I use the F word a lot when I’m writing about body image, and every so often, my iVillage editor gently takes it out of my copy and replaces it with something softer, like “overweight” or “portly”* because she doesn’t want to offend anyone. (She’s nice like that.)
So we were discussing the “is fat offensive?” question and realized that maybe it would help if I just straight-up explained why I use fat — because I actually have a whole secret mission behind it. Which is now no longer a secret. You can read the whole thing here.
*Sidebar: Really, if you’re offended by “fat,” is “portly” any better? Forget size bias, I just think it is one of the most unattractive words in the English language. Also for some reason, I picture anyone described that way dressed as an old time-y ship captain. So there’s that.
The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday round-up of how much we paid for beauty this week.
It seems like everywhere I turn this week, the news is about how much our culture hates fat people. So this a special theme edition of the Price Check. Because people, this has got to stop.
- My beautiful friend (and amazing blogger and dancer — that’s her above!) Ragen Chastain received over 260 hate-filled comments on her blog this week from evil Internet Trolls who think she should die in appalling and violent ways. (And if you think she must be some strange, isolated example, check out #thingsfatpeoplearetoldon Twitter — and prepare to lose your mind.)
- Kirstie Alley, the formerly Fat Actress, won “Dancing With the Stars” this week despite admitting she was eating just 150 calories while dancing for hours per day. Naturally, the world is celebrating her dancing-fueled weight loss instead of worrying about her health. (Via ABOUT-FACE)
- Psychologists found that 72 percent of overweight and obese individuals depicted in the media are stigmatized, often appearing shirtless or headless, according to a study (PDF) published in the Journal of Health Communication. (Via Good)
- As I reported yesterday on Never Say Diet, when new research showed that only 69 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight (down from 77 percent last year), nutritionists threw up their hands in a state of panic that we might just be accepting our fat selves and preparing to die. (Note that 69 percent means that more than half the population is on a diet.)
This is on top of a major, multi-country study published in the journal Current Anthropology in March, which found that fat stigma is increasing around the world, even in countries where larger bodies have previously been celebrated. (See Tara Parker-Pope’s column and Michelle Segar’s blog post for great analysis on why increasing fat stigma will do nothing to actually “fight obesity.”)
And the Seattle Times is reporting that Georgia just launched a new “Stop Childhood Obesity” campaign featuring fat kids saying things like “Chubby kids may not outlive their parents,” and “Big bones didn’t make me this way. Big meals did” and generally ensuring that they’ll be teased on the playground for the rest of their days.
So. What the f*ck is going on? Continue reading