Your Own Worst Enemy
Fat phobia is rampant, as we know, across this country and worldwide. Naturally, I’ve heard average- and low-weight people make negative comments about those of high weight. But, more often, it’s high-weight folks who hate fat the most. They’re not only hurting themselves but hurting other high-weight people as well.
Here are some myths that fat phobia and weight stigma support, whether you’re projecting your feelings onto others or applying them to yourself.
- High-weight people are undisciplined and have no self-control. The truth is that there are many accomplished people of high and highest weights—in business, the arts, politics and every day life who do their jobs well and care for their families. They are, in fact, highly disciplined in many or most areas of their lives.
- High-weight people don’t care about themselves. It’s true that some have all around poor self-care, but many don’t. They go to the doctor, try to eat healthfully, get enough sleep, and care deeply about their health. The one factor which might keep them away from a medical office is being shamed for their weight. If health care providers were more compassionate toward high-weight patients, they’d see a good deal more of them.
- High-weight people are unattractive. It’s no wonder we think fat is unattractive: we live in a culture that has been saying this is so for many decades. This is a cultural message, not truth. Who defines beauty? In earlier times, heft was a sign of prosperity and was considered attractive. When I was growing up, shapely and zaftig were prized as compared to being “thin as a stick.”
It's time to stop walking around with these myths in your head. I often hear clients complain about how unfairly our culture views them, namely, the myths I describe above. But the fact is that they think these things about themselves although their very lives tell them the opposite: that they are disciplined, attractive, and care about themselves. They are the promoters of the fat phobia they can’t stand in others.
It’s time to look at your hypocrisy. If you won’t stand up for who you are, why should anyone else? It’s time to stop wishing and waiting for society to change and to radically shift your own views. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Are you against fat phobia and weight stigmatizing or will you continue to allow it to reign supreme in our culture? You don’t need to lose weight to feel better about yourself. You need to change your stinkin’ thinking.