As someone who fits the medical definition of obese, Courtney E. Martin’s article “Love Your Fat Self” hits home in many ways. Like Martin says in her article “Sizeism remains the only truly socially acceptable form of discrimination on the planet. We see living in a fat body as an insurmountable disability.” Just like in the story of Gareth that Martin tells in the beginning of her article, overweight and obese people are more likely to be shouted at and insulted in public spaces by people who don’t know us and are quick to judge us based on stereotypes.
There can be no doubt to others that fat people are lazy, lacking self control and motivation, and are unhealthy in a way that they are unable to change. Magazines of all types advertise different diets and weight loss plans as well as devoting entire sections to exercise plans that are all ways to cut down on the amount of fat in a persons body or add more muscle than any one person really needs depending on whether the magazine is being sold to women or men. And the worse part, the most common excuse people use for insulting fat people is: “Oh, but I’m not being mean, I’m just concerned about their health.”
As a society we fear fatness; to many people it’s worse than being mean-spirited or cruel. To be fat is to be less than human, less worthy of love or respect. Many think that fat people won’t find love because we are considered unattractive. And yes, while there are people who do date fat people and see nothing wrong with it, much of society has turned this into a fetish, things that much of society still looks at like some sort of sickness or disease. To love a fat person means that there is something wrong with those that love us.
Like Martin says in her article, “There is only one rational reason to fear fatness: health risks” (267) The fact that obesity has been linked to major diseases is what should scare this country, knowing that people who are overweight and obese have been scientifically proven to be more at risk for heart disease and strokes. Those are scary, but for some reason that’s not what this country chooses to focus on. The sooner we as a society begin to understand that fat people are people, the sooner we can actually address the issue of health.