Arrogant Beliefs About People Living with Obesity

Edmond and Thérèse MorbilliLast week, when Bill Maher aired a rant about people living with obesity, he put a spotlight his own arrogant beliefs about people living with obesity. We have “gone from fat acceptance to fat celebration,” he said. Somehow, he believes that “to view yourself letting go as a point of pride” is the norm for us. Apparently he inhabits a world where he has a distinctive claim to virtue because of the shape and size of his body, which, in all probability mostly reflects a genetic inheritance.

He also believes that because ConscienHealth has voiced a commitment to treating people with respect regardless of their body mass index, we must be fat activists, agitating for denial that obesity is a health concern. Pish posh.

Maher did not do his research before airing his seven minute rant – not on obesity, and not on ConscienHealth.

Revealing the Nastiness of a Few People

Beyond telling us a lot about himself, Maher revealed that, yes, there are still nasty people in this world who will seize upon a hateful rant like his and amplify it. A few of them took the trouble to find our email address and send us their vile sentiments. The delete button takes care of that quite easily. Snarling is always a reflection on the creature who does it. Not on the person to whom it’s directed.

The same goes for people who offered up nastiness on Twitter. The mute button is an excellent solution for that. A few people wanted to have some honest dialogue, and while expressing some misinformed views about obesity, they also revealed their own difficulties with the subject.

Those conversations were not wasted.

Evoking Better Emotions from Far More People

But the more impressive experience that came from Maher’s bullying rant was the opportunity to see far more people come forward with support for the whole community he offended.

They did their best to point out and counter the misinformation Maher spread through his lame attempt at comedy. Two essays, one by Bruce Lee and another by Dustin Moore, stood out. But there were plenty of other examples of people speaking up both publicly and privately.

The arrogant and hateful beliefs about people living with obesity that Maher voiced are not exclusive to him. Fat shaming may be down, but it’s not out. But we are grateful for all of the good people who expect better than that from themselves and their neighbors.

It gives us hope that we are headed to a better place, where people with this complex, chronic disease can live with the same dignity and respect that anyone with any other condition might expect. It’s only right.

Edmond and Thérèse Morbilli, painting by Edgar Degas / WikiArt

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August 14, 2022