An editorial in The Guardian set off this author to explain that fat pride and fat acceptance is about dignity, not health. You don’t have to believe that fat is healthy to accept that all people in all bodies deserve dignity.
The fat pride movement isn’t trying to recruit people to become fat, only to help those who are to live without shame in their body regardless of its size.
Judgment about body size hurt everyone. As we learn more about the causes of weight and see how many causes are outside of our control, we can become more compassionate to those whose bodies carry fat.
Of course, fat people aren’t trying to encourage more people to become fat; they’re trying to live a life with dignity. If you’ve never been fat, it’s hard to understand the various ways in which your body stops becoming your own once you reach a certain weight. It becomes an object for public consumption and comment or ridicule. Strangers feel obligated to tell you you’re going to die early or give diet tips or scrutinize your every meal under the guise of patronizing concern for your health. And that’s despite the fact that, contrary to Cernik’s skepticism, there’s nowhere near scientific consensus that fat always equals unhealthy.
At its core, the fat acceptance movement is one that asserts fat people’s rights to publicly love themselves without shame and to live their lives without being stigmatized or discriminated against. Anyone who’s personally offended by that should consider working on their own mental and emotional health first.