Social Question

Jude's avatar

People who feel the need to make comments about fat people (say), what does that say about them?

Asked by Jude (32201points) April 11th, 2011

My g/f’s brother is friends with a beautiful girl (who comes from lots of money), refers to black people as “Moon Crickets”, and she has to made disparaging remarks against fat people (she just put up something now).

Why would someone be like this? It can’t be that she is insecure. Upbringing?

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78 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t know. Is there something about your upbringing that makes you assume people who are strippers or who are drug addicts are worthy of judgment? It’s not okay to make fun of fat people or be racist but the same goes for drug addicts or sex workers. We all go through shit sometimes, it’s hard to remain open-minded but I just wanted to point out how ironic it all sounded. Also, I don’t know why she makes the comments she makes. There is a high degree of tolerance of fat jokes in our country – the public health world itself is on a mission to spread fat stigma nationally and globally. What can you expect from others?

Jude's avatar

Simone, I edited my question. I could care less about the stripping/drugs. It has absolutely nothing to do with the question. Forgive me, her comments just pissed me off.

Seelix's avatar

“Moon crickets”? That’s a new one to me.

I think she may have grown up around other beautiful people with money, leading her to look down upon anyone who doesn’t fit her idea of what a person should be. Some people are just ignorant, and there’s no helping them.

filmfann's avatar

I grew up in Oakland, and new a lot of racists, and a lot of people of color, and I never have heard the term Moon Crickets before.

Jude's avatar

@filmfann She’s from N. Carolina.

This is the first time that I have heard it, as well.

tinyfaery's avatar

It says that person is fearful and holds prejudices. Maybe she is trying to be ironic.

mazingerz88's avatar

Please anyone care to enlighten me as to what Moon Crickets mean? @Jude Part of it is upbringing and part of it is personal bias. If it gets to be too much for you to hear her, it’s ok if you say something but only as long as it’s done in a calm manner not highly emotional disparaging.

gmander's avatar

“Moon Crickets” sounds quite nice. Context is everything I suppose. I think we should be able to insult any group of people as we see fit. I hate people in groups. I love individuals.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I grew up with beautiful people with money and there are no more or less people in that category who are thoughtless, rude or bigoted. I think she must have grown up in a home where she was exposed to that behavior and thought it was OK, or perhaps she’s spent too much time with people with no appropriate filters. I hope your g/f’s brother doesn’t tolerate it when she’s around him.

mrentropy's avatar

I reckon some people are just plain mean. Although I’ve noticed a trend lately that indicates that’s it’s OK in general to make fun of people if they’re not following the latest health trend.

jonsblond's avatar

I think it makes them feel better about themsevlves for whatever reason. Same reason why others laugh at the People of Walmart site. sad…. imo

Let’s laugh at others to make myself feel better. :/

marinelife's avatar

I think it is that she is insecure

or just incredibly shallow.

zenvelo's avatar

She may be very insecure despite coming from money and being beautiful. People that grow up with that may also realize that they have always been treated superficially because of their money and looks. They also know if the money goes away and they age out of their beauty they have nothing more to offer.

Her behavior is still unacceptable.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

*when I use the word “you”, it’s just to refer to people in general

I don’t know how tacky she is about the whole thing, but I do make comments sometimes that would probably be construed as rude. If you’re a little overweight, hey no biggie, so am I. But if you’re morbidly obese, I’m sorry but it’s just disgusting. The people I talk about when I refer to “fat people”, are mainly women who need to lose at least 100 lbs, but they walk around in public, wearing clothes that are entirely too small on purpose. (Just go check out peopleofwalmart.com)

It’s probably rude of me, and I’m sorry, but I don’t want to see your ass bulging over the top of your pants, I don’t want to see your big ol boobs and nipples busting out the top of your shirt, and I don’t want to see your jello rolls hanging 5 to 10 inches out from under your shirt. It’s just gross. It’s not always the weight itself that bothers me, it’s that people don’t bother to properly dress for their weight.

Jude's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate The woman in the picture looked about 50 lbs overweight. She was lying on the ground (car show) with knee length shorts and a t-shirt, sunbathing. Hardly morbidly obese.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Jude Okay, well I didn’t see a picture, so I was just commenting, based on my own “issues” with obesity. I wouldn’t call 50 lbs morbidly obese either. I still need to drop about 20 more myself. (Leftover pregnancy fat is a bitch, LOL.)

jonsblond's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate So it’s ok for a skinny girl to let her big ol boobs hang out?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’ve never heard the term before, and now that I looked it up on Urban Dictionary, I wish that I hadn’t. Definition

It has nothing to do with one’s weight, but being black and their behavior. It’s not surprising to me that a term like this would live on in the US South. I grew up in Virginia where racism still runs strongly in some people. And it isn’t limited to the whites.

If you know this person, please ask her (privately) if she knows what the term means, and if she doesn’t, explain it to her. Hopefully, she will be mortified. If she does know and thinks it’s acceptable…well, it’s up to you on how you want to handle it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@jonsblond No, I don’t think it’s attractive for titties to be hangin’ out and floppin’ all over the place, no matter what size you are. But with a woman who is 100 lbs overweight or more, there’s so much more boob to hang out that it makes it even more trashy and disgusting to me.

Like I said, I know I sound rude, I just think women who are that overweight, and try to dress like they’re a size 10 are gross.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate So then you’re a perfect person to answer this q. What is it about your upbringing/environment/personal issues that makes you shame fat people?

jonsblond's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Fashion police are one of the things that irks me the most. I had to ask. Thanks for answering.

gmander's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer – Even looking at the definition, I still think it sounds quite nice. Coming out at night time to sing. What’s wrong with that?

syz's avatar

It says they’re unpleasant people who should not be associated with.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I don’t feel a need to shame anyone. I just cringe inwardly when people try to be something they’re not. I used to wear a 0 or 00 before I had kids, and now I wear an 8. I’m not comfortable with my current weight, so I’m trying to do something about it. But I don’t cram myself into a size 4; I wear the correct size, so that I don’t have bulges and lumps hanging out everywhere, because it really is unattractive.

