Fat Acceptance Feminist Art Criticism
Last time, I went over feminist art and response to the article, but now I wanted to discuss feminism's fat acceptance because it discourage people, especially women, to address the issue with excessive body fat. According to U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention have been collecting data on obesity in U.S., and 42.4% of US population is obese when adjusted for age. When it comes to severe obesity (defined as Class 3* with BMI of at least 40), the rate was 9.2% overall, but more women than men are in that category. Keep in mind BMI is not the sole indicator of health, but obesity (in regard to excess body fat) is dangerous for health. I had that issue during my couple years in college because I stress-eat, and there are so much junk food that are easily accessible. One of my worst food sins were weekly White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. I'm glad I stopped that, and I now drink Cuban latte as a treat from local coffee ship. I made changes to my habits, and I am now eating clean most of time on top of exercise.
Obesity comes with major health risks from diabetes to heart diseases. Other consequences were stroke, some forms of cancer, lower quality of life, poorer mental health, and more. Lastly, CDC also added that obesity raises the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Once the person who is obese contract the virus, the deck is stacked against them. According to John Hopkins University Hospital article, obesity regardless of age is a major risk factor for hospitalization for COVID-19, and even doctors noted that most of "younger" patients (below 50 years old) in ICU were obese. Now, CDC emphasize prevention and addressing bad habits for better health. While genetics and medications have some role, the biggest role is behavior. Maintaining a balanced diet with exercise would help keep it at bay.
Now on to the story. A few disclaimers here. Weight should not define a person at all, and individuals should be defined by character, not weight or body. I knew really friendly obese people and really mean people in healthy weight range. Also, some "skinny" people who eat poor diet and don't exercise could be loaded with visceral fat that wrap around organs, and those folks, also dubbed Thin Outside Fat Inside, also face higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke according to CDC. When I am talking about healthy people, I am talking about those who do not have a lot of visceral fat inside on top of being in healthy weight range (though some may be heavier because they are loaded with muscles).
I have seen several fat acceptance art encouraging people to stay obese. I found that bit appalling given that obesity is a major health issue in United States. They are not helping at all. I felt discouraged by this, especially those that discourage women from addressing the issue with their health. Some seem to blame society for "fatphobia" and "thin privilege" though most seats, beds, furniture, and cars are designed for people at ideal body weight or even slightly obese (Class 1). Both promoting starvation/ anorexia/ bulimia and obesity are just dangerous. Unfortunately, some of them accused women who addressed their health issue and obesity of giving in to society ideals or patriarchy. The irony is that some of them bully skinnier women (regardless the amount of visceral fat!) and even artists who draw athletic, fit female character. I have seen some truly nasty examples online myself. Thin- or fit-shaming is still bullying. Basically, someone is being bullied for hard work. Man, "body positive" people are hypocrites. What about people who lost limb to cancer, bomb, or something? Born with no arm? Nah, they're not welcome. Obese women only. (They didn't complain about attractive male characters so... hmm?)
So here's my Ted Talk. The art is still terrible anyway.
*Some examples of Class 3 are 5' 6" with 300 lbs and 5' 3" with 230 lbs