Wednesday, June 19, 2013

AMA Declares Chubby Chicks Diseased!!!

So, according to Leslie Kinzel of XOJane, the AMA (American Medical Association) has officially declared obesity a disease.

The goal behind the declaration is to remove the stigma around obesity and to convince doctors to treat the patient rather than just telling the patient, "If you'd just lose some weight, your life would be amazing and all problems would end."

Unfortunately for most of us, obesity was a choice (or series of choices) that lead you down a hole, you may have to deal with it.  I acknowledge some people have influences outside of their control that affect their weight, but that's not the case for most of us.  If obesity is a disease, maybe it's one of the mind (and mental health has its own set of socio-political rants).

I'm not saying that, because we're fat, we don't have basic human rights, deserve respect, and shouldn't be viewed as fully realized human beings.  I'm not saying we should pay more to see a movie, have higher insurance rates, or be guilted into losing weight (unless you actually want to).  However, we have to have some accountability.  While a disease is basically just an abnormal body condition (which does make obesity a disease), by calling it such we're allowing people to use the label as an excuse for their lives.  I'm struggling to see the positive side of the AMA ruling.

Here's the other part: Calling something a disease doesn't make it better in anyone's eyes.  Lepers are diseased.  People with herpes sores are diseased.  It's perfectly acceptable in society to look at the diseased with disgust.  They already do that to fat people.  If it's a disease, that just adds another layer of stigma to our condition.

I am a fat woman.  Fat is an adjective, but the primary word in the sentence is woman.  I'm a fat human.  Fat, yes.  But, primarily human.  By categorizing fat as a disease, we're just putting the spotlight on it, rather than the person behind it.

I am a woman.  I am a fat woman, an outgoing woman, a creative woman, a loving woman, and a lovely woman.

Even being obese and having diabetes, I don't consider myself a diseased woman.