@jonsblond Same answer that I gave Simone. I’m not a “fashion cop”, I just think you shouldn’t try to be someone you’re not. If you’re a size 20, then wear that size 20 with pride. Don’t smush yourself into a size 14 and think it looks hot. Because it doesn’t. It looks uncomfortable and unattractive. There’s a big difference between being a beautiful woman in a size 20, and looking trashy and gross in a too-small size.

And I don’t care how much you advocate big is still beautiful, you can’t tell me that this isn’t gross. It’s sad yes, but it’s also gross. To be perfectly fair though, on the flip side of things, this is also gross.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate But both you and I have been there: feeling terrible because of how we perceive ourselves about our weight. You don’t know what goes through anyone’s mind, let alone through the mind of people that on a daily basis face sneers, laughter, inappropriate comments and see very little representations of their own kinds of bodies anywhere. It’s not up to you to decide if they’re ‘trying to be something they’re not’ because you don’t know what they’re trying to do and that has nothing to do with what you’re trying to do when you pick out clothing. To me, women who put on lingerie in order to please their husbands seem like foreigners because I think the notion is ridiculous and they look ridiculous and etc but I would never tell you to not, if that’s how you guys roll. You’re contributing to women policing other women and you’re not the type of person who likes that kind of thing so I don’t get why you think it’s okay to do it to fat women or to state who looks trashy and ‘wrong’. Trashy like the world slut is a ridiculous term, completely subjective and is indicative only of your worldview, not reality. Also, I don’t think anything other than millipedes is gross, for real. The term gross is best left with the 5-year olds.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I guess we’ll just have to disagree on this one. I understand about feeling bad about weight, but my whole point is that I dress appropriately. I don’t walk around in public in a tube top that would fit my dog and shorts that would fit my 10 year old. And for me, when I can see half a woman’s ass hanging out of her shorts, the term “gross” applies to that. To me, it looks gross. Physically revolting. (Skinny women do it too, and it’s still gross.) If I want to see you naked, I’ll watch porn, not look at your straining ass cheeks while I’m trying to grocery shop.

And I’d be really appalled if honest women told me I’m wrong for being phsycailly revolted by things like this, when I know if I asked a question “Could you be physically attracted to this man, women answering honestly would say no.

gmander's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate – Wow! That last post conjured up so many interesting images! Do you know something about Simone_De_Beauvoir that the rest of us are missing? I suppose if you shop at the same grocery store you’re bound to find things out.

tranquilsea's avatar

I grew up with family that regularly disparaged Chinese people. Being a thinking human being I understood from a young age that those comments were not ok and I did not continue that as I grew up.

I think that such comments show a gross lack of empathy and respect.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@gmander I wasn’t saying that’s the way Simone dresses. I was explaining why I feel the way I feel. Simone is not obese and from the photos I’ve seen, her clothing choices are lovely. I used “you” in a broad sense, referring to people in general.

Ladymia69's avatar

MY opinion is that people can be oblivious to the fact that they say things about people that could hurt said people, or maybe they are oblivious to the fact that what they say can hurt people. Indifference and ignorance is not an excuse for that behavior.

Too bad you couldn’t invite me over when she is around. I usually have a way of calling out people when they say ugly, offensive things. It should be called to her attention, preferably loudly enough to embarass her about her own behavior, otherwise it will be perpetuated indefinitely.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well ‘dressing appropriately’ has little to do with weight, in my opinion and is a whole different can of worms. It just seems that whatever you consider inappropriate clothing + extreme (to you) body shapes/sizes make you feel particularly grossed out – this is not other people’s faults. Nor are other people there for masses of women or men or whomever to be attracted to so your last point about what would women say isn’t helpful.
@qmander – who are you? hush

faye's avatar

It is not okay to put down anyone to their face. The truly obese end up using health care, welfare, disability. It didn’t happen to them overnight and requires massive amounts of food over a long time to get that way. And, of course, they wish they were not fat. As one who has broken her back helping to move the morbidly obese, I’m agin it. @WillWorkForChocolate was giving her opinion, her opinion! It is my opinion as well and I’m about 40 lbs over. The difference is, maybe, I cover up, and I’m old. But, I don’t feel the need to talk about anyone.

everephebe's avatar

Fat people do make me sick, but I don’t really feel animosity towards any individual who is fat, you know? I do feel badly that like a billion or so people are starving and they are killing themselves by eating too much crap. Shockingly, I might feel even worse about the kinds of “food” that most obese people subject themselves too. I think I would feel more pity if I could overcome my disgust, honestly… But I rather not share my pity or disgust with (/at) anybody who is obese.

Would I go out of my way to make a fat person feel bad? Hell no, that wouldn’t accomplish anything. I wouldn’t feel better, and neither would they. It more likely that they would just binge on food to feel better about it. I feel sorry for fat people but I mean, not that sorry. They do it to themselves, the food industry gives them plenty of help, but they do it to themselves. Bulimic people are just as bad, why bother eating if your going to throw up? Seriously, it’s probably healthier to be anorexic than bulimic.* Anorexic is still gross of course… and life threatening but still…

We really have to combat our potion sizes, and the ingredients we include in food. It’s not ok to be fat, but you don’t have to tease people about it or make them feel bad, they probably know already. And you know, there is a range of body shapes and sizes… there is nothing wrong with that, so long as it’s in a healthy range. I guess you can be as fat as you want, it’s a free country but you know what I mean, as long as you’re happy with your size, it’s ok.

