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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Someone Help Me Out Here

posted by on December 8 at 13:39 PM

Can someone please direct me to the column or blog post where I wrote, “But wait, fat people? Suck!”

Perhaps this is the wrong image to use… but irrational fat activists are stuffing words in my mouth. But, hey, if imagining that I’ve persecuted you is enough to float your boats, ladies, feel free. I didn’t realize I was that buoyant.

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i haven't read it but weren't you supportive of gluttons in your book? whats the deal.

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 1:50 PM

the punctuation in that [mis]quote makes my brain hurt.

Posted by brandon | December 8, 2007 2:04 PM

Oh man Dan, I feel very sorry for you for this debacle. It's okay to point out that fat people have made certain choices that lead to their situation. It's okay to suggest that certain steps can be taken to emerge from the situation. The fact is, you are right, and everyone else is wrong!

Posted by Amelia | December 8, 2007 2:10 PM

Is it ironic that the site linked to tried to give my computer multiple cookies?

Posted by Wolf | December 8, 2007 2:12 PM

Just ignore them, Dan. What would they be doing if they weren't bitching about you? Bitching about something else. And another thing, but that doesn't need to be pointed out.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 8, 2007 2:13 PM

I'm fat and am unhappy about it every minute in my life. I'm not about to say that I don't contribute to my fatness by eating too much and not exercising enough, because (physically) that is 99.8% of it (I'll give the other .2% to genetics, b/c I have obesity on both sides of the fam). The problem is WHY I (and other obese people) eat, and I think that's where people need to be supportive and loving. I think of it like a drug problem - I have a physical and emotional addiction to food which yes, I am seeking therapy for. After struggling with my weight since childhood and succeeding in doing nothing but getting fatter, I've accepted that I need to fix something in my head.
As for Dan's comments, I think that it would be nice if you could include fat people in your umbrella of acceptance and understanding, but overall I totally support your right to think, say, and publish whatever you want, and if it's offensive to people they can read something else (I, for one, will keep reading). And, saying anything but that obesity is unhealthy is just as retarded as saying smoking is good for you. Duh.

Posted by Unhappy Fatty | December 8, 2007 2:15 PM

This whole thing just smacks of people wanting attention, in the most backed-assed way. Who knows what kind of sickness make people revel in thinking others "hate" them--but obviously you and these fat chicks think exactly alike.

Posted by boomer in nyc | December 8, 2007 2:19 PM

Sure there's a weight "set point", but the other thing our bodies were evolved to do was walk all day, chase after prey, run from tigers, shiver from lack of forced air heating -- in other words, exercise.

Posted by idaho | December 8, 2007 2:28 PM

We can't edit our comments, can we? I meant "have evolved" not "were evolved".

Posted by idaho | December 8, 2007 2:29 PM

Oh God, I can't believe so many people are talking about this article. For fucks sake. All this hairsplitting is making me bald.

Posted by gavingourley | December 8, 2007 2:35 PM

Come On Dan you have to laugh!
You do have a way of stirring things up...
It's a gift and a curse.
Nothing you have said about fat has bugged me to be honest. It's the stupid people that give condescending obvious answers that bug me. You usually say something extreme that usually I read as funny because you are obviously making some point with humor but I think people take you seriously. I may be the dummy here though because possibly you are serious. Whatever, I still find it funny.
I think it's more your sense of humor some people find offensive but who cares?
We girls can get bitchy... They are all just probably Pmsing so let it roll off your back.
We bitchy fat women can bitch real loud... There I thought I would help you out here.
Now if Poe could make a few of his famous, funny offensive remarks maybe the heat can taken off Dan...

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 2:35 PM

Dan, the only part of all this I don't understand is why you give a flying fuck what all those lard-asses think. Maybe if they stopped shoving Twinkies into their mouths while sitting on their fat asses in front of the computer writing hate mail, they wouldn't have so much of a problem.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | December 8, 2007 2:38 PM

Fat people stuff things in mouths. You shouldn't be surprised that they're stuffing words into yours!

Posted by PA Native | December 8, 2007 2:40 PM

@6 You're smart and are dealing with things right! I loved your honest thoughts, thank you and a big uncool hug to you.

