Thinsplaining- Part Two

I was really thinking about letting this go, I swear.  But since Fucking Gawker decided to double down on the hideous Washington Fucking Post article where a bigot who also happens to be a doctor spends an entire article discussing his disgust at a fat patient. (Check out this Shakesville article for a breakdown.)

This asshole at Gawker decides to explain to fatties that they're delusional, that doctors only really really care about their health when they don't listen to their fat patients, and that fat people are a bunch of lazy whiners who could all lose weight if they just tried hard enough.

He's hit a thinsplaning home run here.

Let's review what thinsplaining is.  We'll go point by point.

It is thinsplaining when a thin person tells a fat person that their experiences didn't happen or that their interpretation of the experience is wrong. 

When you tell me that the doctor didn't fat shame me, or that woman on the street probably wasn't laughing at me, or that thin people have a hard time finding clothes too.

Thin people do not get to tell fat people what is and isn't fat shaming.

If you aren't fat, then fat shaming is not a part of your life.  Most decent people can recognize that being called a fat bitch is a part of fat stigma, but the same people will think it's perfectly ok for a doctor to refuse to listen to or treat their fat patients for anything.  

There are a lot of doctors out there who suck at their fucking jobs, and all they diagnose a fat person with is being fat.  No fucking shit, asshole.  I have had better luck diagnosing myself with Google that I'm gotten out of most doctors. Doctors refuse to help fat people ON THE REGULAR, and we fucking know it.  We have LIVED it.

But, please, thin person, do tell me that I'm being "too sensitive". If I say someone is laughing at me because I'm fat, it's because I've had a fucking entire lifetime to know what that looks like.  

Your thin person experiences are NOT THE SAME as mine.  Do not come to me with some derailing bullshit about how you have it hard too.

Not being able to find clothes as a thin person is not the same as not having anything available to you as a fat person.  And before the sneering assholes get their mockery ready-- these fat bitches are just concerned about clothes-- try living in the world WITHOUT CLOTHES.  

Try starting your first office job with a business dress code, and not being able to find anything to wear.  It took me years to build a wardrobe I could wear in an office job, and I have been given warnings at work for "looking sloppy" in the limited clothes I could find.  Or for being "inappropriate" when wearing the exactly same clothes as a thin person. 

Let's say Josh and I were to fly somewhere and our luggage gets lost.  We could buy him enough clothes to get through a week with very little trouble.  It would be annoying and who wants to spend the extra money, but it would be doable.

But I would be fucked.   Completely and utterly fucked.  There is one physical store where I can buy clothes, Lane Bryant, and their selection is bullshit AND 4 times as expensive as other stores. 

I would be devastated, because a week's worth of my clothes represents months of scouring the internet for options.  Because I have put so much time and care (and money) into finally being able to control my outward presentation and the loss of those clothes would be a huge blow.  

For years, I have never been able to participate in fashion, never been able to control how I look, never had an option.  And I am one of the lucky ones.  People who are sized out of online fashion, people who don't have a lot of disposable income, people who aren't interested in dressing femme but still want clothes- those people still don't have options. 

You don't get to dismiss that as not important.  If you are a thin person, you have a range of options I could only dream of.

It is thinsplaning when you tell me that the doctor only cares about my health when they ignore my actual health to just tell me to lose weight.  If you are thin, you have no idea how doctors treat fat people.  Let's say this again and be clear--

There is no proven link between someone's weight and their overall health.

None.  In fact, there is something called the Obesity Paradox, where studies have shown that being fat can actually improve health outcomes sometimes.  Why is this a "paradox"?  Why, because everyone knows that being fat is bad for you.  They know it so hard that they ignore evidence to the contrary and label it a "paradox".

Here's what we do know.  Dieters fail to maintain weight loss over the long term about 95% of the time.  Losing and gaining weight over and over is called weight cycling and that is actually proven to be bad for your health.

". . . overweight people who are metabolically healthy could increase their risks of the very diseases they tried to avoid in the first place if they lose weight and gain it back again.”

We don't know how to make fat people thin permanently.  It doesn't matter that "everybody knows" that you should just diet and exercise.  Everybody used to know the world was flat too.  Common wisdom doesn't mean shit to me, especially when weighed against my entire life's experience, which proves it wrong. 

Medical professionals ignore their fat patients and refuse to help them ALL THE TIME.  It is super fucking common.  Maybe the bad health outcomes of fat people have more to do with the fact that they can't get any medical help and less to do with their fatness?  JESUS WHAT A CONCEPT.

This is why I hate and fear going to the doctor.  It's bad enough to be abused and shamed in every day life, but in a doctor's office it is almost intolerable.  I already feel vulnerable, just by having to be there in the first place.  And to have a doctor refuse to help you?  Or make fun of you?  It leaves a mark.  

So don't thinsplain to me what the doctors actually mean.  You aren't there.  You haven't had those experiences.  How would you know?  

No one owes you or anyone "health".  All people deserve basic human rights and dignity, no matter what. 

And to the next person who comes at me with some bullshit about me costing you tax dollars-- I'm laughing in your face, you stupid asshole.  

I believe in single payer, but until we get that in the USA-- my health care is a part of MY WAGES which I earn through MY LABOR.  Go fuck yourself.


It is thinsplaining when a thin person explains to a fat person how to lose weight.

If you just did X, Y, and Z- you could lose weight.  It's easy!  

If you weren't such a pig who eats (insert troll amount) of food/calories a day, you wouldn't be fat.

You can't be eating just (whatever amount of food I actually eat), cause you wouldn't be fat if that's all you ate.

Have you tried just walking around the block?

Calories in, calories out!  It's physics! 

How stupid you must think fat people are.  I wonder if that's what people think when they see me.  Do they think I'm so stupid that I've never even heard of dieting?  That I don't know what exercising even is?  

I am a woman in America.  Please let me assure you that I know what a fucking diet is.  I spent the entirety of my childhood on a diet, as I've written about before.  And what did I get for it?  Just an eating disorder.  That's all.

And even when I was fully in the throes of my restricting and purging, and taking diet pills every day-- I still wasn't thin.  I think the diet pills and other eating disordered behavior have a huge part in the mental breakdown I eventually suffered in college.  But it never made me thin.

Running every day for miles didn't make me thin.  Swimming every day didn't make me thin.  NOTHING EVER MADE ME THIN.  I haven't been thin since I was 5 years old.

Do the people who push these diets think that those of us who say no are getting away with something?  That everyone else has to suffer, but we've somehow gotten a free pass?

I wouldn't describe my history with diets and people who can't stop abusing me about my weight as a "free pass".

If you are a very thin person who has been accused of being anorexic or who was told to "eat a sandwich"-- I am sorry that happened to you.  It's not right for people to comment on your body.

BUT!  Other than your feelings being hurt (which is a real thing and I'm not discounting it)-- what else is the bad outcome for you?

Did it make people think you are a liar?  Did it make your job pay you less?  Did it make it less likely for a jury to believe you?  Did it make it impossible for you to get medical care?  

I'm sorry that someone was mean to you, truly.  It's not acceptable.  But it's not even close to being the same thing.

Here is the bottom line.  If you are thin (and for the sake of this discussion, I'm defining thin as someone who can shop in non plus-sizes)-- you don't have the same life experiences as I do.  You don't have the right to erase my life by derailing me or telling me that my life didn't happen.