It started nice enough about a week ago.  A fat activist (and great lady) by the name of Amanda Levitt (Please Google her if you don’t know who she is) came up with the hashtag #notyourgoodfatty. 

Essentially the hashtag was used to articulate the systematic discrimination directed towards fat people by others.  Why #notyourgoodfatty?  Pretty simple, really.  It relates to the assumption by those doing the discriminating that those discriminated against (the obese) will not react to the discrimination, in other words, be a good fatty.

Um, my friends aren’t having that.

With that said, a tremendous amount of tweets in support of the hashtag, positive affirmations, and an overall sense of community was felt by all who participated.  Of course, the trolls began to make their voices heard, in an effort to diffuse some of the progress made by those using the hashtag.  It was the usual cries of “you’re all gluttons”, to “you’re at higher risk for diabetes, heart issues, and cancer”, to just “you people are disgusting”.  All of this is part of the reason that the hashtag was created to begin with.  This blog won’t get into the actual discussion of the barbs thrown by trolls.  That’s been done in the past, and in the effort to get to the point, if one wants links to the more contemporary research disproving many of the accusations of the trolls, you can see them on my “Edumacation/Edification” page.

One of the friends I made on Twitter recently is a lovely fat activist who has spent far more time participating in this Twitter campaign than I have, based on my recent work constraints.  This morning, I posted the following meme, with the following caption:  “Used often, but SO true”

Fat

Less than 5 minutes after I posted it, my Twitter friend began to respond to me.  Here’s what she said over several tweets:

fat is part of my identity. I can’t take it off and put it on. It doesn’t get trimmed every few weeks, like nails.

for many of us fat folks, though, being fat is part of our definition. It’s not something we can change or ignore. I can’t go into the world without considering how it will treat me: bathrooms with enough clearance? Sturdy chairs w/out arms? Etc.

and we must steel our minds against thin supremacy messaging. The world isn’t fat-friendly. Most folks see our fat first.  if we’re lucky, they’ll take time to see us as people. Most don’t. (Ref: thin supremacy agenda)

I was floored.  Not because I thought she was off the mark with her response.  I was floored because in all of my fat activism, I forgot about many of these things.  She was absolutely right!

Those of you who know me know I’m not fat.  I exercise daily, and I’m very aware of what I eat (thanks to onset diabetes & a bilateral pulmonary embolism several years ago).  Other than being engaged to a wonderful fat girl, I don’t have a horse in the race.  My only connection to fat activism has been based on people I loved who happened to be fat, and seeing how poorly they’ve been treated.  Don’t get me wrong, my fiancee’ and I have faced up to some very harsh fat discrimination (which you can read in my earlier blogs).  The thing is, if it’s not seen on a daily basis, one can forget how harsh that discrimination can be.

Sure, I can react to trolls on Twitter, but it’s not really worth it because all one has to do is see the volume of tweets & compare it to the number of their followers to know that their impact is minimal at best.

I thought back to the days when I was running the New Jersey BBW Bash with Berna.  Prior to every event, we’d check the hotel to make sure the accommodations would accommodate the obese.  We needed to make sure the hotel had several elevators, that our patrons had rooms close to them.  We would sit with the caterers prior to the event to make sure that everyone’s dietary needs were met at the luncheons & dinners we hosted.  We talked with the staff at the hotel to ensure that they were “fat friendly” (we didn’t want our guests to hear whispers or snickering if they walked past a maid or hotel clerk).  We hired security to ensure that our private pool parties remained private (I can’t tell you how many cameras I confiscated from trolls who tried to sneak pics of the fatties in bikinis so they could show their friends).  We would do the same thing at the restaurants that we patronized, we’d check tables & chairs for sturdiness (no booths, please).  We’d talk with the wait staff.  EVERYTHING was done to make our guests feel like we’d considered everything in making sure they were accommodated.

