Tim Russert, And Why I’m Done With Daily Kos Forever

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

Like a lot of Humorless Feminists, I used to be a Daily Crack — er, Kos — addict, and somewhere along the way, I got the feeling I was not really wanted there, somewhere between the pie fight incident of 2005 and the Hillary-Clinton-Isn’t-A-Real-Democrat debacle of 2008. (Look, dude, say what you want about Clinton and you might even be right, but I would still give her way more donkey points than the former Republican who runs DKos. For starters, she’s actually a feminist.)

I was never registered there since I found their rating system a little too intimidating for my Aspie brain to grasp, but in the process of gradually being alienated by the idea propagated there that it was fine for the women to hang out there but they’d have to wait their turn until the “real issues” were all hashed out, I couldn’t help noticing that the site was not just condescending to feminists, but more than a little fatphobic also. (And despite the current Obama-worship, come to think of it, I remember it being a pretty damn white place, too.) Every once in a while someone would post an “Obesity Epidemic” diary that got recommended or “front paged,” but fat acceptance? Ha ha, you’re not serious, FAT is not a social justice issue. I lost weight and so can you! I know it’s hard, so so hard, I loved eating just as much as you do, but damn it, I had to make the sacrifice, that spare tire was killing me and you’re gonna die too! Get slim now so we can have national health care like the skinny Europeans! Once in a cobalt tie-dyed moon you’d get a fat-acceptancey commentary that didn’t get troll-rated into the next century, but not bloody often.

So yeah, I’d been staying away because I need to go out of my way to read shit that makes me stabful like I need all the norepinephrine vacuumed out of my skull with a wheezing Oreck. But when Tim Russert passed away last Friday at age 58 from an apparent heart attack, I couldn’t resist going back over there just one more time. You see, Russert was, shall we say, not a very popular dude over there while he was alive, he was routinely castigated as a Bush lapdog and so forth (which I will refrain from commenting on here, at least partially because I didn’t watch enough Meet the Press in recent years to know if it was true). So I was interested to see what the response was there to his demise.

I shoulda known. First diary I read had a post halfway down that blamed his death on…oh, go on, guess. Yeah, fatass ate himself to death, that’s what he did, that’s what they all do. Lose weight right now! I did it so can you! Underweight is better than overweight! (Oh?) And over on the side, where they had the recommended diaries, was one with this ominous title:

Russert: “Tomorrow, Doc. I know what I have to do. I’m starting tomorrow.”

Need I slap a HUGE-ASSED Sanity Watchers warning on this? OK, done.

Now then. Let me just save you the trouble and let you know this diary actually says, “I’m not here to wag my finger at anyone about this,” but then goes on to do precisely that. Russert earned his death, you see — even though he exercised faithfully, his doctor told him he had to lose weight and he was NONCOMPLIANT! And because he didn’t devote his life’s work to making every part of his body as tight as the head on a djembe, that’s totally why he cacked! We don’t need no stinking autopsy to know that! It’s an epidemic of people loving their favorite foods like crack and refusing like idiots to give them up! I’m a physical therapist, so I can Net-diagnose his flabby ass!

Okay, so the language he used avoided direct snark and poured on the sanctimony and I’m-only-saying-this-because-I-care-so much, but the hand-rubbing glee was as transparent and gassy as a frigging Everclear spritzer. The man hadn’t ceased respiration for one DAY and they couldn’t resist starting in on him. And out of 454 commentaries, not one, not one, goddamned, smelly ONE of them, said it was in bad taste, let alone factually incorrect to state that heart disease deaths among men in their 50s are an “epidemic” any longer.

I doubt this is necessarily because Russert was not a hugely beloved figure over there, so much as it is because we fat acceptance people are still not being taken seriously even by most “progressives,” even with all the facts at our disposal, even among people who ostensibly aren’t all Rah Rah Popular Press. Even these people can’t resist using a fresh celebrity fatass death as an opportunity to brag about their frigging diets, with hardly a syllable raised in objection. Fat has to be a choice, because they’ve (probably temporarily) managed to shrink their fat cells down, and it has to be all their hard work and good character that got them there, and if they stay there (which of course they will!) it can’t possibly be any form of fairydust that made it happen. They cannot see that they are the mirror image of the Townhall goombas yutzes they mercilessly mock, that they, too, were born on third base and think they hit a triple.

Yanno, for all the blahblah about healthhealthhealth and We’re Only Being Nasty To You So You’ll Shape Up, I don’t recall it ever being okay, on the eve of someone (famous or not) dying from causes likely related to heavy smoking, heavy drinking, or heavy drugging, to use that occasion as an excuse to skewer still-living people with similar issues. At least they wait until the body gets cold before all the tsk-tsking starts building itself up to a big old zithead. But not fatasses. Those you can just wail away on whenever, go ahead, nobody will mind. They’re not even people, they won’t feel a thing. And Russert was not even all that large, but it doesn’t matter, anyone with the guff to go in front of the cameras with even a spare Schwinn tire (let alone an official steel-belted radial) is just a low-hanging piñata, here’s the stick, knock yourselves out.

I almost feel like the Fatosphere is its own planet, with a frame of reference that even Good Liberals find completely incomprehensible. Here we are, rending our garments over whether fat acceptance should be called fat acceptance, or size acceptance, or body liberation, or fat rights, or whether it’s a legitimate social justice movement that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as social justice movements that address racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia, and in a way I’m almost tempted to say, fuck that noise, let’s start with trying to get as much respect from people as heroin addicts get. Because we’re not even there yet.

And then I remember. Fat Is A Feminist (and Womanist) Issue. Even for a sort-of-fat guy who probably wouldn’t have called himself a feminist (and certainly not a womanist). Because fat is soft and softness is icky girly stuff and you get taken less and less seriously the more you have. Kinda like estrogen. So done with Kos, I am, bastante already. I can get my poll data from a place that doesn’t treat me and everyone who resembles me like benumbed blobs, thank you much.

Advertisements

76 Responses to “Tim Russert, And Why I’m Done With Daily Kos Forever”

  1. AnnieMcPhee Says:

    “So my point is to take what the late, great Mr. Russert had told his doctor time and again, and to let it be a wakeup call to the rest of us:

    there simply is no tomorrow”

    So if he’d started an exercise regimen the day before he died he’d have been saved? Uh, yeah. Never read KOS though.

  2. nuckingfutz Says:

    Yeah, I’ve never heard of this “Daily Kos” thing until now (probably a good thing, from what you wrote).

