There’s a great post over at “Fat Lot of Good” I wanted to point people to. Bri writes in regards to a blog that I’ve been mentally reviewing for over a week, trying to come up with my definitive feelings about the site’s intent. The site is called This is Why You’re Fat and it showcases some of the interesting, questionable or over-the-top food combination creations the submitters have stumbled across.
I’ve been mentally juggling my thoughts on that blog for a while now. I think perhaps womanistmusings has very much rolled my thoughts into a cohesive collection of phrases:
While there may certainly be people who choose to eat this food, I believe the title and the tag line of this website perpetuate the myth that people that are fat [people] are gluttonous. Socially we have this idea that if someone is over weight it is because they have a lack of self discipline which leads to massive over eating of food choices that are high fat, calorie and carbohydrate.
There is no mention of the predatory diet and exercise industry. Millions of dollars are made every year from the promotion of thinness as healthy. Let’s face facts, you can be 5’3 and 120 pounds and still die from a heart attack. It is about genetics as much as it is about what you eat. Thin does not necessarily equate to healthy but the diet and exercise industry would have you believe differently as their profits grow each year.
I got into a discussion with a co-worker who just thought I’d find the site “Hysterical” (we’ll get into my twitchy dislike of the use of the word “hysterical” in that manner some other time..). When I tried to bring up the reasons I found the title offensive and not really that funny she seemed taken aback and kept trying to insist “But they don’t MEAN it like that…” and I could only shake my head. Because yeah, the only reason you’d name a site dedicated to over-the-top, calorie laden, over-decadent or just plain questionable food items “This is why you’re Fat” is because you actually care about people and don’t at all think that food intake is directly tied to body size; that the intent is really NOT to insinuate that the foods shown are direct metaphors for the “disgusting blobs” of people that the site’s authors think fat people are…nope. Not that latter at all….no sirree…. *eyeroll*
Though, again, womanistmusings has indicated of the site’s authors; according to their interview (which, you might be interested to note the CNN link for which is entitled “Moos people eat that”. Is a “Moo-People” a reference to the “fat cow” slur or some sort of new-age space race of Mostly Offended Obese persons?)
The point that they are attempting to infer is that gluttony = obesity and that we are a society of fatties hell bent on self destruction through choosing to consume bad food.
I’d rather enjoy some of the blog if it were marketed differently because each item posted brings up interesting discussions (if you can avoid the “Harf, hu-yup that’s why them fatties r be fat” comments) about what people consider to BE over-the-top in regards to food; and the cultural and social differences such distinctions can bring to light are really rather fun to poke at and examine. I’d actually have an interest in following it for such reasons IF it did peg itself more accurately; perhaps as something along the lines of “Strange things Humans do to Food….” Because really, even the comments on the site will often disagree about whether a posted item seems edible or delicious or vile to them. As it is now, the site is just another perpetuation of the Food=Fat and Fat=Unhealthy tripe that seems to so easily whip the masses into alternate throes of passion or panic.
As Bri writes:
People in general seem so determined to resist the idea that food itself is not good or bad. Food is morally neutral. What is considered to be good food or bad food is incredibly arbitrary and totally relative.
And the subjective views and reasoning behind what each individual sees as “bad” is, to me, far more worthy of discussion. THAT sort of analytical self-probing of food bias sounds MUCH more interesting to me than a visual discourse on why the Fall Of Humankind will by way of Meat & Potatoes Overkill.