I'm like the nerd of slog ; )

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 2:44 PM

I search back through January and didn't find anything.

But you sure do have a lot of posts about fat and obesity.

Posted by Curtains | December 8, 2007 2:45 PM

@ #11:

I think 95% of the people posting here are not anywhere near serious. I know I'm not.

It strikes me as funny when somebody gets bent out of shape over something Dan or I or any other poster says. They don't realize I'm sitting at my keyboard laughing loudly when I read their replies.

Posted by Wolf | December 8, 2007 3:08 PM

>Maybe if they stopped shoving Twinkies into their mouths

>Fat people stuff things in mouths.



Yes. And thin people never stuff things in their mouths or eat twinkies.

Get a clue, people. People come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some people are fat and they sit on their butts eating twinkies. Some people are thin and do the same.

The irony of this is that fat folks who do exercise and work out get mocked, too. There's not way to win here.

But I should know better than to engage bigots. The irony of this site being full of bigots is pretty rich, though...

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 3:30 PM

@17 i only used the word glutton in reference to the deadly sin, since that is the way the chapters in Savage's book were laid out.

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 3:35 PM

Well it's like this.

You count the number of news articles you find on some event, on say pedophile youth pastors, or bad hetero parents. You then use that count as if it meant something. Like it could be a measure of how often something happens. If some reporter wrote it up a lot, it must happen a lot.

It's bullshit, of course, but you have your reasons. Maybe it's bullshit for a good cause even.

Then along comes somebody else who counts the number of times you raise an issue, say, fatness, and raise it in a negative way. And they use that as a measure of your belief that fatness is an evil that rises quite high on your agenda. The more articles you write, the more it proves you're an anti-fat bigot.

It's bullshit to ignore context, or content, and only count how often you choose to write about it. But it's your own same brand of bullshit, so how is that not fair?

Posted by elenchos | December 8, 2007 3:39 PM

I love that they refer to their online community the "fatosphere".

Posted by Jerod | December 8, 2007 3:50 PM

since when did not being sexually attracted to someone mean that you hate them? I am not sexually attracted to my grandparents, does that mean i hate them?

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 3:55 PM

I didn't respond to the original entry, but elenchos' comment hits on it pretty well

Dan says "irrational fat activists are stuffing words in my mouth."

Yeah. Some are. And some are responding to your comments. That you choose to dismiss all responses, rational and otherwise, is your right. But it's a lie.

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 3:56 PM

"since when did not being sexually attracted to someone mean that you hate them? I am not sexually attracted to my grandparents, does that mean i hate them?"

since never. Good thing no one said that!

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 3:58 PM

It's the internet, Dan. =) Just let 'em go.

I'm a big girl, and you've done a hell of a lot for my happiness and emotional well-being through your columns over the years. I think people who get this uptight about weight in any direction (pro or con) aren't exactly mentally healthy, let alone physically.

I like fit men, and I like women who have a bit more weight on them. It's harder to find fit men who like big women, but I'm not going to demand that people I find sexy must find me sexy. Oh, and for the record, if my guy told me I wasn't turning him on anymore because of my weight - that'd be my cue to get it together and tone up. I can change my body, he's not going to change what turns him on.

Oh, and @17? That's just life. Fat people are mocked for being fat. Thin people are mocked for being thin. Tall and short people are mocked for their height. There is no right-not-to-be-mocked-or-affronted enshrined anywhere.

Personally, I'm going to choose to read the quote as more of an imperative and go suck. ;) Thanks for the idea, Dan!

Posted by BBWench | December 8, 2007 3:59 PM

and didn't this whole discussion start with advice about some partners who became more fat (i.e. not the way "GOD" made them) and how this change was affecting the relationship negatively.

while it is harder to lose weight than to shave off a mustache it is not as though these partners had always been this weight and would not be able to move far from it, conduct had changed them and conduct could change back.

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 4:02 PM

OK, I have to, uh, come out of the closet about something (I know, too late--but this isn't about who I boff)

Someone on the site Dan linked to talked about how skinny people and fat people differ. They were saying if you don't like skinny people, you just don't do the horizontal mambo with them, but if you don't like fat people, not only do you not clean their clock, you actively deride them (I'm clearly paraphrasing, and I apologize).

