“The starting point is, and the research questions are all framed by: 'We know it's terrible to be fat, but how terrible is it?' Not: 'What would it take to give effective healthcare to fat people?'” says Aubrey Gordon, writer of the new book You Just need to Lose Weight and 19 Other Myths About Fat People, star of the documentary Your Fat Friend, and podcaster of Maintenance Phase. And it's not just healthcare where the alignment of 'fat' with 'unhealthy' - and 'thinner' with 'healthier' - becomes problematic and often very dangerous. "I really don't think people contend with the ways in which they are sending a message to everyone around them that there is a weight limit for people that they will love."
Content note: this episode contains discussions of body size, body image, weight, anti-fatness, illness including cancer, diet culture, weight loss - intentional and un - and eating disorders. And there are some category A swears.
This is the second of two episodes about the word ‘fat’. In Fatlusionist part 1, Aubrey and I discuss euphemisms for fat, why people avoid saying ‘fat’, what else people mean when they say ‘fat’ and how it would be quite good if people said ‘fat’ as just a descriptive term for ‘fat’.
Find out more about this episode and the topics therein at theallusionist.org/fat2, where there's also a transcript.
Thanks so much to everyone who sent in their thoughts and feelings about the word 'fat'.
The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick provides the original music. Hear Martin’s own songs via PaleBirdMusic.com. The cast of The Flab is Felix Trench of Wooden Overcoats podcast, find more of his acting and writing work via FelixTrench.com.
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