My friend’s comments today caused me to think that perhaps I’d forgotten about a fat persons needs & expectations, and made me wonder why, since it’s not that difficult to do, people don’t just be considerate that way in our daily lives.  Is it really that hard to sit next to a fat person on a plane for a couple of hours and not bitch because their fat spills over into your “territory”?  Is it necessary to watch a fat person eat in a restaurant or at a mall and not stare, give disapproving looks, or lecture them on “healthy eating”?  Most important, do you really have to add your two cents to the #notyourgoodfatty  hashtag because you feel that their fat is somehow affecting YOUR life?

Really, it’s not.  I can assure you of that.  In fact, your trolling, looks of disapproval, pic taking, mocking, and fat bias are starting to affect MY life, and I don’t like it.  Here’s a good idea for those of you who somehow take pleasure in it.  Come up to me and do & say those things to my face, and see what happens.

Come at me, bro…..

Business

PS…..thank you Dayna for making me think about all these things today!

 

dont-let-the-hate

Several years ago,  I was linked to a video of a very strong woman, who just happened to be fat.  The woman, Tristy Taylor, posted her video in response to Michelle Obama’s comments about the “obesity epidemic”.  In her words:

I created this video in response to all the fat hate in our culture right now. From Michelle Obama’s many comments about the “obesity epidemic” to the non-stop flood of trolls who jump at the chance to shame and attack fat people who are enjoying their bodies and living healthy and free. Hating someone “for their own good” has never worked. Fat people can be healthy. Fat people can lift heavy weights. I’m 38 years old. I weigh 300 lbs. I am in excellent health. I do not have high blood pressure. I do not have diabetes. I do not have high cholesterol. Do not judge me or anyone else by the size of our bodies. It’s time to transform this paradigm of hate to one of love. Thank you to my husband Justin for filming and editing and loving me and thank you to Myles Ahead Weightlifting in Rohnert Park, California for being some of the most amazing and supportive groups of people I have ever met.

I was very impressed with her video, and the attitude behind it, and subscribed to her channel.  Over the past few years I didn’t see anything else relative to her weightlifting, or size acceptance, to my disappointment.  That is, until about 2 weeks ago, when she posted another weightlifting video.  I was thrilled to see that the new video had been posted, again in hopes that some people would be motivated to continue to work towards health regardless of size, and that others who typically troll the internet to spread fat hatred, would see that yet another person is destroying myths about fat people not being able to engage in healthy activities.

I was saddened to see that her most recent video had less than 20 views (as of the date of this blog).  I don’t know Ms. Taylor, but I might guess that one of the reasons that there had been nearly 3 years between her weightlifting videos was because of the huge amount of trolling that had gone on after her first video was posted.  While I’m pretty sure that she had other great things going on in her life (and judging by the other activities posted on your YouTube channel), having to deal with the volume of haters on YouTube to prove her point was not anything she needed in her life.

Regardless, I felt that her effort should be seen by more than 20 people.  Look, I don’t expect someone who weighs 300 lbs to run a marathon, but to see her working out, and the fact that she knows the staff at the gym who work with her, indicates to me that she’s on a lifetime journey towards health, and there isn’t a hater in the world who can take that away from her.

And, isn’t health all we all really want?

**Interestingly enough, I realized that I recognized Ms. Taylor this evening from a size activist group on Facebook that I belong to.  During my time in that group, I’ve seen the level of her activism, and her words & actions towards that end are far greater than mine.  I think that as activists, many of us (especially me) can only devote a finite amount of time towards it, what with all the other responsibilities in our lives.  I find it incredible that the trolls have so much more time on their hands.**

Fixing The Problem??

Posted: March 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Problem

I saw this meme several days ago.  It was posted by a guy who I’m guessing has encountered a degree of fat bias at his gym, and wrote a blog about it.

I think it’s great, and his reaction should be to confront those who are giving him grief when all he’s trying to do is improve his health.  It goes a step further, however.

Fixing the Problem?

Part of the issue here is that there’s an assumption that a problem even exists with being fat, or having fat on your body.  It’s the equivalent of admitting that being fat is sub standard, which isn’t necessarily the case.  Hey, there are thin & average sized people who are healthy, and some who aren’t.  There are also fat people who are healthy, and some who aren’t.

