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Your assumptions about the health of your fat friend may be wrong, but they also might be spot on. There is a lot of fat shaming that goes on, as if the person is not aware of their condition. It is okay to be concerned for the health of your friend with a weight problem, but there is a difference between helping and shaming.
- Fat people’s humanity cannot rest on our happiness or health any more than it can rely on our size. Whoever we are, however our bodies came to be, health will not deliver us from the well-intentioned bullying of concern.
- We insist on our goodness by relying on our health. But what we mean is that we are tired of automatically being seen as sick. We are exhausted from the work of carrying bodies that can only be seen as doomed.
- We learn not to feel the heat and pressure that so many fat people face, and in so doing, we ignore our contributions to it. We can’t understand how our actions undercut our love for the fat people in our lives.
“We don’t often ask ourselves what our response to fatness says about us, but it says so much about our empathy and our character.”