Yes, I’m a little judgmental towards people of large waist bands, but I wouldn’t be advertising that as such…(Except here on Fluther I guess? Whoops.) Obese people are kind of an easy and obvious target aren’t they? I mean many people have a little more flab than they desire but as long as they can move out their own house without complete exertion, or shop for more food without getting tired because they are too fat… It’s probably ok. I think that as consumers, obese people are pandered to, too much… or even given absolution, and that’s very sick.

I think the problem of obesity should be tackled with carrots and not just a sticks. My stance is: Curves are cool, diabetes &such are not. We have to be nice to each other, but obesity is a problem we need to face and solve.

I dunno what’s that say about me?

Moon Crickets? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! That’s hella old school racist. I’m going for a walk now… I could use some exercise. Something about the aforementioned flab. :D Well that’s my $0.02

blueiiznh's avatar

While I understand that giving encouragement and kudos to people who loose weight is important and a help, why are we not giving kudos to people who have maintained a healthy life just as much. I applaude all of you who continue to do the hard work to stay healthy!
I don’t think it’s anyones place to make a negative comment about others unless you are helping with constructive criticism and actively helping that person in either a medical or fitness guidance role. Then it is ok to tell them the dangers and health risks associated with it.
I certainly share some of @everephebe concerns, but without the entire picture on that person, I have no business to make any comments.
Yes, it frustrates me that it skews the costs of so many goods and services. Fast Food company practices make me sick. It also spinns my head how they are packaging things at the grocery store now (produce specifically).
I can only control me and raise my child to understand the importance of learning to eat healthy at a young age. I also know there are many things that happen in life that can get people off track, but know it is their battle and not mine.
What does it say about a person who openly verbalizes comments like these? Unempathetic I suppose.

Ladymia69's avatar

@blueiiznh Empathy…I think you hit the nail on the nead there.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@faye Thanks! I didn’t mean for it to sound like I “hate” obese people or that I lack any sympathy for them. It’s just that when they dress where over half of them is hanging out everywhere, it’s unattractive and frankly looks gross to me. And usually it grosses me out because they are so overweight but continue to eat a whole sack of burgers and fries!

I feel bad for them, to a certain extent, but then again I think “You know, if your weight upsets you, which I can see that it does by the lack of self esteem plainly visible on your face, quit stuffing your face with that Big Mac. Get a salad! Do something progressive instead of taking another step backward!”

I admit that Taco Bell is like crack for me, but at least I eat other things to make up for it and I exercise. —Also, just switching from my beloved Dr Pepper to straight water or cranberry juice has gotten rid of about 10 lbs for me so far.—-

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe “But I rather not share my pity or disgust with (/at) anybody who is obese.” – keep it. You deserve it.

Jude's avatar

God forbid any of you get into a car accident and become paralyzed from the waste down and put on tons of weight. Or, develop some sort of condition to where you gain weight and are unable to take it off.

I wonder how you would handle being heavy then.

Makes me sad. Get a grip.

Be careful what you say.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Why did this go from a rude thread to a fat thread? I thought it was supposed to be about how inappropriate it is to comment….

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Jude I don’t feel the same about crippled individuals who can’t help it. I feel the way I do about people who breathe hard just from walking because they’re so overweight, then they sit down at a fast food restaurant and scarf down $20 worth of food.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JilltheTooth You thought wrong, apparently. It’s so vitriolic, I’m disgusted.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Jude Because it’s like watching someone slowly, purposely kill themselves, and it sickens me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate They might not die of their obesity and you may die decades ahead of them, due to other causes.

jonsblond's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I know this is getting completely off topic now, but does it sicken you when you see someone smoking a cigarette? I mean, they are slowly, purposely killing themselves too.

Brian1946's avatar

@jonsblond

”...does it sicken you when you see someone smoking a cigarette? I mean, they are slowly, purposely killing themselves too.”

I was thinking that too. Also, second-hand smoke can kill non-smokers too, and AFAIK, there isn’t any second-hand weight gain from food vapors.

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, thanks for my daily dose of “people are assholes”.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@jonsblond @Brian1946 Yes, actually it does. I hate it. Which is one of the reasons I’m really trying to quit. It’s nasty.

everephebe's avatar

@Jude Aren’t there lots of fairly “cut” paraplegics? I think you can still exercise and eat a balanced diet of non-junk food. If that happens to me, I don’t think I would just give up and let myself go, you know?

Now as far as other conditions go, I would go to my doctor if I was… I can’t think of a better word then ballooning. And if it was something that couldn’t be helped, I would do my best to fight it as much as possible. Now, do I look down on fat people just because they are fat? No. I don’t think so highly of myself for one, and two: they’re just humans. But as a human myself, I do judge people in my head. I keep those thoughts to myself, well at least in real life.

Would I treat a fat person with less respect then someone of a more median weight? No, in fact just the opposite. And that’s what bothers me. I am assuming, perhaps in ignorance that the majority of people who are over weight, got there on their own. I think what the “food industry” has been up to is sickening and very wrong, but there are actual food choices still out there. So when I am on an airplane or a train or a bus, and the person next to me needs two seats in reality, but is trying to occupy one, I feel bad for them, even as they rest their body parts on top of me. I am even more courteous and understanding then I need to be. I end up being overly sympathetic, and understanding. I think that’s wrong for most cases of obesity, but since you can never know why someone is the way they are or looks the way they are, you can’t not be sensitive or accommodating.