The real goal should be health, and fat bias shouldn’t stop that.

By the way, should you decide NOT to work towards being healthy, it’s your decision.  Your body shouldn’t be anyone else’s problem.

problems

 

A couple of months ago, I blogged about former Travel Channel host Adam Richman (of Man vs. Food fame) for tweeting some hateful comments about a fat woman while traveling on a plane.  For those of you who haven’t read this blog, here’s the link:  http://thenatural54.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/celebrity-former-fatties-separating-themselves-from-the-pack-aka-not-cool-adam/

The Richman story in and of itself is not the purpose of this blog.  The reaction of some who purport to be part of size acceptance is.

From a forum where my blogs are often linked and posted (referring to the Richman blog):

So a D-list a-hole whose entire showbiz shtick is based on unremitting gluttony is hating on fat people? I see some very serious karmic payback in his future. At a minimum, he can only rent a thinner body for so long… (He’s too much of a foodie to stay “thin”.)

And….

I don’t know Adam from the proverbial “Adam.”
Mr. Richman is, as far as I’m concerned, irrelevant. So is his former show.

OR…

I can understand your point but taking exception to references to weight can be a problem all it’s own.

And finally….

I mean, that guy’s, like, not really even famous. -You basically helped to make him more-famous than he previously was.
Or going-after Michelle Obama.
Your counter measure is of some (very limited) help. But, don’t get it twisted. I mean, what % of people are going to sit-there carefully cutting and pasting a link?
So: Selective. Targeting. Careful, controlled, better-measured, more-disciplined…that’s the way the way to go.
Otherwise, then it’s really all about you, right? And that’s not what we want. Not really, right?

I highlighted those last two sentences for a reason.  When I started writing my blogs on the old MySpace back in 2009, most of it was theraputic for me, as I was coming to the end of my marriage, and questioning my involvement in the very sexually charged BBW/FA events that I ran with a partner.  I wondered what those events really had to do with size acceptance, and my blogs (which were mostly private) at the time helped me work through the many questions that I had.

Not so in the years that followed.

My blogs aren’t about me at all these days, they’re about size acceptance, which involves many different things for me, including:1.  Being size positive in my writings.
2.  Motivating others to get active in size acceptance
3.  Pointing out my experiences in the social part of the fat community
4.  Reflecting my own fat activism, how I post in other forums where fat hate & prejudice take place
5.  Using my “Resources” page to link people to other activist blogs & forums & fat positive studies in the medical field.

So, the question is, why would people who purport to be part of fat/size acceptance would not be interested in my pointing out when fat prejudice & hate takes place, particularly with regard to celebrities that engage in it, like Adam Richman, or anti fat activist MeMe Roth?

I’ll be damned if I know why anyone would allow a transgression against someone to go unrecognized for what it is.  It reminds me of the old NY news story from nearly 50 years ago about Kitty Genovese, a young woman who was stabbed to death near her home in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of the borough of Queens in New York City, on March 13, 1964.  The circumstances of her murder and the lack of reaction of numerous neighbors were reported by a newspaper article published two weeks later, the common portrayal of neighbors being fully aware but completely unresponsive has since been criticized as inaccurate.  Nonetheless, it prompted investigation into the social-psychological phenomenon that has become known as the bystander effect or “Genovese syndrome”  and especially diffusion of responsibility. (courtesy Wikipedia).

genovese-book-cover

It was inferred in another discussion thread that celebrities & companie/websites often do or say outrageous things to draw attention/traffic to them or their websites.  Part of the criticism about pointing these people/websites out is that it draws traffic to those sites, potentially putting money in their pockets.  Well, there’s a solution to that.  A friend of mine (thanks again, Liz!) has linked me to a page that will allow you to click a link without adding any traffic to that site.  I’ll be using this link going forward, whenever I want to link my readers to a page that is potentially harmful to size acceptance, or promotes fate prejudice and hate, but for now, here’s the link:  http://www.donotlink.com/.

