07 April, 2010

I feel a rant coming on

CNN.com has an article today about how some fast food chains are making super-high-calorie menu items.  While the article itself didn't bother me all that much - it was a bit condescending and sprinkled with hyperbolic words like 'waddle' and 'food coma' - the comments made me grind my teeth.

Apparently, it's perfectly acceptable to despise fat people, particularly poor, uneducated fat people. Oink oink fatties, I hope y'all die!

This article about fast food isn't the only place to spew venom toward fat folks. Anything about airlines gets a lot of responses about having to sit beside stinky, sprawling slugs. Health care. Heart disease. Beauty. Fashion. Urban blight. Gabourey Sidibe, the gal who played Precious in the movie by the same name (and was nominated for an Oscar). Midwesterners. Americans. Video games. Technology. Parenting. It seems like almost any news item delivers an excuse to rail against fatties. The hatred is immense and vicious.

I'm a big gal, okay, fat by pretty much any standard, and I do admit that I occasionally eat a sandwich from the drive through. Do I scarf down a whopper every day? No. In fact, I'm much more likely to get a 'Junior' sized sandwich on the rare occasions that my crazy schedule insists I get something to eat between rushing from point M to point N in my day. It is kinda hard to eat salad on the run, ya know. I cook healthy, veggie packed meals every. Single. Day. Sure, I will occasionally make a carbogasmic baked mac and cheese (a couple of times a year, tops, and always with a hot veg or salad on the side) or serve some huge sprawling food-feast (aka Thanksgiving) but, most of the time, it's a bit of meat, a bit of carb, and a whole lotta vegetables and fiber. I go for nutrient dense foods (like choosing brown rice instead of white) consider broccoli to be a staple, boneless skinless chicken is our primary meat source, I add beans to anything I can, and I even - gasp! - use apple sauce instead of oil when making brownies (of which I eat just one, if I have any at all, and make Bill take the rest to work).

I might be fat, but I'm not stupid. And it pisses me off when everyone of any group is all lumped together into one hated pile. I can't stand to be around racists, bigots, homophobes, and all those other people who think that their shit don't stink because this 'other' needs to be stomped on and ridiculed.

I get a full check up every fall and, without fail, my cholesterol, blood sugars, and all that stuff is perfectly normal. So don't f'ing tell me that all fat people are one burger away from a heart attack. Just because my body is incredibly efficient at holding onto each and every goddamn calorie doesn't give anyone the right to tell me I'm less than human or that I'm ugly and disgusting. Just because I'm not 5 feet tall and a size two doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed on an airplane - and I can buckle my seatbelt without an extension just the same as you. You think I'm comfortable in those dinky-assed seats with no leg room?!? Shit, no, but I don't grasp every opportunity to rail against the skinny bitch in front of me who thinks she deserves to lean back more than I deserve to have feeling in my knees.

And another thing! These apparently naturally-skinny people go on and on about the eeeeevils of fast food and the wretchedness of fat people when everyone knows that all the jiggly-assed lazy shits need to do is cook healthy! I do that, and I'm LUCKY. I know how to cook. I have a working stove and oven and knives and a colander and pots and pans and a fridge. I have cupboards and a car to go to the grocery store and I can tell the difference between a turnip and a rutabaga. And, I have the money, time, talent, and skills TO cook. There are MILLIONS of inner city people who don't have any of those things and they can either pick up a pack of chips at the bodega or grab something hot and cooked at KFC, otherwise they can go hungry. There are millions of single or working poor parents who have an hour (if they're lucky) between job A and job B and three hungry kids to feed. Now. Disabled folks who can't get out of the house and rely on deliveries. Rural people with no car but who stock the freezer with pizzas and tv dinners when a neighbor takes them to the store. And on and on and on.

Don't like fatties? Then quit telling them they don't deserve to breathe your good air and instead lobby to get real, full-service grocery stores in poor neighborhoods. Quit screaming that any idiot can read (and understand) nutritional information and instead TEACH people how to choose produce and cook it. Give to food pantries and donate pots and pans and make a point to insist that all rental properties not only have a working stove, but have a fridge and storage space. Offer to take your elderly neighbor to the store or, even better, invite them over for supper. Donate to community outreach programs, kids clubs, food banks, and farmers markets. Hell, market apples and green beans and whole grain pasta so that they look as sexy, appetizing, and simple as a bucket of chicken to go.

Just quit bitching that fat people should know better, do better, BE better, when you sit there on your high, skinny pedestal. We all make choices over what we put in our mouths and bodies. Some of us don't always have the same choices available. Some of us metabolize those choices differently. That's all part of being human and, dammit, fat people are human too.


Jean said...

Bravo, Tammy! Well said!

Tammy Jones said...

Thanks Jean. I was worried this post would be too offensive, but, shit... {{huggs}}

GerriB said...

Totally agree.

Maripat said...

It wasn't offensive at all. And I agree with your post. It's so damn annoying when government and hypocrits feel they need to get involved. Argh.