It occurs to me that one of the most absurd thing about the "Fat is socially contagious" nonsense is that its actually describing what I, as a fat activist, would like to happen. Its just describing it as if its actually happened and heaping scorn upon in, likely as part of the continual defense against it ever actually happening.
No, no, I'm not saying fat acceptance wants to make people fat. While that was the sensationalized conclusion drawn from the silly study, that's not actually the mechanism described. What they describe is that people get fat because its socially acceptable to be fat. Meaning, to me anyway, that its not socially obligated to be thin. Well, actually that is what I want. I want people to think its okay to be fat. I want my friends to know its just as acceptable to be fat as it is to be thin or anything else your body wants to be.
We see with this study how that message gets perverted in the minds of those who seek to denounce us. We say we want acceptance for all bodies, and they interpret it as encouraging fatness. Fatness doesn't need the encouragement. Its proven quite vital and self-sufficient. What we want to encourage is accepting our bodies for what they are. Ultimately, some just cannot stand for that. Rather than just say so, though, they use scare tactics and misdirection to suggest we're "promoting obesity". If we had our way, everyone would be fat!
NO. Look, I actually LOVE fatness on an aesthetic level. I don't just tolerate fatness in others, I adore and admire it. That doesn't mean I think everyone should be fat. I know there are some useful idiots who've run roughshod over fat acceptance who actually do suggest fat promotion, but really that's no more fat acceptance than weight loss promotion. The reality is that this is a fringe fetish unrelated to fat acceptance. Its just not the fat acceptance community. We're not out to make you fat. We're just out to make people unafraid of fat. Both in others and in themselves. This is still a radical change and I get why some fear it and distort it out of that fear, but its just not reality.
I wish we could make fatness more acceptable just by existing, but we're not going to be so lucky. Still, but by being openly fat accepting individuals, we do have the opportunity to challenge our friend's beliefs and assumpsions about what it means to be fat. We can show them that fat people are people, too. That their friends, neighbors, sons, and daughters who are fat are people, too. We do want to normalize our existence and encourage others to allow their bodies to be what they are. This scares people. They say we're out to fatten the world through dubious social contagions. They give us too much credit. Both for the numbers of people encouraging this and our capacity to influence those around us. Still, they aren't all that far from the mark in describing my goals. They may try to get an upper-hand by defining those goals as sinister and exagerating the "threat" they pose, but in truth I do want to threaten fat hatred. I do want to make acceptable to be fat.