Poll

So, we're nearly all males here. Of a woman 5' 8" tall, who is otherwise ideally beautiful, what is her most attractive weight to you? (Females may answer for themselves.)

< 90 pounds
0 (0%)
100 pounds
2 (11.1%)
120 pounds
6 (33.3%)
140 pounds
7 (38.9%)
160 pounds
1 (5.6%)
180 pounds
1 (5.6%)
200 pounds
1 (5.6%)
220 pounds
0 (0%)
> 250 pounds
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 16

Author Topic: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?  (Read 14203 times)

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #90 on: July 31, 2006, 03:16:57 am »
You see, I think my twelve year old sister is something like 5'6 already. I bet all three of my sisters are going to be my height (6'0) when they get older. My mother, too, is rather tall, being at least 5'10.

I think most females hit their average height for the rest of their life around the onset of their teens though. But that might be dependent on diet or activites a bit too. Not completely sure.

Women stop growing by their mid to late teens. Men stop by their early twenties. These are the later figures, however. I've heard it said that a woman is done growing a year after she begins menstrating, but this could just be an urban myth.

Daniel Krispin brings up an interesting point. Is it prejudiced to be attracted to a certain body type? I do not think so, as I do not believe that people chose who they are attracted to. Personally, I assign great moral weight to concious decisions, and negligible if any moral weight to coerced actions. Therefore, if attraction is not a concious choice (and everything I've experienced and observed in life leads me to believe this) then it isn't really a prejudice to be attracted to a particular body type. Now treating people poorly because they do not posses a frame you find sexually appealing? That's prejudice.

Burning Zeppelin

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #91 on: July 31, 2006, 03:21:40 am »
Just to let you know, I don't like the look of muscley women either.

Daniel Krispin

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #92 on: July 31, 2006, 03:58:10 am »
Therefore, if attraction is not a concious choice (and everything I've experienced and observed in life leads me to believe this) then it isn't really a prejudice to be attracted to a particular body type. Now treating people poorly because they do not posses a frame you find sexually appealing? That's prejudice.

That is indeed a good point. I'm not usually attracted to someone too much heavier or lighter than me - likewise not too much taller or shorter. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't treat them as people. Just in the same way I wouldn't expect every (heck, I wouldn't expect very many at all) women to be attracted to my body type, and not take that as prejudice.


Lord J Esq

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #93 on: July 31, 2006, 07:13:04 am »
Holy f*** mother of gawd!

Lord J, why do you write so much, WHY?!?!

*explodes in eternal pain and turns into burning ashes*

Some of my posts may be long compared to the norm around here, but they’re not so terribly vast that they would take more than a few minutes to read. And if that’s time you aren’t willing to spare, then so be it. I can live with that.

Nonetheless, it will have to be your choice to miss out. For my part, I think we need more reading in society, and more writing too. When people start whining about a post that, if you factor out the blockquotes and formatting, is just over five pages in a word processor, I think it portrays them poorly, not me. If somebody cannot deal with five pages of text on a subject they might otherwise care about, that is their loss.

Don’t explode in eternal pain and ashes! We’d hate to lose your bizarre yet familiar presence around here.


But if you know her, and she is fat, stupid and not a good person, than it's not a prejudice anymore, is it?

Don't judge people by what other people say, nor judge a group by the behaviour of one person. Judge someone by knowing him(experience).

I think

It isn’t prejudice to judge people after the fact. That much is evident in the prefix of the word prejudice: It means, more or less, an act or state of pre-judgment. If you make a judgment based on information you have already collected, that is judicial rather than prejudicial. If you make a judgment before you have all the facts, you’re getting ahead of yourself.


Prejudice that most fat people lack the will to control their own weight? I'll admit to that any day. I don't see prejudice as some absolute evil like you obviously do.

I’m not sure what to make of your post, Ramsus. I have a hard time believing you would get so angry for so little reason. Are you toying with me? If not, then please try not to take this topic so personally; or, if you must, then at least explain yourself better. Let’s get started…

You say you admit to the prejudice that “most fat people lack the will to control their own weight.” This is a prejudice because it isn’t proven, and in some cases is obviously wrong. So you’re judging a group of people on unsound grounds in a pejorative manner. What do you think will come of that?

I don’t see prejudice as an “absolute” evil, contrary to your assertion, but there is nothing inherently good about it either. It can be used to positive ends, but that is rarely the case.

Sure, if you want to point fingers, then the real problem is the simple abundance of easy food, but I don't see anyone arguing that we should start creating artificial famines to make people healthier.

You’re right. Nobody is arguing that we should starve people to death. What is your point?

Maybe you don't realize it now, but you have a responsibility to take care of yourself. If you have kids someday, you'll begin to understand.

This is another form of prejudice, completely unrelated to anti-fat bigotry. The premise that “you need to belong to Group X before you can understand Truth Y” is usually false. I don’t need to have kids to understand the benefits of being healthy, any more than I need to be obese to understand the harassment that fat people suffer.

Maybe you don’t realize that your definition of “take care of yourself” is not the universal definition. Everybody has their own way of interpreting what it means to take care of themselves. I happen to know there are fat parents out there in the world. Does being fat make them bad parents, all by itself?

Besides, what do you have against offensive jokes? You never watched South Park?

Actually, no, I’ve never watched South Park beyond the context of clips and snippets. I didn’t much care for what did see.

It’s not that I have something against “offensive” jokes—I don’t—but I do notice that a great deal of offensive humor is not used for the sake of laughter, but instead as an excuse for hateful people to continue expressing some underlying bigotry of theirs, in an environment where, if their views were told seriously, they would be inappropriate.

We see this in abundance in the South, where whites to this day continue to joke about blacks. And if a black person—or anybody else—takes offense, the bigots shrug their shoulders and say “Can’t you take a joke?” Yes, they can take a joke. That’s not the point. What they don’t want to take is the underlying prejudice. Just because prejudice comes in joke form, that doesn’t suddenly make it okay.

Another example of “prejudice disguised as humor” is abundantly evident amongst right-wing lunatics. Just to name one example, the vicious and mean-spirited Ann Coulter has variously claimed that we should murder the editor of the New York Times, send anthrax to their offices, arrest Democrats, torture foreigners, make liberalism a treasonous offense, etc., etc. And when people say “WTF?!” she just smiles and says, more or less, “What? Can’t you take a joke?”

That’s not humor. That’s mean-spirited bigotry wrapped in a shell of humor. So if you want to make jokes about fat people because you hate fat people, I’m not very likely to laugh. That’s not because I don’t have a sense of humor. It’s because you’re not being funny.

I expect that we will someday discover that stress is a significant contributor to health problems. Therefore, inasmuch as anti-fat bigotry causes people to be stressed out by constantly worrying about their image, thinking they are bad people, and enduring taunts and jokes, it would stand to reason that, if we as a society were not so obsessed about fat, it would not be as unhealthy for us as it purportedly currently is.

I think it's kind of pathetic that fatty Fred would let what bitchy Jane says get to him so much that it causes him to gain more weight on account of stress. You're not going to get Jane to stop being a bitch, so why not just ignore her? You won't just feel better -- you'll actually be better.

Maybe it is pathetic that people would let the opinions of others control them. I truthfully agree with you there. But just because people have weaknesses, and can sometimes be pathetic, doesn’t mean that we should kick them while they’re down. Are you really going to argue the other way, Ramsus? Do you really think that we should stress fat people out as much as we like, because if they can’t deal with it, tough shit? There’s an phrase for that: Blaming the victim.

Example: Violent husbands should be free to assault their wives as much as they like, because if these women cared enough about themselves, they’d do something.

That’s a disgusting notion! We should never blamer the victim for our own bigoted misbehavior.

Also, you can put away your clichés. Maybe clothes don't make the person, but I'll be damned if you tell me they can't influence what people think about that person. You'd have to be retarded or ignorant (if not both) to claim such a thing.

You shouldn't expect others not to judge you based on appearances, because you have no influence over others. What would you ask of them next, world peace?

I am not saying that people do not judge others based upon appearance. Obviously many people do that. I am saying that to do so is a prejudice which usually is a poor indication of the veracity of the sorts of judgments being made. And just because these practices are common, does not make them right or even logically consistent.

