Monday, September 5, 2011

Some thoughts on fat acceptance and health at every size

First, I want to put out there that I think both of them are really important movements that deserve a lot more discussion than I'm likely to get in to.  Second, I want to point out that I really am coming at this from a bit of an outsider's perspective, since I'm not really fat or healthy--I'm right where traditional measures say I should be for weight, but I don't really exercise much, and I eat more cheese than a normal household.

Even so, I've been thinking about them lately, and I noticed that I've been seeing a lot more haes than fa on the blogs I read, and this was getting to me.  I think I've pinned down a couple of the reasons, at least.  1. It seems like a way of apologizing for/justifying existence/size when its something that should not need justifying, and when justifying it 2. Creates a separation and dichotomy that some fat people are better than others--haes sometimes reads like an explanation and apology, a statement that someone is doing everything conceivable to fit body norms but hasn't, so they still get their A for effort.  It also seems like it is 3. putting a superior value on people who are healthy, which... I think we should all aspire to health, but I think that to some, haes makes it almost more acceptable to criticize fat people who don't eat healthily than it was before haes came along, when a lot of times fat is also tied into lack of education, and living in food deserts, and simply not having the time or the money to eat healthy.  Also, even for those that do have the time/money/genes to be thin if they really tried... 4.  What business is it of anyone else's that they might be fat and unhealthy?  So what if someone is or isn't healthy.  I feel like haes, to a certain extent, undermines the idea that we should be judging people by minds and character, and instead says to judge them on how well they follow the generally established guidelines for behavior that is supposed to, but does not, lead to the generally accepted thin ideal.

I feel like it creates a new script to follow.  I feel like fa/ba stand for the idea that looks shouldn't play into how people are evaluiated, while I have this uneasy feeling that haes is setting up a proxy for looks, so that judging is still subtly encouraged, and some fat people get to look down on other fat people.