Bad Things


Body Love Wellness has a very revealing interview with a Biggest Loser finalist here (Part 2 here, and some additional thoughts on the interview here). I think it is awesome that Golda got the straight story on this.

Whether to diet is a very personal decision, but I think it is bad news bears to make it dramatic enough to be a reality show–the kind of slow, moderate weight loss that people seem to agree is “healthy” (not that I personally am even particularly convinced of that, of course) does not exactly make good TV. Even worse now that clueless workplaces have weight loss competitions loosely based on this concept (my complaint being that–even if you buy into weight loss as a positive–it should never be a straight “competition” based on the scale because, since different people lose at different rates, that all but guarantees people will do stuff that is risky or ill-advised. Adults can do what they like with their own bodies, but feeling coerced to participate in a weight loss competition is not cool).

Individual fat people may be unhealthy, and I’m sure some individuals have benefited from The Biggest Loser. Statistically it seems likely enough, I guess. But it is by no means a given that any particular fat person is so unhealthy that it justifies overexercising in 90-degree heat, purging, diuretics, and a caloric intake so low that it is likely to screw up your metabolism for life. These things are a bad idea on principle, and fat people are being used as guinea pigs in a way that is very irresponsible. I am far from the first to make this observation, but I suppose something actually beneficial, like a HAES show, would be far less popular because fatties would be empowered, not punished.

I understand what it is like to want this badly to be thin, but The Biggest Loser just preys on that desire and feeds into viewers’ beliefs about fat people (all for entertainment value–it’s not like this is an altruistic venture designed to benefit humanity) in a way that is very distasteful to me.

One of my Facebook friends posted this article containing “19 New Reasons to Keep Fat Off.” I swear it is like an FA manifesto. 90% of these “new” reasons (not so new to those of us who are fat and deal with this crap on a regular basis) are about how fat people get inadequate medical care due to ignorance or bias on the part of physicians, or how assholes in society treat fat people badly in general. It seems to me like any logical person would see this list as a wake-up call to start examining some of our more poisonous and destructive attitudes toward fat people. Also, if I had done some of the studies they cite that look into these biases and negligence, I would not be well pleased that they were included in a pro-weight-loss article. Miss the point much?

Also, do you love as much as I do the total scientific and statistical FAIL in the #1 reason on the list, which refers to a published study to support its claim that EVERY SINGLE ADULT in the U.S. will be overweight or obese in 40 years? There will be NOT ONE exception. LOL.

“Enjoy.”

A friend of mine recently contacted the anti-abortion organization LifeNews.com in protest of a recent call to action they sent out to their members, targeting author Judy Blume. Read what my friend had to say–and decide for yourself who was “harassing” and “threatening” whom in this scenario.

I don’t usually write notes, but I’m so upset that I am asking you all to read through this if you have the patience, and then please email LifeNews.com, send a donation to Planned Parenthood, re-post this on your page, or do anything else you can to combat this kind of hateful bullying.

So in case you haven’t heard, an anti-choice, radical conservative group called LifeNews.com sparked an outrage when they chastised author Judy Blume for “supporting the abortion business” and listed Blume’s contact information, urging readers to send her their complaints because Blume sent out a Mother’s Day fundraising letter for Planned Parenthood. Blume’s letter was in support of motherhood, you can read it here for yourself – http://www.ppaction.org/ppvotes/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=17513064

I was personally horrified by this sort of behavior and so wrote LifeNews.com this email –

“I want you to know that there is a very large contingent of people (pro-choice or not) who think your outcry against author Judy Blume is outrageous and disgusting. I am personally horrified that you would
set up such a hateful smear campaign against another human being, especially one who has contributed so generously to society, and speaks so lovingly about her own children in the letter supporting Planned Parenthood you find so awful. The fact that you encourage your followers to personally attack another human being makes you as monstrous as you believe those who fight for choice to be.

Neither Blume, nor actor Cynthia Nixon, mentions more women going to Planned Parenthood for abortions in their letters as you claim. In fact, they tout the non-profit organization’s support of motherhood. Just because they also support the right to choose is no reason to twist their words.

I have many words for you, but will refrain from most of them except to say that your organization is despicable and grotesque for your misrepresentation of facts, personal emotions and your dedicated abuse of women’s rights.”

This is the email I received in response from the editor and CEO of LifeNews.com –

“Your harassing and threatening email has been reported to gmail. Do not email again or I will take legal action.”

I do not feel that my email was at all harassing and threatening – it only expressed my disdain for their disgusting tactics. Afterall, this is an organization that encouraged its followers to harass and threaten another person and provided contact information in order to do so – and they call me threatening?

If you are as outraged as I am about these kinds of fearmongering bullies, pllease take a moment to react in some way.

Thank you.