Let's Look at Society's Love/Hate Relationship with Fat People

There's some debate about whether the opposite of love is hate or disinterest. Fat people rarely enjoy public disinterest. We are, nonetheless, targets of strongly felt and self-contradictory attentions. Is it love/hate or something else?

For example: Why did a French TV guy from Tac Presse fly here and follow me around with his camera recently, eager to capture “le footage” of the rascally American fat activist for a one-hour documentary? This was the third French TV program to follow me in the past year and a half. (Why don't they talk to fat activists and organizations in France? Or in Spain? Or famous authors and groups in Germany? Or in the U.K.?)

I took the French TV guy — Romain Bolzinger — to Tigress Osborn's fabulous nightclub, Full Figure Friday. I left pretty early, but friends tell me he stayed until the place closed. The theme was Short Skirt Night. (It takes a seasoned media professional several hours to get B-roll of boogying fatties?)

I also showed him how passersby of all sizes on Haight Street react with relieved delight to my invention, the Yay! Scale. It's merely a bathroom scale with compliments instead of numbers on the dial. Step on it to find out you're “sexy” or “gorgeous” or “perfect” or “fine.” He urged me to find fat people who would Yay! themselves. The next fat woman who happened by not only failed to feel downtrodden, she had read my book.

Am I an exotic specimen? The fat American who (perversely?) feels happy and healthy and even … hot. According to the by-now constant drip of fearmongering, so-called “obesity” is Public Enemy No. 1. Among fatosphere bloggers, that's called concern trolling. I call it “hating us for our own good.” Living well despite all this “love,” one risks becoming a fascinating rebel for behaving in ways that, in a weight-neutral culture, would be unremarkable.

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