Nice Christian Lady Just Wants To Insult Some Fat People (For Their Own Good)
Content note: fat-shaming, eating disorders
There are perks to be a bully, no question. Traditionally, one reaps such rewards in middle school and high school, though if one sticks to certain areas afterwards — Greek life in college, PTAs, Real Housewives franchises, probably a lot of financial stuff, Republican politics, tradwife blogger — being the kind of person who just enjoys insulting people who have done nothing to you can be an asset.
The one thing it doesn't help you with, however, is getting to be "the good guy." And to some, that just doesn't feel fair.
Over the last few years, it has become less and less acceptable to make fun of people for being fat. Most of us — especially those who thought that making fun of people for being overweight was gross to begin with — see this as a good thing. Personally, it had never occurred to me that people who made fun of people for being fat did not think they were assholes. What could possibly be more apparent?
But there has been a backlash, with many of these obvious assholes insisting that the reason they are doing this is because they are caring people who so desperately want people to get "healthy" and are sure that the only way to encourage them to do so is to scream "Hey thunderthighs!" at them as they walk down the street. Surely, that will help them turn their life around. Who among us hasn't heard many great success stories of overweight people properly shamed into getting "healthy?"
One of those people who is very upset about this whole body positivity movement is our old friend Lori Alexander of The Transformed Wife blog.
Responding to a recent interview in which known asshole Jillian Michaels expressed her anger about people celebrating Lizzo's body and being glad to see someone who isn't a stick thin blonde poptart getting to be the It Girl of the moment, Alexander wrote that "fat shaming" is actually a good thing because God hates fatties.
God said this about a man: "And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man" (Judges 3:17).
She explains that the "shame" people are feeling when they are mocked for being fat is actually "conviction" — which resident Evangelicode decipherer Evan explained to me yesterday is a thing where you feel a certain way because god wants you to do a certain thing or behave a certain way. So like, if you feel bad after someone says something shitty to you, that's God telling you that you are sinful and that person is right.
The word "shaming" is a common word being used these day. Mommy shaming. Fat shaming. How can women feel shame if there's no reason to feel shame? Can shame be another word for conviction? Are women who are feeling "fat shamed" being convicted about being overweight and don't want to admit it so they use the word "shame" instead of "convict" because they don't want to be convicted of their sin?
I would just like to take a moment and thank my mom for raising me in an agnostic manner, because I swear to God would probably be dead now if this were something I grew up believing. I mean, I don't think Catholics have this particular thing, because I've definitely never heard of it before, but I'm sure there's something similar.
"When I step on a nail I feel pain. That pain is my body saying, 'Stop that.' When I sin I feel shame. That shame is my conscience saying, 'Stop that.' Shame, like pain, is an uncomfortable but necessary teacher. It exhorts us to turn from doing something destructive" (Michael Foster). "I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?" (1 Corinthians 6:5)
So yeah. She considers it a mitzvah of some kind to shame people into seeing that being fat is a literal sin so that they can get healthy and God will love them.
Just like how Judy Garland developed a lifelong healthy habit of taking so many diet pills every day that she couldn't get to sleep without sleeping pills at night, when Louis B. Mayer thought that she was too fat. Or when a teenage Tracey Gold weighed a shocking 133lbs, the writing staff at Growing Pains decided not only to mock her in private, but to write in as many "fat jokes" as they could get in an episode. So helpful! Sure, she ended up hospitalized and weight 80 lbs, but you can't put a price on "health" or on God's approval. Sure, both Karen Carpenter and gymnast Christy Heinrich are quite dead from trying to get "healthy" but they are probably up in heaven right now with God and Jesus and Saint Catherine of Siena admiring them for having killed themselves in their pursuit of "health."
If it is possible, it gets even worse in the comments.
If we see a fellow brother or sister in Christ living in sin we have the duty to call them out in love. Why not help them? Positive criticism is good!
Again! So glad I'm an atheist!
Ouch, what a conviction! I am considered overweight by most standards and I am doing exactly what you suggest. My breakfast consists of coffee, I normally skip lunch, and supper is the healthy, nourishing food I prepare for my family. As a mother, I am on my feet all day cleaning- there is my excercise! Lol
Thank you for speaking up on this topic.
That is not actually good, just FYI.
Several women in the comments were like "I'm doing literally all I can to lose weight but I have PCOS and that makes it hard!" and Lori is just like "Go to Weight Watchers!" because she apparently thinks that the only reason people are overweight is because they overeat.
But then, some other asshole in the comments decided up the ante and throw in that she thought PCOS was a thing that was made up so that women would feel better about gaining weight and also go on birth control so that their "reproductive systems" get ruined. Which, as you know, is not a thing.
In reading many comments, I must say I'm skeptical of PCOS. My sister was diagnosed after trying to conceive for 1 year, she now has several beautiful children (I don't believe she has PCOS after looking into it but it is a convenient excuse for many things). My sister-in-law is also diagnosed and attributes many physical ailments to this problem while many other habits may contribute to her concerns. While I don't deny that people experience symptoms that are concerning, I also wonder if PCOS is an excuse to get more women on birth control and further ruin their reproductive systems. Many people who don't accept birth control as a means to stop pregnancy are more likely to accept it if it is considered medically necessary. I was having some problems myself and when I mentioned my sister's diagnosis, I was told that I likely had PCOS as well. I refused hormonal treatment and low and behold I found out years later that my problems were a side effect of an asthma medication! But doctors tried and tried to push me toward hormonal birth control as it was "the only way" to manage my symptoms. I fear that too often, in today's world, there are wolves in sheep's clothing (you need birth control for medical reasons; abortion can solve problems) to open the door to more family destruction.
God these people are fucking terrible.
There are a lot of fat people who are healthy. There are a lot of skinny people who are unhealthy. Some people can eat the most perfect diet in the world and exercise every day and still be overweight. Some people can eat an entire bag of cookies on the regular and never gain a pound. You can be healthy at any size and being shitty to people is never helpful in any way whatsoever. I have to say, if I believed in hell, I'd believe with all my heart that this lady and all of her friends in the comments would be going there, on account of how they are mean-spirited, smug assholes and I would not allow mean-spirited smug assholes into my heaven. So there.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse