I see it all the time and it goes something like this:  “Fat people choose to eat poorly, they choose to put the food in their mouths.”  Or even sometimes it goes like this:  “You are making the choice when you fall off the wagon.  You are choosing to do the wrong thing.”

I always have a sort of double reaction to it though.  On one hand, yes I realize it’s a decision I’m making.  On the other hand, do you really think it’s just that simple?  If it were just that simple don’t you think I’d have stopped by now?

I replied to a comment yesterday and went off on how everyone seems to want to penalize fat people.  (I’m so beyond being PC so if me saying fat people offends you, stop reading.)  People want us to pay more for food, for healthcare and for a million other things I can’t be bothered to list.  This is in addition to the prices we already pay socially for being heavier than is deemed attractive by the majority of people.  We’re made fun of when we’re young, we’re told we’re unattractive when we’re older, we’re laughed at, we’re the butt of a million jokes and quite frankly, by the time we reach adulthood, those of us who have been fat since childhood are kind of immune to all the name calling and being ostracized.   It’s now when people call me fat that I wonder “do they really think that still has any impact?”

I go into all this because being fat is a very public problem.  It’s one of the problems nearly everyone feels entitled to comment on.  Being fat means everyone can be up in your business about it.  Why?  Beats me.  No other problem is seen to be quite so inviting to criticism.

For example?  I meet a bunch of people in my line of work; adults and teenagers both.  One of the things which has always annoyed me is when people cannot control their emotions.  They have outbursts, they go off on people for the smallest things, they are difficult and when questioned the response is “I just can’t help myself.”

And what do we do to these people?  Well we certainly don’t call them emotionally under developed though that is precisely what they are.  We don’t tell them to just “make the decision to shut their mouth.”  Being quick to anger, being a person who flies off the handle is a problem of control, just as over eating is a problem of control and yet no one is ridiculing these people and telling them they’re making a decision to be an asshole.  Why?  It’s just not socially acceptable to criticize people like that.

I’m sure there are other examples.  This just happened to be the one which struck me today as I worked out.  Yes, I have a control problem.  My problem deals with my control over food and the decisions about what I put into my body and how much.  Other people have control problems also.  In fact, I’d be willing to bed nearly everyone has a control problem of one nature or another.  The severity of the problem may vary but we all cope with the world in different ways and we all lose control of our world and ourselves from time to time.

Does this mean I should give up and give in to my lack of control?  Absolutely not.  My point is, just because fat people aren’t attractive to you is no reason to call them out on something, single them out for discrimination and public ridicule, and to make it seem as though it’s as simple as making a choice.  Doing so is only over simplifying the problem.

We don’t need ridicule, people.  Trust me, we get enough of it every day.  We even ridicule ourselves in our darkest moments when we find another pair of pants doesn’t fit or realize we cannot hide our guts anymore.  Ridicule just sends us over the edge and out of control again.

How about being positive?  How about a little support?

As for me… I’ve gained new insight into those people with no emotional control and I’m hoping this will lead to a new tolerance…. because right now, those people drive me fucking bonkers.