Stef (firecat) wrote,

Growing up fat

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

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