Today I was the unfortunate victim of a Fat Non Sequitur, which I've decided to call FaNS for funsies.
Let me tell you what a FaNS is, ghurl.
Fat Non Sequitur or FaNS (noun)
a rote statement that is topical but irrelevant and follows a fat positive person's attempt to say something that critically engages with weight loss culture.
Me: I'm glad that the Senate convened to discuss Dr. Oz' role in promoting diet pills and products. Diet pills can be harmful.
FaNS giver: Yeah but being fat is bad for you.
Me: The weight loss focused health discourse has - unequivocally - caused more harm than good. This argument that you present here is one that is consistently presented as a way to mire the discussion in a medical discourse. I'm a civil rights and human rights activist who cares NOT what a person weighs/ideal weight for "maximum health benefits." I care that people of every size are guaranteed rights against interpersonal and institutional discrimination based on size. Dieting culture actively prevents the movement toward those goals and therefore I am against it.
Did you see what happened there? I'm being all cute and smart and happy that someone has called out a diet pill slinger and someone tries to poop on my party with a FaNS. Sometimes people have difficulty spotting a FaNS because they are typically TOPICAL but are not RELEVANT. It's like if I told you that my cat just learned how to flush the toilet and someone I wasn't even talking to interrupted with their experience of getting cat scratch fever one time from a cat they found in the Walgreens parking lot. Yes, we are both talking about cats doing stuff but cat scratch fever is like not relevant to what I'm talking about, ghurl.
I just don't have time for this shit. My energy is focused on making my life and the lives of other fat babes fabulous. But I straight up got FaNS-bombed this morning!
Here's what I want you to remember the next time a FaNS tries to ruin your Wednesday:
FaNS is a form of discrimination and bigotry.
There is no weight at which a person stops deserving protection against interpersonal and institutional discrimination. Period.
Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.