    But the way they’re posthumously tearing this guy down is just sick. Shit, the guy could have been born with a heart defect for all we know, and yet the first thing these douchehounds pull out of their hats is the “OMG! HE’S DEAD BECAUSE HE WAS A FATTY!!111!! ELEVENTY-ONE!!11!”

    The public-at-large has been well and truly brainwashed.

  3. wriggles Says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m beginning to think this is a masochistic thing with some people, I mean the Story of O type thing, I’m bad, I’m dirty, I must be punished, I must hurt myself. Can they form a club or something?
    I just don’t want to hear about it anymore thanks.

    I don’t object if it’s consensual, but it has to be consensual damn it.

  4. Paul Says:

    Awesome post, meowser.

  5. BigLiberty Says:

    Meowser –

    It’s not just Democrats or other groups left-of-center that completely misunderstand the “fats as a civil rights” issue. Libertarians (who I consider neither Right nor Left, but perhaps Up or Down?), the core values of which are to maintain basic civil rights for individuals, also possess this cognitive dissonance While some of us think that fat is another obvious trait of the individual over which governmental authorities should have no say, others, who seem to me fundamentally misunderstand the tenets of libertarianism, claim that people being fat shows a lack of “personal responsibility.”

    It’s nonsense, of course, both given the science and given the fact that me being fat is none of anyone else’s business, *not even my doctors unless I choose to discuss it with him/her*.

    The only place external to (not influenced by or necessarily allies with) the FA movement I’ve seen which gives any lip service to fat rights is the Ayn Rand Institute. Here’s their article on the (failed!) proposed Mississippi restaurant legislation: http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16819

  6. BigLiberty Says:

    Okay, sorry for the double-comment, but *right after I typed my last one* (which was a little typo-filled, sorry, I’m still sorta asleep!) Good Morning America joined in the drumbeat of “metabolic syndrome.” “You see,” began their Doctor Expert, M.D., “Once your waistline is over about 35 inches or so, your belly fat will press down on your kidneys, causing a raise in blood pressure, your liver will be poisoned [WTF?], and you’ll get diabetes [WTF?WTF? Midsection fat *causes* diabetes, now?].”

    Now, this Medical Expert Super In-the-know Doctor, M.D., was NOT talking about risk factors or any of those other inflated statistical correlations they love to throw around on these shows. No, he wasn’t saying that midsection fat was correlated with a host of OMG!Deathly! problems, he was saying that, in fact, *midsection fat causes heart disease and diabetes.* Holy. Shit. This is the kind of crap that people see and take to heart. It’s out-and-out misinformation.

    I think it’s pretty clear these days that journalisitic integrity stops where talk of the Obesity Epi-Panic begins.

  7. Robotitron Says:

    This is a wonderful post, Meowser. I just had a feeling that the drumbeat of fat hate would start up before Tim Russert was even cold. Sucks to know I was right.

    For a long time, I was super angry about the fact that people who would never dream of swallowing any other type of news story without some serious critical thinking have blinders on when it comes to fat, but now I’m just wondering why. Is it that people inherently trust doctors and scientists more? I’m thinking of people who will argue for hours over prison statistics but won’t blink at health studies. Is it because they don’t often come from the government and are supposedly more trustworthy?

    Just thinking out loud, here.

  8. Bilt4Cmfrt Says:

    Nicely spun post, Meowser. I drifted around DKos for a bit last year but found myself being drawn into a tighter orbit around Shakespeare’s Sister. Now I think I know why. As for Progressives/Libertarians/Anarchists/Whoever, Just Not Getting Fat Acceptance; Well, this is one of those things that sometimes makes me want to just find an nice island somewhere, burn my boat, and throw my teaspoon into the ocean.

  9. Bountiful Luv Muffin Says:

    You may find it ironic that this link to the obesity crisis was found on Townhall’s webpage:

    http://www.consumerfreedom.com/issuepage.cfm/topic/37

  10. Becky Says:

    I know how you feel Meowser. I recently left a message board community I’d been a part of for 7 years for similar reasons to the ones you outlined in this post. I was already frustrated because I’d become more aware of sexism and racism and the community… hadn’t. (I can’t even count how many times I was told: “That’s not sexist/racist, you’re just being too sensitive). But it was when I discovered fat acceptance and realised how toxic the fatphobia was that I had to go.

    And BL, fatphobia exists all across the political spectrum. It just hurts more when it’s coming from your side, you know? It feels like liberals should get it, because they support civil rights movements in other areas, so it’s frustrating when they don’t. I’m sure it’s equally frustrating for you when libertarians don’t get it because they should understand that your body is none of their business. (I’ve argued fat acceptance with libertarians, it’s always: “Well, yes, you’re right that you have the right to be fat if you want, but, but, but, personal responsibility!!!”)

  11. little red curvette Says:

    I’ve recently (yesterday) stumbled into the fatosphere via shapelyprose and am deeply gratified to be here – it’s so powerful to have the continual rant in my head displayed on my screen, only slightly more coherent and less expletive-ridden (though not much, thank god!). It’s such a relief to discover all this has been going on all this time. It’s intense how crazy you can feel without connecting to like-minded people around this stuff – a very twilight-zone-y effect (am I *really* the only person who’s seeing this? if everyone else is sane, am I insane?) – I get this with feminism in general, but body stuff is definitely a huge slice of the skewed-perception pie (no pun intended).

    Given my newbie status, question: you mention debates around what to call this movement – “whether fat acceptance should be called fat acceptance, or size acceptance, or body liberation…” and I was just thinking the same thing – noticing I have a visceral resistance to the term “fat acceptance”. I’m wondering whether that’s just internalized fatophobia that I should look at, or actually a valid concern – it feels to me much bigger than “fat” – again, no pun! ha! – but actually, that’s appropriate – it’s bigger than our bodies, it’s about how big we (esp. women) allow ourselves to be. And also, it’s about BODY-, not just fat- acceptance: I’m not fat but spent so many years despising my lovely body and eating pathologically, as do so many woman of all sizes, even some who match society’s insane beauty standards. My most conventionally lovely and slender friend is the one who drives me most up the wall with her self-hatred and constant dieting and immutable “I’m fat” mindset.

    It’s about daring to self-love in this pervasively and perversely self-hating culture.

    Rant. bottom line: could you please direct me to some links where the name issue is discussed? Many thanks for this, and for all you are doing! May we all be free from bondage of all kinds.

  12. BigLiberty Says:

    Becky, that’s really it! It does hurt more when fatphobia “comes from your side.” It’s like a double-whammy: the ignorant bigotry first, and the misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the political values second. For instance, personal responsibility is all well and good, but fatness doesn’t have anything to do with personal responsibility, so those particular libertarians you’ve spoken with are in fact misrepresenting and misunderstanding libertarianism. Just like the Progressives to which Meowser refers in this post are misrepresenting their own ideals by allowing fatphobia in their community.

