Look. I don’t want people to die. I don’t want the next generation of kids to have lower life-expectancies than their parents. I want people to be healthy! But first of all, though weight loss can certainly improve some people’s health, “fat” does not universally equal “unhealthy.” Health itself is a much more effective and specific goal. And campaigns like this—which target fat people instead of the system that makes them fat—do nothing but hurt that supposed cause. An anti-fat-people campaign is still an ANTI-PEOPLE CAMPAIGN. And I’m pretty sure that treating people (fat people are people!) like animals, cartoonish ice cream addicts, and disease vectors is decidedly bad for people’s health. The times in my life when I’ve been healthiest align directly with the times I’ve been happiest. This is not a loose correlation.
Here’s a thought, America: If you really want people to be healthier (I’m not entirely convinced that you do, but that’s another article altogether), why don’t we treat the concept of getting healthy the way that getting healthy actually works? There is nothing that anyone is going to do or say that’s going to make fat people skinny tomorrow. Sorry. There is no magic commercial that’s going to shame people into becoming thin overnight—just like there’s no housewife who discovered one weird trick to burning off belly fat. It’s just not going to happen. The real problem is much bigger, much harder to solve, and much less fun for people who get off on hating fat people.
The truth is that we live in a country where the system of food production is colossally fucked. There is a systematic campaign to trick people into eating garbage because garbage is cheap to produce. There are whole communities who either can’t afford or physically can’t access fresh, healthy ingredients. The “obesity epidemic” is not a “fat kids love Cheetos epidemic.” No fat people are up in arms when you criticize Kellogg’s for claiming that Frosted Flakes are “part of a nutritious breakfast.” No fat people get defensive when you make fun of that LUDICROUS Nutella commercial where the mom says she feeds her kids candy-spread for breakfast because it’s “wholesome nuts with a hint of cocoa” or whatever. Because those things? They are what’s known as ACTUAL PROBLEMS.
And you know what? Even if we managed to fix our insane food production and distribution system, there will still be fat people and that will be just fine. There have always been fat people. There are fat people like me, who hardly ever eat any processed foods. There are fat people with glandular issues. There are disabled fat people who would love to exercise but can’t. There are healthy fat people. And sure, there are fat people who—fuck it—just really really like Cheetos. Guess what? Those people are allowed to exist too! There are a million different kinds of fat people in the world because FAT PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. And kids are people. And if your solution to this “problem” is telling already vulnerable fat kids that they’re an epidemic that’s ruining the world, then fuck you. Try harder.