I am a Dear Abby reader. I love to read the problems people write to her about and often enjoy her advice, even if I don’t always agree with it. Sometimes Dear Abby is right on the mark with her advice. Sometimes she is so backwards that it drives me up a wall. However, she has never been so wrong that I ever felt like I had to respond in some way. Until today.
A young woman wrote to Dear Abby complaining that her mother does not like her to wear a bikini top while swimming during visits to her childhood home because the young woman is obese. I agreed with the first part of Abby’s advice. The mother’s opinion should rule because it is her home and if she is uncomfortable, she has a right to complain (even if her cause for discomfort is a little unfair and influenced by media fat shaming). However, it was the second bit of Dear Abby’s advice that bothered me:
While you say you are comfortable in your own skin, it would be interesting to know what your physician thinks about your obesity. I suspect that your mother would be prouder of you if you were less complacent and more willing to do something about your weight problem.
Just last week, a thin woman wrote to Dear Abby complaining that people often ask about her diet, implying she looks unhealthy, or encourage her to eat. She didn’t like it and felt it was no one’s business. Abby agreed. So where does Dear Abby get off telling a young, obese woman that she is being complacent about her health simply because she is a confident, obese woman?
Why does obesity automatically suggest unhealthy? Why is it okay to shame a fat woman about her health, but not a thin woman?
Why is okay for people to look down on me, to blame me for my own health problems as an obese diabetic, but feel pity for a skinny diabetic?
When did it become a crime to be obese?