But it's not so. Maybe it's selective hearing on the part of the obese, maybe it's hypersensitivity. And damn, "hypersensitivity" is a hard word to type accurately. Try it. I'll wait.

OK, anyway...

I'm one of those people who can eat 7 full meals a day and still not break 165 if I try, and I'm nearly 6' tall.

So, um, yeah. I'm skinny. And gay. And I've been told before that someone wasn't interested because I was "too damn skinny" or some such. And it's happened more than once. It hurts. I can't say it doesn't. I do my best to ignore it.

And unfortunately, I like guys who have some meat on them. Not a lot, but enough to know I'm holding on to someone who's not going to blow away when September winds come around.

So this perceived bigotry or prejudice or whatever towards fat people is bull-fucking-shit. I happen to like guys a little bigger than the norm. Does that make me a chubby chaser? No, because chubby is out of my range. I can be perfectly happy with a chub as a good friend. I'm just not physically attracted to them. Neither am I attracted to guys my size. Does that mean I'm prejudiced towards skinny guys or chubs? Don't be a shitball. That idea is entirely absurd. I have many good friends who fit the "large person" criteria, and although I wouldn't date them, I wouldn't dream of treating them badly, either.

Really. Just don't be a shithead about your views and you'll be fine. Some of the most beautiful souls I know happen to be in fat bodies.

So what?

Posted by Wolf | December 8, 2007 4:04 PM

@23 my straw-man still has a point. people are reading hate into things that don't have it in them

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 4:06 PM

BBWench - "There is no right-not-to-be-mocked-or-affronted enshrined anywhere."

Oh, please. I never suggested there was. I am suggesting that the tenor of the posts here tells me a lot about the folks posting.

Once can complain about the nastiness of others without suggesting that they have a right to be protected from nastiness.

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 4:09 PM

some of the posts are less than sensitive about weight but you don't go to the slog for kind group therapy

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 4:15 PM

Dan, I wouldn't worry about it. My simplistic recommendation would be to respond to the criticism with a form letter:

Dear Angry Obese Reader:

Thank you for your advice, but the problem I'm facing is that if I take your advice, I will get a hundred more angry emails from people who, like you, believe their obesity qualifies them to know best how all obese people feel and, more importantly, how those people's partners should feel and act.

I would recommend, then, that my Angry Obese Readers get together among themselves and settle on a course of action before freaking out and feeling triumphant for having written me a nasty letter to tell me what I should have done, when in fact that would only offend many of your Angry Obese Neighbors.

I tried pointing out in my December 6 column that Angry Obese Readers are, in fact, a diverse bunch who offered all sorts of angry, diverse advice. But apparently it is my fault that none of that advice will assuage every Angry Obese Conscience. I can only apologize for not being able to please all of the Angry Obese People all of the Angry Obese Time, and if you think that apology sounds insincere, I'm sorry I can't help your Angry Obese Ass.

Savagely yours,

That said, obese folks can be very sexually attractive. One could take Aleister Crowley's perspective, that the unattractive are better in bed because their desperation makes them more willing, but that's kind of exploitative. I'm of the opinion that one of the advantages of having sex with an obese woman is that I can actually put some energy into it. Yes, the whole "meaty, meaty, big and bouncy" thing sounds kind of crude, but after years with a smaller woman, I must admit it was nice to be able—and expected—to absolutely drill someone for once. And fuck for hours. Oh, ye gads, I'd forgotten what it was like to not have to finish up in under five minutes.

And yes, my inherent bigotry about obesity contributed to that relationship never really developing. Oops. My bad. Lesson learned. I'm sorry.

Posted by BD | December 8, 2007 4:16 PM

damn, i sound like an asshole @29, sorry

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 4:17 PM

I'll admit there is anti-fat "bigotry" but only because people feel threatened by them. More and more people are becoming obese in this country and "genetics" is only a small factor in this ... I blame it on the availability of cheap shitty food, and GROWING UP with the cheap shitty ass food.

