Comments on: “LOL! You’re fat!” Self-hating self-promotion and the future of the G.O.P. http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:04:18 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-265073 Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:56:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-265073 I think a big–the biggest perhaps–reason that anorexia and obesity aren’t treated the same is class. Anorexia–or at least the stereotype of it–afflicts mostly upper-middle class teenagers and young women (and some men), and is psychological disorder that’s all about control. Obesity afflicts people of all incomes and classes, but since the stereotype is that people are fat because they’re out of control, have no discipline, have no self-respect, etc., its modal class identity is lower-class/poor.

The people I knew or observed with anorexia were from middle-class or affluent backgrounds. I don’t think that children who deal with food insecurity suffer from anorexia–but I could be wrong.

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-264883 Fri, 20 Mar 2009 06:36:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-264883 Sure, anorexia is a serious illness — but when untreated anorexics insult and deny the right of larger people, especially larger women, to their own social humanity — AND THE REST OF THE CULTURE SUPPORTS THEM IN THEIR ILLNESS-BASED OPINION — well, yeah, it’s a problem.

No matter how much sympathy I might have for an individual sufferer of an eating disorder, I can predict three sickening behaviors society still supports:

The anorexic will be seen as just outside of normal, but still be a heck-of-a-gal to be around;

Neither the anorexic or the normal-sized people around her will see herself and any fat person on the same eating disorder continuum;

And the fat woman will be jeered at by normal-sized and anorexic-sized people, whether or not she’s out of earshot.

When years ago I received two surveys concerning eating disorders, and they were all about the binge-and-purge cycle and still used the model that underweight people only suffered eating disorders, I saw the cake icing on the wall — the big business was in treating anorexic women because they were considered to be tragic heroines in severe body-mod cycles, while obese women were just slovenly and too stupid to have self-control. To this day, I bet I could call up 10 eating disorder centers and they’d have no bariatric component.

That’s why I’m angry. It has nothing to do with Elf’s brother, or anyone else who is trying to dig out from under illness. It’s the society that considers the less-extreme versions of that illness as normal, and divides and conquers between anorexic and obese women as a matter of course.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-263664 Wed, 18 Mar 2009 20:13:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-263664 Elf–fair enough. I meant to suggest that people (like Ingraham) who only think and talk about their bodies and their weight (or other people’s weight) are boring. This in my experience is something I’ve seen mostly in anorexics, but there are normal-weight and overweight people who do this too. It was more a critique of self-obsessed people than of anorexics as a whole, but I take your point here.

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By: Elf http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-263656 Wed, 18 Mar 2009 19:49:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-263656 I love your blog–it’s witty, insightful, thought-provoking, and all that good intellectual jazz. However, I was disappointed to read your condemnation of anorexics as “boring”. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Ingraham’s attack on McCain’s weight, but I wonder: if it should be unacceptable to poke fun at a woman’s weight, why do you lump all anorexics in one unfair category? How is that different from attacking a woman as overweight? While I agree that public figures like Coulter may maintain slim figures in order to project a glamorous, media-ready image, for many, anorexia is a terrible and protracted illness. My 16 year-old brother nearly died of anorexia this summer. He was hospitalized in a children’s treatment facility, where children ages 3-21 were struggling with eating disorders. Do these children deserve criticism and belittlement? Research has shown that anorexia is a brain disorder, not a choice. I hope that you investigate this website: http://www.kartiniclinic.com, which may prompt you to reevaluate your views.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-262704 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 20:02:16 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-262704 The “plus size” trope/equivalent for men gets buried under the more ambiguous but presumably less pejorative euphemism of “big and tall.” (cf “wide and rangey.”) Imagine dismissing your school’s starting right tackle, with bellyfat hanging out and drooping down over his belt, as “too big and tall to be cast on _The Amazing Race_” even if it was partly true?

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-262543 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 15:07:01 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-262543 Lilian–thanks for the link. This is so sad, and yet so predictable! I’ve read psychological studies like this before that show that attractiveness works only for men in the workplace–handsome men get promoted or considered for better positions than homely men, but beauty is no advantage to women competing for professional positions because people read women’s beauty as a sign of their unseriousness or incompetence. (And, being a homely woman is no advantage, either.)

Prof. Zero–for a while there about 10 years ago, I noticed a major inflation (or deflation) of American women’s clothing sizes, so that although a size 6, I was all of a sudden fitting into clothes marked size 4. But it seems to have normalized again–maybe that’s what’s happening at that fashion website (their size 8 is really a size 10-12, their size 10 is really a size 12-14?) If it sells very expensive clothing, it might be that they just don’t make clothing for women larger than size 10–I’ve noticed that with very high end fashion I’m a total fatty–size 6 or 8 is as big as it goes. They don’t want to make clothes for larger women I guess because it might damage their “brand” somehow.

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By: Professor Zero http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-262259 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 07:27:19 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-262259 Well, someone sent my blog a GREAT fashion website so I looked at it and the sizes. According to them, an 8 is LARGE and a 10 is EXTRA LARGE. Hm.

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By: Lilian Nattel http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-261969 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 00:03:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-261969 A recent study shows that highlighting a woman’s appearance, even in terms of discussing her as more attractive, reduces perceptions of her competence. Link here.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-261895 Mon, 16 Mar 2009 23:23:10 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-261895 Yes–just teasing you for listening;)

McCain looks extremely mature and issue-oriented next to shrieking vacuous creatures like Ingraham. Your comment inspired me to return to McCain’s columns to see if she mentioned the other women’s appearances at all, and she doesn’t–just their ideas.

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By: Another Damned Medievalist http://www.historiann.com/2009/03/16/lol-youre-fat-self-hating-self-promotion-and-the-future-of-the-gop/comment-page-1/#comment-261863 Mon, 16 Mar 2009 23:05:59 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=4006#comment-261863 Historiann, I think you might have misunderstood me? Or I’m a masochist because I actually listened to it?

No, I think one of the things that is impressive is that McCain really does address the issues, and Ingraham??? I mean, she was just so malicious and juvenile.

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