16 February 2012

“Fat Shaming”

That’s the title of my most recent post at In Mala Fide.  In it, I take a lesbian feminist to task for hypocrisy.  An excerpt:
What’s overlooked in this debate is the social benefits of fat-shaming. Now that the US has universal health care, and given that fatties tend to have more health problems and higher health costs, it behooves society as a whole to shame the fatties for being overweight because if society fails to do this, healthcare will eat more and more of the federal budget and impose increasing costs on the taxpayers. Given that health care is now a national issue, and given that a sizeable portion of aggregate health costs come from the overweight, fat shaming is no longer the patriarchy’s way of keeping women down; it’s now every American’s patriotic duty. And if fat shaming happens to increase aggregate beauty, then that’s just a bonus.
The rest can be found here.


  1. Or we could label fat above a certain level as "self inflicted" and therefore the costs of fixing them is not covered.

    Freedom works.

  2. @Prof. Hale- that's probably not going to happen if we can't ever be critical of fat people.

  3. I read your IMF piece and enjoyed it. Your point is well taken and one about which I've been concerned, from a regulatory standpoint. NYC's famous salt dictum for restaurants, the mandatory labeling of fast-food calories, and the trans-fat bans are just a few examples of the interference in our personal choices in the name of public health. The government supposedly regulates benevolently and without shame in the name of public health. But the average person cannot shame or try to regulate his fellow man, because it is cruelty.

    Net attractiveness of the population might increase if we shamed fatties more often*, but that's just asking for an expanded definition of bias intimidation and hate crimes.

    *I'm very conscious of my weight and even during pregnancy am watching my calories. It's not dieting, it's just being mindful of what I eat, which is important no matter what stage of life you are in. I think a lot of fat people suffer from amnesia when it comes to what they've eaten all day; the donuts and pastries and burgers and fries magically disappear from memory, and only the salad and that piece of fruit they ate remain.

  4. @Cranberry- Thanks. Of course, the government is quite hypocritical in this matter. The government is also less flexible. There may be less shame, but there's also less avoidance. And yes, I know that fat shaming will lead to an expanded definition of hate crimes.