We have to find a line within ourselves between that judgment and accommodation, but being rude to someone, or putting up a judgmental facebook status that is against a large group of people, or anything like that is just not ok. In my opinion. I feel strongly about being responsible with food. Listen, I went to culinary school, there were some rounder people here and there… but no one who was sickeningly rotund. I don’t think twice about people who are a little plump, they are well within a healthy range in my book. But you know the people who literally have trouble fitting into society, yeah I judge them a little. Who am I to judge them? Just another person with my own set of problems.

But my point is even with how I feel, I wouldn’t say anything mean to them, in fact I would go out of my way to be nicer to them if I interacted with them at all. They are humans too, and deserve to be treated as such. I try not to stare or act any differently around them. But in my head I do have thoughts, thoughts of pity and disgust. Which I guess I deserve @Simone_De_Beauvoir? If you care to explain that, do please.

@jonsblond With smokers, just like with people who are obese, I see no need to go up to them and tell them that what they are doing will kill them. Presumably, they know that already.

If they are smoking at least they are adults, and can do what ever they want to their bodies. I feel badly for the kids who are subjected to awful food and have no real food knowledge or choice, and can’t help being obese. That’s child abuse, plain and simple. And it’s not just the parents who are responsible, it’s our schools, our media, and our whole society too for that matter. I’m not talking about chubby kids, I’m talking about kids who are unhealthy because of their weight (but specifically not the other way around).

@Brian1946 Actually, I remember reading a study about basically “second-hand” weight gain. The people you spend time with, and their behaviors rub off on you, and if you’re friends with healthy fit people, it’s more likely that you will be health and fit yourself. Damn I don’t know if I have the energy to look that all up now. If you want, I’ll give it a shot.

I’m not picking on fat people here, they were just the example @Jude gave. I gave my opinion of them to illustrate, that even with how I feel about people who make themselves obese, I wouldn’t make comments at them or to them about it. If that point was lost, sorry. I wouldn’t have, gone on so long… Just, I felt that there was a little bit of an attitude that fat is fine or fat is great, and it’s not. Being fat is not an inherently good thing. Being fat is not sustainable, for anyone, individually or on a grander scale. If that’s an unpopular opinion, that’s ok… I do hope it doesn’t offend anyone, I’m just trying to be honest here and answer the question.

I think with the person in the OP g/f’s brother’s friend it was probably a matter of upbringing, but tact isn’t always just a matter of upbringing. Someone who thinks it’s ok to call anyone Moon Crickets, is likely going to think it’s ok to publicly ostracize and antagonize obese people.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe Fat is not good/bad – these are moral judgments and that’s what this entire debate collapses into since, let’s be serious, it’s not about people’s health or well-being that you give/not give a shit about, it’s about judging them as good/bad people. In the 1st chapter of the book *Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality”, the authors write:

“As recent political debates in the U.S. have demonstrated, “health” is a term replete with value judgments, hierarchies, and blind assumptions that speak as much about power and privilege as they do about well-being. Health is a desired state, but it is also a prescribed state and ideological position. We realize the dichotomy every time we see someone smoking a cigarette and reflexively say, ‘Smoking is bad for your health’ but what we really mean is ‘You are a bad person because you smoke.’ Or when we encounter someone whose body size we deem excessive and reflexively say ‘obesity is bad for your health’ when what we mean is not that this person might have medical problems, but that they are lazy or weak of will” (emphasis mine).

Not only is this conversation NOT about caring for anyone’s health + moral judgments, it also feeds well into the constat fight between constructs of public wellness vs. personal responsibility. In his article entitled “Health as a meaningful social practice,” Robert Crawford writes,

“What has become clear in hindsight is that individual responsibility for health, although not without a challenge, proved to be particularly effective in establishing the ‘common sense’ of neoliberalism’s essential tenents [...] ‘Taking responsibility’ for one’s health formed a metonymic alliance with a growing intolerance of welfare ‘dependance’, ‘over-bloated’ government expenditures and being ‘soft’ on crime.”

So your ‘objective views’ that you so nicely keep to yourself have a lot to do with your ‘station in life’, so to speak, and your ACCESS to choices of food have a lot to do with your class and race and neighborhood rather than with anything you actively do or don’t do. I am reading these readings as we speak for an event my organization, The Queer Commons, is running tomorrow at The CUNY Graduate Center. So much of what we’re addressing is relevant to this thread’s evolution.

Jude's avatar

I find that people whom tend to be that judgemental (in this case, weight) are insecure themselves.

Ladymia69's avatar

Overeating is (usually) a disease. An addiction. It works the same as an addiction to drugs. The addict builds up a tolerance (in the case of the obese person, their appetite, craving, and the stretch of their stomach) and has to eat a certain amount to get a certain effect. For those of you who are disgusted by fat people: if someone in your family were hooked on pain pills or something, would you also be disgusted, even if the effects of what they were doing were not visual?

everephebe's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I agree that good and bad are subjective terms. However I still do think that, obesity is generally detrimental both to the individual’s well being, and to society. And I recognize that you completely disagree with that. That’s ok… well, at least to me, it is.

I don’t follow you here: “...let’s be serious, it’s not about people’s health or well-being that you give/not give a shit about, it’s about judging them as good/bad people.“

I don’t think of smokers as “bad” people, I do think they support financially a “bad” industry. Same deal with fat people. I don’t think of them as bad people. Do I think they might have made poor choices, yes. I don’t want to judge people, I get no kick out of it, in fact I judge myself for being judgmental and feel bad about it. Yes, I basically just said, “Fat people make me feel bad because I judge myself for judging them.” Sad but true. But at least I don’t judge them for that. :D

I don’t reflexively say things out loud to smokers or fat people. I do think, obesity is bad for one’s health. And I do mean that as, medical problems and that they might be lazy or weak of will. And not just physically lazy but mentality lazy. I’m not going to lie, that is what I do think.