    True libertarians would never think twice about controlling someone else’s body, or condemning them for looking a certain way — it’s SO polar-opposite from our core beliefs. Which makes it even more frustrating when I hear so-called fellow libertarians spouting this bigoted, ignorant nonsense.

  13. Atomic Punk Says:

    To anyone who might choose to comment on this post, please read the article she refers to first. No one is castigating anyone; the Doctor is merely stating his professional opinion about how this can be prevented. Frankly, the fact that you can find these words to be accusatory is beyond me. He is making a very important point that should be heeded:

    “So my point is to take what the late, great Mr. Russert had told his doctor time and again, and to let it be a wakeup call to the rest of us: there simply is no tomorrow. ”

    Honestly, if you take this as accusatory, I think the accuser is residing somewhere inside of you.

  14. votermom Says:

    Big boss where I used to work was trim and fit and younger than Russert when he dropped dead of a heart attack wghile jogging on a beach.
    Death comes for all of us, sooner than we expect.

  15. erinelizabeth Says:

    Reading Shakespeare’s Sister and the like have really gotten me to notice my own fatphobia. I was walking home on Friday contemplating dying of a hear attack at 58, and I started thinking “Well, he was kind of a large guy–” when my better angels stopped by and reminded me that this line of thought was idiotic and judgmental.

  16. kate217 Says:

    Russert earned his death, you see — even though he exercised faithfully, his doctor told him he had to lose weight and he was NONCOMPLIANT! And because he didn’t devote his life’s work to making every part of his body as tight as the head on a djembe, that’s totally why he cacked! We don’t need no stinking autopsy to know that!

    Tell that to Jim Fixx, who died of a heart attack at 52 in spite of being the poster boy for living a “healthy lifestyle.”

  17. larkohio Says:

    I really liked Tim Russet. He was intelligent, calm, caring, and fair. I never really thought about his weight, because it was not my business.

  18. littlem Says:

    Not to excuse the rhetoric, but I read through the thread and a lot of it is very self-congratulatory on all the “hard work” it takes to “battle” the condition.

    I think a lot of it has to do with that Puritan mindset I rant about that got brought over on the boat (if it doesn’t hurt, if something is fun or satsfies your senses other than the visual ones, it’s not worth it), coupled with a way for folks who preach egalitarianism to satisfy that apparently human “need” to feel superior to others – exacerbated by a dollop of myopia in that there are a lot of overweight, midwestern/southern, fundamentalist conservatives where the “progressives” can use the shorthand of “overweight” for “nonthinking fundie Republican” and therefore feel that much more “superior”.

    BTW, here’s the email address of the guy that started the thread if you want to rant at him directly:

    Email: MisterOpus1@yahoo.com

  19. meowser Says:

    Tell that to Jim Fixx, who died of a heart attack at 52 in spite of being the poster boy for living a “healthy lifestyle.”

    Oh yeah, no kidding. Ex-NBA star Pete Maravich was another one; he had a heart attack after a pickup game on a basketball court (1988, age 40). So was Darryl Kile, the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who died in his sleep of a heart attack in his hotel room (2003, age 33). ALL of those deaths are bizarre flukes, yes. And so was Russert’s.

    People don’t get this. They say things like, “His father is still alive in his 80s, so he didn’t inherit heart disease.” Yeah, well, my mom doesn’t have PCOS, so I must have given it to myself by sticking my head in a 30-gallon jar of hot fudge, right? :eyeroll:

  20. Level Best Says:

    You are so right about the intricate link between feminism and FA. They are in a dead heat for last place in any male-run “progressive” movement or blog, and once again we need to realize that we sisters need to be doin’ ’em for ourselves.

  21. Anna Says:

    Fat has to be a choice, because they’ve (probably temporarily) managed to shrink their fat cells down, and it has to be all their hard work and good character that got them there, and if they stay there (which of course they will!) it can’t possibly be any form of fairydust that made it happen.

    I wonder, sincerely – do folks who say this sort of stuff think their opinions and thoughts and character were worthless when they were fat but now they are worth listening to?

  22. meowser Says:

    Atomic Punk, the diarist was a physical therapist, not a doctor. And yeah, I do think the “no tomorrows” thing is accusatory; it’s another way of saying, “If you’re a fatass and you develop heart disease, it’s all your fault for not slimming down.”

  23. Steph Mineart Says:

    “Shit, the guy could have been born with a heart defect for all we know, and yet the first thing these douchehounds pull out of their hats is the “OMG! HE’S DEAD BECAUSE HE WAS A FATTY!!111!! ELEVENTY-ONE!!11!”

    Yeah, what he said. I was born with a heart defect and had open-heart to repair in in 2005. I have to emphasize EVERY SINGLE TIME that I didn’t having surgery for heart disease when I tell people about the surgery, because they assume that there’s only one reason why people have open heart surgery. Asses.

  24. Bridey Says:

    I’m not a Kos person because my politics are nearly purely right-wing– I don’t imagine Meowser and I agree on anything much — but this is a great post.

    My own, right-hand side o’ the blogosphere tends to yap about fat (when it notices it at all, which is not really very often) from an “individual accountability” perspective — as though fatness were, in itself, evidence of lazy slobhood. This despite the fact that millions and millions of fat people live under fierce and voluntary (and futile) food restrictions every single day.

    So it’s interesting to read that the leftish persuasion, with all that “question authority” and “think for yourself” bravado, has apparently swallowed the same government-issued party line on fatness, and the same “Stop being a pig and you’ll be skinny” attitude.

    (I might point out, as a side matter, that I don’t seem to see the same level of glee over the death of people perceived as “the opposition” over here among the wingnuts. Though, given the way things are going, just give us time.)

  25. fatfu Says:

    The same thing happened when Ariel Sharon had his stroke. Half the news stories stated or implied that it was the inevitable result of his weight. Never mind that he was nearly 80 years old and had somehow managed to be a prime minister for years despite being OMG “morbidly obese.” Never mind that the catastrophic stroke was probably iatrogenic – caused by the blood thinners.

    The moralizing “you did it to yourself” garbage is stupid and cruel. But also from just a reality check perspective, this kind of thinking is just confirmation bias in people who assume that weight is deadly. Everyone dies. When thin people die it’s “old age” if they’re old, or a tragedy or a mystery to be explained if they’re young. Unless they’re blatantly, publicly anorexic, the weight goes unmentioned, unnoticed. When fat people die, the weight is invariably pointed to as a cause – no matter what the hell else was going on. Which is why everyone knows that Heath Ledger died from an overdose, but lots of people think that Chris Farley died because he was fat.