Years ago, I had an opportunity to attend a seminar that featured motivational speaker Anthony Robbins.  During his speech, he mentioned that there were 3 types of people in the world:  people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who have no idea what’s happening.  I think this can be applied to size activism as well, with those who’ve criticized my blogs as counter productive to fat/size activism, because they call attention to the wrong people.  Obviously I disagree.  While I think their heart may be in the right place, I think some of them may be part of the “Genovese Syndrome”.

Doesn’t it make sense to point out and counter every example of fat hate/prejudice/judgment that takes place?  Isn’t important to know who is who when it comes to people engaging in it?  Do you want to be a bystander, or part of a movement that may help put an end to the many examples that are pointed out in my blogs?  Honestly, I’d rather not have to write them, but I’ve been motivated by many of my friends (who also work diligently for SA0 to continue pointing these people/companies/websites/articles out.

Of course, you could keep your head in the sand about these things, and remain on the fringe of size acceptance, or even keep your head somewhere else.

man-head-up-butt

I’m a little late to the dance with this video, which was posted on YouTube about a week ago, but it’s so worth sharing.

Let me introduce you to a young lady named Emma Haslam.  Emma is a pole dancer, whose YouTube video went viral after it was posted.  This video is her routine from the Lincolshire (GB) Pole Championships for 2014.

Well, even though Ms. Haslam didn’t win the competition (lost out to Nicola Ghalmi in the professional competition), she expressed pleasure in being accepted as a legitimate pole dancer, and that her weight wasn’t a factor.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

She was quoted as saying the following, after the competition:

My first competition was so nerve racking but the support made a massive difference and I’m so happy to be accepted into the industry.  I was so overwhelmed with the response to my video, I didn’t think anything of it when I put the video on YouTube but it went viral overnight.  After all the excitement my school comes first at the end of the day. I own two studios in Derby and my clients are most important but I do want to carry on competing.”
Read more: http://www.scunthorpetelegraph.co.uk/Pictures-Pole-dancing-star-Emma-Haslam-s-entered/story-20596108-detail/story.html#ixzz2td1CESdf

For what it’s worth, it’s these kinds of people that are true heroes in the size acceptance movement.  The more of them that exist, the less people will think that people who are “overweight” (who’s weight they are over still remains a mystery to me) can’t do these kinds of things.

Thank you, Ms. Haslam!

haslam2

This morning I read a blog from another writer.  I know her, and some of the things she’s experienced in the more “social” part of the fat community, none of which are particularly good.  She’s had some experience with the sub group within the community called feeders (See “Feeding Everyone A Line Of Crap, Pt. 1″).

So, at the beginning of her blog, she makes the following statement:
I am so sick and tired of these fat fetish feeders. They all need to jump off a bridge then burn in hell. They have nothing of value to offer a woman other than a quicker death by weight.. You can do bad all by yourself. You don’t need some douche bag who wants to control you by feeding you to certain death. Once they get you so fat you can’t walk, wash yourself, wipe your own ass, cook, clean, drive then they abuse you. After the abuse they leave you in disgust to fend for yourself but you no longer can do anything for yourself. These men are the anti Christ and the devil himself all wrapped into one ball of evil mental illness. A fat person with a feeder is like the crack head dating the crack dealer. Watching me eat gets you hard then you can’t have sex anyway because the moment you get near a real vagina you go limp. Pathetic is what you truly are. Sad, sick and pathetic. Keep out of my path feeders or I will run you over in my big truck and not look back. 

Strong stuff, eh?  She goes on about a specific guy who body shamed her because she had WLS, and has trolled her everywhere on the net, in an attempt to goad her back to her old “fighting” weight.

Like any diligent blogger who promotes their blogs, she went to some of the forums and posted the link to the blog.  One of the forums was Dimensions, which has its own share of feeders, inflators, vores, lactation specialists, and other preferences that many would consider fetishes.  As explained in previous blogs, I have no issue with people in the feeder community based on their activities.  My issue with feeders is that they’re like vegans, making sure the entire world knows about what they do.  I think that in a world that is still getting used to fat people coexisting with average and thin people, having people proclaiming how hot it is to feed and be fed makes it harder for size acceptance activists to be perceived as normal, when they’re lumped in with this group.