I should, and can, and do expect people to grow up and stop making idiotic judgments about other people. And you’re right, my expectations of don’t count for much in the grand scheme of things, but they do influence my own conduct and outlook, and therein they can begin to make a difference. If you really want to harass fat people, you’re welcome to try. But I want to persuade those people that it isn’t worth it…and I am also welcome to try.

I’m not stupid. I’m not weak-willed, or humble. I leave a wake in this world. It’s not a very big wake, but it’s mine, and I try to live up to the ideals that can make me proud of my actions and their consequences. I do have influence over other people—your own, (mock?) angry reply is evidence enough of this—and I intend to use my influence to bend the world to my will, to whatever extent I am able.

In accusing me of having no ability to make a difference, you are implying, Ramsus, that we should go on living as children, accepting that people will be idiots and simply “roll with the punches” or else try to conform to the demands of others on fear of further ridicule, rather than trying to take some of these bigoted idiots and shape them up into better human beings. I don’t like that scenario! And I won’t be kowtowed into accepting it! Bigotry seldom dies easily, but if it won’t be swayed by reason, and won’t be swayed by example, then it will have to be swayed by constant harassment of the very same sort that bigots dish out to their victims with malicious glee.

There's a reason it's illegal to do heroin. In case you didn't notice, we look down upon recklessly ruining your body in constant pursuit of simple, non-constructive pleasures.

Oh, but maybe you think it's healthy to be morbidly obese. Just try saying that to a doctor though.

Your heroin analogy is not apt. Substance abuse leads to the altering of one’s state of mind. In effect it reshapes people’s identity. Additionally, the addictiveness of many of these drugs leads to compulsive behavior. It is easy to understand why being a hardcore junkie is not a good idea. Even so, however, it would be inappropriate to treat these people cruelly solely for that reason—as you would have us do toward fat people under similar pretenses.

As for your comment about morbid obesity, I never said that it is healthy. In fact, I said several times that it physically overwhelms the body. I never even said that moderate or even slight overweight is healthy. What I said is that excess weight is popularly believed to be more unhealthy than there is medical proof to demonstrate. What you have done is make a straw-man argument, which is not helpful to your case.

You would let your lifestyle determine who you are? Sorry, but I'd rather choose my own lifestyle and suit it to my needs, not the other way around. There's a reason the things you choose to do are considered lifestyle choices.

You’d rather let your identity choose your lifestyle than have your lifestyle choose your identity? That doesn’t make any sense! I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say, but I am going to presume you are trying to argue that people should not become victims to their own circumstances. That is true enough, but it doesn’t have anything to do with toning down the anti-fat bigotry in this society and accepting that people should be able to lead satisfying lives regardless or perhaps even because of their fatness. Many more people would be fat and happy, if society were not so crushingly cruel toward them.

And in case you're too dense and stupid to read into it, I implied that forming prejudice based on skin color is a bad thing, because it isn't something determined by a person's actions -- whereas your appearance has a direct relationship to what you've been doing since you've been born.

Nope. You said that being fat is a bad thing and should be changed, whereas skin color cannot be changed. You therefore implied that being black is also a bad thing, except that it cannot be changed.

I don’t think you meant it that way, but, in your ignorance, that is how it came out. You need to be aware of it.

Meanwhile, I want to reiterate that, just because a thing can be changed, does not mean it must be changed. Simply because fatness is something we can burn from our bodies, does not mean we should do that, any more than we should grow our weight just because we can do that as well. Any credible reasons for changing one’s body fat weight in any direction would have to come from someplace else.

Oh right, because it's okay to stress out our bodies and shorten our lives while inconveniencing society, just so we can enjoy our monstrously oversized meals or lack of physical activity. It's something forced upon us by our uncontrollable lifestyles that dominate our every action.

Thus, it's okay to be fat, and it's bad to say that it isn't!

There is plenty of room to discuss the political ramifications of alternative lifestyles. Let’s start at the beginning. We live in a free country. Therefore, if people want to “enjoy their monstrously oversized meals” or “lack of physical activity,” then we as a society must be willing to accommodate them to the fullest extent possible before we step in with regulations and laws that discriminate against them.

At some point, perhaps such intervention is necessary. ZeaLitY began to touch on that subject when he mentioned banning soda from schools. And I mentioned to Radical_Dreamer that, somewhere between excessive regulation and insufficient regulation, there is certainly a point where laws can be maximally just, appropriate, and beneficial to the growth and prosperity of society and individuals alike.

There are many freedoms we enjoy which constitute a drain on things like the healthcare system. To some extent, we simply must accept that drain and try to make it as efficiently small as possible from the supply side. This is because society exists to provide basic rights and protections to everybody. And a fat person’s right to good medical care outweighs your right to save a cent or two in taxation. That’s simply how it is. Naturally there is reason to try and make sure that your share of the burden is not excessive, but only within the context of accepting that the burden must be shouldered, can we begin to discuss the limits on our share of the obligations.

Why? Because first things come first: Health outranks wealth. No country should deal in the business of putting its poorest and least citizens out on the streets to fend for themselves, simply to enrich the pockets of others. Even our worst criminals deserve a basic quality of life. So if somebody wants to put on weight—hardly a crime!—and someday needs medical care because of it, then that is an expense to which the rest of us must accede.

All of us will constitute a drain on the system from time to time—some people more so than others. That’s not an injustice. That’s life..

If you ask me, it sounds more like a rather pathetic rationalization for accepting obesity.

I could not have asked for a better post than yours in helping me to highlight the evils of anti-fat bigotry. I still want to think you’re toying with me, because you are usually so much more respectful than this. But if you were serious about what you wrote, serious about raising support for this prejudice, then you shot yourself in the foot today.

Allow me to conclude. You are going into the military to defend…what? Against whom? I’ll tell you: You are going into the military to defend the liberty of this country, against those who would subvert or injure it. Nowhere in your career will it be said that you fight only for a choice few people who agree with your way of life. No, you will fight for the United States of America and everyone in it.

And if that is the military’s objective, then the civilian administration of this country should be at least as tolerant…and the people themselves should be mindful of what freedom entails.

I refuse to accept that something as inoffensive as fatness should condemn anybody to a life of ridicule and oppression.

Fuck you. I'd rather be a bigot.

*tip of the hat*

Good day, Ramsus.


Something that I am a bit curious about now is what you would consider ideal weight for a woman? You've already mentioned a bit that you consider a woman closer to your own height to be more attractive, and what you would consider attractive weight would be an interesting thing to know as well, seeing as others have provided examples of what they would consider, and you have responded to a few of those considerations.

Ah, and you’re looking to hold me accountable to my own standards, eh? Very well. Let’s say…oh…180 pounds for a woman at 5’8”. Where sexual attraction is concerned, I do like fatness—but, at the same time, my tastes are tempered by another sort of attraction, which is for a mate with an impressive physical competence. If fat were the only measure by which I judged a woman’s attractiveness, then I would have to say, the fatter the better. But, at some point, additional fatness begins to trample on the toes of other qualities that I find attractive. Thus, much like the rest of you, “some fat but not too much” is the general rule. The only difference is that I prefer more than the average person does. But, as a few of you have mentioned, I don’t stick to that “ideal” number when it comes to finding people attractive.

On a related note, I notice from my little poll that we now have sixteen votes. Of those, thirteen express a preferred weight that is below the ideal female average for that height. Only three express a preferred weight above the ideal—and two of those three (including my vote) are still in favor of a weight below the actual female average for that height.

To put it another way, only one person out of sixteen expressed an interest in women being heavier than they are on average. That’s rather distorted! Considering that most of the people who posted in this thread will end up being overweight, and married to overweight spouses, it’s rather distorted indeed! How much of that is because of a genuine physiological repulsion to modest fatness—which is the level of fatness that most overweight people are at—and how much of that is due to the prejudice against fatness that abounds in our culture and our daily lives?

I am also curious as to what your definitions as far as "excess weight" are? You have stated that excess weight will overwhelm the body and cause certain problems, and I am wondering what weight you believe these problems are likely to happen at.