    And yeah, on top of the athletes already mentioned, Reggie Lewis is another sudden death that sprang to mind. And while I was googling to remember his name this report on sudden death in young athletes popped up:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17971296

    BTW I’m not saying we should dismiss linkages between weight and health (either among the thin or the fat). If there are associations then we should know them – and figure out what the best approaches are – but not this “if you’re fat, you must become thin or you will die and it will be your own fault, and if you’re thin you’re fine” bullshit that keeps getting pushed.

  26. ejhill1925 Says:

    This seems be something that is quite normal among those on the left these days. They simply cannot disagree with you but they must denigrate and, if altogether possible, destroy you.
    Mention Michael Moore to a conservative and we’re more likely than not describe him as a lying Marxist. Mention Rush Limbaugh to a liberal and invariably the first word out their mouth is “fat.” Al Franken put it in the title of a book and it got him the Democratic nomination for Senator in Minnesota.
    I guess its a debate on what’s worse… Liberals claim we conservatives are always trying to control their bodies… abortion, gay rights, etc. Yet, liberals are all for controlling my body – telling me what I can eat, telling me if I can smoke, telling me what I can drive… I guess each side has its meddling control freaks.

  27. Top Posts « WordPress.com Says:

    […] Tim Russert, And Why I’m Done With Daily Kos Forever [image] posted by meowser Like a lot of Humorless Feminists, I used to be a Daily Crack — er, Kos — addict, […] […]

  28. narnia4ever Says:

    What is “metabolic syndrome”?

  29. Lilia Says:

    I’m a bit surprised that you don’t know why the FA movement isn’t taken seriously, even by the left. It shows an amazing lack of self-awareness on your part.

    Many on the left, myself included, fully support the goals of the movement that say that no one should be discriminated against because of their weight, and that fat people deserve all the same rights and deserve to be treated with the same respect as thinner people.

    The problem I and most others outside the movement have, however, is the complete denial of legitimate health concerns associated with excess weight. You say you have facts? I say you engage in a mind-blowing amount of cherry-picking that completely ignores anything that disagrees with your worldview. I say you (and to be clear, by “you” I mean the movement in general, not you specifically) cry “conspiracy” anytime research is published that contradicts your worldview, and as a general rule, people who are conspiracy theorists of any sort are usually dismissed out of hand as kooks.

    I just find the entire movement incredibly dishonest. The constant refrain is “fat people don’t eat any more than thin people,” and yet, I also regularly see the assertion that self-reporting of eating habits is notoriously inaccurate. So if the latter is true, why are we supposed to believe you when you say you don’t too much? I also regularly see the assertion that everyone has as set point – for some it’s fat, for some it’s thin. But I also regularly see the assertion that all thin people only stay that way through unnatural means (eating disorder, smoking, drugs, whatever). So which is it? Both can’t be true.

    I personally don’t care if people are fat – if you’re happy being fat, that’s great. My problem is the denial of the health concerns – if you just said, yes, I know it’s unhealthy, I just don’t care, then I’d have much more respect for you, because at least then I’d feel like you’re being honest.

    As it is, the movement has about as much credibility with me as the intelligent design movement. Because of that fact, I can’t support the movement as a whole even though I support the social goals I mentioned above.

    (I should also mention, you – again, this is the collective you – tend to alienate people who would otherwise be your allies by rejecting people who make personal choices you don’t agree with, such as dieting or otherwise attempting to lose weight. By casting such people, as well as anyone like me who disagrees with you, as your enemies, you really are just hurting yourself in the long run.)

  30. Jill Says:

    Actually, Russert did most of what the medical profession would say he “should” — he exercised, he was being monitored, he took Lipitor. And died anyway.

    I was watching an ad for Lipitor recently and I saw in small type, “Has not been proven to prevent heart disease.” WTF? Then why the hell do they prescribe it? I am 53 and i refuse to take statins, for all that every freaking doctor in America seems to think everyone over 40 needs them. We’ll see if it comes back to bite me.

  31. TA Says:

    I came from Shakesville and…right on. Great post.

  32. meowser Says:

    Little Red Curvette: For discussion on nomenclature of SA/FA, start here and here. And then feel free to wander around. 😛

    Narnia4ever: Metabolic syndrome, aka syndrome X, is said to be a cluster of several different “risk factors” for cardiac disease and diabetes all occurring simultaneously and linked to insulin resistance: Hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar), and large amounts of abdominal fat.

    The thing is, it’s relatively rare for a person (especially a younger person) to have all four. (Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia are, of course, all very common in the elderly.) My gynecologist has me taking metformin and birth control pills because untreated PCOS (which is also linked to insulin resistance) could ostensibly lead to it, but she didn’t suggest I diet, although she was pleased that I was exercising.

  33. igorcant Says:

    My apologies to all of you whom I am about to offend…

    Internally, I have a hard time with fat people. I can’t help the reaction…I’ve been socialized to react that way. It’s basically the same reaction I get whenever I see someone who differs drastically from my pattern. Whether it be skin color, sexual preferences, educational differences, whatever, if you’re different from my pattern, I’m conditioned to have a negative reaction to you. It will take much effort on your part to overcome this “natural” reaction of mine.

    Again, I apologize. I’m on the mend.

  34. Marste Says:

    Igorcant:
    So, what you are saying – “I can’t help the reaction…I’ve been socialized to react that way.” – is that you are allowing the choices you make, i.e. your own thoughts and feelings – to be dictated by others? I guess we all do that to a certain extent (that’s the nature of cultures), but you are openly admitting that you do so *consciously?*

    Interesting. May I tell you (and as snarky as this sounds, it isn’t meant to be) that learning to think for yourself, although harder than many people make it out to be, is TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, 100% worth it? Seriously. Give it a try (or keep “mending” if you weren’t just being a jerk with that statement). It’s amazing.

  35. meowser Says:

    Lilia, I have never pretended to be in perfect health. I talked about having PCOS on this very thread, didn’t I? If you go around the blogosphere, you will see us talking about health issues ranging from type 2 diabetes to PCOS to fibromyalgia to mobility issues. Nobody is hiding any of that.

    Some of us also have issues or have had them in the past with binge and compulsive eating, even bulimia, and this gets aired out also. Again, nobody is pretending to be perfect around here.

