Today’s fat rant brings us “the worst reason to lose weight”. It’s not weight loss for health; it’s not weight loss for vanity; no, according to Ragen, it’s weight loss to avoid emotional baggage and fat hate, as described in the “marketing literature” for a mysterious weight loss product Ragen refuses to identify.
Heavier people are often teased and taunted starting in childhood and continuing for the rest of their lives. These insults can cause early emotional wounds that get ripped back open with every new jab and joke. [Insert Product Name] can give you a life free from this emotional baggage!
This “marketing literature” appears nowhere on the internet. We can only assume Ragen either received it as junk mail for a weight loss treatment scam, or more likely simply wrote it herself. Either way, Ragen is employing her standard alarmist straw man technique to misrepresent it as a typical example of weight loss marketing or reasoning for promoting weight loss; an issue so serious it deserves a long post. Is avoiding emotional baggage and fat hate a common weight loss marketing technique? Are GPs and other heath providers telling their patients to lose weight for this reason? A quick Google search shows a handful of fat acceptance bloggers who equate any kind of weight loss advice for children with legitimizing bullying and fat hate, but no real examples of companies marketing this way. Without even getting into Ragen’s ridiculous example of the progression of “bullying” (really, head in the toilet?), her line of reasoning here is about the same as complaining that this email picked from the author’s spam folder represents how medical treatment for erectile dysfunction is typically marketed to men.
But Ragen has already laid the groundwork and “proven” weight loss is impossible and doesn’t improve health, so it’s necessary for her to dig deeper and find the true motivation for societal fat shaming to keep her endless stream of blog drivel going. Ragen’s entire persona and much of her writing and speaking about body weight issues hinge on these points. She expects the reader to take it as a matter of fact that weight loss is impossible and body weight is totally unrelated to health. There is no debate, no discussion, just Ragen’s “trained researcher” opinion that she is right and all the scientific literature is wrong other than a few papers she cherry picks and misrepresents. Everything stems from these simple concepts. If one truly believes body weight is an immutable physical characteristic that has no influence on health, then a lot of what Ragen writes starts to make sense. Why should doctors badger their patients over something they can’t control that doesn’t even matter? Why shouldn’t society accommodate people at any size no matter the cost? These questions are preposterous to most people, but completely serious to Ragen and her believers.
When it comes down to it, Ragen is a professional apologist: she makes a living selling denial and excuses to an eager audience desperate for validation of their poor lifestyle choices. She spreads lies and misinformation to eke out a living and allow her to further her own narcissism and self-denial. Ragen joined the “sixty billion dollar a year diet industry” in 2002, and Dances with Fat is just the latest embodiment of her continuing get rich quick scheme. This blog may be dismissed as a “hater blog”, but to paraphrase another blogger, we aren’t the ones asking for money at the bottom of every post.