Great quote

Though we have our political differences, Fillyjonk over at Shapely Prose is a great fighter for fat acceptance and had a wonderful quote today:

Just as a disabled person isn’t a broken able-bodied person, and a black person isn’t a darkened white person, and a woman isn’t a wangless man, a fat person isn’t just a thin person who ate too much.

Read the entire post here.

It’s not science, it’s marketing

Where does the average person’s (non-expert) “common knowledge” information about fat come from? I put together the four top sources:

1. Family, friends, schoolyard

2. “Health beat” local/national 6/11 o’clock news

3. Ads for weight loss interventions/pills/etc

4. Our personal care physician (PCP)

#1 is merely an amplifier of the information from #2 – #4.

#2 is reporting on press-release-science — marketing. Most of the studies reported on are the worst kind of junk studies, with the more serious, rigorous, less assertion-filled studies (whose authors or authors’ funders didn’t release press statements about) relegated to the media-silent pages of a serious journal.

For a good example of what a junk-science press release looks like, go here.

#3 is marketing, by definition.

#4 is a tricky one. This is the authority we are taught from birth to venerate, to trust, to obey. However, doctors are not currently required to take a nutrition course in order to get their MD. Additionally, most doctors are strapped for time and hence develop blanket-recommendations for people based on the quickest evaluation – what they look like – without considering more deeply what their actual risk factors could be. Additionally, the idea that fat is a disease and fat kills is “common knowledge” in med school, without any deep qualification. The professors who teach it is “common knowledge” could very well be anti-obesity researchers on Big Pharma’s dole, though I wouldn’t make that assumption about every one. Additionally, some PCPs themselves are not ethical, and take money for promoting weight loss drugs to patients.

So we see that med school itself is heavily influenced by the marketing arm of Big Pharma, and that PCPs themselves can be influenced thusly.

When it comes down to it, in conclusion, all the main sources of the average person’s “common knowledge” about fat are heavily influenced, if not completely determined, by aggressive marketing, and not science.

One Year of Big Liberty

That’s right, it’s my one-year anniversary. Well, sort of. I kinda missed it (it was three days ago).

However, we can still celebrate. It’s been one interesting journey, which I was glad to undertake, and which I hope to continue for a long time.

Big Liberty was my first ever blog. Now I’m the main author of three blogs, two feeds, and I contribute to another blog. Big Liberty is my only anonymous blog, and I plan to keep it that way.

As of today this blog has 52,785 hits. Wowzah! Several times during the early days of the blog I got on the top 10 list of growing wordpress blogs.

My most popular post of all time:

Coming in at 1,882 hits is my post Fat Wedding, Part 4: “The Bride Wore Very Little.” A quote:

Again, there’s the sense that one has to “get in shape for her gown,” rather than, yanno, buying a dress that fits. Have we so ritualized the wedding day that the wedding dress has become more like a priest’s robe a woman must fast and self-harm in order to earn?

My Favorite Posts

1. The Tall Epidemic

If the Tall Epidemic’s health concerns (see above), as terrifying as those correlated with the Obesity Epidemic, were given as much attention as those of the latter, surgeons would be proposing procedures which have been shown to cause great long-term difficulties to the patient but have the (at least temporary) effect of reducing the evil toxic fat (like bariatric surgery, lap-band insertion, liposuction, electrical shocking of the hippocampus). These potential surgeries could include leg-bone shortening, bariatric surgery in young children to reduce the nutritional absorption from food so that their growth is stunted, electrical shocking of the area of the brain that releases the hormone involved with height, imposed osteoporosis so that bones become more brittle and result in an effective shortening of a few inches, and so forth.

2. Moral Panics, Moral Crusades, and the Obesity Folk Devil

I’m positing a possible catalyst to the “Obesity Epidemic” moral panic and the “War on Obesity” moral crusade: an aging population who is afraid to die, and are desperately seeking a Fountain of Youth for both themselves and their children. Weight gain is associated with increasing age (at least until about 60-65), and that’s right about where the Baby Boomer generation is, now.

3. Fat Discrimination Inevitable in the Next Presidency

A fat acceptance activist would be hypocritical to support any of these candidates, given their anti-FA beliefs about fat, obesity, and required government intervention. Furthermore, there is every indication that they would vigorously promote those same anti-FA beliefs, spending tax dollars on ignorant and biased programs that would only serve to in one way or another harm future generations of Americans.

4. BeingGirl – For Girls, By Liars

Note – the site was changed/discontinued after a few posts in the Fat Community (including this one). Huzzah!

“BeingGirl: For girls, by girls,” a site hosted by Proctor & Gamble, is one of those places that draws in teenage girls with cutesy graphics and shitty writing (by the staff), and better writing which populates the rest of the site (posts by the girls themselves). Some of the posts are heartbreaking, and the articles themselves (esp. the ones concerning weight) are filled with virulent lies, and ‘methods’ of weight-reduction which read like a pro-ana site.

5. Dealing with Life in a Fat-phobic Society

Fat-phobia is omni-political. One political group does not discriminate or hate fat people more than another. Some so-called Progressives and left liberals consider fat people to be a representation of the materialistic, consumption-obsessed dynamic they despise. Some so-called libertarians believe fat is voluntary and fat people will somehow increase the tax burden. Some so-called conservatives believe fat is synonymous with anti-Christian gluttony, and is therefore undesirable. Some fascists believe if fat people had their diets and behavior properly controlled and directed, they would no longer be fat.

6. Why Universal Healthcare Should Be Opposed by Fat Activists

This one’s close to my heart, especially since it seems to have been a bit prophetic.

As such, the individuals appointed to regulate healthcare and hence our bodies will be appointed ultimately by politicians. More likely politicians will “contract out” appointments to whatever healthcare organization lobbies the hardest, or has the most friends amongst the Washington elite.

When it comes down to it, the people who have the power to control your body, and by extension your behavior, will be those who crave the greatest power they can get, and will appeal to the electoral body and the misconceptions and fears of that electoral body for healthcare decisions about your body.

Here’s to another year! Laugh, love, and fight the good fight!