Dr. Samantha Thomas points out a rather obnoxious ad created as a demo for some Australian ad agency. In the ad, we see a woman presented as if she is preparing drugs to give her child, only she gives him a burger and fries. The ad isn't for anyone. The ad agency itself took it upon itself to do this service announcement. Basically, they are advertising themselves as the makers of such an "edgy" and "controversial" take on condemning fat people.
Which is idiotic. This isn't an auteur art project. Its an ad agency trying to drum up work. They are doing this precisely because piling on fatties isn't really edgy at all. They are doing this BECAUSE fat people are disenfranchised. Its like people who think saying racist or homophobic jokes makes them a politically incorrect rebel instead, ya know, a fucking racist or a homophobe.
What this really is is the flattery of privilege. I feel like I saw this a lot defending fat acceptance on other sites recently. There is no shortage of people looking to congratulate themselves for hating fat people. They want to flatter their ego with the notion that they are courageous to verbally beat up on fat people. Except, of course, that they are just standing up for the status quo, defending the privileges of fat hatred. That's pretty much the opposite of "edgy", but people in power have a way of convincing themselves that THEY are the ones who are being put upon.
You see it in the "Men's Rights Activists" who rush feminists sites to complain about how much men are abused in our society. You see it in the people who send race baiting emails about President Obama. You see it in those who complain about the "assault" on Christianity in an oppressively Christian society. Its not just that they are standing up for disenfranchisement to preserve unjust power. Its that they convince themselves THEY are the ones being oppressed. They manufacture these absurd notions of an oppressed majority just to impress themselves. They think of themselves as brave as they pile on a group with little power. They think they are being edgy and contraversial but they do so purely within the confines of a shared delusion. They aren't taking any real risks. They know full well they are presenting dominant views and people will flock to congratulate them on their courage. This isn't speaking truth to power. Its smug self-satisfaction.
This ad is actually quite deft in its way. It pushes buttons of two very different threads of fat hatred and would find haughty support from both camps. For the liberals, it presents the notion of fighting an evil corporate threat with the imagery of fast good. For the conservatives, the text suggests issues of personal responsibility through the drug metaphor. It walks the line between both takes leaving just enough for either group to feel vindicated in their privileged hate.
The message, of course, is foolish. It advances the notion that fatness is something done to people, particularly children. I know progressives tend to like telling themselves that this is kinder, gentler fat hate but its still hate. Blaming anything for my body is still about defining it as transgressive. Doesn't matter if you blame McDonald's or my mother. Its still about stigmatizing me and disenfranchising me. The ad is so lazy in its cliche's, but it knows they are cliches people cling to. Fatties eating burgers is second only to donuts as a go-to insult for someone prejudiced against fat people. I could see PETA running this ad in a second to advance their increasingly untethered message of "Meat isn't murder but it is making you occasionally have to glimpse fat people and that's much worse".
Eating isn't like doing drugs. I know a lot of fat haters think they are brilliant for coming up with that silly rationalization for their prejudice, but its just plain dumb. I could not sooner give up eating than breathing. Eating gives us strength and energy. Eating brings us life. Stigmatizing eating only creates patterns of disordering eating and a frightening amount of social acceptance for disordered eating.
So, in conclusion, eating is fine. Fat people eat more than burgers and donuts. (Some of us are even vegetarians!) Hating fat people is positively ordinary and fat shamers deserve none of the flattery they lavish on themselves because there is nothing brave about standing up for the status quo.