In which my muse lies prone in post-holiday topor, and yet I nevertheless desire to put pen to paper, albeit finger to keyboard in actuality. And so, I hereby recommend to you those recent blogical delights which I have myself found Fatspirational or amusing in the hope that you, my Dear Readers, may also find solace and meaning within their words.
Now let’s cut to the chase:
Sandy at Junkfood Science reviews the evidence on whether diets can work. (Part 1 and Part 2) and children as young as five (five!!!) undergoing bariatric surgery. My god!:
Bringing in the new year, Radio Iowa reported from a bariatric surgeon at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. Increasing numbers of teens are coming in wanting bariatric surgeries, according to Dr. Ranjan Sudan, and “some doctors are looking at performing weight loss surgeries [sic] on children as young as five.”
Brian at Red No. 3 discusses the diet advertising that abounds around this time of the year:
I’m going to wake up on New Year’s Day and not be thinking about my weight. I won’t be making any resolutions about losing weight. Fat hatred isn’t inevitable. Self-loathing doesn’t have to be a way of life. Everyone has the capacity to liberate themselves from fat hatred. Everyone. I don’t buy into the notion that self-love should be withheld from people if they really don’t want to. No matter how certain you are that you can’t accept your body. No matter how much self-justifications you make for self-hatred.
JoGeek at Unapologetically Fat uses a reviews a of a TV show to take aim at the diet industry:
The fact that the diet industry can take people who would be outraged if their partner asked them to change their lifestyle (i.e. be a stay-at-home mom or dad, only wear clothing the person likes, only talk to friends their partner chooses, etc.) simply because it pleases the partner rather than themselves, and convince them that it’s appropriate to radically change their body and destroy their health for the same reason, is incredible. It’s brilliant, from the sleazy political marketing point of view. Decades of struggle for equality and independence, and yet even people who claim to be feminists (like those at majikthise) can fool themselves into supporting dieting simply for the purpose of fitting an unrealistic ideal of their gender as dictated by popular culture.
It’s that insidious kind of bigotry and sexism (both male and female) that represents the last stand of any kind of equal rights. Fighting it is fighting a target that cloaks itself in respectability.
See, i’m all for self-improvement, but Dieting Does Not Equal Self Improvement. The more i think about this, the more it really pisses me off – this idea that self improvement is as “easy” as shedding a few pounds. This is just a delightful parfait of lies – anyone who’s been paying attention knows that losing weight is only “easy” if you’re genetically thin and somehow gotten above your body’s set point. Other than that, it’s beyond futile and more in the realm of potentially damaging.
So not only is dieting not “easy”, it just plain doesn’t work. Then we have the other notion that losing weight is the most important means of “self improvement”. Well, some people would say that the body is a part of the self, therefore improving the state of the body is a part of the self improvement process. Y’know, i’m okay with that. I can deal with that. Just as a house in disarray can cause anxiety in its inhabitants, a body in disorder causes distress to the soul. I got that. Good times.
Where i disagree is the notion that a fat body can only be in distress, it cannot be healthy. The soul that resides in a fat body can only be anxious and disordered, upset. So many people seem to just accept this as a matter of fact. “Well, of course you hate yourself – you’re fat!” What utter bullshit.
The Shapely Prose team are coming up with the goods time after time. Firstly Sweetmachine
Remember, if an item of clothing doesn’t fit your body, there’s something wrong with the clothing, not with your body.
And then Kate:
But this goes right back to what Arwen was saying: if you plateau while dieting, if your body stubbornly refuses to lose any more weight after you’ve dropped to 1,200, then 1,000, then 800, and in some cases as low as 500 calories a day, you are not absolved of the obligation to lose more weight. You’re simply found guilty of lying about what you eat and/or how much you exercise. Because if you were really eating that little and exercising that much, you would still be losing! Because human bodies do work exactly like bunsen burners, and there aren’t 85 squillion variables affecting how different people process the same number of calories, duh! You’re just not doing what we told you to do, you BIG FAT LIAR!
Femmeknitzi asks What is Fat?
Peggy Elam at On the Whole is philosophical about the not-a-diet-it’s-a-lifestyle-change diets:
I’m tempted to add a new phase to Ghandi’s classic “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” Where would I place “Then they co-opt you”…? Perhaps between “fight you” and “Then you win.” (Yes, I’m being optimistic. We WILL win.)
MoPie at Big Fat Deal wants to know what the deal is with FUZE Slenderize Guilt Free Gloss. (Well, you know. ‘A lifetime on the lips…’)
Hoyden About Town comments on the Australian Government’s plan to make ISPs block ‘innapropriate’ websites:
I’m also concerned about the opt-out nature of this filtering. If we opt out, who gets notified? Who’s going to be making a list, and who’s going to be checking it twice? In the age of the War On Terrah, it is hardly paranoia to be concerned about a government breaking privacy laws in order to find out who has chosen to maintain full internet access in the face of filtering of “pornography” and “violence”.
This should go without saying, but just to dot all the Is: “inappropriate” is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s rude words is another’s well-crafted snark. In another recent example, it is reasonable to assume that a working-as-designed GFoA would block a site like the (munged) four*ch4n. If that were the case, feminist bloggers would be unable to track the planning of an organised campaign of attacks against them. Are we happy with blocking university professors in certain social sciences (linguistics, say, or English, or women’s studies) from accessing research data that contains naughty words or pictures?