In our culture, fat people are expected to be making every effort to become un-fat. Every day we must be proving that we’re trying our hardest to lose weight in order to make sense to the rest of society, and as long as we continue to prove our efforts and talk about our healthy decisions we get a pass.
My friend Alison Zwecker joins me as co-host for the day, and we’re talking about social inclusion and the “good fatty.”
So “good fatty” is a concept that refers to a fat person who is deemed exempt from social exclusion based on how they handle or react to their fat. There are several different types of fat person who are generally considered “good” in our culture, and fat activist Stacy Bias outlines these types thoughtfully and beautifully on her blog (http://stacybias.net/2014/06/12-good-fatty-archetypes/). It’s a huge concept and way more than we could take on in one 30 minute show, so we’ve chosen to focus on the good fatty archetype that we encounter most frequently: the work-in-progress.
A work-in-progress fatty is one who is fat but who is doing everything in their power to become un-fat. This good fatty is on the swirling ride of diet culture without even knowing it and without knowing that they can choose to get off. They have been dieting their whole life and they know that part of the deal they have made with society is that they must announce their desire and intention to lose weight in return for its approval.
In this episode, Alison and I talk about the tornado of diet culture, the good fatties who are trapped inside, and what we can all do to keep the vortex at bay in our own lives.