    What we are saying is that thin imperfect people, thin people who have vices, don’t get treated like human toilet paper, while fat people are expected to be perfectly free of vice, always eat and drink as little as possible even if it means they are constantly weak and hungry and hypoglycemic, and never have other priorities besides getting as much exercise as possible, in order not to have a shot at not being despised. This is dead wrong. This is finger-wagging moralizing on the order of, “Well, if you didn’t want to be pregnant or get HIV or chlamydia, or you didn’t have a kabillion dollars saved up in the bank to pay for all your children’s potential health problems no matter how severe, you should never have had sex.”

    But even if you could isolate fat in and of itself as an independent risk factor for any illness — adjusting for socioeconomic status, the constant stress of pariah-hood, the refusal of insurance companies to cover us and the refusal of doctors to treat many of us for anything except our fat (thereby letting symptoms of treatable illnesses fester until they become a giant clusterfuck), the effects of multiple attempts at yo-yo dieting since childhood, and of course good old genetics — nobody has found a way to successfully and safely turn all fat people permanently into thin people, and it sure hasn’t been for want of effort. If you could find one, you’d soon have the money to buy up Halliburton and launch Dick Cheney permanently into space. (Hey, just for that it might be worth it.)

    It can’t possibly be a matter of people just not trying hard enough that over 90% gain back every pound they lose within five years. And it’s ridiculous to assume that we’re fat because people aren’t mean enough to us to make us want to slim down. As I’ve said before, if constant taunting, shunning, and even the threat of violence were enough to slim down the entire population, there shouldn’t be a fat middle school student anywhere.

    We vary a great deal in terms of our intake, just as thinner people do (thinner people also are not the greatest at self-reporting the exact amounts they eat and drink either, go fig). But even for those fat people who do binge and compulsively overeat, I do not understand the level of anger and resentment directed at them; if you met a thin bulimic or anorexic, would your response to them be, “How DARE you”? Or could you manage to scrape up some compassion for them? Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of real help out there available; the most common solution offered such people is OA, whose members’ overwhelming emphasis on weight loss often make BED/CED problems much worse.

    I can tell you from my own experience that I do not have any health problems — physical or psychiatric — that I did not have when I was much younger and thinner (before my psych-med related weight gain), and I am no spring chicken now. If anything my weight is a result of my health conditions, not the other way around. My doctors will corroborate that.

  36. nakederic Says:

    The death of Tim Russert is a shame. His MIND and HEART are what we should revere, not his tire belly. It’s like criticizing Babe Ruth for bringing about his own death in the same manner. What these men contributed to our culture and lives is considerable. Intangible gifts of kindness and wisdom are always in perfect shape. A sure “10” if I’ve ever seen one.

    R.I.P. Mr. Russert. Thank you for your pursuit of the truth.

  37. Sarah Says:

    “I say you engage in a mind-blowing amount of cherry-picking that completely ignores anything that disagrees with your worldview.”

    Hmm… Kinda like, uh, liberals?

  38. Sarah Says:

    ^

    I guess I should mention that conservatives do the same thing. It’s a political thing, nobody seems to be immune to their parties. But, I find it amusing when liberals blow over the fat acceptance movement while completely ignoring anything that contradicts their opinions on social issues, like abortion and homosexuality.

    (Not stating my personal opinion here, just observing.)

    Plus, I fail to see how liberals engaging in fat hatred on their blogs and websites is in any way sticking up for established scientific studies.

  39. AnnieMcPhee Says:

    “Tell that to Jim Fixx, who died of a heart attack at 52 in spite of being the poster boy for living a “healthy lifestyle.”

    Oh yeah, no kidding. Ex-NBA star Pete Maravich was another one; he had a heart attack after a pickup game on a basketball court (1988, age 40). So was Darryl Kile, the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who died in his sleep of a heart attack in his hotel room (2003, age 33). ALL of those deaths are bizarre flukes, yes. And so was Russert’s.”

    Don’t forget Sergei Grinkov. (Ekaterina Gordeeva’s husband and partner) who was in his what, early twenties and in the peak of Olympic health? With a young daughter to boot 😦 So so sad.

    And I’ll never forget Jim Fixx.

    BL, I was going to start answering what you’re saying, but methinks it’s going to need a whole post.

  40. lobotero Says:

    Good post–I was a Kossack for awhile and found them to be an elitist bunch turds….after awhile if you did not have something good to say about Obama then your pee pee was whacked…for the most part they are insulant dickheads. Peace…out!

  41. Michelle Therese Says:

    I’m so incredibly sick and tired of every time a fat person dies their death is automatically blamed on THEM and their FATNESS.

  42. someguy Says:

    The funny thing is that in the long run, fat or thin, everyone dies of something. And it aint’t that predictable.

    And could we not use the derogatory “goomba”? How about something non-ethnic like “asshat”.

  43. igorcant Says:

    Marste,
    You’re right. While I can’t control my internal reactions to situations, I certainly can control my external reactions and responses.

    For my entire adult life I’ve worked to overcome my external responses to the way I was socialized to all of the isms. But this is a new area for me. I must admit, I had the same initial reaction to Tim Russert’s death: I blamed it on his weight. And because I am a big T.R. fan, I was a little pissed at him for being overweight and in effect killing himself.

    This is a great discussion. I will have to rethink things.

    I am truly on the mend.

  44. Abbasmurf Says:

    How can you be “pissed” at someone for being overweight? And how did he “kill himself?” If you’re gonna argue that, then that means that pretty much all of us are killing ourselves by virtue of being alive!! Is it fair for me to be pissed at someone for eating a tomato that contained salmonella? “Well, they shouldn’t be eating tomatoes, because produce has the potential for contamination…” Of course not. Think about your own behavior and what you eat. /rant.

  45. neofreud Says:

    Very good post, I enjoyed reading every bit of it.

    I think that it is disgusting that they would have the audacity to say such things about a man that they do not know personally, and they have no idea of his health history.

    People like that have some serious self esteem problems.

  46. annabellep Says:

    Another compliment for an outstanding post. From one kos-hater to another, of course. The man is positively a Republican plant. I’m beginning to suspect his poster boi, Obama, is too. But I too could not resist the temptation to go watch Kossacks continue their March of Hypocrisy after Russert died. They’re such reactionary goons over there.

  47. PiedType Says:

    Not till I landed here did I think about Russert’s weight. Not once. And I’d watched him for years.

    Other than that, I’ll just say “MY body, MY choice.”

  48. Nancy Lebovitz Says:

    When I first got involved in fat acceptance, I became a lot more impressed at the civil rights movement. I’d heard about the political achievements, but I hadn’t thought about the mental and emotional work required to get even a fair-to-middling consensus that black people should be treated decently. At the time, I didn’t know how partial the success was, but getting as far as we have has taken a lot of work.