I used the term “excess weight” throughout my posts mostly because I wanted eloquent synonyms for words like “fat” and “obesity,” which can become repetitive. To define it, “excess weight,” really, is any physical condition where we have grown fat enough that parts of our body are dominated by fat.

I can take my left hand, for instance, and grab my right upper arm. If I wanted, I could pinch a little bit of fat. I don’t consider that excessive. But if I could grab an entire handful of fat from my arm, that would certainly constitute excessiveness. The boundary between excessive and not excessive is somewhat open to interpretation, and therefore varies from person to person, and even body part to body part. If you’re sitting down and can grab a handful of fat from your belly, that may or may not be excessive. It depends on who you ask.

As for the weight at which health problems kick in, I’d be a fool to try and pick a specific number. That can only be settled on a case-by-case basis. The curve of health problems is very smooth, and in lieu of a second axis, any categorization would be arbitrary. Furthermore, we don’t even know the extent to which obesity itself is directly the cause of those health problems.

I would answer your question another way: We all know our own bodies pretty well. I would expect that most of us would take notice if we started to become too fat to live our preferred lifestyle comfortably. That would probably be as good a guideline as any that exists today for deciding that it is time to lose weight, or at least not gain any more. It may well turn out that for most people, that number is higher than their ideal weight, but that’s not much of an issue for me. Our bodies are our conduit between the world of ideas and the world of fact. We should respect them as much as we are able, but we should not feel obliged to maintain their ideal state at the cost of our lifestyle preferences.

And now I'm more curious as to whether you were ostracized not necessarily for being very bright and quirky, but also possibly for being a bit argumentative as well? =P

No. Besides being bright and quirky, the thing that really got me in trouble as a kid is that I was a smartass.

As a critique, a lot of your responses in general to most people seems to lie under the assumption that weighing heavily in their mind, and behind a lot of what they say, is the strong culturally influenced ideal that fat is wrong, that everything everyone has said stems from this prejudice, and pointing out where you believe it might be showing through.  Truly, this might  be the case in many instances - still, it makes it nearly impossible to make a slightly adverse point to yours, because the point could always easily be written off as having an underlying prejudice that you are discussing showing through.

You have a point. I try to make my arguments hard to rebut. And, usually, I don’t make an argument unless I am confident in its strength. So, usually, it is hard to disagree with me—because, when I bother to contest a point, I’m usually right. That is probably what you are seeing.

Look at this topic for instance. You suggest that I label people’s negative comments about fatness as prejudiced, with prejudice of my own. Not so. The evidence is in abundance all around us, in this thread and in the wide world. There is so little reason to discriminate against fat people, and yet not only do we discriminate against them anyway, but we do it with spectacular zeal.

You are welcome to name any anti-fat remark you like, which you believe is not based in prejudice or bigotry, and I will probably be able to show you that in fact it is.

Also, it seems that it would be pointless to search and post links to anything such as a study that possibly links health problems to weight gain, simply because you have also mentioned several times that you believe such studies are taken up based on the prejudice - that these people are searching for why fat is bad, or noticing such things because they wish to prove that fat is bad, to back up their prejudice.

The question of whether fatness is unhealthy is a legitimate debate. It has nothing to do with prejudice until people try to justify their hatred based on this science. You’re welcome to post as many links as you like to studies which link excess weight to health problems, but again, like I said earlier, you will be hard-pressed to find a professionally conducted, elsewhere reproduced study that is able to demonstrate broad statements about fatness as being a direct cause of poor health in general. This is because scientific studies don’t work like that. I’m an engineer; I know! It is extremely difficult to verify broad hypotheses as opposed to narrow ones, and to be certain that the variables in a study are truly isolated and are not incorporating any silent unknowns which may render the study’s conclusions invalid.

For the umpteenth time, I am not trying to argue that being fat is healthy. I am not even saying it is not unhealthy. I am saying there is not much substance to the popular belief that it is as drastically unhealthy as would befit such a strong prejudice against it.

Still, scientific research is rarely absolute - some people take certain theories as "law," but even these could possibly, in time, be debunked. In this sense, one could say that researchers are simply trying to prove that fat is bad, and it would be highly difficult to argue that point - but if there is a high correlation between such things as, say, weight gain and diabetes, is it really safe to so quickly toss it out the window as "possibly being backed by prejudice"?

A correlation does not establish cause. Neither of us can be certain that body fat itself is the direct cause of diabetes. There is a great deal of physiology that goes into fat accumulation and maintenance, and who knows the mechanisms by which diabetes is formed? If science knew that, we’d be much further along the road to a preventative medicine.

But this is all a bit moot anyhow. Even if fatness directly causes diabetes, that still does not justify anti-fat bigotry—especially not to the degree it exists in our culture. Those who try to justify their prejudice with scientific information that is inherently neutral when it comes to making the sorts of judgments inherent in a prejudice, are as phony as those who try to excuse their prejudice with humor on the grounds that they are merely joking.

Look at it this way. How much sense does the following statement make to you:

“Being fat is unhealthy. Therefore I hate fat people!”


Ever notice theres not many fat people in the chrono series... Female wise except mama korcha

That is just another example of the ubiquity of anti-fat bigotry; one in which the prejudice is blended with sexism for a double-whammy. Most of the female lead characters in the Chrono series—including all of those of reproductive age—do not have so much as an ounce of excess fat on their bodies. That is the idealized fate of women in a world dreamt up by people whose minds are jaded by anti-fat bigotry. It helps reinforce the message in the minds of all who play the game that fat women are not attractive.

Korcha is a part of it too: Most of the fat women who appear in works of popular culture fit into a small number of personality stereotypes. Korcha is the “big strong fat mother who won’t take any attitude.” This is a caricature that further serves to dehumanize and stereotype fat people.

Whether or not there is any malice intended, the result of concocting a fictitious environment where one group of people are pointedly absent or heavily stereotyped, is inevitably going to lead to malice in the people who buy into that message, and then encounter this taboo group in the real world.


I do have to wonder why you hope women will close the height gap? Is this because of your realization that difference is the root of prejudice, and a hope that with the reduction of difference, the prejudice will likewise be reduced? Personally, I'd rather let natural selection decide the degree of sexual dimorphism in our species, as opposed to philosophical ideals.

Whether you approve or not, the days of natural selection as the primary engine of evolution in our species are over. Cultural selection took over a long time ago, and, in the coming decades and centuries, selection will become a conscious choice. Is that such a bad thing? Why would you rather let the random forces of nature dictate our existence as opposed to our own ideas of form and function? Accepting, for the moment, that we were to factor out all the problems that could result from the exclusive availability of such power—problems that have solutions and are therefore transient rather than fundamental—why indeed is it such a bad idea for humanity to take its fate into its own hands?

I’d like women to close the height gap on men because I don’t want gender roles to exist anymore. You more or less got it right on that count.

All the research I have seen has shown a correlation between being significantly overweight and a lower quality of health. This is also true of being significantly underweight. The correlation conjured in my mind was placed there with observations of reality. I note that you do not necciarily deny the correlation between being vastly overweight and various health problems. So if you agree that being vastly overweight is unhealthy, and that finding healthy looking people attractive is indeed an inbuilt and adaptive instinct, I don't see why it is problematic that I do not find vastly overweight people unattractive.

Your argument is fair, but you neglect that people’s individual version of “healthy looking” depends on who you ask. For that matter, it also depends on the level of medical technology available. Therefore, as long as you qualify your anti-fat preferences in a sexual partner with the limitation that they represent only your own views, I think you’re okay.

As to that, there is probably good cause to distinguish between sexual attractiveness and other forms of attention—the “good cause” being that, in this narrower context, many people’s anti-fat prejudice overlaps with their innate physical desires. That’s understandable. It’s not particularly noble—other people might be willing to let physical attractiveness take a second seat to their criteria for pursuing a mate—but it is particularly human.

My agenda is not to get anyone to say or believe that vastly overweight people are sexually attractive. My agenda is to point out the fecundity, ferocity, and fallaciousness of anti-fat bigotry in our world.

