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Growing up fat

[personal profile] susanstinson wants this Fatshionista post to go viral:

http://www.fatshionista.com/cms/index.php?option=com_mojo&Itemid=69&p=362
A long-delayed missive on “childhood obesity”, from a onetime obese child.

I experienced many of the things she writes about her childhood.

Google tells me that 1 out of every 3 children in the US is considered "overweight" or "obese," and that at some point in the past few years there were 80 million children in the US. So that's 26 million children carrying around the label "overweight" or "obese."

It's reasonably harmless to have a campaign to encourage children to be active and eat vegetables.

It's wrong, wrong, wrong, 26 million times wrong to call this campaign a "battle against childhood obesity." Targeting "childhood obesity" as something to eradiate means targeting fat children as something to eradicate. Targeting fat children increases abuse of those children and increases hatred of those children and increases those children's self-hatred. Why would anyone think it's a good thing to make 26 million children self-conscious and unhappy about their bodies?

Furthermore, thin children also derive benefits from being active and eating vegetables. If you call your campaign a "battle against childhood obesity," you are sending the message that the 54 million US children who are thin don't need to be active or eat vegetables, because after all the campaign is about "obesity."

I was 15 when this picture was taken. I thought I was enormous and ugly.



This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/664891.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
mdlbear
Mar. 27th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I was another fat kid. Still am.
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
You are a cute fat kid. :)
mdlbear
Mar. 27th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
Glad you (and Colleen) think so!
tsamm
Mar. 27th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
Hugs for fifteen-year-old you. Adorable picture.
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
mdlbear
Mar. 27th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
Yes, indeed.
ljgeoff
Mar. 27th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
What a great picture. I like the cocky jut of your chin. Thanks for the link -- an excellent article.
flarenut
Mar. 28th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
Great picture indeed. Sorry that the inside was not exactly matching the outside.

And I think you're right. I'm hoping that this will eventually morph into a battle against kids being taught to shovel crap into their bodies, but if you think insurance companies and big pharma own everything, you ain't seen nuthin'...
opalmirror
Mar. 28th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
As another childhood victim of self-hatred from failing to meet teachings of the one true way, Amen Stef!

1) We need a another War On ___ like we need a hole in the head. I declare a recursive War On 'War On "War On ..."'

2) You look like an attractive, loveable kid.

3) People need to find acceptance in who they are and reach for health, which may be normatively different for them than for others. We need to discourage one-true-wayism particularly in organizations that teach children.

4) We need to encourage people at all ages towards ongoing self-education, critical thinking, scientific realism, and health

5) Child-care and education institutions should offer primarily healthy sustenance alternatives and not corporate crack "food"
firecat
Mar. 29th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
I declare a recursive War On 'War On "War On ..."'

...eventually leading to peace in the "wars on..."

[hugs]
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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