Let me see if I can get this completely straight.
Louise Wallace said on the brain dead wasteland that is morning Breakfast TV that fat people should have tape over their mouths as a response to NZs crippling obesity rates, fat activists went several shades of rage on social media and screamed ‘fat shaming’ between mouthfuls of emotional support doughnuts and demanded the crucifixion of Melissa Chan-Green for not saving them from feeling triggered by body shaming and demanded a group therapy session for the country to love its fat so we could all stop feeling negative about our bodies and embrace ourselves while in denial about the health ramifications?
Did I miss anything?
It’s like the perfect example where identity politics has once again trumped a class based analysis and the inevitable ‘my feelings are hurt’ is the only philosophical argument left once you hose off all the middle class virtue signalling.
As someone who has been overweight all my life and have lived the joy of being surrounded by a chunk of the population who immediately assume from your size that you are stupid and lazy and ugly and down right evil, allow me some thoughts.
Firstly, who the fuck cares what Louise Wallace has to say on any topic whatsoever? This is on bloody Breakfast TV, the dumbest thicko town of little aotearoa, this graceless brain fart of ignorance is the very level of dialogue we get in NZ, so ripping on Melissa Chan-Green for the shittiness of it all is a bit like finding the spelling mistakes in a QAnon social media post the most offensive part of their roll call of who to hang at the Summer Treason Trials.
Why can’t we talk about the normalisation of obesity and its root cause? Why is that impossible?
We have a terrible obesity rate in this country. Because it has all been smothered in wellness seminars and self love guru life coach bullshit, we utterly fail to see obesity as the class issue it is and how it’s exacerbated by the economic corporate interests served in a deregulated capitalist state.
Instead it’s all about feelings and self worth and identity and loving yourself which is nice, but utterly misses the fucking point. Unfortunately our media simply doesn’t have the intellect or maturity to cut through this emotional support blanket and instead we are left with this shallow debate.
This terrible obesity rate is generated very deliberately by a couple of factors.
Human Beings evolved with hungers for salt, fat and sugar as we ran around hunting and killing things in our early species. While our material world has fundamentally changed for a proportion of the planet our evolutionary drives for fat, salt and sugar have not.
It is against this deep human drive for those fats, sugars and salt that Fast food manufacturers with unlimited advertising budgets hook in young consumers and keep them for life.
In some socially deprived areas, the local fast food playground is the only playground, Big sugar get to pimp their drug in almost every manufactured food and personalising obesity as a personal failure is the exact same tactics American polluters have used since the 1970s. By framing pollution as a personal issue, American Polluters used a native American crying as the way to avoid any significant regulations against them.
Same with corporate food and big sugar. The cultural framing of obesity as a personal failing allows those industries completely off the hook for the product they sell and promote.
The solutions are sugar taxes, more gastro bypass surgery, more adult cooking class lessons via adult education at schools, GST off fresh food and vegetables, no advertising during children’s programming, free gym memberships via Drs prescription, limit of fast food venues, free healthy breakfasts and lunches at school and banning tuck shops at school.
The problem of our inability to talk sensibly about the vested corporate interests driving obesity and pretending its all some personal moral failure swimming in a lard of self hate is best exemplified in TVNZs ‘Snack Masters’ where food artists are compelled to make duplicates of shitty manufactured garbage food and pretend that’s entertainment.
It’s like making sculptures from your own shit.
Being fat makes you feel shitty, and when you feel shitty, you eat more shitty food. I’m not denying the emotional part of the problem with obesity, but suggesting your emotional relationship with your body identity is the only way to frame this debate is dumb and eye rolling.
The root cause of our obesity epidemic is the barely regulated corporatization of our food, it’s not about your feelings at being fat shamed. That’s why Louise Wallace’s ‘tape over your mouth’ comment was so fucking stupid, because it utterly ignores the way our basic human evolutionary drives for fat, sugar and salt have been manipulated by big business.
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