When did I claim my views were objective? I did mention that they were opinions, which most people know are subjective. Don’t put extra words in my posts, they are long enough. :D

Access to choice is not the issue, fruits and veggies aren’t that expensive. Yes highly processed foods are subsidized but so are bananas and other fruits and veggies. Yes, I do think our consumerism and indeed our capitalism are factors. And our government, and our industries are partially to blame. But people, have choices, you can go to the library and use the internet for free and learn about what is food, and what just called “food.” Yes poorer people are at a disadvantage. True, I agree.

But, as a person who has no money… being poor makes you thin, making poor choices makes you fat. I’ve lived in rural and urban areas, and never in any posh neighborhoods. In fact the best I ever ate in my life was when I lived in New York City with barely enough money to pay rent, and about $100 month for food, that my mom sent me. Thanks Mom! That’s about $1.11 per meal, IN NEW YORK CITY. Yes plain rice again, yum. Do you want me to apologize for being born lower “middle class” & white, or being median in weight? There are no jobs where I currently live, none available. Zip. Good thing I’m about to be a student again, right? I don’t think it’s just a matter of being poor and having no choice.

I’m not talking about always striving for health, or getting your ass to the gym. I’m not even talking about moderation in moderation. I’m just saying I’m not preferential towards fat people, personally. And still in the real world I do keep that to myself. Unlike the person in the OP. That’s all I was saying.

Healthy is probably the best way to live, yes… I feel like that is a relatively safe assumption, especially with the use of the word probably. I’m not saying people can’t enjoy themselves, it’s not my place. Get fat, have dozens of babies, do as much drugs as you want, whatever you want, the survival of the human species is unimportant in the long run. We’re all gonna die. But it would be nice if the world didn’t suck… In my opinion.

If more people practiced safe sex, less people would have sexually transmitted diseases. Does saying that make me an asshole in your book @Simone_De_Beauvoir? These poor fat people have to pay for health care somehow right? How do they do it? Are you familiar with the broken window fallacy? Their preventable medical problems are not “good” for the economy, or for prosperity. Prosperity is something I care about, not judging people… I don’t get off on that, so please don’t suggest that I do. I am not moralizing here. I just have a fucking opinion, that’s all. I’m not claiming to be right about this, or to be objective. I realize that it’s not a popular opinion in this thread… sorry. And it’s probably not politically correct either, again… sorry. I was laboring under the misapprehension that this was the social section… and that my posts were relevant, as someone apparently as bad as moon cricket girl.

“Do you have a responsibility to the nation, your employer, partners, family, friends, children and – most of all – yourself, to always be striving for health?”
Maybe not always striving for health, rather just not avoiding it with too much vigor.

“Why is my health a cause of concern for anyone other than me?”
Um, because they care about you, or the human species as a whole. Because being selfish isn’t productive? I dunno… I tend to mind my own business, and do my best not to leave the world too much worse off from my being here.

There are some social concerns. If you have a disease, don’t spread it. If you have a health problem that’s within your power to treat, treat it. Why not? Sure people have the right to be ill, they can exercise that right, all they want. I’m not suggesting somebody stops them. Just why apologize for them? I mean do they really need apologizing for? I know that don’t need apologies for my sake, just because my eyebrow arches for half a second.

If you were paralyzed and someone said there was a cure, you’d go for it wouldn’t you? I mean come on? I adore Stephen Fry, and when he started to put on too much weight, he lost 6 stone in 6 months. How much is 6 stone? 84 pounds. I respect the man even more for dealing with his weight issue. Walking and listening to audiobooks, eating right are any of those things bad? No. Badass, yes. Good for him.

I’m not suggesting we euthanize the disabled and elderly, ok? People get old, people get sick, people go crazy, people get fat… it happens. I’m not attacking people for inevitabilities. Listen I’m certainly a queer person, ok? I’m a nonconforming nonconformist, and I’m not shitting on fat people. People have every right to be as fat as they want to be, or as fat as they can’t help themselves to be… really whatever. But I have ever right to be disgusted and keep that to myself, and as far as I know, the thought police can’t arrest me for that.

I am not ostracizing them, I’m just not one of their apologists. @Jude I guess that makes me insecure. @ladymia69 I had a friend who was addicted to heroin and yes that was disgusting, not physically or visually… but emotionally and mentally disgusting, yes. I don’t put too much stock in addiction myself. Weak and powerless, really? But if someone in my family was addicted I would help them go get treatment. And yes, I might be disgusted. Why is that a bad thing to say? If I didn’t know them I wouldn’t do anything, not my place. It’s not like I’m saying things like this! Cheers :D

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe Honestly, there is so much in your last statement that is problematic, I can’t address it all tonight. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s response though!

everephebe's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Hahaha, ok will do. Feel free to take your time, tearing me a new one. :D

mattbrowne's avatar

Maybe this helps:

“The reptilian brain is indispensable. For unconscious breathing, autonomous fight and flight, and reproductive tendencies, it can’t be beat. But there are instances in which our distinctly human brains’ outer layers should trump its inclinations. There are many who argue, very effectively, that the reptilian brain is the root cause of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, and all other cultural and religious prejudice. This makes perfect sense when you consider that the reptilian brain has contributed to survival with an “Us vs. Them” process. In the past centuries, those animals and humans who were unfamiliar posed serious threats to territory, health, and life. This is rarely the case today. And if it is, our cognitive minds have already learned of those dangers, and can base prejudice against known individuals on fact, not speculation. In many instances, the knee jerk reactions of the reptilian brain can be imprudent. But in other instances, the reptilian brain still contributes to our prosperity (...). Controlling the reptilian brain is a fine craft, but one that a complex mind, like the human one, is sure to conquer with practice.”

