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Conspiracies Against Fat People

Debbie says:

At first glance, the two items sent to me today for Body Impolitic don’t seem to have much in common:

First, Jessica Simpson (who, as near as I can tell, is a small-time talent who is now famous for being famous) has pulled out of an agreement to release a workout DVD. She’s been in litigation with Speedfit, the workout company, for some time, and the refusal to release the tape seems to be about the history between her and Speedfit.

Why is this Body Impolitic material? Because of the owner of Speedfit is saying that Jessica (and her manager father) … “are hurting millions of fat people in America.”

Now, jump the pond to England, where the National Health Service is limiting weight-loss surgery (WLS) to people whose BMI is over 40. “In the past five years, there has been a 650% rise in referrals for obesity surgery in some areas,'” the article in British magazine Pulse says.

Obesity surgeons are shocked and dismayed. Although the NHS has not given reasons, many assume that the cost of the surgeries is the issue: “”It’s a completely false economy. To limit on the grounds of cost is disgraceful,” said the clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, a special interest anti-obesity group whose website claims to agree with the “BMI over 40″ guideline for WLS. “People will be dropping down dead because of it.” He fails to mention that 1.5% of WLS patients die, and somewhere between 30 and 50% have major side effects. (One source for that information is here, buried about halfway down a very positive article about the surgery.

So, you see the connection. Us poor fat people aren’t being given the celebrity exercise tapes we need, and we aren’t getting the surgeries we need. And who says so? People who make money, not off our being fat, but off the social hatred of fat.

The world is full of real barriers to good lives for fat people, but what do we hear and read about? Crap like this, where false interest in our health is used as a club to beat us with.

(Coming soon: a guest blog on a small, but real, barrier.) Thanks to Patti for the Jessica Simpson link and Kerry for the BBC article.

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5 Responses to “Conspiracies Against Fat People”

  1. littlem says:

    I can’t even comment on any of this like a reasonable person, because none of it makes anything like logical sense to me.

    If you all will excuse me, I’m going to go read some more about how since I’m recovered as opposed to being an actively practicing anorexic, my body type only holds status for teh menz who would ask me out in the middle of the country and down South, and not in LA or NYC, where I live and work.

    *head explodes*

  2. AnnieMcPhee says:

    I’m sorry, aren’t there like 250 bazillion workout tapes that you can pick up for pennies? Did walking/jogging/bicycling suddenly become illegal? Am I to understand that if ONLY Jessica Simpson’s tape were released *millions* of fat Americans would magically become thin?

    What universe is this again?

    As to WLS, I have an idea. Let’s ban this deadly plastic surgery permanently. For everyone.

  3. Jen Smith says:

    I had to post about this – check out this quote from darwindating.com (I cant check the site from work tho its blocked) – Kinda mindblowing

    “Sick of dating websites filled with ugly, unattractive, desperate fatsos? We are. Attractive people are at a disadvantage on normal internet dating sites. They have to wade through a plethora of ugly people and ugly people pretending to be attractive in order to find someone who matches their own attractiveness. Our strict rules and natural selection process makes Darwin Dating the perfect medium for attractive people to find other people of their own kind.

    Darwin Dating is a site for 18-35’s only. The male sex drive peaks at 18 and the female sex drive peeks [sic] at 30 making 18-35 the perfect breeding age bracket.”

    Jen

  4. someone says:

    …1.5% of WLS patients die

    False. 100% of WLS patients die.

  5. shiva says:

    Everyone dies, but the question is when and how. I think what was meant was that 1.5% die as a direct result of the surgery. Unless the surgery really is a miracle, and gives 98.5% of the people who have it immortality… :o

    As for banning it… as a libertarian, i’m generally against banning anything; actively promoting something is quite different to it simply being available.

    Of course, it only being available privately means it becomes only available to those who can pay for it, which puts a class dimension into it (anti-fat-ism becoming a form of classism, as in “if you’re fat you must be poor, because you would have had the surgery if you could afford it”). I’m not quite sure what a consistent left-libertarian standpoint on these kind of things would be…

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