So your goal is a society where fat people are fat because they chose to be fat? If that is the case, then there is less reason to not have a prejudice, as then fatness becomes a consequence of ones actions, which in any law-possesing soceity, is a just basis of judgement. It seems to me that the key difference between my society and yours is that in yours, the path to obesity is something the social order seeks to obstruct. Thus, yours is the society with the inbuilt prejudice against fat people.

You are leaving out one key ingredient in your scenario: My hope in this case is for a society where people are educated to make, not simply judgments, but judgments of a higher wisdom. Gene Roddenberry put it well when fielding a question from an interviewer. He was asked, on the subject of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, why the man is bald—for surely they have a cure for baldness in the 24th century, yes? And Gene’s answer was, “In the 24th century, they won’t care.”

Suppose we’re talking about baldness—another trait that attracts harassment and discrimination. Suppose science comes up with a foolproof, flawless, and utterly convenient cure for it. Now suppose some people prefer to go on being bald. Yes, perhaps they will therefore attract all the more discrimination for it…but as society liberalizes, and old prejudices fade away, we would hope that it would eventually become acceptable to be bald.

The same thing goes for being fat. If we raise our children and saturate our popular culture with the message that being fat is not an ugly or horrible thing, the prejudice will subside. And, thus, even though medical science will have brought us closer in that era to a society where fatness is a matter of choice, fewer people will be inclined to develop a prejudice against it in the first place!

I was trying to make this point to Ramsus: Just because a trait can or cannot be changed voluntarily, does not by itself justify a prejudice against it. You contend that we should be held accountable for that which is under our control. Fine; I agree. But I disagree with the specious reasoning that we should be held accountable for something solely because it is under our control. I see no reason for fatness to be held to account at all—at least not in the form of a cultural prejudice—whether the condition is voluntary or not.


The BMI certainly isn't a dependable scientific measurement, but at least it places you within a broad enough range to know where you stand as a health-conscious (or health-dead-from-the-neck-up) individual.

The BMI standard is not particularly useful at all. It is not precise enough for fine-tuned assessments, because of its failure to consider the variance in fat mass to lean mass—inasmuch as we are recognizing fatness as correlative with an increased health risk—and because, once the number gets high or low enough to be clearly indicative of an extreme, the extreme is already pretty evident just by looking at the person. BMI is a popular standard nowadays, because it is statistically smooth, but nevertheless it is a poor tool for diagnosing an individual’s risk of health problems.

Other than that, though, I'm perfectly satisfied with myself in self-image, self-confidence, and as a big ol' "screw you" to any modern-day society that dictates rib-counting and protruding hip bones as the better alternative to frequent yet healthy eating and adequate exercise as opposed to either bulimia or die-trying cardiovasculars.

The fact that you put out a “screw you” at all is an indication of how pervasive the anti-fat bigotry is. Apparently your self-confidence has weathered this storm successfully, but many other people were not so lucky, and, in any case, it is a form of harassment up with which neither you nor anybody else should be made to put!

Those who take one look at me and brand me as "fatty-fatty fatso," on the other hand, recognize the fact that they are innately retarded, whether that specific synapse lets them consciously know or not.

Why don’t we see more of you on the Compendium? You’ve got style! Wit! Intellect! I think back to my own spunky audacity at age eighteen; I’d probably have written a post exactly like yours.

So overweight people are considered "stupid" and "inferior" in terms of physical motivation and intellectual reserves; I could tick off quite an extensive list myself of skinny people who belong less in university and more in a sanitarium. It's more a debate over whether people can accept themselves as their own individual self (not as how attractive they are to others, but rather as how attractive they are to themselves) rather than a conglomeration of biases, prejudices, and overall ugliness that others have built into figures, mere images utterly devoid of individuality and struggling to conform to society's standards instead of their own.

Nothing to say to this; just my plaudits.


Prehistoric hunter-gatherers had the physique of an Olympic athlete.  That is the natural and optimum condition of the human body.  People come in different body-types and ideas of physical beauty vary.  However, I, like most of us, find people who are exceedingly underweight or overweight physically repulsive.  This is no more an example of prejudice than being repulsed by the smell of tobacco is.

My first inclination is to correct you. Pre-civilized humans had neither the level of nutrition nor the performances of strength and stamina as define the modern Olympian physique. The ancient humans were, on average, lean, fit creatures, with enough fat to blur their major muscle groups. They had enough strength to overcome many of the challenges they commonly endured, but not so much strength that they would starve themselves trying to eat enough. And you can bet they had at least enough fat to insulate and cushion themselves without breaking their bones or freezing to death, as well as enough fat in the colder seasons to help tide them over till the next summer.

But I’m curious as to why you believe otherwise. If you’d care to share your source, I’d like to look at it for myself. Maybe I misinterpreted your definition of “Olympian.”


Now, if someone is 'overweight' but relatively healthy, good for them, that's fine. But really... I can't see that being the case in the majority of circumstances.

Just because you “can’t see that being the case,” does not have any impact on the truth of the matter. And that goes doubly in this modern age of wonders, where medicine can rectify everything from bad vision to missing limbs. Even to the extent that fatness may be unhealthy, it makes little sense to judge modern people by prehistoric standards. Your instincts may tell you to feel one way or the other, but—as a Christian—I think you know all about suppressing instincts and embracing…“matters of the heart,” let us call them.

I’ve said it a few times in this topic, but I guess it’s worth saying again: I’m not bashing anybody for their sexual attractions, but I think it’s important to remember to keep the prejudice of such attractions limited to itself, and also to bear in mind that sexual attractiveness is not the only standard by which a potential mate can be reasonably evaluated.

The Athenian type woman would have ideally been paler and rather thin, whilst in Sparta, where their women trained to make themselves fit (so that their children would be strong), the ideal woman was fit and strong. I suppose these things really do come down to cultural differences. And in the end, I think I'll have to side with those saying that they aren't prejudices, per say, but rather perceptions.

A very comfortable way of excusing yourself from the ethical conundrum, but hogwash of course—and I think you know it. Ignoring for the moment that you are stereotyping entire populations of women based solely on which people they belonged to—truly a preposterous and unsavory notion—there is still the issue of anti-fat bigotry, which is larger than just sexual attraction and is in fact the subject of this topic. If Spartan women tended to be fitter and Athenian women tended to be more diminutive, how does that resolve the problem that millions of people today are still harassed for their weight, while millions more (including some of the same people) allow themselves to be engulfed by a prejudice that has little basis and no justification?

Western societies like thin people? And that’s a preference rather than a prejudice? Is that what you’re saying? Because that’s codswallop! Tell me why individuals should conform to what is culturally acceptable, solely because it is popular.

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #94 on: July 31, 2006, 08:23:22 am »
You like 180 pound women! You are prejudiced!

Of course not. What we like is what we like. I find women that aren't overweight attractive. So whatcha gunna do 'bout it? Change my view? It's not that I don't like fat people. I have many fat male and female friends. Do I find them attractive? No. I definetely don't find any of my male friends attractive.

Oh no! I'm homophobic!

No, again, that is how I am. I am not homosexual. That doesn't mean I'm homophobic.

Yeah, gibberish, I do that sometimes

You're gibberishist!

But, I do agree with you. I wouldn't openly mock someone for their weight, that is just plain rude, and you know what ol' Mumma says, don't be openly rude, or I'll smack yo' ass. But, I guess I am prejudiced in the way that I'd rather go out with an attractive girl than an ugly girl. Of course, if that attractive girl was mean to me, I'd probably change my mind.

Fuck, I'm prejudiced against mean people!

This is not my view, but why is it ok to not like people with bad personality, but not ok to not like people with bad looks? Again, not my view, just saying it in the name of discussion. As Dr House said:

"Would that upset you, really? To think that you were hired because of some genetic gift of beauty not some genetic gift of intelligence?"

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #95 on: July 31, 2006, 10:57:27 am »
Prejudice that most fat people lack the will to control their own weight? I'll admit to that any day. I don't see prejudice as some absolute evil like you obviously do.

I’m not sure what to make of your post, Ramsus. I have a hard time believing you would get so angry for so little reason. Are you toying with me? If not, then please try not to take this topic so personally; or, if you must, then at least explain yourself better. Let’s get started…

You say you admit to the prejudice that “most fat people lack the will to control their own weight.” This is a prejudice because it isn’t proven, and in some cases is obviously wrong. So you’re judging a group of people on unsound grounds in a pejorative manner. What do you think will come of that?

