We’re worried about penguins’ weight now? Seriously?

My friends are great at finding adorable things, and not too long ago, a few of them shared a link to this ridiculously adorable video of a penguin chasing her zookeeper:

Unfortunately, the post also includes this bit:

We almost feel bad for her, but her “happy feet” and the way she cuddles up to the zookeeper at the end make it clear that their bond is super strong. Also, with penguin obesity rates on the rise, it’s important for the flightless bird to get in some gym time.

Yes, it linked to an entire article about a zoo’s attempt to prevent OMG-besity! in their penguins.

Penguins.

Seriously.

Every time I think the moral panic about “obesity” has reached the most epic, ridiculous lows, it goes lower.

More great posts on #IAmNotADisease

1.) That Cortnie Girl: Another angle of my body love on this quiet Wednesday morning.

My body is not diseased, my body is glorious and it can do amazing things like smile, eat veggies, walk downtown, lay on the floor with friends, walk around at the park, wear bright lipstick, get sunburns even after applying sunscreen, orgasm, eat ice cream, cuddle with kitties, work out, take baths, and wear tight clothes.

It can do all of these things without your permission and diagnosis. So stop trying.

2.) Living 400 Lbs: Why I think declaring obesity a disease is harmful. This is a meticulously sourced list of reasons, and it’s wonderful.

3.) Shakesville: The AMA declares obesity a disease.

I am not a problem to be solved. My body is not a disease to be cured. I cannot overcome my very physiology and make my body do something that it is simply unable to do. The only “cure” for my “disease” is to be a person I am not and cannot be.

I have an idea…

What if we, as a society, took some of the money that we’re spending on fighting the existence of fat people and instead invested it into clean energy?

As Kath points out, the amount of money spent on weight loss is ridiculous, and could go to so many better uses:

The weight loss industry alone was worth almost $800 million just here in Australia.  Can you imagine what could be done for $800 million per year in this country?  We could all have completely free health care for every Australian, more than we would ever need.  People with disabilities could have all of the equipment that they would ever need, and any support and care they would ever need.  No human being in Australia would go without food, water or housing.  Education would be free for our whole lives, from kindergarten through any university studies that we would care to take on.   Medical research into every known actual disease, from the common cold to cancer could be funded fully.

Here in the US, the weight cycling industry is worth $66 billion. 66 fucking billion.

Can you even imagine if we invested some of that in clean, renewable sources of energy so that thousands of people wouldn’t die prematurely from coal pollution every year, let alone from the effects of climate change?

It makes me incredibly angry that people are dying from both  fatphobia and environmental destruction.

I wish so badly that we could kill those two birds with one stone instead of continuing to pour money into a industry that hurts, maims, and kills.

I wish so badly that we lived in a different world.

I am a human being with a body, NOT a disease.

Ugh, ugh, ugh. If you haven’t heard already, the American Medical Association has “recognized” “obesity” as a disease.

I don’t even know how to express how angry this makes me.

But I’m glad to see the fat community responding fiercely and forcefully. I’m glad we are not silent. I’m glad we are resisting together. I’m so grateful I have this community.

A few must-see responses:

1.) Marilyn Wann’s petition to the AMA to stop defining “obesity” as a disease. Sign it and pass it along!

2.) Fat Heffalump: I am NOT a disease.

But being at one end of the statistics doesn’t reflect who I am.  It doesn’t reflect how I feel.  It doesn’t reflect what my body can do.  It doesn’t reflect my value as a human being.  The AMA doesn’t know what it feels like to exist in my fat body.  They don’t know what it’s like in my body to wake up after a deep sleep, stretch and feel that stretch go down to my toes and up to my outstretched fingertips.  They don’t know what it feels like in my body to go swimming, feeling the cool water soft and cocooning around my body, and the wonderful sleepy feeling I get afterwards. 

3.) The #IAmNotADisease hashtag on Twitter. There’s so much good stuff going on there. Here’s a sampling, including a few of my own tweets:

Even elephants aren’t immune from OMG-besity panic

This baby elephant gives zero fucks what anyone thinks about its size. (source)

I wish this were a joke, but sadly, hand-wringing about elephants’ weight is a real thing:

According to Morfield, who works as an animal endocrinologist at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Research Center, many captive elephants in the U.S. aren’t just naturally big, they’re in fact suffering from obesity. And like the threats associated with being dangerously overweight in humans, zoo elephants too suffer from cardiac disease, arthritis, and infertility because of it.

Or, you know, like in humans, correlation =/ causation. And healthy behaviors =/ weight loss.

If it weren’t so depressing, it would be kind of hilarious how this researcher measures elephants’ size:

As you might imagine, determining the body fat of an elephant is no easy task. But Morfield says she’s found a way that doesn’t require an extra-long waist tape measure. As it turns out, fatter elephants wear excess weight mostly in their hindquarters. So, after scouring over hundreds of photos of elephant butts, both in the wild and in captivity, Morfield created a scale (from 1 to 5) to describe the normalcy of their body mass.

Yes. There are people who get paid to look at pictures of elephant butts all day.

So when can I start getting paid to look at pictures of adorable baby animals?