Throwback Thursday: Fat Discrimination: Actually an Incredibly Dangerous Thing, Guys.

Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to this week’s Throwback Thursday!

This post was originally published on 24th October 2013; the day after I published last week’s TBT. I very rarely publish posts on consecutive days, so I could tell from the date alone that this post was about something I considered really important at the time.

The years done nothing to change my thoughts. If anything, I am even more aware of the dangers of fat discrimination now than I was four years ago. And with the recent news about people dying due to complications with a new type of weight loss surgery, I feel like I am currently more aware of it than usual (and I am usually pretty bloody aware).

I plan to write about this new weight loss surgery soon enough. In the meantime, here is what I have to say about fat discrimination and medical bias. Enjoy (or, at least, learn something).

There are three things in this world that I feel are literally 100% bad. As in, there is not even the tiniest amount of good in them – cancer, bullies, and nausea.

Fat discrimination is kind of like bullying, except primary schools are not devoting time and energy and money towards zero tolerance of fat discrimination policies.

Does it look stupid enough when all of this stuff is bunched together like this? Picture courtesy of the legendary red3.blogspot.com

Far from it, in fact. Treating fat people like actual people would be the least humane thing you could do to them. Instead, you need to make sure they are aware of just how fat they are, and how important it is that they just stop being so fat, because every single health problem they might be having could be completely erased, if they just stop being so fat.

I read this story yesterday, where this woman’s doctor believed just that. The woman was experiencing all of the symptoms of a chronic health condition, except she wasn’t thin (and most people with this condition are). Because of that the doctor was sure, without need of a test or even further questioning, that this chronic pain was due to her weight. Because all fat people, and only fat people, experience chronic pain, don’t you know? He prescribed herbal teas and the help of a natural healer for her pain, because fat people do not deserve proper diagnosis or treatment of chronic pain until they can get off their substantial arses and lose some fucking weight.

The woman, being relatively fortunate in terms of wealth, decided to pay for a test out of her own pocket, and it was discovered that she had been absolutely right about her self-diagnosis, her chronic pain and other symptoms had bugger all to do with her weight, and she now had all the proof she needed to tell her former physician to fuck off to the wasteland where bullies like him belong, and get the treatment she needed.

Let’s be clear on how lucky this woman was. She was clever, she was young (23 at the time), and she could afford to spend the copious amounts of money needed to find someone to see past her fatness and see her as, oh my god, a person who needs and deserves the same medical attention as a thin person with her condition.

What if that woman had been poor? Or older? Or not headstrong and stubborn enough to know that the bullying doctor was being no doctor, all bully? Well, easy. She would have died, in pain, thinking that it was all her fault.

It has long been recognised that bullying kills people. Bearing that, if nothing else, in mind, fat discrimination needs to stop being seen as an acceptable form of bullying. I would close this off with some sort of cliche phrase such as “before it’s too late”, but let’s face it guys. For many, many people, it already is too late.

And that pisses me off like you would not believe.

Posted by Gillian

Hello. My name is Gillian Brown. I'm a freelance writer living in the UK, with an Australian accent to offer as a starting point of conversation. As a writer, my main areas of interest are social activism, ethical consumption, linguistics, comedy, and marketing. My other interests include dancing, tabletop role-playing, crocheting and cooking.

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