I don’t see prejudice as an “absolute” evil, contrary to your assertion, but there is nothing inherently good about it either. It can be used to positive ends, but that is rarely the case.


The assumption you're making is that I consider being fat a horribly bad thing -- that I think a humanly acceptable lack of self-control is an inexcusable flaw.

Except I don't.

I don't hate people for being overweight. I don't abuse them or act cruelly towards them. I don't make decisions based on how a person's body looks.

However, I consider obesity to be unhealthy. I consider allowing yourself to become obese irresponsible.

Fat doesn't magically appear. If you're eating enough that your body is storing fat, then it means that you're eating more than your body needs. This is easy to do when most of the foods we eat take only a few minutes to consume and contain more calories than most animals can get from hours of eating.

It's easy to do, but it isn't healthy.

Fat is not tissue. Fat is not living. It is just a form of chemically stored energy. There is no reason for anyone in a modern society where food never runs short to have excessive amounts of fat. Doing so only serves to put excess strain on your body.

Unless you intend to starve yourself, you should avoid gaining fat, because it's pretty fucking hard to get rid of.

I don't consider someone a bad person for being overweight, but I do look at allowing yourself to gain that weight as a bad thing. More importantly, I view staying healthy as a personal responsibility. You can't seem to understand such a view though. Instead, you seemed to have assumed that I must hate fat people, and that I persecute them in my daily life.


Sure, if you want to point fingers, then the real problem is the simple abundance of easy food, but I don't see anyone arguing that we should start creating artificial famines to make people healthier.

You’re right. Nobody is arguing that we should starve people to death. What is your point?


My point is that the solution must involve people and their actions. Short of the collapse of modern society, we won't see any food shortages.


Maybe you don't realize it now, but you have a responsibility to take care of yourself. If you have kids someday, you'll begin to understand.

This is another form of prejudice, completely unrelated to anti-fat bigotry. The premise that “you need to belong to Group X before you can understand Truth Y” is usually false. I don’t need to have kids to understand the benefits of being healthy, any more than I need to be obese to understand the harassment that fat people suffer.

Maybe you don’t realize that your definition of “take care of yourself” is not the universal definition. Everybody has their own way of interpreting what it means to take care of themselves. I happen to know there are fat parents out there in the world. Does being fat make them bad parents, all by itself?


Have you lost your ability to read? I said, "If you have kids someday, you'll begin to understand." Notice how that's completely different from needing kids to understand. Instead, it means that one of the many ways to understand is to have kids.

And no, being fat doesn't make them bad parents. However, I bet they don't revel in the fact that they might have lost several more years of healthy life that they could have spent with their grandchildren. Nor would they enjoy thinking about the money they lost from medical care and medication costs related to complications brought about by their obesity in their late age, such as those relating to diabetes and heart disease.

Besides, what do you have against offensive jokes? You never watched South Park?

Actually, no, I’ve never watched South Park beyond the context of clips and snippets. I didn’t much care for what did see.

It’s not that I have something against “offensive” jokes—I don’t—but I do notice that a great deal of offensive humor is not used for the sake of laughter, but instead as an excuse for hateful people to continue expressing some underlying bigotry of theirs, in an environment where, if their views were told seriously, they would be inappropriate.

We see this in abundance in the South, where whites to this day continue to joke about blacks. And if a black person—or anybody else—takes offense, the bigots shrug their shoulders and say “Can’t you take a joke?” Yes, they can take a joke. That’s not the point. What they don’t want to take is the underlying prejudice. Just because prejudice comes in joke form, that doesn’t suddenly make it okay.

Another example of “prejudice disguised as humor” is abundantly evident amongst right-wing lunatics. Just to name one example, the vicious and mean-spirited Ann Coulter has variously claimed that we should murder the editor of the New York Times, send anthrax to their offices, arrest Democrats, torture foreigners, make liberalism a treasonous offense, etc., etc. And when people say “WTF?!” she just smiles and says, more or less, “What? Can’t you take a joke?”

That’s not humor. That’s mean-spirited bigotry wrapped in a shell of humor. So if you want to make jokes about fat people because you hate fat people, I’m not very likely to laugh. That’s not because I don’t have a sense of humor. It’s because you’re not being funny.


Except I don't hate fat people you over-sensitive, whiny word-whore, and Ann Coulter isn't funny. She's just a bitch.


I expect that we will someday discover that stress is a significant contributor to health problems. Therefore, inasmuch as anti-fat bigotry causes people to be stressed out by constantly worrying about their image, thinking they are bad people, and enduring taunts and jokes, it would stand to reason that, if we as a society were not so obsessed about fat, it would not be as unhealthy for us as it purportedly currently is.

I think it's kind of pathetic that fatty Fred would let what bitchy Jane says get to him so much that it causes him to gain more weight on account of stress. You're not going to get Jane to stop being a bitch, so why not just ignore her? You won't just feel better -- you'll actually be better.

Maybe it is pathetic that people would let the opinions of others control them. I truthfully agree with you there. But just because people have weaknesses, and can sometimes be pathetic, doesn’t mean that we should kick them while they’re down. Are you really going to argue the other way, Ramsus? Do you really think that we should stress fat people out as much as we like, because if they can’t deal with it, tough shit? There’s an phrase for that: Blaming the victim.

Example: Violent husbands should be free to assault their wives as much as they like, because if these women cared enough about themselves, they’d do something.

That’s a disgusting notion! We should never blamer the victim for our own bigoted misbehavior.


A violent husband you can throw in jail if you have to, but we can't throw some asshole in jail for saying a few bad things to someone. Sure, if you're a third party you can tell them what they said was inappropriate, but there often aren't third parties.

You're ready to compare me to those who would blame abuse victims for their problems, but just what the hell would you suggest as a solution then? If Fred can't handle himself against a few mean words, then what help is there for him?


Also, you can put away your clichés. Maybe clothes don't make the person, but I'll be damned if you tell me they can't influence what people think about that person. You'd have to be retarded or ignorant (if not both) to claim such a thing.

You shouldn't expect others not to judge you based on appearances, because you have no influence over others. What would you ask of them next, world peace?

I am not saying that people do not judge others based upon appearance. Obviously many people do that. I am saying that to do so is a prejudice which usually is a poor indication of the veracity of the sorts of judgments being made. And just because these practices are common, does not make them right or even logically consistent.

I should, and can, and do expect people to grow up and stop making idiotic judgments about other people. And you’re right, my expectations of don’t count for much in the grand scheme of things, but they do influence my own conduct and outlook, and therein they can begin to make a difference. If you really want to harass fat people, you’re welcome to try. But I want to persuade those people that it isn’t worth it…and I am also welcome to try.

I’m not stupid. I’m not weak-willed, or humble. I leave a wake in this world. It’s not a very big wake, but it’s mine, and I try to live up to the ideals that can make me proud of my actions and their consequences. I do have influence over other people—your own, (mock?) angry reply is evidence enough of this—and I intend to use my influence to bend the world to my will, to whatever extent I am able.

In accusing me of having no ability to make a difference, you are implying, Ramsus, that we should go on living as children, accepting that people will be idiots and simply “roll with the punches” or else try to conform to the demands of others on fear of further ridicule, rather than trying to take some of these bigoted idiots and shape them up into better human beings. I don’t like that scenario! And I won’t be kowtowed into accepting it! Bigotry seldom dies easily, but if it won’t be swayed by reason, and won’t be swayed by example, then it will have to be swayed by constant harassment of the very same sort that bigots dish out to their victims with malicious glee.


Claiming you have no influence is a bit far, but I wasn't talking about the way people act. Do you really belief you can influence the way they've been programmed to think? What I claim is that you can't reprogram their intuition, and that's where all those "idiotic judgments" come from.

Sure, if you find someone who outright harasses fat people, maybe you can get them to change their behavior. But how can you change the internal workings of the human minds, especially when they aren't apparent? People walk around making millions of judgments every day based on appearances, most of which can be denied.