http://www.bodylanguageuniversity.com/public/238.cfm

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne Oh dear,I’m drawing a blank on how this helps, can you clarify?
@everephebe I have no intention to ‘rip you a new one’ – you’re not that lucky, :)~ (as I’m very good at the process) And I do see that you recognize that you kind of judgy, which is a good step. Obesity being labeled ‘the new epidemic’ has very real class and race undertones if you explore the past couple of decades in regards to this issue. If you get a bit into fat studies and into a critical analysis of the public health world (of which I’m a part of and have a master in public health), you would begin to realize that all our current notions about sizes and shapes and fat and obesity are nothing ‘common sense’ but are carefully constructed by some interested parties. Even if you don’t feel like getting into any of it, understand that one’s size doesn’t always connect to one’s health and shaming fat people doesn’t help in improving anyone’s life. I was at an event a month ago where the speaker had this on a slide

Better behavior/eating habits—> better (?, according to whom) weight/shape/size—> better health outcomes

which is our current paradigm (and most people on all sides of the debate are generally stuck in the middle as one’s size/shape/weight is easier to comment on that complex societal structures)

and she later asked ‘What would happen if we dropped out the middle?” leading to

Better behavior/eating habits—> better health

What would that kind of a public health paradigm look like? Think about it.

As for supporting ‘bad’ industries, I hope to see you at our next local vegan meeting because it’s obvious to me that as soon as you recognize that you don’t want to support ‘bad industries’, you will no longer eat meat and dairy. See you soon!

mattbrowne's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – Keeping the reptilian brain in check is a challenging endeavor which takes many years. There are numerous ways accomplishing this. One of the most compelling ways to me is shown in Karen Armstrong’s most recent book called “Twelve Concrete Ways To Live A Compassionate Life”. She deals with the following questions:

How do we overcome the straitjacket of the ego and feel transcendence and a common humanity? Our era rewards hardness, competitiveness and self-centeredness. How do we thrive while overcoming the temptations of the reptilian portion of our brains, and its preoccupation with the 4Fs which are feeding, fighting, fleeing, and having sex? The steps are the following:

1. Learn about compassion
2. Look at your World
3. Compassion for Yourself
4. Empathy
5. Mindfulness
6. Action
7. How Little We Know
8. How Should We Speak to One Another
9. Concern for Everybody
10. Knowledge
11. Recognition
12. Love Your Enemies

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne I feel like I haven’t gotten sleep in days. What does that have to do with this thread?

blueiiznh's avatar

@mattbrowne I too am funcused at how it relates. Please enlighten me.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir and @blueiiznh I think what it means is that there is a part of our brain that focuses on survival tactics. People who lack empathy for others may be relying too much on the messages from this portion of the brain. In @mattbrowne‘s first post, it describes how the ‘fight or flight’ aspect comes into play when confronted with the unknown.

What that can look like in a few people in today’s society is a lack the empathy to not judge others based upon race, gender, size, etc. because they do not understand it. In the OP’s description, a young girl is making not only judgmental, but rude comments about others. The question really is the OP’s last line in the detals:

Why would someone be like this? It can’t be that she is insecure. Upbringing?

Matt is offering up a possible answer to these questions from a physiological perspective.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir @blueiiznh I think what @mattbrowne is trying to say is that because I lack empathy, I have the brain of a lizard. ~

Ladymia69's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate, I don’t think he is saying that at all. :) @mattbrowne has a point there, and I am not saying that I am not judgmental at times, but we should all face the most ugly and judgmental parts of ourselves and look on them with compassion, as well as looking at the object of our disgust with compassion. It is a critical exercise in keeping us human and humanitarian, and in keeping us from degenerating into mean, shitty little creatures.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

But I AM a mean, shitty little creature! For me, it’s almost always “that time of the month”. :P

everephebe's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I don’t recognize that I am kind of judgy, I recognize that everyone is, I’m just admitting to it. :D Though, my judgmentalness is not firm, it’s not a “ruling” if you will. I don’t pass judgment, you know? I do think things, but my mind is never made up as such. Everyone thinks things, but it’s the people who think that they must be right about what they think, who are truly judgmental. I don’t think I’m right, or have all the answers, especially not on this topic. I am someone who is very concerned about the non-food we call food though.

There is always a “new epidemic,” and I’m not coming from a paradigm of shaming people who are fat, what the hell would that accomplish? When did I say that was ok? I don’t tend to lump people into categories, I don’t have an us and them mentality. It’s one planet and I’m rooting for all the animals, not just the mammals. Fat people/obese people are people first, they’re not subhuman at all, they’re human and therefore capable of making mistakes. Just like me.

I like to look at individuals or the whole human species. Culture is one thing, but skin pigment is irrelevant, we’re all african apes. And it’s not just women and men, there are more sexes than that, and definitely more genders than the binary system allows for. So after you break all of that down you get people, people with different cultures yes, but just people in the end.

Implying that I’m racists or classist, because I think overeating is disgusting, is almost funny.

I’m not making policies, I’m not saying we should DO something about fat people! I’m just saying I think it shows something about a person, it shows some of the choices they make. It really doesn’t matter if I “approve” of “fat” people or not. But you don’t get to decide what I’m allowed to think or not.

It’s not an issue for me, I’m not campaigning for a change in social policy. Better behavior does exist, I mean if you have a choice there is usually a better option and worse one. Is drinking fresh squeezed orange juice better for your health then drinking poison? Say for lunch everyday for a week you have the choice between a carrot, and a deep-fried chocolate candy bar. It’s not a sin or a bad thing if you go for the deep-friend candy bar, it’s just not as good for you if you go for it all the time. I’m not saying you can’t eat rich fatty gourmet food, or even that you can’t eat highly processed junk-food that activity harms your body. I just don’t see the point in apologizing for anyone here. I think the idea of, “Oh poor fat people,” has crept into the discussion a little too much.