I think the bigotry comes from people feeling threatened that they HAVE TO find large people sexually attractive. So instead of feeling guilty about it, they turn it into rage.

My simple advice ... exercise helps me a deal with my depressive bipolar crap (at least until I made it to grad school). I may have started it to make me fit, but it becomes it's own reward and everything after that will work itself out.

If you are overweight and happy ... awesome ... if you are overweight and unhappy ... that sucks, I hope you find a way to be happy.

Posted by OR Matt | December 8, 2007 4:17 PM

you are making me think of switching sides Wolf and BD, I'm with the fatosphere now

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 4:20 PM

@32 the fact that genetics makes crappy calories taste far better and to be more addictive is probably partially responsible for the aggregate weight gain of the country.

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 4:24 PM

This is so dumb. Everyone has problems. Fat people just happen to have a problem that every stranger can see right away. Treating them like lepers is stupid. People who are rude to fat people should thank their lucky stars that their nagging problems are on the inside, away from daily public scrutiny.

As for Dan pulling the switch-eroo on the Savage Love column: It seems he's choosing to be unaware that women are judged mainly on their looks, while men are judged on their wallets. So saying a woman is fat has a much more significant impact than telling a man he's fat.

It's just like a guy being out of work is more impactful than a woman being out of work. (A guy would happily date a woman who works in a shop, but most women would not date a guy who worked in a shop unless he owned it. Or unless both people were really young or something.)

ANYWAY, I think I forgot what we were talking about. Oh, yeah, intolerance is dumb.

Posted by fat | December 8, 2007 4:25 PM


Huh? Yeah, I'll grant you that some folks are reading hate where there is none. As I have said, I thought the original column was far less offensive than it has been framed. And we could discuss that.

But in 21, you lie about what people are saying (you say "straw man," I say "lie")

I get that there's a certain rhetorical delight in making shit up. But it's still making shit up.

and no. No one would mistake this for group therapy. We can agree on that!

>>I'll admit there is anti-fat "bigotry" but only because people feel threatened by them.

Matt, I think there's more to it than that. Have you read some of the posts in the various fat-related discussions here? Pure venom. Your explanation, IMHO, is too generous. But maybe you just have a kinder heart than I do!

And AMEN on the exercise. I can get very annoying about that...

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 4:26 PM

@35 maybe straight men are judged primarily for financial resources, but are gay men? thats the context that occurred in the column. both gender and sexual identity are important

@36 no i haven't read the comments on the pages Dan linked to but i can imagine. If i misread the context of posts here my bad.

but the columns were primarily about sexual attraction, and the source of my lie. are people reading hate into Dan's column?

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 4:41 PM

I thought the advice you gave in your column was appropriate. Being honest with her is preferable to just DTMFA. Hypothetically, if she had decided to become a born again christian or creationist, would your readers jump to her defense? Everyone has the right to be an idiot, and everyone has the right to be fat (no connection between the two), but it can't be mandated that either be attractive to any given person.

Posted by racerx | December 8, 2007 4:42 PM

Jordan ... people are truely that pathetic. When they feel threatened, they LASH BACK. That whole liberal guilt thing ... that makes people hate democrats and turn into selfish pricks. "Why should I have to suffer because other people suffer". Not that my heart is bigger, it's that people are really that pathetic.

The rise of the KKK, basically a bunch of poor white people decided they couldn't stomach sharing what little wealth their was black people.

Dan I love you. I love you more than a straight identifying male should ....

My advice to get you back in good graces with obese people, short of fornicating every lonesome angry obese person, is to wear a fat suit, and live a week of your life as an obese person doing things like riding the bus and going to the movie theater and all you can eat buffets ... maybe the gym.

@34 ... I don't buy the genetics makes food tastier argument. Ask any strict vegetarian of at least 6 years if they find meat still apetizing, the vast majority of them will give you a resounding no ... after 10 years ... all of them. Go figure your pallet DOES change it just takes time.