It seemed that some of the feeder community on the Dimensions website took the “They need to jump off a bridge & burn in hell” comment as dehumanizing, and reacted accordingly.  An equal dose of rough comments were directed at the blogger, including:

As one of those ‘fat fetish feeders’ who need to ‘jump off a bridge then burn in hell’ I am guessing my words wont mean anything to you because you seem to view us, and therefore me, as subhuman. Also, those ‘fat fetish’ people you so despise are the ones that paid for you to have that surgery that improved your health and made you feel better about yourself. That you should sling vile insults around and the people that helped make you healthier is the same as insulting your surgeons because they have different opinions to you.

AND…….

So explain to me why I should feel sorry for you when you’re acting just as messed up and twisted as he is?

I think I know the blogger well enough to understand where a lot of this hatred comes from, and I attempted to explain that isolating one blog without reading & understanding the history of how she came to this (and mind you, I’m not saying that return hate is productive) isn’t fair to the blogger.  I had this happen to me several years ago, when I made a post on my Facebook page reporting what a rival had said about NJ Gov. Chris Christie, and so called “friends” reacted as though I’d made the comment, never bothering to read the rest of my post.  It was one of the reasons I decided to blog, since a dissection of what I write can’t take place (not here at least).

Anyway, my defense of the blogger was told in allegory, as I’d stated that as a teenager, I was beaten by a black gang after a concert, and had said some horrible things about blacks (including friends of mine), that were obviously misguided, since they were based on one violent, isolated experience.  Fortunately, my black friends didn’t distance themselves from me, but helped me get over my issue, even to the point of finding the guys who beat me and helping me get retribution.

I’m pretty sure that the blogger isn’t planning some sort of mass murder of feeders.  I also think that her comments, while misguided, are based on at least one and probably more horrible experiences with feeders.  Her experiences are valid, at the very least in her eyes.

Of course, I was viewed as someone who was defending a feeder “murderer” and received my own share of criticism:

And there is a huge difference between expressing an opinion and abuse. If you can’t see the difference then I really feel for you and wonder how you function in society as an adult. She can dislike feeders and express that she dislikes them. What she can’t do is type cast an entire group of people and come up with some of the most horrid and vile abuse I have ever had the misfortune of reading in my life.

AND…..

I happen to be of the opinion that I don’t deserve to be treated with scorn and disdain based solely on what turns me on and what I choose to do with a consenting partner.
In my opinion, my sexual interests are not defined by the most extreme, selfish, and abusive behavior perpetrated by a minority of those who share those sexual interests.
So yes, I think that my opinions with regard to this are ones that really fucking matter, because I don’t accept the attitude that …HER blog proposes, that I am less than human, a horrible creature, and that I do not deserve to live:

I want to make several points based on these comments.  First, I do pretty well as an adult, so please don’t feel sorry for me.  I work hard at my day job, dabble in another, write several blogs, raise 2 younger kids, have a 27 year old daughter that I’m quite proud of, and sleep well at night because of how I am.  While it took me some time to get to a level of inner peace, all of the work was/is worth it.

Many feeders (including the guy who made the second comment, who I happen to think is an honorable guy) seem to think that a minority of people engage in the activities that give feeders a bad name.  That seems to be a common lament of some of the people in the feeding community that there’s a handful off feeders that are ruining it for the good guys.

With that said, based on the very common complaint of many who have been on the receiving end of the “bad” feeders and their actions, I can only assume that either:
1.  These few people are quite busy in their quest to be the evil feeder, or
2.  There are more of these people than you think.

I’m betting on option #2.

Just as important, if you’re one of the good feeders, and you know these people are giving you a bad name, why wouldn’t you make every effort to purge these people from the same community that you profess to love?  My guess is that they know it’s a near impossible job, and it’s easier to slam those who criticize the feeder community for how its perceived than to limit those who give the feeders a bad name.