Sure you have been properly educated on this subject, and I have not. But it’s not the type of situation where, I’m wrong and your right. If it was I would defer to you. I merely said I have my own opinion. Are you right to question me? Sure… to a point, it’s valid, it’s good. But… So what if I don’t agree with you? I’m one person. I disagree with your paradigm. So what? Do we just agree to disagree here then?

I’m not a libertarian when it comes to food or health. It’s clear, to me, that there are harmful foods. No I’m not a vegan. I’m not even a strict veggie anymore. I do try to be minimal with meat especially. I’ll never stop eating eggs and cheese though. I do try to buy cage free and such. It’s really more, I avoid highly processed food. I eat meat less often, I don’t eat too much food at one time, I don’t drink soda or packaged sugary drinks. I read the back where it lists the ingredients. I try to be as sustainable as a poor person can be, while still maintaining their health.

“...you would begin to realize that all our current notions about sizes and shapes and fat and obesity are nothing ‘common sense’ but are carefully constructed by some interested parties.”
So what do your interested parties say? You have your own set of constructed notions too. We all do.

I haven’t shamed fat people, so I don’t know what the issue is. Once I punched “the fat kid” in my Physical Education class, why? Because he was picking on the disabled kid, and pushing him around and hurting him. Freshman year of high school. I dropped out the next year. True story. I have a friend who weights about 100 pounds more then me, and I don’t think he is fat. I know that he is pretty fit actually. I’m not one for making too many assumptions here.

I’m just not pro-fat/pro-obese. And I kind of doubt that too many people actually want to make a pro obesity argument here. I would gather that this is much more about respecting people and not taking their dignity away, which… is all good. But if anyone is saying that fat people want to be fat, and not to be fit and that’s cool… Well, that’s silly, but it’s a free country still.

Better behavior/eating habits—> better (according to me) weight/shape/size—> better health outcomes (for me because I should know my own body, somewhat. When in doubt, I rely on a doctor. And science.)

I’m not getting into the complex societal structures, you are. I realize it’s complex but saying “Fat is great, have a cake,” is not something you’ll be hearing from me. Unless I’m selling cakes. I just said personally I, personally feel, that personally, being fat is not for me. :D Ok? And fuck being so politically correct. I never said, “Shame the fatties!” Ok? Your barking up trees here. I just wanted to offer a counter-opinion to the general Oprahesque absolution being given out. I think being obese is not good. That’s just me. I’m not apologizing for Ms. Moon Crickets, but I don’t stand for all the apologizing being done for people who happen to be obese. That doesn’t mean I want to shame them, or say or do anything rude to a person for being fat. That would be lame, and stupid.

“As for supporting ‘bad’ industries, I hope to see you at our next local vegan meeting because it’s obvious to me that as soon as you recognize that you don’t want to support ‘bad industries’, you will no longer eat meat and dairy.”

I am talking mostly about highly processed non-foods as being the biggest problem, but then yes meat and yes dairy too -> at least from Big Agro… that is. I’d personally like to be a 100% strict retrovore.

I’m aware of my surroundings. I think we should fish less too, but I’m not out cutting nets. I just try to eat fish that are sustainable, if and when I do eat fish. And dammit I’m not really talking about slightly curvy people, it’s more like if your over 350+ pounds and it’s not necessary for part of your job description. What’s so bad about a half second eyebrow raise?

This guy totally looks happy.
It’s a nice picture too, it’s… beautiful actually. Maybe I’m just swayed by the grapes though?
I don’t judge this guy, I don’t know his story.

My criticalness of fat people is personal, I probably wouldn’t date a fat person, no attraction. That doesn’t mean I won’t let you sit at my table, or next to me on an airplane or subway or not be your friend if you’re fat. Or purposely treat anyone like a second class citizen for any reason for that matter.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe My interested parties are about allowing people to be agents + harm reduction + access to different choices about what ‘health’ and ‘in a good body’ means for them. Period. Your personal ‘criticalness’ of fat people doesn’t help anyone, whatsoever. It doesn’t help fat people who don’t need it and it doesn’t help ‘our culture’ which doesn’t exist. Oh and I also never called you a racist or a classist.

everephebe's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir You’re wrong my criticalness helps me not to be fat, and I’m someone and that’s the whatsoever. Also voicing dissent can be helpful. This is where I am coming from.

Does pandering help obese people? I think that being an enabler is wrong. People who make decisions on their own is one thing. To openly support a dangerous lifestyle is not necessarily responsible. However fighting for the right (for yourself or others) to lead an alternative lifestyle is admirable.

I am not vocally critical of obese people… at least not to obese people. I am, actually, sensitive to others need for consideration and respect (in the real world). Bullying and ostracization are not ok.

“Our culture”? Is that supposed to be a quote from me? Because it’s not. Americans do have culture, maybe not one culture but… I don’t follow you there.

I said that you implied that I was a racist or a classist. Here’s where I got that from:
“Obesity being labeled ‘the new epidemic’ has very real class and race undertones
“So your ‘objective views’ that you so nicely keep to yourself have a lot to do with your ‘station in life’, so to speak, and your ACCESS to choices of food have a lot to do with your class and race and neighborhood rather than with anything you actively do or don’t do.”
And again I don’t get where you got the “objective views” idea from, I’ve been clearly stating what I said was opinion..

This is an interesting read, it’s article from the economist.
So is this, it’s a list of countries by dietary calorie intake. Which does make some wonder about a fat tax.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe “Being an enabler” “Dangerous lifestyle” “Fat tax” – this is all about policing other people’s bodies. Perhaps fat is a visible way to do so but who is to say that we shouldn’t be investigating into some of your practices (not so visible, perhaps) that are costing this society money? Please, let’s look at how much more we spend on the military industrial complex before we get up in arms about the possibility (not even reality) of ‘paying for those damn fat people.’

everephebe's avatar

”...shouldn’t be investigating into some of your practices (not so visible, perhaps) that are costing this society money?” Sure, do it, that’s fair. And yes, let’s cut military spending. I don’t think we are going to agree on anything else, anytime soon, at least in this thread. I guess we aren’t really understanding each other.

