Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Putting a face on obesity

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  How dare I look so happy, sitting in a bakery, eating a pastry? Don't I know I am a menace to society?

A while back I was browsing Facebook. One of my friends posted a status about someone she was agree with saying there opinion didn't matter because they were fat and ugly. I commented asking her not to use fat as an insult. After all, I am fat, and I'm pretty fucking awesome. She replied, “You're not fat.”I explained to her that yes, I am fat, obese in fact by medical standards.

Her reaction does not surprise me. Why would she think of me as fat? I am her friend, I have a face, a personalty, I have an identity.

Whenever there is a news story about fat people or this so called “obesity epidemic” it is always accompanied by a stream of headless fatties. The pictures they show are not of real people. At some point it was a real person, but they took that away. These fatties are not human. They are a cautionary tales. This is what will happen to use if you eat that pizza, you well become a headless monster. Our society has so little respect for people with fat bodies that they don't even grant us an identity. Of course my friend didn't think of me as fat.


As Headless Fatties, the body becomes symbolic: we are there but we have no voice, not even a mouth in a head, no brain, no thoughts or opinions. Instead we are reduced and dehumanised as symbols of cultural fear: the body, the belly, the arse, food. There's a symbolism, too, in the way that the people in these photographs have been beheaded. It's as though we have been punished for existing, our right to speak has been removed by a prurient gaze, our headless images accompany articles that assume a world without people like us would be a better world altogether.-from Headless Fatties


I am a fat ass with a head. a beautiful head I might add. Next time your sitting around bitching about fatties I want you to know who you are talking about. You are talking about me.

“Bu-bu-bu-but Zoe,” you might be saying, “We only the mean the really fat people.”

No, you are talking about me. And there is nothing wrong with my body.

Zoe Danger Awesome

links of interest
Why Pictures Matter, from Two Whole Cakes
Headless Fatties

1 comment:

  1. I'm kind of sick of this whole "let's judge people by what they look like, not what kind of person they are" thing.