Any time you want to make change, you’re going to make enemies in the process.  I’ve endured that since 2010.  I can promise you that it isn’t easy.  It’s not just sitting behind a keyboard and placing your feelings on a screen, being a “Nowhere Man” (a name given me because I no longer attend BBW bashes & plus sized events).  I have nothing to gain financially by pointing out what I see wrong on the inside of the fat community that I used to participate in.  I make more enemies than I do friends, because I point out the dirty little secrets about the fetish part of the fat community, and that makes a lot of them uncomfortable.  If you’re one of the “good” feeders, flush out the bad ones, and get them removed from the forums you participate in, and the events you attend.  You won’t make a lot of friends, but I promise you that you’ll sleep better at night.

I know I do.

change

**Update 2/16/14**

The following are not my words, but the salient points made by this lady are sure to cause one to at least think about the practice of feederism as a means of control.

I have known several women whose partners sexually preferred them at a very high weight. A few of them were food addicts, a few of them were dependent on their partners in some way, a few of them were just the type who only lived to keep their man happy. Most of these relationships ended when the woman decided that she was ready to lose weight, or no longer wished to keep gaining. Of the ones that did not end, they became strained. A few of the women accepted a sexless relationship and allowed their partners to turn to porn or actual sexual encounters with other women in order to fulfill their needs.
What is an abusive feeding scenario?
The woman who suffered from a stress and anxiety induced binge eating disorder. I would watch her boyfriend push her emotional buttons until she reached her breaking point and started to binge. She became very unhappy with her weight, and her health started to fail rapidly and in a way that was shocking for a woman of her young age. Her boyfriend told her point blank that if she lost a visibly noticeable amount of weight, he was out the door. And even knowing that she was on the path to an early grave, he still pushed her buttons and triggered her binges.
Then there is the woman who gained to the point of disability and severe health issues. When she said enough was enough, her partner who was loving and devoted to her during the gain, turned cold on her, and started referring to himself publicly as her “housemate” and no longer her “husband”. He also started to openly pursue other fat women while his partner was stuck at home. He found another woman online who was willing to gain, and bailed. Thankfully his partner did not end up in a nursing home and was able to get the resources that would allow her to live as independently as possible.
Then there is the girl who gained for her man, but he didn’t have any patience for the negative consequences of her more desirable weight. I was at a fat event she was present at. She could not physically make the walk from the parking area to the party and there were not seats for her to rest along the way. Instead of standing by her side, her boyfriend left her crying on a bench by the parking area, and went to join the fun.
And the one who gained to the verge of disability, had WLS, was still in love with her husband, but he was no longer interested in having sex with her. He was her first sexual partner and first romantic partner and she was extremely emotionally attached and dependent on him. He would go to fat scene bashes and other events in order to have sex with attendees who were around her highest weight. He was very cruel about it and rubbed her nose in his affairs, saying that she pushed him to it by losing weight. All she wanted was to be able to walk, work, and live a normal lifespan. But he made her feel that she did this thing to him deliberately and maliciously.
I’ve got a friend who is currently in a bad situation regarding weight and a romantic partner. I don’t know if he is a feeder but he is using her weight as a weapon against her. Whenever she sticks to her healthy living plan and loses some weight, he gets really angry and says that she is trying to attract other men. If she persists he turns cold on her in and out of the bedroom to “punish” her. He pushes sweets and other unhealthy food on her, knowing she is a type 2 diabetic. When she gains weight, he ramps up the affection and sex and tells her how much hotter she is and how he “loves her sexy curves”. She goes to the doctor and gets a health scare and starts sticking to her diabetic way of eating and exercise plan again. Some weight comes off, and her boyfriend starts with the berating, sex and affection withholding, and unhealthy food pushing. Fortunately, she’s chosen her health and well-being over this manipulative and abusive piece of shit and is actively working on her exit strategy.
So, yeah, that’s how the abuse plays out.
Another thing, regarding feederism in a BDSM context. In any other scenario, the restraints can come off, or a person can choose to simply give up another’s mental control over them. When the fun is no longer fun, they are free to say see ya on the flip side and walk on out the door and continue with the rest of their life. When their choice to give up power to another peson results in their gaining weight to the point of immobility or poor enough health and mobility that their ability to just walk away and move on is compromised, that is in no way a healthy scenario. I see it as akin to voluntary amputation. Severe damage is done, their body is not the same, and even if they are able to undo the damage, it takes time.
If the person in the power position encourages or allows somebody to no longer be able to function and live independently, then it is an act of abuse. Plain and simple, black and white, no wiggle room.
When you can no longer walk away from it, it ceases to be healthy sexuality and becomes something else.

