Where does fatness come from? Who cares?

Another day, another article purporting to explain why fat people exist.

Funny how no one ever asks what causes thinness, or tallness, or brown-haired-ness. It’s almost like those traits are rightfully accepted as part of the natural diversity of bodies or something.

I’m sick of so many people, both liberal and conservative, treating the existence of people like me as a mystery to be solved. Conservatives blame the individual, liberals blame societal factors or try to find scientific explanations, but no one stops to think that maybe fatness is not actually a problem that needs solving.

No one stops to think, even though fat activists have been doing their work for decades. Even though the facts are out there for anyone who actually cares to look.

I’m sick of fatness being a marked trait. In her book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, Julia Serano describes marked identities as those that are considered artificial, unnatural, subject to questioning, while unmarked ones are seen as natural and unquestionable. For example, people often ask transgender people why they’re trans, but no one thinks to ask a cisgender person why they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth; and people often talk about femininity as unnatural and performative, even though it feels natural and right for many people, like Serano (and myself).

Where do fat bodies come from? I don’t know, but we sure can dance.


6 thoughts on “Where does fatness come from? Who cares?

  1. “Funny how no one ever asks what causes thinness, or tallness, or brown-haired-ness. It’s almost like those traits are rightfully accepted as part of the natural diversity of bodies or something.”

    YES. (and lol). This also can be applied to so many other parts of my identity, like being disabled and Pagan and queer. So many people for instance (even queer activists) say “discriminating against gay/bi people is ok because they chose it”, or (on the activist end) “discriminating against gay/bi people is not ok because they didn’t choose it”. I don’t think my bisexuality is intentional or within my control, but I know people for whom sexual orientation *is* purposeful…for instance political feminist lesbians, or people who have been abused by a particular gender and chooses not to expose themselves to triggers, or some drag queens who discovered the possibility of homosexuality by being involved in performance and the scene. Why should it matter anyway? There is nothing wrong with being LGBTQ, period. IDGAF what your history with your identity is or why you have the identities you do (beyond getting-to-know-my-friends curiosity).

  2. Reblogged this on Radically Mad and commented:
    Fat acceptance (among other things) activist Laura writes about how it shouldn’t matter why someone is fat, they should be treated with respect regardless. This is definitely how I feel about madness/neurodivergence/disability, which is why I’m not a huge fan of psychoanalysis, the whole point of which is basically to figure out what happened in your early past to cause your difficulties but not necessarily to learn skills in dealing with them.

  3. Pingback: Sunday links, 11/23/14 | Tutus And Tiny Hats

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