Viral Video Rips the Racist Roots of 'Fatphobia'

(Joerg Carstensen/dpa via AP)

Have you found yourself being fatphobic? If so, your problem is problematic.

Over the last year, we’ve discovered that white supremacists have purposefully inserted racist mechanisms into America’s structures so they’ll work in oppressive ways.

Perplexingly, we’ve been told such by those structures’ heads, as they refuse to pinpoint the levers so that any might be changed.

Added to the frustration, we’ve learned that many ideas considered universal are in fact race-based.

Case in point: the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture 2020 chart, which listed “aspects and assumptions” of whiteness:

  • Rugged Individualism
  • The nuclear family; father, mother, 2.3 children is the ideal social unit
  • Objective, rational linear thinking
  • Hard work is the key to success
  • Christianity is the norm
  • Respect authority
  • Plan for future
  • Delayed gratification
  • Action Orientation
  • Decision-Making
  • Be polite

Additionally, we’ve been informed that division is racist — and not the kind you might assume.

In February, Oregon promoted a program to subtract racism…from math.

Its “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction” offered 14 manifestations of white supremacy:

  • Perfectionism
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Defensiveness
  • Quantity Over Quality
  • Worship of the Written Word
  • Only One Right way
  • Paternalism
  • Either/Or Thinking
  • Power Hoarding
  • Fear of Open Conflict
  • Individualism
  • Progress is Bigger More
  • Objectivity
  • Right to Comfort

And now, another product of the pale is made known: thinness.

As relayed by TikToker hannatalksbodies, anti-fatness is racist.

In the almost-400,000-view clip (recently clicked upon nearly 225,000 times on Twitter), she begins, “Here’s your reminder that fatphobia is rooted in racism.”

Hanna recommends, “as always,” reading the 5-star-Amazon-reviewed book Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Dr. Sabrina Strings.

Hanna knows about the history of marketing, racially specific, starting around 1721. Apparently, even back then, people wanted to have Instagram-worthy naked silhouettes — roughly 100 years before the first permanent photographic image was made.

Perhaps the pressure came from drawings with sticks on trees.

“The main thing to understand is that for the last 300-ish years, white folks have been marketing fatness as a black trait.”

“This is regardless,” she notes, “of whether or not black people individually were actually fat. That was irrelevant.”

From her studies:

“The message they spread was that black women specifically were ravenous and uncontrollable and these barbaric traits made them fat.”

Now, a turn of the coin:

“On the flip side, thinness was marketed as a white trait. Again, regardless of whether or not individual white people were actually thin. That was irrelevant.”

Bottom line:

“The idea was that white women specifically were refined and restrained and this led them to having delicate, thin bodies.”

It would certainly be interesting to see rural massive marketing pushing people to have fit physiques, at a time when virtually all labor was physical and the leading causes of death were childbirth, workplace accidents, war, and diseases such as malaria, cholera, typhus, influenza, smallpox, whooping cough, tuberculosis, scurvy, and dysentery.

Evidently, while struggling to keep from dying, they were worried over losing that last bit of upper-thigh girth.

Hanna asserts that the messaging back then was prominent. These days, it’s less so. But people are still promoting racist slimness — in discussions not only of skin color, but wellness, finances and the freedom to start one’s own business (AKA capitalism):

“Over the years, these messages have become more subtle. But even today, they are still very prevalent in conversations around race, health, capitalism, and poverty.”

Where societal analysis is concerned, we’re truly in a new Age of Enlightenment. No stone is being left unturned, and it seems with every kick of a rock, more racism is revealed.

It’s enough to make one wonder whether we might ever stamp it all out.

Could such a thing be possible?

For now, for those aspiring to become morally astute, say No to racism and…if I understand correctly…Yes to fatness.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

‘Cosmo’ Manhandles Myths With Its New Series of ‘This is Healthy’ Covers – Featuring Plus-Size Women

Gender Equality Comes for Crash Test Dummies

Plus-Size Model and Fat-Acceptance Activist Comes out as Anorexic

Find all my RedState work here.

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