    Also, when I first heard about fat acceptance, I felt a reluctance to believe in it. It turned out that the reluctance was that I didn’t want to believe I was surrounded by people who were that crazy. Then it occurred to me that those eight years of Hebrew school weren’t a total waste. The history of anti-semitism is enough to convince me that people can easily be that crazy.

    Ignorcant, you say “It will take much effort on your part to overcome this “natural” reaction of mine.”.

    You’ll be doing most of the work. People might help you out when they feel like it.

    NLP (neurolinguistic programming) might be useful. It’s a way of noticing what you actually do when you react to something (talk to yourself, generate a feeling, visualize something or whatever) and then make thoughtful changes in the reaction. The Heart of the Mind by Steve and Connierae Andreas would probably give you an idea of whether this is an approach you want to take.

  49. Paul Says:

    It’s ironic because this is exactly the type of hateful language coming from the blogosphere that Russert warned us about on the morning of his death. It’s actually pretty weird, a very interesting coincidence. I wrote about it on my own blog, check it out (second entry down on the homepage).

    No doubt that Tim was not a fan of the Kos, and something tells me his opinion was a little more valued among media PROFESSIONALS than that of those pea-brained garbage-spewing pissants from the Kos.

    Never talk ill of the dead, especially someone you don’t know. I hope the bad karma swings the other way.

  50. meowser Says:

    Someguy: When I lived in New York, the word “goomba” was commonly used to describe someone of any ethnic group who had a caveman mentality. It’s also a Super Mario character.

    However, it’s been a long time since I’ve lived in New York, and on further research I’ve discovered that the true meaning as understood by Italian-Americans is something else entirely, something that pertains specifically to a certain kind of Italian-American male. Therefore, I have replaced “goombas” with “yutzes” — a word I don’t think I’ve gotten a chance to use since I was 13, and which I’m pretty sure covers fools of all ethnicities.

  51. Liza Says:

    ejhill1925, have you ever mentioned Michael Moore in mixed political company?

    I’m a fan of his work and I used to live in a red state. When Fahrenheit 911 came out I drove an hour to Atlanta to see it and afterward I raved about its supreme awesomeness to anyone who held still long enough.

    Conservatives made PLENTY of fat-related comments at Moore’s expense. Which was not only disgusting but incredibly insensitive when coming from people who were allegedly my friends and knew that I was a) fat and sensitive about it and b) a Moore fan and passionate liberal. But they didn’t take my feelings into consideration, they just hated and fat “joked.”

    And how about the anti-Moore book that had a title along the lines of “Michael Moore is a Fat Stupid White Man” (an attempt to be funny and mock his book “Stupid White Men”)? Interesting how you’re all set to whip out Al Franken’s book as a symbol of liberals trying to “control” your body (*laugh*snort*) but you skip right past that one.

    Conservatives DO try and control bodies. Taking away reproductive rights is a big one, and that’s not just about abortion but includes birth control, access to health exams, childcare, etc. You can’t deny it because it’s true. It was a Republican senator that introduced that horrifying Mississippi legislation, too, so I don’t know how any liberals are trying to be more “controlling” here.

    Fat hate/”jokes” come from both ends of the spectrum, and I am not defending ANYONE who fat hates, no matter what they believe otherwise. It certainly isn’t any more right for a liberal to hate than a conservative. However, I felt the need to point out your oversights with the book titles and the fact that it was a conservative who actually tried to LEGALLY control fat.

  52. ejhill1925 Says:

    Liza – Al Franken’s book “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot” came out in 1996. The Anti-Moore book you cite is from June 2004. So the “Fat Hate” scale, I guess you could say that Franken was cutting edge. My point here was (and remains) that one side of the political aisle hardly has a monopoly.

    They don’t have a monopoly on stupid either as the Mississippi Bill you mentioned was cosponsored by a Democrat as well as a couple of Republicans.

    And yes, I have a problem with reproductive rights for minors. I have never understood liberal logic that says my local school system needs my permission to put my daughter on a school bus for a field trip to a museum (if I don’t sign the paper she gets all-day study hall) but they can secretly have an invasive medical procedure performed on her without my knowledge.

    I could give you the names and cities of a half dozen young, underaged women who died of abortion complications. Their counselors told them it was “dangerous” to report their pregnancies to their parents, so they didn’t share the symptoms of their complications, either. If you want to call me “controlling” for wanting to stop that, I plead guilty.

  53. Meowser Says:

    Ejhill, maybe you wouldn’t beat your daughter to within an inch of her life (or even shoot her to death) for being pregnant, but way too many parents would. That’s why a lot of us oppose “parental consent” laws; if you’re the kind of parent your daughter can come to when she’s pregnant, she will come to you, but not every parent is like that, not by a long shot. And judicial workarounds simply don’t work; rarely is permission granted by the mostly conservative judges on the bench in a timely fashion.

    Furthermore, it could actually have been that those counselors were right that it would have been dangerous to report the pregnancies to their parents, depending on who the parents were; the problem there was a lack of followup care, and possibly a botched, questionably legal procedure carried out far away from home in the first place. When performed under the conditions it’s supposed to be performed under, and with the right followup care, legal abortion has a much lower fatality rate than carrying a pregnancy to term.

  54. Jackie Says:

    Meowser, yeah I heard that Goomba is Italian for friend. So as a huge Super Mario fan that confused me. I think the idea is the Goombas in Super Mario, are friends of Bowser.

  55. ejhill1925 Says:

    Meowser – You say judicial workarounds don’t work. So in the liberal world that complains about habeas corpus at Gitmo, you advocate more due process and rights for non-US enemy combatants than you do for your average American parent? Abuse of a minor is criminal conduct. If a teacher or counselor has suspicions that a parent is being abusive then there needs to be judicial intervention to protect everybody’s rights. But in your logic, the parent is presumed GUILTY. Nobody should have their rights removed from them without due process, especially parents.

    When liberals tout gun control and gutting the Second Amendment the argument is always, “If it saves ONE life…”
    Well , RU-486 has caused at least 8 deaths and almost 10% of women suffer excessive bleeding and infections. In a 2007 study in the U.K. one in 30 fetuses were born alive, some struggling for as long as six hours. You would treat a puppy better than that. This is not the clean procedure you believe it to be.

  56. Cherielabombe Says:

    Wow, and here I was walking home thinking how cool it was that finally, we’d found an area where libs and conservatives could come together in agreement. Ah well.

