Sunday, 24 October 2010
Is it essentialist to be interested in the reasons people are fat or any other weight? It feels more like curiosity and the negative way the subject has been approached whilst chastening should not make these questions verboten. Humane curiosity should not take second place to the cynicism and self interest of certain groups.
I'm not seeking to blame, the context of my interest is not defined by that kind of parameter which seem to be a direct graft of religious moral constructs. Blame and shame seems to be more about the emotional reaction of the medical/science establishments to the way fatness exposes-by its very nature-the kind of patterns they have established which do not stand up to objective and rigorous scrutiny. Or to put it more crudely the fact that fatness will not succumb to quackery, threatens to expose it. If that doesn't make sense now, it will do in time.
Being interested in cause or what starts chain reactions that lead us from a to b, is fascinating for the promise of revealing our humanness to us, bypassing some of our funny ideas about how we think we should function as opposed to how we actually do. I wouldn't like to fall into the trap that some do of behaving as if conducting studies reveals the underlying truth always, its as likely to reveal our underlying assumptions and worldviews as much as anything else.
It is part of the patchwork of different ways of understanding ourselves.
I was once accused of claiming thinness as the default setting, I was surprised because I did not actually see it that way-more that those of us who haven't always been fat must pass through being thinner to get to fatter, however briefly. There is no default setting for weight, if your metabolism has gone to fat then even if you lose weight, it tends to reassert the underlying pattern and ditto if you are slim. If you gain weight, your metabolism tends to reassert that, which accounts for a lot of "before and after" weight loss 'success' stories.
However, I feel I could just as easily have been fat as thin, although I'm not sure exactly why I became fat at a young age. I don't necessarily see my fatness as any different in terms of calorie restriction than someone who has always been fat. The uselessness of calorie restriction has seen to that. That can only be tested by something that doesn't provoke the body's defences to violently unseat it.
There are many people fatter than me who's bodies can respond far less horribly than mine to calorific deficits, in that their bodies-and minds- do not react in the extreme manner mine does.
What it does when confronted with it is far worse than being fat in every way. It is extraordinarily efficient at seeing it off, no matter how gentle or 'sensible' or good and noble the restriction is deemed to be.It of course should not be an issue. No matter how potent a treatment is, it is fully accepted that there are always people for whom it doesn't and can't work, by those who can maintain rationality.
But then remedies are not usually seen as being a test of morality, that is because that is bunkum and exists to hide something those concerned do not wish to face, it's either us or them and they've decided that as they are in a position to make it us, that's who its going to be. Exploiting our trust in them to get away with a self indulgence far more egregious than any they whine about.
My curiosity has been awaken by this outstanding capacity to see off conscious strictures, what is it and what is it made up of? As well as the experience of others that are both unique to them and show threads of similarity sometimes unexpected ones. Not because I need to excuse myself or escape. I have an interest that has been lit by all this and the realisation that we know surprisingly little about such a vital need. Curiosity about this is something to celebrate, not to ascribe rank motives of others.
I'm not talking about nosiness!
I'm actually shocked at the way the motives of people who have nothing to do with me and don't give a damn what I think feel or have gone through is allowed to define the agenda of curiosity itself. The arrogance of it is staggering, the malicious do not own it. People who are most sure that interest is verboten often come from the same or similar backgrounds to the cynical they are angry with and it seems as if their blanket condemnation conforms to an overall agenda of shoring up that group.
There are other people and motives on planet earth that are not defined by the same borders.