New Covid research makes fat-shaming acceptable but it’s been happening all along anyway

Mar 8, 2021

By Zoe Williams

It is not news that there is a connection between Covid mortality rates and a country’s obesity level. It may have been confirmed for the first time last week by the World Obesity Forum, but this has been a word-of-mouth truism since the start. Someone always knew a man whose brother-in-law worked in intensive care and said only obese people suffered seriously. “I weigh myself every morning, to check that I am still just overweight,” said a friend with one of these brothers-in-law.

It was this big, believe me! But tell me, how’s life in L.A.?

Then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set this in stone, whining to his cabinet: “It’s all right for you thinnies.” It is not a word, is it, “thinnie”? Nor is “gloomster”. Sometimes, I think that is the summit of the prime minister’s arrogance – that he finds the English language incomplete without the interjection of his baby words. At other times, I think his arrogance is more like the mountain in a Japanese etching: there is no “top”, there is only “more” and “cloud”.

What I cannot stand is the atmosphere of glee around the link to obesity; for a lot of people, the world makes sense again. It is not a tragedy, it is just those less important people. It is not the cruel and random hand of fate, it is a sound moral outcome – undisciplined people who had it coming got it.

Obesity is the magic bullet: it conjures a fairytale world in which bad things happen only to bad people. The more negative outcome you can attach to overeating, the fairer you have made your tiny world.

Sponsored ad

Fat-shaming never owns its agenda, it just raises its eyebrows and uses nebulous connectives such as “well”. It says: “Nobody has died in Vietnam” (cue more eyebrows, perhaps some meaningful nodding). It says, resignedly: “Well, we are an obese, ageing society,” using “society” as a fig leaf, to sound like “all of us”, when it really means “those people”.

And because it never speaks its name, the fat-hate, you can never argue against it. You sound crazy. Tilting at windmills. A dog trying to attack a fly through a window. Is it even a fly, or is it all in my head? No, I am pretty sure there is a noise – disapproval, snobbery, judgment, a constant, wordless buzz. I just haven’t figured out how to open the window.
___________________

Credit: The Guardian

Subscribe to our newsletter

Cuenca High Life offers on-line publications, local translated news, and reports about the expat life and living in Ecuador. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter

CuencaHighLife publishes Ecuador news daily. Subscribing will guarentee that you never miss the most important news.

You have Successfully Subscribed!