Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Moral Question

moral adj. 1 a concerned with goodness or badness of human character or behaviour, or with the distinction between right and wrong.  b concerned with accepted rules and standards of human behaviour
(The Concise Oxford Dictionary)

So I've been reading a lot as research for ths blog, and one thing that's jumped out to me is the overwhelming view of obesity as a moral issue.  This actually surprised me, because I've always thought of moral issues as being focused on the ethics of what people do rather than what they are.

Of course I could still be right.  It would appear that most people who would seek to judge us on a moral level for our Fatness would belive that being Fat is something we do to ourselves, rather than being something we are.  Whilst I'm sure that in this weird and wonderful world of ours there are certainly exceptions to this rule, most fat people didn't end up that way by thinking "I think I'll be fat, health be damned - pass the whipped cream and a pack of bacon, I want to get started straight away."  People, as a general rule, wind up fat, they don't choose to be that way.

And diets don't work.  They can actually make you fatter. 

And even those of us who do want to be fat aren't evil.  We're not even naughty.  We can do what the hell we like to themselves - its nobodys business but ours, thank you very much.

The view of fat as a moral issue needs to be destroyed, not just for the benefit of us fatties, but for the benefit of everyone.  Fat is, and should remain, a discriptive rather than a moral issue.  Noone has the right to judge my moral worth by my dress size.  It's viewing fat as a moral issue that is behind the levels of guilt which are wrapped up with eating in modern society.  We need food to survive - eating is not bad.  Furthermore we need to stop categorizing food into categories of "good" and "bad" - because this is eating disordered thinking (compare the numerous discussions of what constitutes a "safe food" on pro-anorexia websites with discussions of what foods are "good" or "bad" on just about any discussion between [mainly] women). 

In the words of Lily Allen "I want to be able to eat spaghetti bolognaise, and not feel bad about it for days and days and days" ('Everything's Just Wonderful')

I can manage that just fine, but I shouldn't have to to worry about doing it in public for fear accusing stares and ridicule And I shouldn't have stop myself from justifying my choice of food (like everyone else seems to) with a comment like 'I didn't have time for breakfast this morning' or 'it's my time of the month.'  But I will stop myself.  I won't be bullied into colluding with prejudice.  Because I don't have to justify myself to anyone , including myself.


  1. I absolutely agree...and just had to say that this: "I think I'll be fat, health be damned - pass the whipped cream and a pack of bacon, I want to get started straight away." made me laugh out loud. At work.

  2. I have been thinking about morals and weight. If someone gets to the point where they are too wide or too narrow, family and friends do begin to worry about health, views of other people, practicalities of life such as buying clothes, getting places, going out to eat and other stuff I can't think of cos Peppa Pig is on the telly and the children are too excited.
    This worry and stress can be very upsetting not only for the people who are doing it, but also for the people who are being worried about!
    I think that we do have a moral obligation to those we love and care about and therefore whilst as individuals our freedom of choice is very important and we should be accepted as ourselves, we should consider how we are affecting others around us.
    Does that make any sense?


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