Tess Holliday is a popular plus size model and fat acceptance activist. (Photo courtesy of Tess Holliday)
La Cañada High School

Opinion: What I think of the fat acceptance movement

The fat acceptance movement is a movement which seeks to eliminate the negative stigma surrounding people who are unhealthily overweight and suffer from health problems as a result by making statements like, “a person can be healthy at every size.” This movement has gained noticeable amounts of attention and traction over the past couple of years.

I believe the fat acceptance movement, albeit not without flaws, teaches an important lesson to those who still need to learn it — that shaming a fat person for being fat is not going to help fat people or solve any problem. The only things it will do are make a person despise himself and make him feel worse about his weight issue.

Instead, if you are concerned about someone who is fat, you can tell them why you are concerned and offer support. You should be sure to speak calmly and gently and be understanding so the person you are talking to feels appreciated. If you approach them this way, this does not count as fat shaming.

The fat acceptance movement has and still does continuously push the idea that a person could be healthy regardless of how fat they are, but this is simply untrue. It is possible for a person to be thin and healthy, but not fat and healthy.

According to Stanford Health Care, the effects of being obese include cancer, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, joint problems, and heart disease, to name a few.

It is true that a person may be slightly overweight and still physically fit, but if a person has one or more health conditions that arose from being unhealthily overweight, then she is obviously not healthy at her size.

Since the movement is actively trying to promote the idea that being fat is healthy and normal, it is also promoting irresponsible behavior and glorifying health conditions.

Telling people that it is acceptable to not take care of themselves is unacceptable because it sends the message to people that they do not need to have discipline or motivation to be in good shape and take care of themselves.

The fact that fat activists completely embrace being fat and to an extent encourage others to not be so thin is dangerous because they are promoting an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle.

I hope that the people who support the fat acceptance movement realize that they are doing the people around them a disservice and understand how to help others in a healthier way.