But not really.
I think there is one thing that I must make clear to you about my thinking: I manifestly do NOT equate fat with sinfulness. First, "fat" alone is a judgement call. In our society, any woman who does not look like a lollipop with clothes on is considered "fat" by the women's magazines. There is little tolerance for difference from that norm. So I'm not talking about comparing people to some magazine's idea of beauty.
Second, even if a person is objectively "fat", there are a myriad number of ways that you can get there. There are lots and lots of women who have totally WRECKED their metabolisms with yo yo dieting--wrecked to the point that they would have to eat an inhumane smallness of calories to reach anywhere close to a "normal" weight. Those women can truly eat a "normal" amount of food, and still be overweight. In that sense, TSO is wrong--the body's calculation of calories in/calories out can be skewed to a desperately wrong level. Those women are really caught in a bind--I DO know what it's like to eat in a restaurant and think that every single person is judging what you eat. "Look at that fat girl. Why is she eating that ice cream?"
And I DO think it is weird that we live in a culture that will NOT JUDGE anyone for anything, except for being fat.
But what I also know is that for me there IS a moral component in my struggle against my weight. I am overweight because I have indulged my appetites in unacceptable ways. We are expected to control our appetites--for drink, smoke, sex, whatever. I don't think we get a pass on food. I just don't.
And the G.K. Chesterton argument doesn't wash. Just because he is one of the greatest writers and thinkers of all time and we all love him to pieces and bits DOESN'T, therefore, mean that he might not have had a poor relationship with food! Who knows? I don't. Being wonderful, even being a saint, doesn't mean we have to think that EVERY SINGLE thing about his life was 100% perfect and as he would have it (or God would have it). And I know, personally, of NO ONE who has picked up a book of Chesterton and said, "Well, I don't think I'll read it, it was written by a fat guy." I've never heard his thoughts dismissed in that way.
Look, I don't think that we're called to all be the same size or the same body type. But I do think I (repeat I, I, I, I, I, I, I) have to be careful insure that I'm not giving myself a pass with regard to food and eating. That it is put in its proper place, time and amount. Gluttony has been (continues to be?) my "pet sin." And I am not prideful enough to think that I am the only person in the world for whom that is true. I have sat through too many OA and WW meetings to believe that. I'm just like tons of other people.
It's NOT the FAT that's the issue. It's the indulgence.
So, it's weird. Yes, we can make fun of fat people--the last socially acceptable boorish behavior, in Elinor's words. But at the same time, you can see just from this little blog, that jokes are the ONLY way we can talk about fat. Joking about it can get your head handed to you on a plate. But so can trying to have a reasonable discussion of it. It's fraught with emotion. Some of that is externally generated--from society and its condemnations. But for years MY heat in the discussion was generated from a pricking of conscience that I didn't want to feel. I'm am trying to get straight with MY conscience in this deal. And I am finding much to not like in myself regarding this struggle.