How would you change that? Do lots of talking and accuse people of being prejudiced fatty haters based on their positions on the matter or the way they look at people? Set an example that appears, on the surface, no different from those making their idiotic judgments, and thus stands out in no way whatsoever? Cut portions of the brains out?

And what are we saying here anyway?

I'm claiming that people look at a fat person and sees someone who lacks self-control when it comes to eating or exercise. You would claim that such a judgment is "wrong" -- that it makes the person a bigot against fat people without warrant. You then equate it to outright persecution.

The problem with your naive view is that many caring, sensitive people see obesity as a self-control problem, and they would never harass, persecute, or discriminate against a fat person because of it. They aren't malicious in any way, and they don't get any kicks out of hurting people.

Instead of seeing that, you prefer constructing a world of fat people and the evil, mean, overly judgmental, malicious assholes who persecute them with their prejudices, because it benefits your argument. Everyone who is against you takes the moral low-ground.

Except the world isn't really like that. If I'm angry, it has nothing to do with fat people, but you're insistence on pushing your fake reality on us to whine and forward your own views. You only see what you want to see.


There's a reason it's illegal to do heroin. In case you didn't notice, we look down upon recklessly ruining your body in constant pursuit of simple, non-constructive pleasures.

Oh, but maybe you think it's healthy to be morbidly obese. Just try saying that to a doctor though.

Your heroin analogy is not apt. Substance abuse leads to the altering of one’s state of mind. In effect it reshapes people’s identity. Additionally, the addictiveness of many of these drugs leads to compulsive behavior. It is easy to understand why being a hardcore junkie is not a good idea. Even so, however, it would be inappropriate to treat these people cruelly solely for that reason—as you would have us do toward fat people under similar pretenses.

As for your comment about morbid obesity, I never said that it is healthy. In fact, I said several times that it physically overwhelms the body. I never even said that moderate or even slight overweight is healthy. What I said is that excess weight is popularly believed to be more unhealthy than there is medical proof to demonstrate. What you have done is make a straw-man argument, which is not helpful to your case.

So you honestly believe I would act cruelly towards a fat person? You think I'm suggesting that we all should?

Fuck you, you whiny twit.

And if you aren't suggesting that obesity is healthy, what are you suggesting? That it's okay to accept being unhealthy? That it's wrong to judge those who would choose to let themselves become unhealthy as being weak-willed for doing so?

Why would you equate such a thing to persecution? Oh no, he thinks I can't keep my weight under control because I'm fat! He must be a prejudice bigot. Then the news says obesity is on the rise, and points out all the growing health problems related to obesity. The news must be prejudiced too!

So what then? You would have us accept obesity as though it weren't a problem, ignoring it, and yet also accept the fact that it's unhealthy?


You would let your lifestyle determine who you are? Sorry, but I'd rather choose my own lifestyle and suit it to my needs, not the other way around. There's a reason the things you choose to do are considered lifestyle choices.

You’d rather let your identity choose your lifestyle than have your lifestyle choose your identity? That doesn’t make any sense! I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say, but I am going to presume you are trying to argue that people should not become victims to their own circumstances. That is true enough, but it doesn’t have anything to do with toning down the anti-fat bigotry in this society and accepting that people should be able to lead satisfying lives regardless or perhaps even because of their fatness. Many more people would be fat and happy, if society were not so crushingly cruel toward them.


Lifestyle: the way in which a person or group lives.
Identity: the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

They're two different words. I am not my lifestyle. I choose my lifestyle not just based on what I want to experience, but who I want to become. But since you didn't get that, let me point out my problem with what your view.

You said, "People should gain or lose weight to suit their lifestyle—not to escape fatness as though fatness is a bad thing." You've suggested we ignore the future consequences of our current way of life. I don't believe that's a very smart, or reasonable thing to do. I sure as hell don't believe it's responsible.

I'll address the anti-fat bigotry and crushingly cruel treatment of society in a bit.

And in case you're too dense and stupid to read into it, I implied that forming prejudice based on skin color is a bad thing, because it isn't something determined by a person's actions -- whereas your appearance has a direct relationship to what you've been doing since you've been born.

Nope. You said that being fat is a bad thing and should be changed, whereas skin color cannot be changed. You therefore implied that being black is also a bad thing, except that it cannot be changed.

I don’t think you meant it that way, but, in your ignorance, that is how it came out. You need to be aware of it.


I see now how it can be, so let me phrase it this way:

Your skin color is not an indication of how you choose to live, because your choices don't determine your skin color. It says nothing about who you are, because you have no influence over it.

Obesity is a direct result of your lifestyle. Your weight is something you have direct, day to day influence over.


Meanwhile, I want to reiterate that, just because a thing can be changed, does not mean it must be changed. Simply because fatness is something we can burn from our bodies, does not mean we should do that, any more than we should grow our weight just because we can do that as well. Any credible reasons for changing one’s body fat weight in any direction would have to come from someplace else.


No, but that's not why anyone suggests an obese person should lose weight. You admit yourself that obesity is unhealthy, so why shouldn't an obese person make an effort to lose weight? If they'll find the acceptance they desire that way, then it only makes sense that they should.


Oh right, because it's okay to stress out our bodies and shorten our lives while inconveniencing society, just so we can enjoy our monstrously oversized meals or lack of physical activity. It's something forced upon us by our uncontrollable lifestyles that dominate our every action.

Thus, it's okay to be fat, and it's bad to say that it isn't!

There is plenty of room to discuss the political ramifications of alternative lifestyles. Let’s start at the beginning. We live in a free country. Therefore, if people want to “enjoy their monstrously oversized meals” or “lack of physical activity,” then we as a society must be willing to accommodate them to the fullest extent possible before we step in with regulations and laws that discriminate against them.

At some point, perhaps such intervention is necessary. ZeaLitY began to touch on that subject when he mentioned banning soda from schools. And I mentioned to Radical_Dreamer that, somewhere between excessive regulation and insufficient regulation, there is certainly a point where laws can be maximally just, appropriate, and beneficial to the growth and prosperity of society and individuals alike.

There are many freedoms we enjoy which constitute a drain on things like the healthcare system. To some extent, we simply must accept that drain and try to make it as efficiently small as possible from the supply side. This is because society exists to provide basic rights and protections to everybody. And a fat person’s right to good medical care outweighs your right to save a cent or two in taxation. That’s simply how it is. Naturally there is reason to try and make sure that your share of the burden is not excessive, but only within the context of accepting that the burden must be shouldered, can we begin to discuss the limits on our share of the obligations.

Why? Because first things come first: Health outranks wealth. No country should deal in the business of putting its poorest and least citizens out on the streets to fend for themselves, simply to enrich the pockets of others. Even our worst criminals deserve a basic quality of life. So if somebody wants to put on weight—hardly a crime!—and someday needs medical care because of it, then that is an expense to which the rest of us must accede.

All of us will constitute a drain on the system from time to time—some people more so than others. That’s not an injustice. That’s life..


I'm talking not about laws or politics, but personal responsibility. I believe we all have a personal responsibility to be reasonably healthy, just as parents have a responsibility to raise their children. Most people do.


If you ask me, it sounds more like a rather pathetic rationalization for accepting obesity.

I could not have asked for a better post than yours in helping me to highlight the evils of anti-fat bigotry. I still want to think you’re toying with me, because you are usually so much more respectful than this. But if you were serious about what you wrote, serious about raising support for this prejudice, then you shot yourself in the foot today.

Allow me to conclude. You are going into the military to defend…what? Against whom? I’ll tell you: You are going into the military to defend the liberty of this country, against those who would subvert or injure it. Nowhere in your career will it be said that you fight only for a choice few people who agree with your way of life. No, you will fight for the United States of America and everyone in it.

And if that is the military’s objective, then the civilian administration of this country should be at least as tolerant…and the people themselves should be mindful of what freedom entails.

I refuse to accept that something as inoffensive as fatness should condemn anybody to a life of ridicule and oppression.


You know, John Candy was very heavy, yet I considered him to be a pretty good looking, awesome, funny guy. I knew a pretty awesome guy in college, funniest guy on the floor, who was an awesome, big guy. Hell, my dad has weight problems. So do most of the older members of my family.