    To start with: I am a die-hard, ACLU supporting lefty liberal. In fact, at 35, I find I’m actually becoming MORE liberal as I get older! Isn’t it supposed to be the reverse?

    At any rate I was walking home from work today thinking about some thought-provoking comments some of the “righties” on this thread had made about the idea that liberals who say “question authority” don’t question authority when it comes to how our bodies are supposed to look or what we’re supposed to eat. I think there is some truth to that, and I am not exactly sure why that is. It’s an interesting point to ponder.

    That said, at the risk of derailing the whole thread, ejhill1925, while I respect your views on abortion I really don’t see how wanting to reinstate habeus corpus for people accused of a crime is an exact parallel for a parent knowing whether or not their teenager has had an abortion.

    Habeas Corpus in regards to the prisoners at Guantanamo allows those folks to find out what they have been charged with and if the accused think that they’ve been charged illegally, they can appeal the charge. If the court rules in their favor, they will go free. It doesn’t mean the accused WILL go free. To put it in perspective, if we ever actually caught Bin Laden, he could file a writ of habeas corpus. Do you really think any court would say “Oh yeah, sorry Bin Laden, you’re free to go”?

    But ANYWAY derailing this thread so I’ll TRY to leave it! I just don’t see the connection is all.

  57. littlem Says:

    ejhill1925, despite the fact that you’re so far off topic that you might as well be on another planet, I’m going to jump in here just to point out that “due process” applies to the course of criminal and civil trials.

    An abortion discussion between parent and child is neither.

    So your rant about due process “rights” for parents isn’t really relevant to the situation to which you’re attempting to apply it. At. All.

  58. littlem Says:

    “But in your logic …”

    *shudder*

    You know what? I suspect your grasp of language subtleties might be analogous to your reasoning skills. And my mama taught me never to argue with a fool ’cause people might not know the difference.

    So let’s just pretend I didn’t say anything. Mmmkay?

  59. Sarah Says:

    I was with you until the heroin reference. As a fat person who has recently dealt with heroin addiction, I’m growing more and more aware of how often drug use is thrown in either for an easy laugh on liberal and/or progressive blogs or, you know, to imply that fat people can’t even get the respect those horrible, icky DRUG USERS get. I’d personally like to be treated with human decency and respect even though I’m fat, even though I’m disabled, even though my disability and depression led me down a path of drug use, all while being recognized as a full and complete human being and not a walking punchline. Mix drugs with disabling illness and throw in some fat and you’re just screwed though, because I’ve yet to find a single place where I’m respected on all of those levels and don’t have to cringe while reading a blog I expect to be able to turn to for something resembling a respectful view. All of which is just to say, I enjoyed and agreed with this post until I was reminded that my struggle with addiction makes fat people who haven’t struggled with the horrors and pains of addiction better than me.

  60. Meowser Says:

    Sarah, I’m really sorry if what I said increased your suffering. But please, rest assured it was no joke. It’s absolutely TRUE that people don’t use the hours immediately following the death of a drug addict to get on their high horse about how THEY would never succumb to such an addiction. They at least wait for a couple of weeks to start the sanctimonious moralizing.

  61. littlem Says:

    “It’s absolutely TRUE that people don’t use the hours immediately following the death of a drug addict to get on their high horse about how THEY would never succumb to such an addiction. They at least wait for a couple of weeks to start the sanctimonious moralizing.”

    *snort*

    You haven’t been to enough New York funerals lately.

    I think there’s a lot of moralizing going on in BUshAmerikka on a lot of fronts. It tends to lead to a lot of Oppression Olympic Trials.

    Hopefully, it will all end soon.

  62. Meowser Says:

    You haven’t been to enough New York funerals lately.

    Yeah, I was just thinking I needed to get to more of those.

    New Yorkers really WILL blurt out anything, anytime, it’s true. Guess I forgot about all that after nearly two decades of being out west.

  63. AnnieMcPhee Says:

    As to parents, the supreme court has held and upheld that the right to direct the upbringing and education of children is a *fundamental* right, based on the legal presumption that most parents at most times act in the best interests of their children. There has to be a very compelling legal reason (and there are strict definitions for what constitutes a ‘compelling reason’) to disregard that. Such as evidence of abuse. I’m just saying. It would be an uphill battle to convince the Supreme Court that beating within an inch of their lives or death by shooting is anything resembling a common parental reaction to news of pregnancy by a teenager – common enough to disregard the fundamental rights and to reverse the legal assumption that most parents act in the best interests of their children most of the time. I would stake my life on it being mighty uncommon. (Not that it never happens, or that kids aren’t *afraid* of what will happen, but on the actuality of it? Yeah I’ll stake everything on that being pretty rare.)

  64. AnnieMcPhee Says:

    That smiley is a mistake – it was supposed to be closing the parentheses. Sorry.

  65. EJHill Says:

    littlem Says of EJHill, “So your rant about due process ‘rights’ for parents isn’t really relevant to the situation to which you’re attempting to apply it. At. All.” and then goes on to say, “You know what? I suspect your grasp of language subtleties might be analogous to your reasoning skills. And my mama taught me never to argue with a fool ’cause people might not know the difference.”

    On your second thought, LittleM, thank you for making my original point that some liberals can’t make an argument without insult. In that regard you succeeded in bringing the thread full circle. It is sad indeed that people of different political persuasions can’t talk without somebody yelling you’re stupid (or fat – or ugly – or take the insult of your choice._

    As for the suspension of parental rights not being subject to due process perhaps you should do a little research first. Start with Roth v. Weston, 259 Conn. 202, 231, 789 A.2d 431 (2002). “We recognize that due process requires the clear and convincing test be applied to the termination of parental rights because it is the complete severance by court order of the legal relationship, with all its rights and responsibilities . . . .”

    Then move on to Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166, 64 S. Ct. 438, 88 L. Ed. 645 (1944). “It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.”

    And a note to Cherielabombe – My point was that the ACLU worked real hard to provide Constitutional rights to suspected foreign terrorists while working equally hard to take away my rights to supervise and approve of any medical procedure performed on my children. That doesn’t strike you as being even marginally ironic, that a “rights” organization works FOR enemy combatants and AGAINST American citizens?

  66. Arguments and Insults « Says:

    […] spot I dropped in on the other day, fat fu, had a post whose title caught my eye: Tim Russert and Why I’m Done With Daily Kos Forever. The poster was remarking how cruel Kos posters had been on the day the Meet the Press moderator […]

  67. Meowser Says:

    Aaaand here’s where I’m going to have to be an evil fatass and pull this back to topic. I know I was responsible for some of the topic drift, so I’m telling myself this as much as I’m telling any of you. Topic means: Tim Russert, Daily Kos, media and public treatment and reaction to famous people based on their weight and health status. Arguments with Ejhill should be taken to Ejhill’s place. Thanks.

