Fatphobia is a Capitalist Illusion

Updated: Jan 12


Fatphobia is a socially acceptable prejudice. This article explores how fatphobia and diet culture feeds capitalism more than it nourishes us.

Summer bodies, juice cleanses and HIIT routines. Do a keto diet, or fast for sixteen, no, twelve hours. Subscribe to this app, the workouts will give you a flat stomach in two weeks, they said.


Trend after trend, we are bombarded with ways to stay healthy and keep fit. Wrapped up in fancy words, packaging, and the mentality that “the more expensive, the better it is for you”. We’re disillusioned.


Fatphobia, the socially accepted prejudice


The official definition of fatphobia is the ‘irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against obese people or obesity’. [1] Society has set a liberal term on ‘obese people’, and anyone who doesn’t fit into the standard sizes hanging up in H&M or Cotton On are also thrown into the mix.


Despite our political correctness, the fear of being a certain size has been forced down our throats since we were children. It's been drilled into our beings that fat equals lazy and undisciplined, or not caring enough to take care of your body.


Diet pills and potions, a big fat lie


Health studies have proven that while fad diets help you lose weight quickly, they become ineffective in the long run. An analysis published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ), a meta-analysis revealed that while most of the diets showed results over the first six months, by the 12th month, weight loss was reduced. [2]


But walk into the supermarket and these words are being tossed at you - keto-friendly, paleo-inspired! Fad diets are ruling our food choices to the delight of the food industry, which valued at USD$707 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow to USD$811 billion in 2021. [3]


Ultimately, it is all about your intentions - if your goal is to maintain your health and happiness, and you have the financial means to, all power to you! Go for that spin class, get your green smoothie after. But if you are forcing yourself to classes and eating a certain way to fit into the average store size, stop feeding capitalism, go get yourself a cake (and maybe a green juice too, just to feel healthy).


Fat is just a word, until you give it the power to be something more. And if the Greeks thought rolls were the picture of beauty on Aphrodite, who says you can’t have rolls too?


 

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About Our Writer

Rachel is an anxious INFJ with a slightly concerning obsession with coffee and true crime. She loves feeling smart and dislikes playing games she knows she will lose. Learning about mental health is her way of helping people around her. IF the world was perfect, she wishes she could bring her friends flowers in a little red wagon.

 

This editorial section solely expresses the opinion of frankie and is not endorsed nor commissioned by any external party. The list is non-exhaustive. At frankie, we believe that your best provider of medical advice is your doctor. Please consult a doctor before undergoing any treatment or procedure.


 

References:


1. Stryker, K. (2020, May 8). Fatphobia in a Time of Pandemic. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fatphobia-in-a-pandemic


2. Efficacy and safety of low and very low carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes remission: systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished randomized trial data. (1991). BMJ, 303(6798), 369. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.303.6798.369


3. Fitzgerald, D. (2020, June 8). Nutrition for Weight Loss: What You Need to Know About Fad Diets. Familydoctor.Org. https://familydoctor.org/nutrition-weight-loss-need-know-fad-diets/