is utterly ridiculous and just reeks of victim behavior/attitude. You want to stop being discriminated against? Stop being lazy and go lose those pounds!

     

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