Everyone's talking about whether dieting for weight loss is indicative of a lack of true commitment to the Fat Acceptance/Size Positive movement. I've seen a lot of very good things out there, and I figured I should at least state my position on the subject.
Here's my basic statement:
I acknowledge your individual freedom to diet for weight loss, but I do not support or condone your doing so.
Here's the long-winded explanation:
Basically, I view dieting for weight loss (heretofore known as "dieting" for the purposes of brevity in this entry) as an unhealthy, ineffective, destructive thing to do. I think it is the biggest quackery perpetuated on our society, bilking people out of money while giving them no results, results that don't last, or making its practitioners fatter in the long run than they otherwise would have been. In other words, it is at best worthless, and can even be counterproductive to the purpose of becoming thinner.
Dieting is destructive to your body. You are more likely to become sick if you have yo-yo dieted than if you had not lost any weight at all. It is potentially harmful to your mind; many eating disorders are triggered or perpetuated by a desire to lose weight, and it induces fears and phobias about food. The hysteria surrounding the "epidemic" alone is enough to create irrational fear of eating, gaining weight, and self-loathing.
Dieting is especially more harmful to women's bodies and minds; we have fought for women's rights, only to be shackled by social pressure to starve ourselves until we are crazed, miserable, and weakened. As a woman, I am offended by the idea that the size of my body can prevent me from getting a job, adequate health care, and have my needs taken seriously.
I am not going to repeat the mountain of evidence for the above statements; these are readily available at Junk Food Science and other sources. If you are misinformed or willfully uneducated, there is no longer any excuse for it. If you continue to actively shield yourself from becoming informed, rejecting any attempts to abolish your own ignorance, then I am not to blame, and I cannot be held responsible for your unwillingness to learn. I'll be happy to point you in the direction of articles and books, but I cannot parrot the facts and continue to debate the same tired points over and over with the purposefully misinformed.
Do you really think that because a doctor says that fat is unhealthy, that makes it so? How much faith do you have in medicine? This same institution was prescribing heroin, cocaine, and leeches less than a century ago. The history of medicine is fairly sordid, and a great deal of its roots were things that existed only in the imaginations of self-proclaimed doctors. Humors, bloodletting, come on, folks, they just made this shit up from whole cloth! And, while things have certainly improved, we still haven't figured it all out. The public health is not always the primary concern, especially when profits are involved. Yes, maybe thalidomide was a long time ago, but Vioxx was this century, and Fen-Phen was breaking people's hearts in the late 90's.
So, here you have it, the elephant in the room: Dieting for weight loss while being part of the fat acceptance movement shows that either you haven't been paying attention, or you are in denial of the message of the movement. I've heard the statement that dieters in the fat acceptance movement are the same as closeted gays being supportive of gay pride--they just aren't comfortable enough to "come out" and join the rest of this. I think that this is a very faulty analogy. It is more like, those dieting for weight loss are to the fat acceptance movement as gays undergoing counseling to become straight are to the gay pride movement.
It is difficult to believe someone actually takes the movement seriously when they are actively working to purge from themselves the very thing they are claiming to support acceptance of, especially when the methods to purge the "undesirable quality" are known not to actually work. Counseling a gay person to become straight does not change what their biology has determined their orientation to be; they instead intensively train their behavior to mimic that of the straight person. So it is with a fat person, training their bodies to be thin. It takes constant vigilance and work to remain that way, and it is a generally unpleasant and uncomfortable thing to do. To have such a thing as a goal would require a very big payoff for attaining it--social status, not being disowned by family members, finding a marriage partner--these are all possible reasons to pursue unnatural thinness or heterosexuality. Yet, the acceptance movements are working to see to it that people can have those things without going through an agony of forcing themselves into a mold into which their bodies or minds simply do not fit.
Change the system, or change yourself? Which one hurts more? Which one is more possible? I guess that's for you to figure out, but if you're choosing to harm yourself through dieting for weight loss, don't expect me to support you in that.