... is evidently one who'll scream out to strangers how much they hate being fat.
So says San Francisco Chronicle columnist Richard Torregrossa. Very much into the war metaphors, Mr. Torregrossa. He's clearly an expert on the subject, what with being the author of such relevent tomes as "Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style" and "Fun Facts about Cats". He illustrated the last one, too! What a learned scholar on the subject of fat people.
Such knowledge came in useful when Torregrossa writes a column about he is coming to really admire fatties. See, usually he just hisses at us (silently, of course) but just look at his progress. As long as we're trying to lose weight, we have his respect. What progress! I think this qualifies as a huge victory for fat acceptance. We'll be tolerated while we do what we're told to do. Let's throw a party! No cake, though. We're dieting for fat acceptance!
The patronizing brand of tolerance here is not what we're fighting for. Well, its not what I am fighting, anyway. For all his talk about admiration and respect, he seethes with demeaning contempt. But this is precisely the attitude a lot of fat bigots have and they all act so proud for themselves. So self-righteous that they've been able to dress up their resentment and bitterness so it looks like respect. But the reality is that this is no fancy costume. Its a dollar store smock and plastic mask. Good enough for pretend, but its not fooling anyway. This is fat hatred.
Fat bigots want to be thanked for coming "this far" and I know there are plenty out there eager to congratulate them, but they don't deserve. They've done nothing but play pretend and we'd be fools to play along. Torregrossa's words are in a column, so its easier to see through the facade. He has the space all to himself, and he can't help but let his true colors shine through. Be mindful that this same attitude will look less obviously hostile when delivered in little bits and chunks. The simple truth is that if you feel the need to say you admire fat people, you almost certainly don't. You just want to give us a pat on the head when we do what we're told. We're not dogs being trained. We don't have to like a belittling pat on the head.