  68. spacedcowgirl Says:

    Meowser, this is such a great post. Thank you for cutting through the crap and calling out this kind of shameful behavior. And it happens, as you say, every time a fat person dies and people have occasion to comment on it.

    You already addressed Lilia’s first point in the paragraph I’m about to quote, and I hope this is not OT, but I just had to respond to this:

    But I also regularly see the assertion that all thin people only stay that way through unnatural means (eating disorder, smoking, drugs, whatever). So which is it? Both can’t be true.

    I have to say that in the parts of the fatosphere where I hang out, I have never seen this assertion anywhere, much less “regularly.” There is widespread acceptance that thin people by and large have thin setpoints, just as fat people by and large have fat setpoints. I call bullshit.

    And this:

    I should also mention, you – again, this is the collective you – tend to alienate people who would otherwise be your allies by rejecting people who make personal choices you don’t agree with, such as dieting or otherwise attempting to lose weight. By casting such people, as well as anyone like me who disagrees with you, as your enemies, you really are just hurting yourself in the long run.

    to me is similar to some man going on a feminist blog and saying “If all you ladies would just be NICER then you wouldn’t alienate so many people.” We are opposed to dieting on a philosophical level because it doesn’t work, causes more harm than good, probably makes you fatter than you would have been otherwise, and is antithetical to fat acceptance. In other words, no, we don’t believe your diet will work to keep you thinner, healthier, or a better person in the long run, and no, we are not willing to blow unwarranted sunshine up your butt on the matter. On an individual level, most FA people seem to take the stance of “diet if you want to, but we don’t want to hear about it.” Which I don’t see as all that unreasonable. If FA is a political movement then why are personal dieting choices relevant anyway? To me it’s all off-topic and irritating.

    Honestly, I think most sites could even tolerate someone mentioning they were dieting if it weren’t accompanied by “I did it by a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGE and it wasn’t even that hard/was super super hard but is totally worth it and you can too and everyone is happier thin or else they are just deluding themselves” etc. But apparently this cannot be done (except by Debra Sapp-Yarwood), so.

  69. meowser Says:

    SCG, have I told you in the last five minutes that you rule?

    Yeah, considering that I have a gorgeous skinny man in my life who doesn’t smoke, do drugs, or have an eating disorder (and that I could say the same of my own mother, since she quit smoking a decade ago and went from a size 2 to a size 4), I certainly wouldn’t be the one claiming that disordered behaviors and addictions are the only routes to thinness.

    I have, however, made the statement that people (especially female people, though not exclusively) who have to remain super-slim for the cameras do often have to go to extreme measures to attain that level of slimness since it doesn’t come naturally to most of them. However, the majority of these people, if they didn’t go to such measures, would probably still be thinner than the average person in real life, just not “camera thin.”

    And yeah, I’m definitely in the “this is a size-acceptance blog, I don’t hold it against you if you haven’t given up dieting yet, but I rilly rilly don’t want to read about your diet here” camp. DebraSY was and continues to be very good about following this rule on BFB without complaint; there’s no reason on earth you have to talk about your diet every. frigging. place. you. go.

    You are right, though, that some measure of humility about it, some measure of understanding that you had a Roman tubful of help from forces beyond your personal control if you managed to lose weight and keep it off, some acknowledgment that fat is not a choice for most people, and a good dollop of recognition that weight-loss culture and relentless social pressure to be thin are profoundly unhealthy for everyone and that yes, you caved in because it’s really fucking hard not to and you’re not made of iron, would lessen my annoyance about dieters infinitesimally. Take a look at Paul Campos’s final chapter in The Obesity Myth to see a good (and sadly rare) example of this.

  70. spacedcowgirl Says:

    Aww, thanks, Meowser. You rule the most, though.

    I have, however, made the statement that people (especially female people, though not exclusively) who have to remain super-slim for the cameras do often have to go to extreme measures to attain that level of slimness since it doesn’t come naturally to most of them. However, the majority of these people, if they didn’t go to such measures, would probably still be thinner than the average person in real life, just not “camera thin.”

    Yeah, I thought of this caveat after I commented. I agree that most celebrities likely do go to extremes to remain super-thin, and I doubt there are too many people around who would argue with that. Every time I turn around there’s some story of so-and-so eating baby food or getting colonics once a week or what have you, and the much-quoted James Marsters interview where he admits to being hungry all the time and that it’s just part of the job. And then there’s the fact that every celebrity who starts out anywhere near average-sized starts mysteriously shrinking as soon as s/he appears in a major movie or television series.

    Still, I don’t think the twisted pressures to be thin in Hollywood and the lengths that people go to in succumbing to those pressures (and of course many people not in Hollywood succumb also) justify this:

    But I also regularly see the assertion that all thin people only stay that way through unnatural means (eating disorder, smoking, drugs, whatever).

    Certainly there is no belief anywhere I’ve been that “all thin people” keep their weights down via unnatural means, and I think to say so confers a whole lot of unflattering and untrue implications on FA–in one sentence we’re accused of being delusional and foolish (because who could possibly believe that ridiculous thing that Lilia says we believe), thin-hating, jealous (because we supposedly can’t cope with the existence of thin people without believing that they only stay that way by unnatural means), and logically inconsistent (by comparison with the setpoint concept). Certainly I believe that some thin people resort to these means to keep their weight down; but casting that belief in such absolute terms and in these particular words struck me as dishonestly slanderous of FA.

    I also think your point that people who slim themselves unnaturally would have to have at least a somewhat thin setpoint is very important. You can mess with things by sheer force of will to a certain extent, but if you’re made to be fat then you’re not going to get truly thin no matter what you do.

  71. anzilove Says:

    Excellent post! Thanks!

  72. Liza Says:

    Sorry, Meowser, I didn’t realize an example mentioned in passing was going to turn into a laughable pantheon of tired conservative rhetoric.

    My intent wasn’t to inspire a (near) derailment of the thread, clearly, though I’d hope that’s obvious since 99% of what I said was completely overlooked in favor of the aforementioned laughable rhetoric.

  73. Liza Says:

    (strike out that “clearly,” I left it by accident when rewording that sentence and it doesn’t feel right)

  74. Meowser Says:

    Liza, you weren’t derailing as far as I’m concerned, don’t sweat it.

  75. Liza Says:

    I know, but the derailment began in a response to my post.

    🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: