I always thought I was weird, that what I liked was somehow bad and something must be wrong with me. Thank god for the internet!
November 15, 2005 11:26 PM   Subscribe

NSFW "Here at Fantasy Feeder we either want to be fat or we want to fatten. We're feeders and feedees obsessed with over endulging our huge bellies and fat bottoms, and we're here to share stories, play online games and encourage each other to gain weight."
posted by holloway (112 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I found this to be a fascinating site to explore, like the equivalent Anna sites.
posted by holloway at 11:31 PM on November 15, 2005


oh god, my eyes
posted by nmiell at 11:52 PM on November 15, 2005


You mean ana?

Is this real FPP material? I've seen better feeder posts. Perhaps you should have thrown some links in there we haven't seen before.

Ok, snark off, and I'll throw in my two cents.

What would people think of a "community" where non-smoking men force their wives and girlfriends to smoke two packs a day to satisfy their sexual tastes for women who cough and have a raspy voice?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:54 PM on November 15, 2005


Wub er, Wobble! (Previously discussed)
O shit, it's started already.
posted by Catch at 11:55 PM on November 15, 2005


I'm going to work in a minute, I'm going to miss the start of this flamewar. Sniff.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:59 PM on November 15, 2005


Oh darn it, I checked google but the link didn't come up.
posted by holloway at 12:01 AM on November 16, 2005


Oh, this is gonna be fun.
posted by brundlefly at 12:04 AM on November 16, 2005


Hol, I think the link to fantasy feeders wasn't in the last thread.
[expletive deleted] there are fat/feedee guys on that site too. I don't think it's any more moral to force husbands and boyfriends etc etc.
(Trying to turn the flamewar train onto gender issues track)
posted by Catch at 12:08 AM on November 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


Uh. Lets talk about something else instead. Like, mushrooms? Everybody loves mushrooms. Come on now, think mushrooms! Like this this this time I was buying a mushroom, and the clerk rung it up as a bushel of rutabagas! Come on. Isn't that more interesting than going all internet fisticuffs. See, mushrooms directly relate to this fpp too in a non-volatile manner. Just try to think, rutabagas!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:32 AM on November 16, 2005


I mean mushrooms!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:33 AM on November 16, 2005


This is not fun!

I searched for threasd with similar terms and but that other thread didn't turn up; I'm sorry for posting on such a similar topic.

My main reason for posting was that although personally repulsive I just always found the way these groups support and try to legitimise themselves an interesting observable event. It's not about fat, just the psychology of it. There's the insiders and outsiders which get their own names. The teaching of techniques and pattern retorts to people attacking the group. The way they talk as simple children on the forums, as opposed to the Ana groups that are more bitchy and elitest.

ps. Here's the title quote. My post was so crumby that people are already emailing me telling me their weight and whether that does anything for me. Ugh :(
posted by holloway at 12:36 AM on November 16, 2005


It is just really volatile, holloway. Also more than one link would have been nice. Since you are interested in the psychology of it, you could have given us some interesting relevant little bits of knowledge from the internet. Perhaps given some similar but non-feeder links too, some comparison and thoughtful juxtaposition. That is sometimes pretty good. I sorta find pointing at something without thoughtful commentary is while effortless, doesn't inspire much unless the link itself is a real whopper of a find. Alternatively, given us some direct links at things within the site. I suppose I can't really give any advice though, having only posted two fpps, but... eh, that is my two half pence. Now think, rutabagas!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:44 AM on November 16, 2005


hUg :)
Sorry, wasn't trying to call you out above - thought it best you know asap.
posted by Catch at 12:44 AM on November 16, 2005


(Thoughtful commentary as in, not like editorialization but like, observations... I do not know, I think it is too tired to be intelligent.)
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:45 AM on November 16, 2005


My post was so crumby that people are already emailing me telling me their weight and whether that does anything for me. Ugh :(

What?? How very very odd. And creepy.

I find these sites (and the pro-ana ones and also the ultra body building sites, the ones where grotesquely inflated muscles are the goal) fascinating as well. Fascinating and sad. And like you say, it's not the size of the bodies it's the thinking behind it, this compulsion to push your body beyond its natural boundaries to fulfill...what? Your own desires? The desires of an admirer?

One of the major differences I see between sites like this and pro-ana sites is that the pro-ana types seem much angrier, as if they're lashing out. They're geared solely toward other pro-anas and they not only don't care what outsiders think, they work hard to protect themselves from outsiders. They create an insular world where they interact openly only with those who are like them. Feeder sites seem to be geared much more towards the men and women who are attracted to those who participate in the behaviour. It's presented more as a sexual fetish.

Obviously it's not just aesthetic preferences that drive people to do this.
posted by LeeJay at 12:49 AM on November 16, 2005


Here's the title quote. My post was so crumby that people are already emailing me telling me their weight and whether that does anything for me. Ugh :(

Well, holloway, I really think you could have found a better quote to stick up as your title... Your quote sounds like a perfectly legitimate justification for what you clearly find "repulsive."

I may have concerns about the health ramifications for these people (the same way I feel about smokers [yeah, like myself], drug addicts, et cetera), but to find them repulsive sounds a bit off to me. Concerned, yes. But repulsive?
posted by brundlefly at 12:53 AM on November 16, 2005


I like my women with curves, okay?

Just not one big one.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:59 AM on November 16, 2005


It's like a RenFest that never ends!
posted by orthogonality at 1:00 AM on November 16, 2005


Encourage your feedee to eat with an e-Meal

Oh gawdamnit I couldn't resist. I'm going to get my ass kicked in the morning after everyone wakes up and checks email.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 1:05 AM on November 16, 2005


Oh god i wish i never looked.... why damnit why???
posted by Good Sir Johnny at 1:06 AM on November 16, 2005


I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

it should be mandated by law that wal-mart parking lots should be at least 200 yards away from the actual store.
posted by tweak at 1:14 AM on November 16, 2005


Why not just say it? FAT PEOPLE ARE EVIL.
posted by Joeforking at 1:28 AM on November 16, 2005


You don't feel more than concerned? Being around people who eat that much and live such dosile lives for too long makes me feel ill I've never met a fat person who wasn't destructively impulsive... it's a drama they play every hour as their stomaches rumble into action and they hate themselves for it.

And do remember, they're recruiting.

I just love how the internet makes everything normal out of simple numbers. A million monkeys means one is going to write Harry Potter's hermione sex stories, and 3 million monkeys means there'll be a support group.


(I'm not even trying to defend my post anymore. I'll make it up tomorrow with this link I've been working on for a few days.)
posted by holloway at 1:33 AM on November 16, 2005


Yeah, the thing about curves is that they're nicer when some of them go inwards. Curves that only go outwards are more like, I don't know, maybe bulges? Bulges aren't the same as curves.
posted by The Monkey at 1:50 AM on November 16, 2005


But everyone deserves to be loved.
posted by The Monkey at 1:53 AM on November 16, 2005


Some fat people have a website where they make each other feel better by stuffing yet more food in their faces and thus showing massive contempt for their general health. Incredible. Best link ever.
posted by sjvilla79 at 2:09 AM on November 16, 2005


While everyone should be proud of who and what they are, I think that the line should be drawn at unnecessary practices that endanger the health and well-being of oneself and possibly others. Of course, you could point that particular finger at sex in general...I guess the key, as it is in most things, is moderation.
posted by deusdiabolus at 2:23 AM on November 16, 2005


it's, like, so uncool to be "normal"
posted by slater at 3:00 AM on November 16, 2005


Deliberately setting out to feed yourself or others to the size of a hippo is scary and really f*cked up.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:06 AM on November 16, 2005


What this country needs is a good old-fashioned famine.
posted by alumshubby at 3:11 AM on November 16, 2005


I love "create your own personal weight gain plan!"

1. Sit in house eating copius amounts of food 12hrs a day.

2...
posted by fire&wings at 3:12 AM on November 16, 2005


Genuinely puzzled European here. I mean what is it with fat people and America?
I’m not talking about the people with thyroid problems or medical disorders which make them become gross, I’m talking about the rest of them.
I know your food is crammed full of additives etc. but no one has to eat that much.
Sure we have grossly overweight people on this side of the Atlantic but not in such profusion. You know the ones I’m talking about – they lurch from side to side when they walk and the lower half of their legs protrude sideways from carrying too much weight.
USA doesn’t have a decent affordable medical support system and yet many of these people are willfully allowing themselves to become ill; and this usually seems to be in the least affluent segments of society. Maybe someone can explain it with out resorting to name calling or finger pointing.
posted by adamvasco at 3:13 AM on November 16, 2005


fire&wings:
1. Sit in house eating copius amounts of food 12hrs a day.
2...


3. Profit!
posted by antifuse at 3:38 AM on November 16, 2005


Maybe someone can explain it with out resorting to name calling or finger pointing.

Addiction, Illness, pure greed and laziness. It's probably also cheaper and easier to buy shit food, than to prepare a healthy meal from scratch.

Personally, i find it sickening. But then, I smoke which I know most people find sickening.
posted by twistedonion at 4:11 AM on November 16, 2005


Must. Create. More. God Warriors.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:39 AM on November 16, 2005


My post was so crumby that people are already emailing me telling me their weight and whether that does anything for me. Ugh :(

Really?! Cripes.

Curves that only go outwards are more like, I don't know, maybe bulges? Bulges aren't the same as curves.

There's a terrible song in the charts at the moment (by Black Eyed Peas, I think) which contains the phrase 'lady bumps' - the sort of bulges you mention spring to mind whenever I hear it. Not the intended association, I suspect.

adamvasco - I don't know where you get the impression this is an American problem alone. Obesity in the UK is a, um, huge problem: a fifth of the adult population are clinically obese, a rate that has triple over the last twenty years.
posted by jack_mo at 4:51 AM on November 16, 2005


adamvasco:

In the US, it's true that there are a shocking proportion of morbidly obese people, but even more surprisingly, the majority of people above about 35 - 40 years old are noticeably overweight if not grossly fat. Perhaps that's because Yanks don't walk as much for transportation as Europeans do; we drive everywhere. It's unnerving to think of the extent to which the US is designed around & relies upon widespread, common usage of the privately owned automobile. Peak Oil is gonna make for some very interesting changes around here...but I digress.

Food here is relatively cheap, abundantly available, and marketed/advertised relentlessly. I suspect there's something in the American character -- or maybe it's an insidious effect of too much TV -- that rejects the idea of moderation in favor of wanting the world and wanting it now. Eating is a very satisfying behavior in a lot of ways besides merely answering a biological function, and it becomes a psychological addiction in fundamentally unhappy, dissatisfied people. I knew two teenage girls who wound up weighing well over 200 lbs. each because they were pretty much "shooting up" with junk food in junior high/high school.
posted by alumshubby at 4:55 AM on November 16, 2005


Addiction, Illness, pure greed and laziness.

Some of the psychological issues that can be at play include:

Childhood sexual abuse. Taking comfort in a protective layer, or in not appealing to the abuser anymore.

Also childhood abuse, where the abuse includes a parent withholding food and comfort.

Depersonalization/alienation. It may be easier to feel your personhood if there is more of it.

I have a friend who readily acknowledges these three factors in her preferences. She is in therapy to alleviate numerous painful symptoms. The fat/food loving symptom is the only one that has a pleasurable component.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:24 AM on November 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


Thanks alumshubby, I think only americans can really answer my question.. jack-mo I'm going beyond clinically obese which I know is now a problem in UK, What I'm on about is the mountains of lard wobbling around. First impressions in UK and Europe is not - my god what a lot of grossly fat people around; however any shopping mall states side any day. Whats the driver here? Proud to be severely abnormal like the self mutilation crowd splitting their tongues or putting bars through their cocks?
posted by adamvasco at 5:34 AM on November 16, 2005


adamvasco: Europe's problem doesn't show as much as ours (that problem being grossly excessive smoking).
posted by Captaintripps at 5:43 AM on November 16, 2005


There isn't really a "beyond" or any kind of upper limit for "clinically obese" -- google "morbidly obese."

What you're asking about seems to be a completely different thing from what I've seen: people who specifically and deliberately -- even competitively? -- seek to become as obese as possible. That's a new one on me; the FPP link is the first instance of it I've come across.

I suspect there's a certain defensiveness and defiance in the "proud to be obese" crowd. I've known fat people who say they're comfortable with their bodies, but I wonder what they'd say if a genie emerged from a lamp and offered to make them svelte. Deliberately losing weight is difficult at best and involves making undesirable life changes, so maybe this self-acceptance is really a defense mechanism to allow oneself to take the path of least resistance.
posted by alumshubby at 5:48 AM on November 16, 2005


I used to wonder how I could gain weight... and now, thanks to fDiets, I know!

"To gain 1lb of fat the human body needs to eat an extra 3500 calories on top of those it needs to maintain its current weight.

According to your activity level, height, weight and age, to gain 10 lb(s) per month you will need to eat 3164 calories per day (that's an additional 1166 calories on top of your body's basic requirement of 1998 calories).

Gaining at this rate it should take you 1 year(s), 10 month(s) to reach your desired weight of 350 lbs*."
posted by ph00dz at 5:53 AM on November 16, 2005


Cigarette smoking has been encouraged by heavy advertising both blatant and sumliminal. "Its cool to smoke" - it also used to be ridiculously cheap but I haven't bought any for twenty years. However I have never seen advertisements blatant or otherwise encouraging people to be fat. Sure lots of junk food adverts but if you smoke you tend to continue smoking, nicotine is a drug and addictive. Wormburger sure isn't addictive.
posted by adamvasco at 5:57 AM on November 16, 2005


What does it matter where it comes from? We've got problems.
posted by Captaintripps at 6:09 AM on November 16, 2005


Not so sure this is a problem. What's done between consenting adults in the privacy of their own home is their own business. All the above attempts to cast this as morally wrong or pathological behavior are just the poster's opinion in a mask. These people aren't normal, but that doesn't make them sinners, criminals, or sick.

The only thing that bothers me about the site is the feeder's approach to pleasure. One of the core aspects of being an adult is the understanding that you don't do certain things, no matter how pleasurable they may be, because they're not good for you. The feeders on this site seem to have rejected this principle with no good reason. Worst, a lot of them seem intent on pretending to be little kids in an attempt to deflect this problem.
posted by nixerman at 6:18 AM on November 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


It's like a RenFest that never ends!

Orthogonality, I must adore you now.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:19 AM on November 16, 2005


When is Kick a Fattie Into the Street Week?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:34 AM on November 16, 2005


Wormburger sure isn't addictive.

I don't think any particular food is addictive; eating is an addictive behavior because it's pleasurable. Obesity is the byproduct of the behavior.
posted by alumshubby at 6:48 AM on November 16, 2005


alumshubby: Perhaps that's because Yanks don't walk as much for transportation as Europeans do; we drive everywhere.

Bingo. I lost ~60 pounds in the 4 years after moving from Texas to Austria. I came here at 215 and a 38 waist, reached my lowest weight of 167 pounds last winter, and have now put on around 10 pounds of muscle. I'm now 175 pounds with a 31 inch waist, and it feels great... I dread moving back to Texas (not that I plan to). I own no car here, walk regularly and take public transportation, options that aren't too realistic in much of Texas.
posted by syzygy at 6:56 AM on November 16, 2005


nixerman: The feeder thing isn't a problem. I think it's gross and not for me, but not a problem. I draw my societal bar pretty low. Hell, if people want to have sex with sheep, I have no problem with them doing so.

In fact, I'm not so sure why I should care about obesity (or smokers in Europe). Usually the answer to that is the cost of healthcare and the increasing cost of my insurance, to which I say the insurance industry will find something else to fuck you with once the obesity problem is solved.

As you say about hallmarks of adulthood, I'd wager there are mighty few adults in the world by that definition. My hallmark for adulthood is paying your bills, feeding your children (if any) and staying out of other people's business.
posted by Captaintripps at 7:10 AM on November 16, 2005


Oh my.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:17 AM on November 16, 2005


I'd write up an FPP that wrote up what we don't know about how fat and exercise and eating and genetics work or don't work, but you know what? I'm all outta asbestos underwear.

I find it problematic that non-US people are making the same assumptions US people are. While it's true that becoming fat seems to happen for a lot of people when they reduce exercise and increase consumption, there are many other factors we tend to leave out when we engage in this kind of "feeding frenzy".

I for one do not feel that it's cut and dried that the majority of people who are fat are fat for reasons they solely control. I also don't feel that even if that were true (that they could control it all) that it would justify being total assholes to fat people for whatever reasons including the "altrustic" ones where we're total assholes for their own good. Let me point out from the sidelines that that doesn't really seem to be all that altruistic to me.

It's also really easy, isn't it, to find some minority of people that is easy to hate and despise and then be unrelentingly cruel about how much better you are than they? Do we remember doing this in our primary education (albeit mostly during breaks) and swearing that we'd never do such a thing to anyone else again? Or was that just me on the receiving end of it making that pledge to god or self or country?

I'm really disappointed in most of the people here who like to pile on and point at the fatties and say rude things. Don't we have better things to do? I sure do.
posted by kalessin at 7:21 AM on November 16, 2005


Actually, what's most bothersome is the glaringly obvious spelling error on their front page. "Endulging" is not a word. "Indulging" is what they were looking for.

Unless there's some subculture-specific and totally unnecessary new vocabulary that I'm missing.
posted by generichuman at 7:24 AM on November 16, 2005



posted by fandango_matt at 7:35 AM on November 16, 2005


I'm reminded of the obesity empowerment magazine fat!so which I saw advertised in my mother's Utne reader. I blame liberal universities and their self-perpetuating communist ideology (actually, in this case I do...).

I much prefer obesity to be a Rubanesque fetish rather than some mutant PC movement.
posted by dobie at 7:47 AM on November 16, 2005


I know the author of the original fat!so? book [Amazon]. She's very articulate, very strong, and very healthy. I like her a lot (haven't seen her in a couple of years, though).
posted by kalessin at 7:50 AM on November 16, 2005


From fandango_matt's link above:

I prefer Sweet women with incredibly Soft & Plump Curves! ... I'll have a Bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies. I'm studying for the ministry... I haven't had a romantic hug or kiss in over 6 years, and I've been incarcerated for 12.

Oh my, indeed.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:59 AM on November 16, 2005


The BBC did a documentary about the Feeder movement a few years back that some of you might find interesting.

The one main thing for some the defenders of this (unless you're going the for pure libertarian viewpoint) to realize is that there is an insane amount of exploitation going in this fetish. Young women are preyed upon, and they're rendered useless to all of the world besides their enabler. It is not so much of a fetish over weight, but instead is all about having power over someone.
posted by Darke at 8:00 AM on November 16, 2005


Kalessin: I agree with her sentiment of learning to be comfortable in one's own skin, don't get me wrong.

It's just memories of my liberal arts education (at an admittedly lackluster university) that make my knee jerk.
posted by dobie at 8:09 AM on November 16, 2005


Imagine the profits from the caterer for one of their conventions! Or do they just meet in a cow field with a large bonfire? Think they will accidentally cook one of their own? Think they would still eat it? Ya, you're right, they probably would.
posted by cleverusername at 8:15 AM on November 16, 2005


I found this to be a fascinating site to explore, like the equivalent Anna sites.

Thank you, says the woman named Anna.
posted by agregoli at 8:20 AM on November 16, 2005


I can't believe we have another one of these already.

Yes, feederism is gross in the same way foot-binding or female circumcision is gross. Personally I find anybody who wants to change a person they supposedly love to be repulsive.

But of course this thread is about feederism is it? It's just another chance to poke fun at fat people and the people who find flesh attractive. The guy in fandango-matt's link doesn't seem to be a feeder, but I know it's not going to stop you snivelling little nerds from making jokes at his expense.

Well, excuse me, but I'm going to go find the thread were it's OK to make fun of gay folks and post some pics of Karl Rove in a gimp suit.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:36 AM on November 16, 2005


But of course this thread is about feederism is it?

*isn't*
(Don't post angry, IIHAA)
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:51 AM on November 16, 2005


Fat people serve a very important role in this culture -- in fact, in the culture of MetaFilter too. Like so-called pedophiles, they act as scapegoats for the "destructive impulsiveness" that Holloway wrote about so proudly, enabling thin people to feel morally superior and strong, while consigning things that many people hate about themselves to an Other that manages to look both ridiculous and dangerous.

In other words, AS IF we all haven't met skinny, scrawny, wiry, or even statuesque people who are as "destructively impulsive" as some fat people. But hey -- it feels so delicious to the superego to scroll down a page of beaded-brow, bloated, blubber-butt pervs and inwardly give oneself a little standing ovation for every second spent in the gym, sneaking admiring looks at oneself in the mirror, imagining how every sweaty week of hard labor may translate into another second of orgasm for the lover of one's dreams.

Bravo to all the skinny people reading this. You guys are my role models, as I sizzle in the skillet of my own well-deserved self-hatred. Please forgive me when I stand next to you on the bus, blocking your view of some well-toned babe's rack. Someday, I hope to be as virtuous, as willful, as self-confident, as pure as you.
posted by digaman at 9:06 AM on November 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


I blame Garfield.
posted by ruddhist at 9:27 AM on November 16, 2005


Genuinely puzzled European here. I mean what is it with fat people and America?

What a genuinely silly question. If Europeans weren't all fucking chimneys then they'd have the same rates of obesity as the Americans.
posted by Elpoca at 9:30 AM on November 16, 2005


Fucking chimneys?

Ok, now there's a fetish that needs an FPP.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:42 AM on November 16, 2005


If Europeans weren't all fucking chimneys

That's not how I remember Mary Poppins.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:43 AM on November 16, 2005


I want to see what happens when Feeders meet Sweat Hoggers.
posted by brownpau at 9:44 AM on November 16, 2005


"I am currently enjoying a gain after the holidays and am looking to get a bigger gain in the new year. Who wants to help me get there???? I have included some eating pics for you all - a half gallon of icecream in a sitting! Hope you enjoy!" link (NSFW)

"My feeder gets very excited with every new pound I gain, the new weight also gets me excited. I like the perfect roundness of my belly when I sit. I enjoy 4-5 meals a day and I really stuff myself, forcing down as much food as i can and washing it all down with whipping cream with 192 grams of fat per glass. I am 5' 3" tall in the pics and weighed 246 pounds but that was in December. Now I am at 270 pounds and my current goal is 350 pounds. I love it when I look down and see more and more belly. I just want to get fatter and fatter and share the experience with everyone." link (NSFW)

I'm a feedee looking for the right feeder. My weight in the first photo (blue pants) was 200lbs. The others are 208lbs. I started gaining just over a year ago at 155lbs. This wonderful site has put me in touch with some feeders that I hope will help me balloon up into the blimp I hope to become. I have been gorging lately trying to stretch my stomach out so I can fit in more and more food making me fatter and fatter and fatter. I am beginning to have slight mobility issues such as tying my shoes and scratching my back. I can't wait to see what 100 more pounds will do to me. I love being teased, in public or private, being called balloon-boy, butterball, and the like." link (SFW)

MetaFilter: Sizzling In The Skillet Of Well-Deserved Self-Hatred.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:53 AM on November 16, 2005


If Europeans weren't all fucking chimneys then they'd have the same rates of obesity as the Americans.

So, I guess you're trying to say that copulating with chimneys burns a lot of calories?
posted by Mijnkopthee at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2005


kalessin writes "I for one do not feel that it's cut and dried that the majority of people who are fat are fat for reasons they solely control."

No, it's not. But from what I saw the FPP link was to a site that actively promoted weight gain. That isn't a healthy thing to do, any more than a site that promotes meth use, smoking, or DIY trepanation. Fat just happens to be one of those things that people get touchy about, because a large number of us are fat. Fat seems to draw ire, the non-fat point at the fat and say "hey, look at the fat person".

We put on fat for the future. Our bodies haven't figured out yet that we aren't hunter-gatherers. The fat woman, the large hips, the pendulous breasts are the hot sex symbol of our evolutionary past. Just look at any of the neolithic "Venus" figures.

We've moved past this, in many ways. However there remains a small portion of our culture that finds this attractive still. Go figure, it's in the genes. Many of the rest of us have found a new sex symbol, the thin bodies of the young rather than the fertile bodies of the mother with stored fat for the future offspring.

You can't fight your sexual drive - if you find the larger women attractive, you can't force yourself not to like them any more than a pedophile can stop liking kids or a gay person can stop liking others of the same sex. Kinks are kinks, and you can't realy fight what turns you on. You can be sensitive to the overweight (it's not like a 350 lb woman doesn't know she's fat!).

The anger however in many cases has some justification. We quite often go too far in making excuses for our shortcoming. If there's a legitimate basis, fine. However in most cases we are too fat because we eat more than we burn off. This didn't happen until recently, and although the instances of weight-related illnesses have increased dramatically there has been no sudden increase in glandular / hormonal / etc. issues that cause obesity. We're fat because we don't do anything to remove the excess calories, so our genes dutifully store the excess energy as fat for the future.

Why does this justify anger at the obese? Because the increase in weight also coincides with a massive increase in health problems. Insurance costs skyrocket. We all pay more into the system to cover problems that 90% of the time can be solved by eating less and exercising more. This isn't a matter of hours sweating at the gym to look at our toned bodies. This is a matter of 20 minutes three times a week doing something as simple as walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, skipping the people mover in the airport, riding a bike to the store instead of driving. Our technology and our lifestyles promote physical inactivity in every way possible. Our genes encourage us to store energy. You choose to fight this, or you choose to gain weight.

Is there a way to discuss this without angering somebody? Probably not. Fat people see it as an attack, skinny people see it as a helpful push to be healthier. Needless to say fat people very quickly get tired of others telling them they are overweight (my mother in law for example has not seen a doctor in many years because the last one she went to kept telling her she was obese, and she got sick of hearing it). On the other hand, when you have friends and relatives who do other destructuve behaviors - drug use, risky sex, etc. - don't you feel the need to try and help them stop? A bigger question might be why this only extends to those you know for many behaviors, but in the case of obesity why does this also apply to complete strangers?
posted by caution live frogs at 9:57 AM on November 16, 2005


Genuinely puzzled European here. I mean what is it with fat people and America?

What a genuinely silly question. If Europeans weren't all fucking chimneys then they'd have the same rates of obesity as the Americans.


Anecdotally, the vast majority of my friends from college (in the US) with whom I'm still in contact with are now (5 years post grad) overweight or grossly overweight. A vanishingly low percentage of my friends from highschool (West coast Canada) with whom I'm still in contact with are now (9 years post grad) overweight.

This difference is very puzzling. I'm guessing car culture, cheap + large portioned fast food, and that being overweight is becoming increasingly normal might have something to do with it, but still...

More of my American friends are smokers than my Canadian friends. Increasing weight is correlated associated with tobacco use (a lot of us skinnies are also smokers).
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:02 AM on November 16, 2005


People who drink alcohol add to my insurance costs. (I hardly ever drink.) People who insist on driving cars add to my insurance costs and are destroying the planet. (I don't have a driver's license.) People who watch Fox News are adding to my tax burden by voting in candidates who inflate the military budget. (I hardly ever watch TV). Heterosexuals are stripping the Earth of precious and increasingly scarce natural resources by having babies for "love" when it's clear that the world is already overpopulated. (I don't plan on having children). People who refuse to learn the lessons of history are destroying the global standing of my country. (I read a lot).

I demand retribution.
posted by digaman at 10:15 AM on November 16, 2005


digaman, let me assure you that self-hatred is not proportional to your body mass index.
posted by dobie at 10:27 AM on November 16, 2005


Oh, believe me, I know. What is proportional to body mass index is how much self-hatred that others feel is appropriate in fat people.
posted by digaman at 10:31 AM on November 16, 2005


The guy in fandango-matt's link doesn't seem to be a feeder, but I know it's not going to stop you snivelling little nerds from making jokes at his expense ... I'm going to go find the thread were it's OK to make fun of gay folks...

Well, that's more or less what I was doing by quoting this:

I haven't had a romantic hug or kiss in over 6 years, and I've been incarcerated for 12.

But only after first making a thoughtful and caring comment. I felt I earned it.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:32 AM on November 16, 2005


Bravo to all the skinny people reading this. You guys are my role models, as I sizzle in the skillet of my own well-deserved self-hatred. Please forgive me when I stand next to you on the bus, blocking your view of some well-toned babe's rack. Someday, I hope to be as virtuous, as willful, as self-confident, as pure as you.

Jesus. Where the fuck did that come from? I'm sure you meant this statement to be genuine, or geuninely sarcastic at the very least, but that's one of the most blatant trolls I have ever seen here. I don't think anyone here (various snarks aside) was saying that "fat people suck", but basically you accuse them of it, and pretty much put it out there these people, these imagined tormentors or yours are at least hypocrites and at worst moral degenerates. Is this really what you meant, or is this some kind of MeFi in-joke that I missed?
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 12:25 PM on November 16, 2005


Tommy: All of the above. My response -- which, I'll grant, was over-the-top -- came out of frustration from reading dozens of posts in a number of obesity-related threads on MeFi over the years which contained glib putdowns of fat folks as morally weak.

One clear and recent example, so you can understand my reaction:

"If you are obese it is because you are a slack willed glutton, which both makes me want to vomit if I am unfortunate enough to be pushed off the sidewalk by you, and additionally pushes my insurance premiums skyward.

These lazy heifers have co-opted the civil rights movement for the same reason they order two cheeseburgers, one for the road. Because they refuse to join the human race, and wish to live out a selfish paradise which is propped up by healthy individuals like myself, who bike, run, and are slaving at the gym three days a week."

and

"I own my own business and work from 8am 6:30pm. Often at least six days per week. I have heavy social and professional obligations.

Yet I am still very active: I Box; Do Jiu-Jistu and sub-wrestling; Kick box; Lift weights; Skip rope (used to run before my ACL went out); Hike; Ski; Swim. etc, etc.

I am not a natural athlete. I have to work twice as hard as most people do to an early childhood illness.

Losers find the time. Winners make the time.

I am qualified and justified enough to criticize fat people just a little about their health and how it effects my skyrocketing insurance rates? Not to mention how much they bitch about their own discomfort on planes, etc?

I think so."

Both from this thread.
posted by digaman at 1:06 PM on November 16, 2005


Digaman,
I don't even have a slightly plump dog in this fight, speaking personally (lucky metabolism, in the main), and I've certainly done the exasperated private eyeroll on planes when faced with an outsized neighbor - but you are so right.
The primly neutral description holloway initially gave us "a fascinating site to explore" IS merely a cover for prurience.
The snarkers on this thread should - but won't - be ashamed.
Sure, there's no harm - really - at mocking morbidly obese folk who hide in plain site at specialist websites. Doubtless they've all copped far worse derision in real life.
But all in all, your outburst was remarkably restrained.
Good for you.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:26 PM on November 16, 2005


"Both from this thread."

But not... from this thread. Either meta it or don't, but lugging around baggage just brings this place down.
posted by hugsnkisses at 3:35 PM on November 16, 2005


Uh, it's from a couple of days ago, on a very similar subject. My attention span lasts at least that long, but I appreciate the point you're making.
posted by digaman at 4:04 PM on November 16, 2005


Actually, hugsnkisses, it was MeTa'd.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 4:16 PM on November 16, 2005


Jesus, digaman. Self pity much?

That last long quote was mine ("I own my own business and work from 8am 6:30pm") - and pulled out of context as to WHY it was made. And you lumped it into the other far more insulting comments neglecting the larger point I was trying to make.

And, sorry, gross over consumption IS a moral weakness. Whether it's a nation state gobbling up oil or an individual eating five times the calories needed for a healthy diet. It is bad beyond the hurtful taunts and superficial imagery.

Sure, like drug addiction, obesity happens to also be a medical issue as well. Yet. Make no mistake in your thinking. overconsuming is not an merely a selfish indulgence or individual vise or medical condition, it does NOT exist in a vacuum.

If that hurts your feelings, that is not my problem.
posted by tkchrist at 5:32 PM on November 16, 2005


But not... from this thread. Either meta it or don't, but lugging around baggage just brings this place down.

I see - this is the good "let's make fun of fat people" thread. Digaman obviously confused it with the bad, sanctimonius "let's look down our noses at fat people" thread. However could that have happened?
posted by me & my monkey at 5:45 PM on November 16, 2005


This thread couldn't have gone better
posted by holloway at 5:46 PM on November 16, 2005


And, sorry, gross over consumption IS a moral weakness.

As moral weaknesses go, I suspect it ranks far below self-righteousness and insensitivity.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:48 PM on November 16, 2005


I'll give tkchrist a pass because of the childhood illness he mentioned during his insult. I'm sure overcoming that to become a hardworking gym goer was tough.
posted by digaman at 6:29 PM on November 16, 2005


Come on, think about it. In the environment in which we evolved, a fat person was a person who was eating more than you were. So they were more successful than you at finding / hunting food. No wonder there is so much resentment. At the heart of it might be a lizard-brain level hardwired (or firmwired) hatred of anyone suspected of taking more than their fair share, or of being successful while those around them starved.

I don't know, I just find it interesting to think of in these terms, a perspective I hadn't thought of until now. Because the vitriol for the fat people is way the hell out of proportion for the inconvenience and cost that they really cause skinny people. Maybe it's not rational - it's just a visceral, instinctive response burned into us from a time when lack of adequate food was a serious problem.

Just an idea.
posted by beth at 8:22 PM on November 16, 2005


"Losers find the time. Winners make the time."

BWAHAHAHA!
posted by Kloryne at 8:38 PM on November 16, 2005


1. Sit in house eating copius amounts of food 12hrs a day.
2...weight wait.
3. ...
4. PROFIT!

holloway, this could have gone a lot worse and you know it.

Interesting theory, beth, except I don't agree that the "vitriol for the fat people is way the hell out of proportion for the inconvenience and cost that they really cause skinny people". Anyone who chooses (and I am not saying that all obese people choose to be so) to be obese is voluntarily putting themselves at risk for any number of health issues for which he/she will need state-paid medical care (if your country has such a thing) and is at increased risk of being unemployable, meaning that taxpayers will have to fund yet another voluntarily unemployed person. However, you could insert "smoker" and "non-smoker" or "extreme sports participant" and "couch potato" or any other set of descriptors you like and the outcome would be the same. We have come to vilify smokers and the obese for the cost they incur to the community in health care etc, although there are any number of other groups that incur a similar cost by their activities and we conveniently ignore them and, in many cases, make heroes of them and reward them with buckets of money and all the virgins they can eat.

I think that at least a significant part of the hatred towards the obese is that people, in their lizard brain, know that it could well be them and that scares the shit out of them. While fat people in some cultures have traditionally been those able to gather more food than others and thus look powerful, the fat animals are also the ones that get eaten first because they are slow.
posted by dg at 8:58 PM on November 16, 2005


Yeah I know it, dg. A lot worse.
posted by holloway at 9:17 PM on November 16, 2005


More of my American friends are smokers than my Canadian friends. Increasing weight is correlated associated with tobacco use (a lot of us skinnies are also smokers).

That may be the case, but Europe is definitely not Canada. And pretty much everyone in Europe smokes. So they may be skinnier, but healthier -- not so much.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:22 AM on November 17, 2005


While I love to muse about genetic bases for behaviors like this, the fact that the advertising industry has made anorexia the body norm for women surely also plays a role. The attractiveness index of hefty people has gone up and down with societal norms through history. We are living in a society that is currently at the skinny end of that spectrum.
posted by digaman at 7:47 AM on November 17, 2005


dg writes "We have come to vilify smokers and the obese for the cost they incur to the community in health care"

On the plus side (no pun intended) nobody is going to get an increased chance of heart disease by sitting next to an overweight person. A smoker on the other hand...
posted by caution live frogs at 10:22 AM on November 17, 2005


Fat people are like cartoon hate figures for the nasty inner child in many of us.
They carry all their apparent defects on the outside; how very obliging of them, isn't it? So we don't even have to think before we point rudely!
Dg's "objective" pontificating about the state medical care burden imposed by the obese is wildly unconvincing.
What manner of penny-pinching, miserable soul evaluates the worth of individuals by how much they allegedly cost the community?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:08 PM on November 17, 2005


Jody Tresidder, I don't think I was evaluating the worth of individuals based on how much they cost the community at all, just noting that we attack those who participate in certain activities which tend to cost the community more than others, while ignoring activities that are deemed to be more socially acceptable. I hear comments all the time about the health cost to the community that smokers cause, but how often do you hear the same comment about someone who participates in motorsport? They are both voluntarily partaking in activities that significantly increase their chance of needing medical care, yet only one group is criticised for it.
posted by dg at 3:13 PM on November 17, 2005


As moral weaknesses go, I suspect it ranks far below self-righteousness and insensitivity.

I wasn't ranking. But gee... next time insensitivity and self-rightouness cause cancer, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and hyper tension I'll consider it.

I'm sure your never either, huh? MMM. No. Never.

I'll give tkchrist a pass because of the childhood illness he mentioned during his insult. I'm sure overcoming that to become a hardworking gym goer was tough.

A. I never insulted you in that quote. (unless you include the "self-pity" thing later after you lumped me in with everybody else) Until "C" below.

B. Never got "over" it.

C. Your a bitter and sad asshole who has nobody to blame for his unhappiness and resentments but himself.

D. Thanks for the pass.
posted by tkchrist at 3:53 PM on November 17, 2005


We are living in a society that is currently at the skinny end of that spectrum.

People have never been as completely obese as they are now. Before it was not an esthetic based on looks but one on class. Only rich people got fat. But still not nearly as fat as people today.

But hey. Keep holding out hope for the future.
posted by tkchrist at 3:57 PM on November 17, 2005


tkchrist wrote: "People have never been as completely obese as they are now."

And thus tkchrist proved himself a nit wit.

Top of my head? Try looking at some 18th century paintings (European).

tkchrist also informed us: "Only rich people got fat."

And your cultural studies of Polynesia have been how extensive?

A friendly bit of advice based on your words: watch your own blood pressure before worrying about hyper tensions in others.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 5:47 PM on November 17, 2005


Try looking at some 18th century paintings

We're not talking about the "Reubenesque" ideal here. But hey. Why do you think it was an IDEAL?

You think those painters models were any less idealized than Kate Moss is now? you think every chick in the 18th century LOOKED like that? What maybe 5-10%?

Hell. I'm not even talking about historical issues of "Body Image" - I'm talking about OBESITY. Do you understand that?

Think. How MANY people were OBESE in the US and Europe in the 18th century? What percentage of the population?

You seriously think it is even CLOSE to now? Please enlighten us if you have that data.

And the people that were fat then were of a certain prosperous class. That is WHY is was idealized.

Oddly, obesity WAS realized to be health risk even then.

And your cultural studies of Polynesia have been how extensive?

What are you talking about? Polynesia?

And in long ago Polynesia how many PEOPLE were there on those islands? And what does it's infinitesimal sample to the body of people at large in the world has to do with what... I ....uh... oh never mind.

Clearly your a moron.
posted by tkchrist at 6:47 PM on November 17, 2005


Your a bitter and sad asshole

Clearly your a moron.

tkchrist, I really don't get you. What makes you think it is ever appropriate to talk to somebody that way?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:51 PM on November 17, 2005


tkchrist, you are indeed a complete waste of skin. You know that saying about keeping quiet and being thought a fool? You should take note of that.
posted by dg at 7:07 PM on November 17, 2005


tkchrist, I really don't get you. What makes you think it is ever appropriate to talk to somebody that way?

It's not. But when I'm called a Nit Wit or when comment I made a week ago are dragged here, out of context, to support one guys angry view of himself and people who work-out and to discredit and insult me personally, I get pissed off (he makes fun of a fairly serious illness of mine with out knowing shit about it.)

IIHAA - I don't enjoy hurting peoples feelings. I don't. I may be gruff and inarticulate but I like to think I am a very nice person. I have lots of dear friends who are good people - so I suppose it must be true

This digiman guy - I feel for him. I do. I said so in the other thread about the obese people I train. Not to mention the one I loved that I lost way to soon to heart disease. But I wont go for this "fat" acceptance" bullshit. It kills people. I'm not harping on people's looks or their esthetic. Just their excuses. For fucks sake according to the BMI I'm WAAAY overweight.

However people here feel free to insult you every which way... and I'm only human. So there you go.
posted by tkchrist at 7:11 PM on November 17, 2005


tkchrist, you are indeed a complete waste of skin.

See what I'm talking about? Come right out and slam me with a direct personal insult when they are not even part of the discussion.
posted by tkchrist at 7:13 PM on November 17, 2005


Yeah the thread could have gone this way.

That'd sure suck.
posted by holloway at 3:32 AM on November 18, 2005


dg,
I didn't reply to your earlier point about why society values, say, the self-endangering motor sports nut while smugly lashing out at the self-endangering obese because the answer was too obvious, as I think you know. Starting with the perception that some forms of self-endangerment are sexy, and others are definitely not.
But taking into consideration tkchrist's angry potshots, and holloway's comments (both here and on metachat) - indeed the whole damn thread, an ugly pattern emerges.
You have your unthinking snarkers - those with the nasty inner child I described above - who see a very fat person as someone with all their flaws writ large and who bring adult contempt to an essentially infantile reaction.
You have the unthinking moralists - those who lack empathy, for whom weight control is a simple matter of will and reasonable vanity plus common sense about health and who assume you must be specially indolent or possibly stupid to have a problem.
Then you have your angry moralists (like tkchrist) who are personally insulted by obesity but try to objectify their distaste by "proving" there is some sort of social darwinism at work which perfectly justifies their reaction. The "yes, well, truth hurts doesn't it?" brigade.
Then, of course, you have the outcast obese wretch in some anonymous street in anonymous America who hobbles silently out in the dark once a month for some air, praying no one will glimpse his or her offensive bulk, and eventually gets a two-line obituary involving firemen's hoists and sundry other gawp-worthy details (which seems to be how society prefers it to end, though - naturally - it's all very "regrettable").
These threads (pace) holloway's comments) end badly because they start by appealing to the nasty inner child.
I don't see how this can change, unless the original FPP offers at least one or two other links that don't just invite us to shudder, blurt out something negative and move on.
(This in no way applies to commenters who did no such thing. Unfortunately, the commenters with the energy to remain are usually either the really offensive or the really offended.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 6:17 AM on November 18, 2005


Out of curiousity, are the morbidly obese -- or just plain obese, for that matter -- under-represented in the intellectual and business class? Are there a good number of fat professors, inventors, designers, thinkers, upper-management folk, and the like?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:11 AM on November 18, 2005


I'd hit it.




What?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:27 PM on November 19, 2005


Jody Tresidder, this thread actually went quite well compared to most threads here relating to obesity. Yes, the answer to why we revere sporting heroes who voluntarily place themselves at risk and scorn those who do the same thing for less socially acceptable reasons is quite obvious, but it is one of those things that bugs me no end, even as one who participates in motorsport and, therefore, does the very thing that I criticise in others.

Interesting question, fff - I wonder (along the same lines) what the correlation is between obesity and income levels. Specifically, I wonder if obesity is more prevalent in lower income levels the way smoking is. If my perception that this is the case is correct, why is that? Is it because those with higher incomes eat more healthy food? Because they are better educated? Because they have better access to health care? Because they care about their appearance more? Or is it simply a genetic issue, as so many claim?
posted by dg at 4:04 PM on November 20, 2005


Specifically, I wonder if obesity is more prevalent in lower income levels the way smoking is.

I believe that is true.
posted by agregoli at 7:43 AM on November 21, 2005


Just for completeness, for feeling full, a followup on ieattapes.com named Feeders are dead sexy.
posted by holloway at 3:59 PM on December 5, 2005


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