There Is No Such Thing As Being A “Fat Enabler”

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Look, sometimes people who do not absolutely hate fat people get accused of being “fat enablers.” This is insane, and incorrect. There’s a post over on Huffpo right now, where the author Brittany Gibbons, designer of a plus sized clothing line, was accused of “enabling” fatness. She writes:

I was recently dining with friends when one of them told me that the work I was doing was just enabling people to be fat. I was a “fat enabler.”

You know, because if we give “them” clothes to wear and self-esteem, we’re basically just encouraging them…. like really fat, feral cats.

Clearly, this gem of a friend hasn’t been paying attention at all.

What strikes me as most bizarre about this is that this woman seemingly hated looking at fat people, but also wanted them to be running around naked. This seems extraordinary to me if you’re not fond of aesthetics.

Gibbons continues:

You see, the plus-size movement is often simplified down into two sects: The body lovers and the fat activists. For the record, both of them are dope as f*ck, but I reside somewhere in the middle of those two places. I’m going to like you regardless of your weight, unless you’re a dick, completely unrelated to your body size.

Just like any sane person would! Because it is okay to be different body sizes. If people accomplish great things, we pretty much never remember whether they they were overweight or skinny or somewhere in between. Quick. Tell me Marie Curie’s weight. Oh, you can’t, because that was not relevant to any of her accomplishments. Right. I mean, it is somewhat easier to remember the size of people who were famously dickish, but not really all that much (John Wilkes Booth was… skinny? I think?). The moral here is: do great stuff, and history will not remember what you look like. Unless, I suppose, you are a great beauty, and that tends to fade pretty quickly.


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    • Eileen

      Ew, a banana-only diet? I hate bananas. I’m substituting blueberries.

      I don’t see how plus-size clothing “enables” fatness. People are already fat. Wearing a plus-size dress doesn’t make people automatically gain weight. And I’ve coveted some gorgeous plus-size clothes in the past, but it hasn’t induced me to eat my way out of a size six. If there are “fat enablers,” they’re parents who teach their kids to lead unhealthy lifestyles, not people who make clothes.

      And yes, diet- and weight-related problems are worth talking about, because poor national health does affect everyone even if only by pushing up insurance premiums. But of all the industries to go after, the plus-size clothing industry really ought to be the least of the problem.

      • LindsayCross

        Raspberries… If you only get one berry, it HAS to be raspberries.

      • Eileen

        Good point. They ARE my favorite – and my parrot’s, too. I think I mentioned blueberries because I was eating blueberries while writing my comment. Comment amended.

    • Susan

      Thank you for this…really truly…thank you! As someone who lost over 100 lbs of extra body weight, I’m still trying to come up with the words to explain to people what it was like to be overweight.

      It’s almost as though when you are overweight you are a second class citizen. Somehow that extra weight makes you less deserving of respect, compassion, decency, and general kindness. You’re treated like an animal…a second class citizen…not worthy of the world you get to walk around in.

      Most personal problems/issues people have are not visibly apparent upon meeting them. Unfortunately, weight is my problem, and it is visible. I don’t think I deserve special treatment because of this, but I certainly don’t believe I deserve worse treatment. Everybody has problems…hopefully there will come a time when you don’t have to hope your problem is one nobody can see, lest you be judged for it.

    • Boosker

      I think you can be a fat enabler if you are Kevin Spacey in 7even…is is Se7ev? 7e7e7?

    • Benquo

      Ms Wright, you are 100% right, and thanks putting this out there so clearly.

    • kims

      I went to a seminar on weightloss surgery the other night, & I took my mom. she was the skinniest person there. as we were getting on the elevator to leave, she says to me, I hope we don’t exceed the weight limit, & laughs. I told her shes an insensitive b-.

    • commandergreen

      There sure is a thing as a fat enabler.