What you've failed to see in all of your anti-fat bigot bashing is that it doesn't matter. The ridicule and oppression only affect those who suffer from the same problems that those who would harass and persecute suffer from -- that they're too obsessed about the way they look. American culture today bases its confidence on appearances, and that's the real disease.

Anti-fat bigotry doesn't matter. Whiny bastards like you don't matter. A few offensive jokes and a sarcastic post pointing out the absurdity in worrying about how heavy you are don't matter.

What matters is being able to base your confidence off of who you are, not how you look. When you're confident enough to cast aside the bullshit, people can see it. They can feel it. You'll get more respect.

And if you're planning on being overweight, if it's a side-effect of the lifestyle you want to live, then be ready to accept that others will judge you as not living up to your responsibility to keep yourself healthy. Be ready to accept that others might disagree with you. Be ready to throw it aside and be happy.

Because if you can't, you'll never be happy anyway.

And understand that you are responsible for who you are, and your weight is part of that. If you're fat and you don't like it, then take responsibility for yourself. Who cares if society, with its grotesquely huge portions and all the persecution helped you get that way? It's not like you're being force fed and strapped into a chair all day.


Fuck you. I'd rather be a bigot.

*tip of the hat*

Good day, Ramsus.

Fuck you, you whiny whore. You aren't even fat. Grow a spine and learn to let people take responsibility for themselves.

ZeaLitY

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #96 on: July 31, 2006, 11:04:45 am »
Just to expand on the fictional aspect, there aren't any fat people in Star Trek, either. I believe the rationale is that people are able to consciously and responsibly regulate their diets. The bad rationale would be that they can simply fry it off with radiation or something.

It seems like now is also a good time to cut through the bs about losing weight. Until my mid teens, (which ISNT THAT LONG AGO folks) I thought fat was some mythic adversary to humanity which attached itself to hapless people like a leech and proved impossible to get rid of. It seemed to me that these dietary shakes were the only Beowulfs and King Arthurs available to stave off this foe, and half the time they wouldn't work anyway.

Then I learned about exercising. And then I learned that people want to lose weight without exercising.

Back in January, I cut out soda from my diet. It's back in, but I was drinking it heavily then. Water has zero calories and also quenches your thirst; drinking soda will make you fat. I also cut out candy and ate three meals a day, which maintains high metabolism (meaning your body processes food faster instead of storing it as fat). I then walked four miles on a treadmill three times a week. A pound of fat is around 3,500 calories of food. Most treadmills will give you an indication of how many calories you are burning. Because my aerobics are crap, I could only really walk for extended periods of time, and I'd burn about 1,000 calories a trip. After all this was said and done, at the end of January, I had lost 10 pounds. Probably easier for me to do than it would be for a middle-aged man, but the solution is there if someone wants it. Cut out the crap and start exercising. My health and wellness book even illustrated the story of a 350 pound man who burned off 100 of that just by taking walks in the park near his home over a year. You don't even have to do boring walking; you can play tennis. But you have to usually be sweating or breathing hard; I'll say that. Soft little Tai-chi won't magically channel that fat away by any means.

~

On another note, someone said Ann Coulter is simply an extremist satirist. Since that's blatantly apparent to me, I wonder why some people actually take her seriously. I don't mean to question why people take her violent satire itself seriously. Rather, some people actually decry her words as things she's actually suggesting happen. But the point is, her fight is more party versus party rather than party versus the task of improving social problems.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 11:20:37 am by ZeaLitY »

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #97 on: July 31, 2006, 11:17:19 am »

You have a point. I try to make my arguments hard to rebut. And, usually, I don’t make an argument unless I am confident in its strength. So, usually, it is hard to disagree with me—because, when I bother to contest a point, I’m usually right. That is probably what you are seeing.

Look at this topic for instance. You suggest that I label people’s negative comments about fatness as prejudiced, with prejudice of my own. Not so. The evidence is in abundance all around us, in this thread and in the wide world. There is so little reason to discriminate against fat people, and yet not only do we discriminate against them anyway, but we do it with spectacular zeal.

You are welcome to name any anti-fat remark you like, which you believe is not based in prejudice or bigotry, and I will probably be able to show you that in fact it is.


I didn't say that you labeled negative comments as prejudice with prejudice of your own. I was thinking more along the lines of this point instead: most people seem to be ignoring the main basis of your post (the prejudice aspect) and have instead been making a case for the benefits of being healthy, or at least not excessively fat, which :


For the umpteenth time, I am not trying to argue that being fat is healthy. I am not even saying it is not unhealthy.


... you are apparently not discussing at all, focusing on the prejudice aspect of it.

So, they make a case for health, they get a response that they are prejudice against fat people.  Or at least, that is how I am seeing some posts I seem to be reading, and possibly I have gotten the wrong meaning from it.

I think the main prejudice might be more against ugly people. Not to say that there is no prejudice against fat, but a person can be overweight, even excessively overweight, to where they truly have no figure that people find attractive (for example, a girl can be round instead of still maintaining the semblance of a figure 8 ) and still be found attractive, or at least relatively good looking to others, because their features are still pretty, and are probably less likely to get bashed for their fatness in this case, or at least, not as much as say, a person who is not only fat, but also ugly, is likely to get picked on. But that's just a thought.


A correlation does not establish cause. Neither of us can be certain that body fat itself is the direct cause of diabetes. There is a great deal of physiology that goes into fat accumulation and maintenance, and who knows the mechanisms by which diabetes is formed? If science knew that, we’d be much further along the road to a preventative medicine.


I honestly think that diabetes is more caused by how active a person is, what they choose to eat, and how much of it they choose to eat, which can cause the correlation I mentioned. If you're gaining weight because you can eat more than one pizza by yourself and never exercise, I'd venture to say you're on the road to diabetes.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 11:27:06 am by Rat »

ZeaLitY

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #98 on: July 31, 2006, 11:27:12 am »
Ah, another opportunity for my infinite wisdom. Diabetes comes around in two ways. The first is a genuine internal problem, like a heart attack. The second -- and hugely common one -- comes from erosion. As a person eats unhealthy amounts of sugar, the body's actual tissues become less sensitive to it and more incapable of regulating it. By the time you hit your 40's or over, it finally becomes a problem and you have to start regulating your blood sugar and cutting back becuase your body just can't deal with it. This comes from a lifetime of chugging soda and hording candy, and carrying sacks of adipose tissues on one's back does not help the situation. Fatty tissue dilutes insulin (what takes the sugar away) and in turn helps to resist the chemical overall. As you can observe from our society (upswing of fat kids and ingestion of soda and related consumables), this form of diabetes is an epidemic. And the Center for Disease Control has classified it as such.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink#Controversy

Check out that section. That diabetes study found an 80% increase for acquiring diabetes when one ingests soft drinks regularly. The obesity correlation is becoming strong enough that the major drink suppliers are agreeing to remove their product from schools. I suppose that takes the police-state part of it out, but it's still denying the kids a chance to be responsible and stop drinking the soda by will. But they have plenty of chances to do that at home.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 11:32:46 am by ZeaLitY »

Rat

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #99 on: July 31, 2006, 12:04:20 pm »

That diabetes study found an 80% increase for acquiring diabetes when one ingests soft drinks regularly.


Can wisdom be infinite?

I read such and yet I'll probably never actually stop drinking soda. =P Oh well.

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #100 on: July 31, 2006, 12:37:56 pm »
Well, since I've been dragged into this, I might as well go on about the whole "fat bigotry" and "fat prejudice" thing.

Is there a prejudice against the obese? Let's think about this for a moment. We know that gaining weight is a direct cause of over-eating and a lack of exercise. We observe that overweight individuals suffer from higher rates of diabetes and heart disease, as well as reduced energy and mobility, making such a state undesireable. We also observe that many people don't look good to most other people when extremely overweight, making it risky and undesireable to gain weight. Most importantly, we observe that most people think they themselves look and feel worse when overweight.

Given that, it's safe to assume that most people do not want to be overweight. They don't want fat. However, many of those same people still gain weight, despite being able to prevent it.

