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“Good” Fat People?

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Image courtesy of stockimages at


Lesley Kinzel just posted an insightful article on the current state of fat activism and body positivism, Falling Out of Fatshion: How I Lost My Appetite for Writing About Fat Politics

She got me with this point:

“always under pressure to also demonstrate that they are ‘good’ fat people, who eat the correct foods, who exercise regularly, and who achieve perfect bloodwork numbers at their annual physical. Fat people who eat at Burger King and have health problems are not afforded the same tolerance, because we prefer our positive representations to stand in opposition to the negative cultural assumptions about fat people — to prove the exception to the rule — rather than spend effort dismantling those negative cultural assumptions altogether.”

I’ve used the very phrase, “I eat right, exercise regularly, and have great bloodwork numbers,” to justify my right to exist in the world. To Lesley’s point, what does this imply about those who don’t eat right, exercise regularly, and have great bloodwork–should they be stigmatized? Point taken.




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