I’m pretty sure this isn’t why I’m fat.

And eating healthily hasn’t made me thin.

Jennifer of Vegan Lunchbox has started a blog/project in response to “This is why you’re fat.”  For the past few years, I’ve appreciated reading VLB as a lactose-intolerant vegetarian/mostly-vegan-most-of-the-time in need of creative meal ideas, but I can’t say I feel the same way about this new blog, entitled “This Is Why You’re Thin!“.

She chose this title because “thin” is the opposite of “fat” and it will include images of delicious plant-based foods (sounds harmless, right?  I do love food porn) and happy people exercising, smiling kids drinking smoothies, etc.  This was the first thing I saw (in the first post on the blog):

Sunbathing naked covered with fruit is why youre thin!

Sunbathing naked covered with fruit is why you're thin!

Click the image to read the entry.  Aside from the rampant sexism in this image (it could very well be from PeTA), the blog itself promotes the idea that veganism makes people thin, which is absolutely not true.  This entry almost takes a Health At Every Size perspective, featuring an exercising (Nordic walking) woman who is not thin, but it missed the mark a little bit.  Here’s what the woman pictured said:

“As you can see, I am not thin. But, when I exercise, I feel thin; that is, I feel healthy and able.

(emphasis added by Jennifer, I assume, not me)

Thin ≠ healthy and able.  The disabled thin people and healthy fat people I know would hopefully agree.  Yes, it’s a very common, fatphobic misconception that thin people are as a rule healthier than fat people, and some thin people are healthier than some fat people.  However, I’m a lot healthier than a lot of the thin people I know.

It’s great to want to motivate people to eat healthy foods that are also delicious, but not when that motivation is a thin body.  A lot of people, myself included, commented in the first post saying that “This Is Why You’re Healthy” would be a better name for the blog.  Unfortunately, “This Is Why You’re Thin!” seemed fitting because she took inspiration from thisiswhyyou’refat.com.

Pizzas with hamburger crusts and sandwiches on donuts instead of bread aren’t why I’m fat, though maybe some people believe that.  I do love me some vegan cupcakes, though.  Mmmmm.

It’s really unfortunate that the blog seems more like Thinspiration than a motivator to actually be healthy; it’s alienating to fat vegans and people who are fat and healthy in general, or even fat people who may or may not be super healthy but don’t eat shit like The 30,000 Calorie Sandwich (“Sandwich filled with ground beef, bacon, corn dogs, ham, pastrami, roast beef, bratwurst, braunschweiger and turkey, topped with fried mushrooms, onion rings, swiss/provolone/cheddar/feta/parmesan cheeses, lettuce and butter on a loaf white bread”).

ETA: LilahMorgan commented on this Shapely Prose post about another blog post at Feministing re: nutrition and privilege and summarized it pretty perfectly;

. . . I think it’s the blase acceptance of this is what thin people do and what fat people don’t do as if it’s an absolute truth. Thin and don’t do those things? Fat and do? Fuck you.


March 23, 2009. Tags: , , . FA.

One Comment

  1. Clare replied:

    I’ve been thinking of a way to articulate my thoughts on this since the blog first started. I’m still too angry. First the name, then how the concerns with the name are dismissed. But things like ‘I feel healthy and able ‘ and ‘And if you’re on the journey to releasing excess weight and gaining greater health, we especially want to hear from you’ from the submissions page.

    Yeah, I’m still too angry.

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