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Blame The Government, Sweetie.

by Chloe Dugas about a month ago in body
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This one is for all my plus sized queens out there. You are appreciated <3

I had a conversation with my best friend today while we were in the gym. She brought up the fact of how different she was treated by her family at a family function because she had lost a significant amount of weight since the last time they had seen her. She said that for the first time ever, they had invited her to take shots with them and actually conversed with her on a deeper level. She also joked about how if they saw her now, even smaller than she was before, they would be serving her drinks and food. The common theme of her visits with her family during holidays were always uncomfortable for her because she was often ignored. She realized this past Christmas that the reason she wasn't spoken to was because of her heavier weight. I got to thinking, now why is that? Why would the people who are supposed to love you no matter what, treat you less as a larger person than they would if you were smaller? She inspired more questions that I had. Why is it that even strangers treat us differently? Sometimes without even noticing.

I have also been big my entire life and have experienced this as well. In social settings, family functions, on the internet. It is very damaging as a child to be treated differently because you are bigger. It is also very damaging as an adult to feel left out or blacklisted by society because your BMI is higher. There are many scenarios that I have experienced as a skinny and larger person in society. Small things like having doors opened for me or being greeted at a store. Peoples' attitude towards you changes and they don't look disgusted when they have a glance at you. You get smiled at more and complimented more as a smaller individual. It is known in our society that "fat is bad" and how being skinny is the only acceptable way. Although, the definition of skinny in society is far more dangerous than being obese. Okay, so we know obviously that society says "fat person bad, fat person ugly", but why? I wondered the psychology surrounding this question, and I may have found some answers.

Let's talk some history. Obesity was not officially recognized in the US as a disease until 1948 by the World Health Organization (WHO), and had only been relevant in the US and the United Kingdom. It was first depicted as a disease by the Greek physician, Hippocrates, and it was often sought after to be overweight because it meant that you were powerful and honorable. Food was seen as a luxury and society wanted to be apart of that. We can thank industrialization for the increase of our food supply which eventually led to the epidemic of obesity.

Increased supply of food and applying less work to get that food means you can eat all you want without having to do much work for it. Once food was easily accessible to the masses, being overweight was seen as a big no-no. Doctors had also discovered that being obese led to health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, etc. It can also lead to more fatal issues including heart disease, liver disease, and most cancers. Being larger had become associated with "decreased mortality", and it aesthetically became not acceptable in society's eyes. The stigma surrounding being obese just worsened and when the point of health was brought into the picture, more people found that it was inexcusable to be overweight. With this new found information being spread, diet culture had made its appearance. Doctors were advising patients to go on different diets to alleviate their obesity, and even going as far as being on televised ads for dietary products. This further created the hate train for fat people. Yay.

Scientifically, fat is overly-produced when calories eaten are not paired with the action of burning them. Therefore, more food is supplied to us for less work and we don't have to work hard to acquire it, such as gardening, farming, preparing a meal, etc. Combine that with the fact that not everyone can burn calories or store fat the same. Some bodies hold onto more fat than others and there is nothing else to blame besides genetics. The industrialization of the food industry has also caused corners to be cut when it comes to nutrition. 70% of our food is processed and the nutritional value is lowered significantly. Basically, industrialization led to obesity and in turn, society shamed those who participated in the new found technology. Can we all just blame the government for being fat? I do.

We all know by now that if you tend to pick out others' flaws that you have an issue with yourself and your own flaws. A hater's brain would rather complain and point out someone else's issue rather than to face their own. People also judge what they don't understand. Genetics aren't genetics if they aren't their own smooth skin, skinny legs, slim figure genes. If you don't look like them, you aren't worthy. People have to project their internalized hatred and if they're bored with aiming it towards a social, class, race, or gender, fat people would be the next best thing, right? Just remember, if they hate you for the way you look, they hate themselves.

Now, I know you may be thinking, "Okay girl, but the body positivity movement is a thing and it's had a positive impact," and honestly, I would say the same thing. Although, spreading a positive message and pretending that fat-phobia isn't relevant does not mean that it doesn't still exist. Sadly, the world has been so brainwashed surrounding the idea of being a larger person, and there is not much we can do to change the minds of everyone who has indulged in fat-phobic media. I can argue though, that media is powerful, specifically social media and there ARE generational changes being made. The body positivity movement has impacted and helped a lot of plus sized women regain their confidence and has encouraged others to rethink their judgement. My chunky nine year old self would be shaking in her boots if she knew we'd finally get some of the recognition we always deserved.

If you take anything from this, don't let miserable people take away from who you are, and don't forget that you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal AND fine as hell. There will always be someone who will judge you for your size, but if you want someone to blame, blame the government, sweetie.

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About the author

Chloe Dugas

Hi I'm a 21 year old who has a boring life and really only writes on here about what I'm interested in and how I'm feeling. Thx for reading <3

xoxo

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Comments (4)

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  • Gene Lassabout a month ago

    I agree with everything you say except the idea that people who torment others for being different do so because they hate themselves. One of my friends, who's 28 was surprised that I was picked on in school for being skinny because she had only seen people get picked on for being fat. There used to be self-help products to help people who were too skinny. At the same time, my wife's high school experience was drastically different from mine. At her school, there was a base level of civility that kept people from picking on those who were disabled, disfigured, etc. Bullying was as she says, "to correct bad behavior." When we watched "The Breakfast Club" again recently, the scene where Emilio Estevez(the jock) has his monologue about why he's in detention - because he pulled a prank on some weaker kid and really hurt him - I pointed out to her what he was saying was the reality I had, and lots of kids have. Those who pick on others SOMETIMES hate themselves and want to hurt you to feel better. But other times, a lot of the times, it's a power thing. They love themselves and they're going to dominate by picking on easy targets. Either by teaching or by instinct, they target the weak and the different, and they find it to be a moral issue to be either of those things.

  • Aliza Rueabout a month ago

    I like your piece. I don't agree with everything you said but it was well written and your tone throughout created a nice flow.

  • Thavien Yliasterabout a month ago

    It's a shame to be treated terribly by other people, especially for outwards appearances. Yet, I can't say that anybody "deserves" recognition. In my own opinion, you need to value yourself enough that the only validation you need is from yourself, but also that you surround yourself with the right people who treat you with courtesy and dignity.

  • Nyasa Jacksonabout a month ago

    always a constant struggle to learn to love your body as is. I realized recently I was still mourning the smaller body that I had five years ago and holding onto old clothes with the expectation that I would fit into them again was not helping. thank you for this piece!

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