There’s been some controversy involving the latest winner of NBC’s The Biggest Loser show.  For those of you who regularly watch this train wreck, I’m sure you know who Rachel is.  For those of you who don’t, this is Rachel Fredrickson when she began the competition:

Rachel-Frederickson

In this starting pic, Ms. Fredrickson weighed 260 pounds.

Thanks to a combination of diet, exercise, and likely a fair dose of body shaming thrown in for good measure, Ms. Fredrickson has lost approximately 59% of her total body weight, and now barely tips the scale at 105 pounds.  Here’s a pic from her appearance in the show finale.

rs_634x1024-140205073726-634.Rachel-Frederickson-Biggest-Looser.jl.020614

Staggering weight loss, huh?  Well, this appearance has prompted many media outlets and bloggers to question several things, including whether Rachel Fredrickson has become anorexic, and that perhaps the show has take to extremes in an effort to keep its audience.

Let me start by saying that she doesn’t seem concerened.  In her words:  “I feel amazing. I feel truly alive and just transformed,” she told E! News at The Biggest Loser finale. “I couldn’t be more happy, more thankful to get this second chance to take charge of my life again.”

Here’s a video clip from the finale, and I have to admit that even the trainers look a bit surprised at her appearance.

So when someone loses 59% of their body weight, people are going to take notice.  As I said, the media has picked up the story, essentially sensationalizing what they are calling anorexic.  Check out some of these blogs and articles, a few come from some of my fellow size acceptance bloggers.

http://haveuheard.net/2014/02/biggest-loser-winner-rachel-fredricksons-lost-weight/

http://www.bodylovewellness.com/2014/02/05/freaked-out-by-rachel-fredricksons-biggest-loser-win-read-this/

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/biggest-loser-skinny-article-1.1603184

http://www.etonline.com/dailyfirst/143214_Biggest_Loser_Scandal_Rachel_Frederickson_Deemed_Too_Thin_By_Audiences/

Even this winner from YouTube got in on it…

I’m going to take a different approach than some of my friends & colleagues in size acceptance, whose focus is more towards how this show maligns fat people, which is really what the size acceptance movement is all about, and has been, since the late 1960s, when the first “fat in” was staged in New York’s Central Park, and eventually became the group known as NAAFA.

Deeming Ms. Fredrickson as anorexic by simply looking at her is no different than when an average person looks at a fat person and assumes that they’re unhealthy.  Other than looking quite thin, she looked quite happy.  More important, we should take her at her word when she says she feels amazing.

It seems to me that she isn’t horribly thinner than Jillian Michaels, and I think they’re close in height, yet Michaels looked stunned when she saw Fredrickson.  So my question to those people that are horrified by her weight loss is, what is the parameters for what is considered healthy vs. what isn’t?  Isn’t that judging thin people in the same manner that fat people are judged?  Interestingly enough, no one from size acceptance has criticized how she looked, only the rest of world.

Seriously, I wish TV did not have a show called “The Biggest Loser”.  It concerns the hell out of me because of all the assumptions that it makes about fat people, including:

1.  They eat too much
2.  They don’t exercise enough
3.  They have no motivation
4.  They have no stamina
5.  They are emotionally week
6.  They have other physical issues that are the result of their being fat.

I have lots of friends who would be happy to show you how none of these are true for everyone.  With that said, the millions of people who watch this show end up also assuming the same thing about fat people.  However, looking at this season’s winner, and hearing a different type of body judgment about her seems just as wrong to me as the people who judge fat bodies.

Judge the show, not the people on it.

if-you-lose-on-the-biggest-loser-does-that-make-you-a-winner