Being alive is a privilege, so you can do what you want, but of course there are consequences. I think we should all do our best to be nice to each other, and try not shoot ourselves in the foot. But we’re human so… that doesn’t always work out so well.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@everephebe Um, yes, being alive is great. Very well.

mattbrowne's avatar

@blueiiznh@Simone_De_Beauvoir – I hope you got some sleep.

What does that have to do with this thread? The question was: Why do people make disparaging comments about fat people or refer to black people as moon crickets which is a very derogatory term? Upbringing?

My answer: because they haven’t learned to keep their reptilian brain in check. I mentioned that many argue that the reptilian brain is the root cause of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, and all other cultural and religious prejudice. And that this makes perfect sense when you consider that the reptilian brain has contributed to survival with an “Us vs. Them” process.

Then I mentioned that keeping the reptilian brain in check is a challenging endeavor which can take many years. So it can indeed have something to do with upbringing. Some children are taught these skills, others are not. Some adults have learned these skills, others have not. Some men beat their wives when angry, others do not. Some people use insults, others don’t.

Then I mentioned a book with a 12 step approach to build up the skill. If successful, people will no longer make disparaging comments about fat people or refer to black people as moon crickets.

Got it?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne I’ve never heard of this reptilian brain hypothesis as the root cause of anything.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@mattbrowne : Now that you mention it, I have and it makes sense.

mattbrowne's avatar

Well, I’ve never heard of many hypotheses first mentioned on Fluther either. This is one reason I enjoy being part of of this community. An opportunity to hear about new views. Which doesn’t mean I embrace everything. But challenging our assumptions can be a good thing.

The human reptilian brain hypothesis is a hypothesis. It offers an explanation for certain human behavior. I think it’s worth looking into it, but a hypothesis isn’t a widely accepted theory of course. These links might be helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_brain

http://www.bodylanguageuniversity.com/public/238.cfm

Even Barack Obama must have talked about it recently. I found a conservative blog post here

http://michiganconservatives.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/obama-says-there-is-a-reptilian-part-of-our-brain/

“Obama tried to explain why there is still some aspect of racism in our society. This is where he mentioned that part of our brain is still reptilian.”

JilltheTooth's avatar

@mattbrowne : I remember an article (no, can’t link) about that in reference to the reptilian brain and developing social filters…it was a couple of years ago.

blueiiznh's avatar

@mattbrowne I disagree. The triune brain is that part that handles instinctive things like reflexes, standing upright, etc. We can’t keep our reptilian brain in check. It is there as a core part of us. Evolution in time may change it, but I hardly think we control it. Rather, it control us instinctively. Racism is something learned. Obesity or your view of it is also something learned.
If you are saying racism and our views of others comes from n instinctive part of our brain, why do people think differently about these things then. They have learned to.
Reptilian brain is what makes us duck when something is thrown at us, not some thoughtful view of others.

mattbrowne's avatar

@JilltheTooth – I also read a couple of articles in German magazines mentioning the reptilian brain. The term does not seem to be properly defined in science.

@blueiiznh – According to MacLean the reptilian brain (or reptilian complex) is also responsible for instinctual behaviors involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays. You are talking about the autonomic nervous system (ANS or visceral nervous system) which is the part of the peripheral nervous system that acts as a control system functioning largely below the level of consciousness, and controls visceral functions. The ANS affects heart rate, digestion, respiration rate, salivation, perspiration, diameter of the pupils, and sexual arousal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_nervous_system

If you use the term reptilian brain as a synonym for ANS, you are correct. But I was using MacLean’s definition. And then it can be controlled. A good example is aggressive behavior.

Marri's avatar

For heavens sake, all of this because one person challenged jude’s recognition of select ‘groups’ or ‘types’ of people in society?! Ha! I find it baffling as we ALL make judgements of people, however minor, to get us through the day in one piece. I think that we all are judged, be it for our sizes, sexuality, hair colour, breast size, voice etc

J asked ‘why would she be like this?’ well, cool question, perhaps she has issues of her own? Perhaps she has a fear of becoming fat herself in which case it could be a sign of one of the most serious mental illnesses; anorexia! Either way are we not all doing exactly what she was condemned for doing, are we not judging with half of a story?
Simone de b; I quite embrace my reptilian brain, as you call it. I do not necessarily recognise it as a negative trait to ‘classify’ something using a term such as ‘fat’, as it is descriptive & often not meant in a derogatory manner. I personally would say ‘Fat’, just as I would say ‘emaciated’ or ‘anorexic’, or observe a sense of ‘normality’. I would call somebody ‘tall with a spotty face’. None of this would be meant negatively everyone is just too f-cking P.C. Jesus, I want to say get over it! As humans we will ALWAYS, recognise differences & will always fear them, perhaps, as people fear that which is unknown. Some may embrace, whilst others may run LOL
MacLean can go and do himself, lol, Carl Rogers might tell him a thing or two!
I am joking people, being a little light hearted, sorry if I offend!
Oh, speaking the rest of my mind lol, Mattbrown is so right; racism is often learnt from others! Some people are thought the most hideous terms for different ethnicities, but the connotations are often different to them; the words can be their descriptive, they donot recognise them as being wrong! Others just teach their children to be negative to people for being black, white, brown, DIFFERENT from them!! F.E.A.R.
Rant out, have funnnnnnnnnnn!! x x

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