Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Firendly fire

I remember a discussion at Harriet's blog. It touched on crusade fallout i.e. an increase in wasting (eating) disorders. A commenter said something rather chilly. He described this unintended overspill as "collateral damage".

It's taken a while to sink in that this primitive feeling is widespread.
There are two sides of the coin to consider when it comes to body image: the social pressure contributing to eating disorders and self esteem issues (especially in the young) versus the constructive aspect of encouraging people to stay fit and healthy. Where do we draw that finest of lines?
Why would "encouraging people to stay fit and healthy" cause them to have any problems whatsoever with their body image? There's a sense of recognition being denied in those words.

The former begets the latter because it's dominant mode attacks body integrity.

Note how the 'obesity' crusade becomes "social pressure." Always shifting blame; mea culpa's only for fatz apparently.

It boils down to what's more important, social politicking or saving those who fall foul of these disorders, many of whom are slim.

The answer thus far is the social inferiority of fat people and its about time we all stated that freely and clearly. That's people who like to but "...we have an 'obesity' epidemic.... something must be done", including many who whitter on about how important the fight against juvenile ED's. Pointing fingers at the rag trade, (role) models and everything else but their own rampant fat phobia.

How many times do children heard  "My goodness why don't they just. stop.eating" shouted at fat people who appear within eye shot? Yet when they actually do more or less that, it's somehow slips the mind.

And if you replace normal eating with an ugly view of food as the enemy plus call disordered eating "healthy", using the cover of 'obesity'. Then you are advancing disorder into those areas; full stop. Super obvious. You cannot reduce calorie manipulation disorders and advance that as the basis of all weight regulation.

Again, despite fat politics or prejudice the central problem here is the pursuing of that route. The means negativity comes out of it. If the approach was not fuelled by malice, it would either not generate that or the evidence of it would cause self correction.

I don't claim the end of the slimming cult will end anorexia et. al. I don't believe that. What it can do is to relieve the pressure, reversing the spread to those who do not have a stronger susceptibility towards AN -and some who do.

As the price of the 'obesity' crusade spreads outward to everyone, (supply your own pun) those on board are seeking to prevent this "friendly fire" whilst keeping the cause intact. They wish to reserve damage solely to fat people of whatever age. 

The trouble with making this all about fat people is it can sometimes obscure the costs to everyone. The lack of care for those who are caught up in the slipstream shows the extent of coldness against fat people is not likely to be contained there.

When good people suspend their usual ethics going heavily and emotionally with their baser urges, they rarely can stop themselves until something disastrous enough happens to those they can still summon up some fellow feeling for, jerking them out of their amoral stupor.

Those who want more treatment for wasting disorders like anorexia, or to halt their spread, but wish to exclude fat people or the issue of crusade ideology are kidding themselves.

They are showing their lack of will to address this, showing where the emphasis of their feelings lay. If compartmentalisation worked, this wouldn't be an issue in the first place.

Watching from the sidelines we are often relegated to feels like an incipient crash between two oncoming vehicles. Just how bad will it get before the cost of 'friendly fire' exhausts the worship of the calorie restriction route?

Sadly, we'll have to wait and see.

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