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  1. #1

    Default Why is obesity tolerated?

    This is a thing that is going through my mind for a quite time. Obesity is NOT a comsetic problem, or a beauty problem as a lot of people seem to see it this way. Obesity is a serious health problem and it's still tolerated like nothing happens. When you have an obese kid in the class your parents usually tell you not to make a fun of him, because you could hurt his feelings. But it's totally fine to tell a skinny person, he's skinny. Or it's fine to tell someone who is underweight "you look like anorexic" , but it's not okay to tell an obese kid he's obese...What's wrong?

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    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    it's not ok to tell someone they look anorexic. everyone I ever told that to got really offended.

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    It's not okay to seriously mock people for being underweight either. In those cases where you have observed this, I'm willing to bet both people were usually in on it. Some people are better at laughing at themselves than others. In the same way, some fat people don't mind making fun of themselves for that either. Just like most things, it depends on context.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polly View Post
    This is a thing that is going through my mind for a quite time. Obesity is NOT a comsetic problem, or a beauty problem as a lot of people seem to see it this way. Obesity is a serious health problem and it's still tolerated like nothing happens. When you have an obese kid in the class your parents usually tell you not to make a fun of him, because you could hurt his feelings. But it's totally fine to tell a skinny person, he's skinny. Or it's fine to tell someone who is underweight "you look like anorexic" , but it's not okay to tell an obese kid he's obese...What's wrong?
    Because it is a lot more complex than it looks. Often, obesity is caused by more than poor diet. And I'd hardly call it 'tolerated'. Obese people literally carry their problems on their body, for everyone to see. And other seem to think it is perfectly ok to use them as a scapegoat for just that reason. Moreso than say, smokers, heavy drinkers, or any of the other 'escape mechanisms' that are socially tolerated.
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    I suspect that the social view is that by calling someone fat you're actually saying "they lack the self-control and discipline necessary to control their appetite" but even then I think it's a mere remnant of the past where having excess food was more a symbol of greed - both financial greed and gluttony. If food production continues then within a century I reckon calling someone fat would cease to be treated as an insult.

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    A lot of good replies to this thread.

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    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    My take is focused on individual rights. As long as obesity isn't a transmittable disease, tolerance shouldn't be part of any equation since people don't have the right to control others because of aesthetic preferences. Analogous would be to insist that people have moles removed since...durr...melanoma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andante View Post
    My take is focused on individual rights. As long as obesity isn't a transmittable disease, tolerance shouldn't be part of any equation since people don't have the right to control others because of aesthetic preferences. Analogous would be to insist that people have moles removed since...durr...melanoma.
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    Some people do seem to have difficulty losing weight, despite their efforts.

    And for a lot of people, access to non-shitty food is difficult. It's not as though making fun of them will make them skinnier, either. Two things that are more likely to work are better food and exercise.
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    The way obese people are treated, especially obese women, is not what I would call tolerance. There is some backlash against the intolerance and there is backlash against the backlash, though.

    When I was very thin and people called me anorexic or whatever it didn't bother me any more than somebody calling me 'cracker' because I'm white. That's because of privilege in both cases, IMO. It bothers me a little when people say real men like curves and stuff like that, even though I'm average weight now. Was my husband a fake man when we met and didn't become a real man until I was in my thirties?
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