Are we anti-fat shaming or anti-obesity? Credit, Graham C99, public domain via Flicker

Keeping up with what we’re supposed to be against is somewhat exhausting in this modern world. It’s as if who the Two Minute Hate is about changes from East Asia to someone else every day or two. For example, a year back we had that ad campaign above. In reality it was just a superb bit of media trolling. Print a few posters, run the smallest campaign you can in the Underground, watch as the Twitterati, followed by the national media, broadcast your message to the nation. Because a fit bird in a bikini is fat shaming, you see? Oppressive to those who give in to their love of cream donuts. Thus, after the message has been broadcast to all in a manner no ad budget alone could afford, it was banned. Well, from the Tube at least.

OK, so we’re against fat shaming then. But then there’s this:

The normalisation of “plus-size” clothing and overweight models could be fuelling the obesity epidemic because it leads people to underestimate their own weight, a new study has shown.

The plus-size movement may help promote body positivity but it is having the unintentional consequence that people start believing they are a healthy weight, researchers claim.

Ah, but body positivity, which is the absence of fat shaming, is also bad. Because obesity is so, sooo, bad that we’ve got to change the layout of shops, tax sugars, ban fast food advertising until the watershed, and, well, whatever else turns up when all of those fail.

Study author Dr Raya Muttarak said plus-size clothing ranges, such as Marks & Spencer’s Curve range for ‘curvy’ women sized 18 to 32, may be behind people’s denial about their weight.

I’d put size 32 as beyond curvy myself but chacun a son gout. Which is actually the point here, which is that each of us has and should have the freedom to ingest as we wish and to take the subsequent consequences. A dozen of those cream donuts a day, clothing in the M&S “extra-curvy” range and an early, if large, grave. Working out, spinach salads and attract a footballer who will leave us as soon as next year’s crop of bikiniclads arrives. Hey, your life, your choice.

But society currently doesn’t seem to work to such liberal rules. Instead, there’s some more than just persistent insistence going on that we must all think the same way. The great difficulty, other than the herding cats problem of getting all to think the same, is what is it that we should all believe?

Are we supposed to be going that obesity is such a problem that only potato sacks – to the extent they differ from modern fashion – may be used to clothe those with a BMI of more than 29? That’s today’s implication, isn’t it, that providing attractive (OK, M&S, vaguely attractive) clothing for fatty lardbuckets damages the health of the nation. So too with fizzy drink, sugar, taxes, sweeties hiding in the shops and so on.

Or is it that we cannot even mention taut, fit, young, tanned female bodies because some women don’t have them and ain’t that a shame? An outrageous imposition of The Man even, if not capitalism itself.

Well, what?

We’re absolutely certain that the only possible solution is that liberal one whereby everyone buggers off and we all decide for ourselves. Given the intense unfashionability of that these days, even that concept of freedom itself, then what the heck it is that we’re supposed to be doing? Are we against obesity or fat shaming?

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Southerner
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Totally agree. When I was young and stupid (c.age 50) I thought that Queen’s One Vision was the greatest piece of music ever written. I was also too dumb to realise that Another Brick In The Wall is targeted not at the political right but at those oh-so-orthodox socialists.

Bernie G.
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Bernie G.

A toxic subject. Fat shaming is seen – not least by fat people – as bullying. And we can’t have that, not least because fat people are frequently viewed as the less educated, underprivileged, even, or they suffer from some sort of inherited disease (fat genes). There’s a fine line between shaming and cajoling – and politicians, aware of the cost not least to the NHS, try to err on the right side. It doesn’t help that so many of our public servants who should be setting an example – nurses and police officers, for instance – are demonstrably overweight.… Read more »

Hallowed Be
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Hallowed Be

“Oppressive to those who give in to their love of cream donuts.”

And as the worm turns i’ll expect someone will issue a fwtwa on Salman for copywriting “naughty but nice”.