Oxford defines prejudice as: 1. preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

If the prejudice with obese people is that they lack the self-control to not gain weight, and the reality is that most of those who do gain weight do so in spite of not desiring it and being able to prevent it, then is the reality not the prejudice itself?

Doesn't that defy the very definition of what a prejudice is?

So what is this prejudice then? What is the opinion that we're developing of obese people that isn't based on reason or actual experience?

We can't say that calling a fat person ugly is prejudiced, because that's an opinion based on personal taste. We all have different opinions on what is beautiful and what is ugly, which, though influenced by society, has a much stronger basis in biology and evolutionary development. Most people won't find a 500 lb. woman very attractive, no matter what their said tastes.

Josh himself admits all the negative aspects of being obese. He admits them as very real, yet he never clearly defines this "prejudice" he claims runs rampant and creates a society of bigots.

The truth is, people don't like being fat. They don't want to be fat. Those who do already enjoy being fat, and aren't affected by what others think.

Josh's "herd" of fat bigots doesn't exist. What he is instead seeing is a society obsessed with losing weight without any effort. What he sees is a society in panic over its self image and lack of self control. What he sees is a lot of poor individuals stuck in a world with too many calories and too little physical activity for their bodies to handle and no easy way out.

Society is no more intolerant of obesity than it is of anything else that sets folks apart. Most of our adult society is overweight, yet you don't see people getting harassed or cruelly abused for it. Most people don't like it, but they live with it. Some do something real about it and start exercising and eating less. And a few actually manage to prevent it from happening throughout the course of their lives.

Maybe someone looks at you a certain way. Maybe you don't get as many dates. Maybe you didn't get that office job you wanted so you could suck up to your boss all day and pretend to be busy.

But those sorts of things happen to people regardless. Wrap a towel over your head for a day and see what happens. Hell, go to Mississippi and see what happens.

Honestly, I've seen more people get teased and harassed as a result of their lack of personality than the way they looked. The way you walk, the way you speak, and the way you dress matter more than your weight in most cases. So does the way you smell.


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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #101 on: July 31, 2006, 01:10:38 pm »

Honestly, I've seen more people get teased and harassed as a result of their lack of personality than the way they looked. The way you walk, the way you speak, and the way you dress matter more than your weight in most cases. So does the way you smell.


That's EXACTLY what the people in Ireland are like. They start fights about whether 'Nike' or 'Adidas' or better. And that's just plain silly.

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #102 on: July 31, 2006, 09:03:30 pm »
That's EXACTLY what the people in Ireland are like. They start fights about whether 'Nike' or 'Adidas' or better. And that's just plain silly.

Of course, said debates usually occur in the local pub with twenty empty Guinness steins involved.

I honestly couldn't agree more with Zeality and Ramsus's statements on the issue. But I can't just go off everybody else's opinions; I do have my own viewpoints which, at the risk of more f-bombs being dropped along the front lines, should nevertheless be voiced. Concerning Zeality's comments about soda machines in schools -- having just recently graduated from high school, I can honestly say that removing junk food and unhealthy drinks from schools still have an incredibly long way to go. Although they removed the soda from in front of the cafeteria and replaced them with Aquafina machines, they still have the Pepsi-brand soda on the senior veranda right behind the cafeteria. Normally, one would think the soda would be a senior perk; however, that's pretty much a moot point since the entire school knows about it and constantly sneaks onto the veranda to buy the soda. Even worse, last year the Pepsi machines only sold ten oz. cans of soda for a dollar, while this year they sold the twenty oz. plastic bottles for the same price as the cans.

That's not sending a great message to the public about how soda companies and school systems in general are supposedly taking proactive approaches to prevent unhealthy consumption at schools. In addition, my high school sold Rice Krispie Treats for seventy-five cents, Keebler's fudge and huge homemade chocolate chip cookies for fifty cents, and even Fruit Roll-Ups for a mere twenty-five cents. These are examples from a high school environment where young adults should have enough sense of mind to make their own quality meal choices, but this nevertheless doesn't give me much hope for the elementary and junior high students who may be falling prey to such fattening lunch options.

As for Ramsus's comments -- it's not that people are actually approaching the overweight on the streets and taunting them, it's the bias against the overweight as it appears in television and movies that cause the most distress. If you've watched any news program or twenty-four hour news channel, you've almost assuredly seen the B-rolls of obese people as the newsanchor reveals the latest scientific finding about how 1% excess body fat causes a 400% increase in stupid or whatever they manage to dig up from the Vault of Common Sense that day, after which report is followed by the Supermodel of the Day marrying God and winning a beach house in the sexy people lottery. Of course I'm exaggerating (unless you watch Fox News on a daily basis and actually take it seriously, in which case I pity you), but if you're obese and sensitive about your weight, such broadcasts could be traumatic. Yes, there are special diets and exercise programs, but what if the commercial for that treatment you tried and failed miserably at airs with some gorgeous blonde babe hyping its amazing success?

It's not that the overweight will automatically stand up one day and say, "Yes, I can change! I can take a proactive approach to my health and wellbeing!" If you're being accosted day after day with images of perfect health and happiness tucked into a ninety-five pound body while you are struggling with a weight control issue spiraling out of control, not because of any wish of yours to put weight on but instead of a lifestyle you simply cannot find the inspiration to alter, how would you react?

Those of you who are currently debating this issue, I'd ask you to take a step back and observe the situation from an outside approach. Unless you've gone through such a difficulty yourself, you can't just deny being unable to overcome this physical burden. You are fifty pounds overweight. You've watched the news reports, seen the models and actors/actresses displaying the societal "perfect body," been told by your doctor of the risks you're taking by adding so many extra pounds onto your body, stressing your skeletal and nervous systems. You have much less energy than you used to, and certain modes of exercise, including going to a gym or attending a weight-loss group, make you uncomfortable and self-conscious about your physical appearance. Could you honestly sit there, in front of your computer with nobody there to judge you but yourself alone, and tell us you would go to that gym, eat that much healthier, and improve yourself just like that?

I certainly wouldn't. In fact, I couldn't. If you think of losing weight as merely self-improvement and go about it all on your own, you're 110% guaranteed to fail. No, I didn't have constant harassment about my weight; such occurances were rare at best, and can be attributed to the idiocy of the junior high years. It took, first and foremost, an acceptance of myself as what exactly I am and how successful I would feel as a human being continuing on the course to obesity before I found enough motivation to shed my lazy self and lose the weight I so desperately needed to. Not only that, I also needed the compassion of close friends to keep me energized, to boost my opinion of myself simply by hanging out with me, and to reassure me that friends and loved ones exist no matter what your appearance might dictate otherwise to society via the "fat=friendless" stereotype.

It's not because one's diet is terrible and physical activity is slim to none; that only contribues to the problem. The true cause of obesity is the feeling that one's weight is a burden, a hinderance in finding the self-confidence one needs to actively participate in their own life.  Without coming to terms with oneself and realizing that even utter perfection still could use a bit of improvement, you're never gonna get anything done in your life.

Of course, having friends and significant others around so you're not constantly dwelling over your lonesome helps too.

That being said, I'll get back to my "Idiot's Guide to Writing Mindlessly While Still Managing to Make Sense."

God, my head hurts.

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #103 on: July 31, 2006, 09:39:34 pm »
Quote
Just to expand on the fictional aspect, there aren't any fat people in Star Trek, either. I believe the rationale is that people are able to consciously and responsibly regulate their diets. The bad rationale would be that they can simply fry it off with radiation or something.

Movie-era Kirk and Scotty would beg to differ.  The rationale is probably that Star Trek technology can virtually eliminate fatness at will.

We'll soon have sufficient medical understanding that we can modify the genes relating to metabolism directly.  Technology may very well enable anyone to look like anything they want, probably within the next fifty years.  When you have that, it gets to be where no one has to take responsibility for his own health anymore.

ZeaLitY

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Re: The FAT Topic: What do you think about this weighty issue?
« Reply #104 on: July 31, 2006, 10:33:50 pm »
Could you honestly sit there, in front of your computer with nobody there to judge you but yourself alone, and tell us you would go to that gym, eat that much healthier, and improve yourself just like that?

It is rare, but I wouldn't rule it tooooooootally out.