The hatred and derision I face as a fat person is painful. I admit to a knee-jerk reaction to some of the things thrown at me--a reaction of trying to show them that I'm not what they say I am, I'm not lazy, or gluttonous, or stupid. The social ape part of my brain wants me to do whatever it takes to be accepted, to stop being excluded from society. I know that this is a natural desire, and that it's not wrong to want to fit in. The problem, I eventually realized, was that, in trying to fit in, I was legitimizing the exclusion of others.
Maybe I don't eat a lot, and being able to prove that makes my fat more socially acceptable than someone who does. Maybe I have a thyroid condition (I do, and it sucks, and not because of the fat, but that's another entry another day), and that gives me a "free pass" for being fat. Fat Girl On A Bike exercises as much as an Olympic athlete, which proves that not all fat people are lazy, so she gets permission to eat food sometimes.
You know what though? That's all a bunch of CRAP.
I don't need an excuse for my body size. It doesn't matter if a person eats "too much", eats "the wrong stuff", doesn't exercise, is not very bright, doesn't have a glandular condition. You don't have to be a good little fatty who does all the right things and just can't lose weight. You're a human being, and that should be enough reason for someone to treat you as one. There shouldn't be a NEED for a "free pass". Thin people can be lazy, gluttonous, and stupid, and nobody attributes it to anything except individuality.
So screw it. If you see a fat person eating ice cream? That's their business. You see a fat person watching television? So what? Lots of people watch television. Fat people don't have to apologize for their bodies being fat. Everyone, fat or thin, should face the same consequences for being lazy or gluttonous (stupid isn't necessarily a malleable attribute). If you're lazy, you might have a dirty house, you might have a crappy job, or you might have a half-finished 7-foot-tall trebuchet* in your garage. If you're gluttonous, you might have a huge food bill. Big deal--those are the choices we make in our lives. They don't mean that a person doesn't deserve to be treated like a human being.
Similarly, a fat person who is not actively trying to become un-fat should not be regarded as a better person than one who has accepted his or her body and chooses to spend time and energy on other pursuits. Yet, I constantly hear, "At least I'm DOING something about my weight!" as if it is a virtue. Choosing to lose weight doesn't make you better; it just means that you have a personal preference to not be fat. Non-dieting fat people, though, are considered to be reckless fools who are responsible for the downfall of Western civilization. Meanwhile, the hate spewed in their direction for not being "well-behaved" seems a bit, well, uncivil to me.
* I am joking, honey, you are not lazy. For those who don't know, my dear husband enjoys building medieval siege weapons. We have a mini trebuchet that can be used to throw small objects, like cat toys. The 7-footer is designed to be taken apart and fit into his car so it can be tested at remote locations (we're good neighbors). The counterweight basket is not yet finished, though, because I moved in and took up all of his attention and time before he got to that part.