Posted by OR Matt | December 8, 2007 4:49 PM

@39 i am not saying that it is a hard and fast rule, merely that the brain tends to reward you far more for simple carbohydrates like sugar or processed grains than complex and healthier carbs. ask 90% which tastes better white or brown rice and you will see my point.

and yes it can be changed, i find really sugary food far less appetizing than i used to but the tendency remains for the vast majority of people in this country

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 5:03 PM

@40, because the vast majority of people in this country aren't aware how their pallet is being desensitized salty, fatty, sugary foods .... Have you TRIED Sierra mist lately?

Posted by OR Matt | December 8, 2007 5:05 PM

yeah corn syrup is pretty damn gross

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 5:11 PM

>are people reading hate into Dan's column?

**you** said they were. As for hate and bigotry, I was talking about some of the posts here, not elsewhere.

But yes. Some of the posts, especially after the original column, were, IMHO, imputing a bigotry that really wasn't there. As other commentators here have noted, we're not talking about a fat person who stayed fat. We're talking about someone who changed dramatically after marriage. The fat is only part of the issue.

But once the fur started flying, all the trolls came out of the woodwork.

But in a way, it's all good. I kinda like that my mere existence -- fit and fat --pisses them off.

Matt, very good analogy to the KKK. (I wish you could have avoided the buffet comment, but ....)

And I agree with you about our palate being de-sensitized. There's so much nasty food out there. It's one reason I take umbrage a the stereotype of fat=fast food junkie. Ewwww.

Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 5:16 PM

Jordan, in the amount of time you've spent here Slogging about how fat people are victims, you could have jogged to New York, did some yoga, and got a diet coke.

/mr. poe

Posted by Mira Sorvino | December 8, 2007 5:33 PM

thats exactly what jordan is talking about, stupid stuff like that. an insult just to be mean without discussing the core of the debate

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 5:36 PM

Wow some of the people posting here really seem to hate fat people. I'm fat. I was a fat kid. I am not surprised by the venom. I experienced it daily growing up and not just from my peers. I was made fun of by adult relatives, teachers & total strangers. At 12 my science teacher while explaining gravity with a globe in hand told the class that the greater the mass the stronger the gravity and then proceded to circle my desk. Another on the first day of my freshman p.e. class asked me in front of 100 teenage boys if I needed a sports bra. These were adults talking to a child. I have about a thousand other stories like that and so does every other fat person. Overeating is like every other addiction but we're still treated like shit on a daily basis. I don't really blame my being fat on genetics or culture. I know that I could lose weight. but for those of you who have never been more that 10 or 20 lbs over your ideal weight you have no fucking idea how hard it is. And its obvious that some of the vitriol being spewed here are from people who are thin because they have their heads so far up their asses to make it impossible to overeat!

Posted by Dan | December 8, 2007 5:41 PM

"Have you noticed the nastiest of tyrants are invariably thin?"

Gracchus from Spartacus

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 8, 2007 5:47 PM

Oh, and by the way Dan, I don't think that you were making fun of fat people.

Posted by Dan | December 8, 2007 5:49 PM

Come on, Dan. You BAIT people for irrational responses. You live to stir up conflicts, not to perpetuate rational behaviour. The fat activists are definitely overreacting, but you're not exactly taking the high road yourself. You're just playing with them.

Which is normally A LOT of fun (and sometimes brilliant -- when you're good, you're really good). But you could choose a better target than this. Excuse the pun, but -- maybe you should pick on someone your own size.

Posted by Irena | December 8, 2007 5:58 PM

I have been thin most of my life, but due to massive overeating I was at one point obese-so I have seen both ends of the spectrum.

It is definitely more socially acceptable to be thin-even to the point of underweight! In fact, when my BMI was 17, I got more guys coming on to me than when I was a healthy weight.

Once I hit "overweight" territory and even more so "obese" territory, I did not feel so much hatred but an invisibility. Noone even looked at me! It was almost like I was a non-being. A very strange feeling-and one that I don't want to experience again.

However-I would not place it in the category of being a certain ethnicity or sex or whatnot-because for the vast majority of people obesity is totally preventable and treatable. I am treating my eating problem with counting calories and the help of a (free)weight loss website.

One of my pet peeves is grown people not taking responsibility for their actions. It is OK if someone is fat, but but don't blame genes-that is a cop-out.

Posted by mla | December 8, 2007 6:01 PM

It's all part of the victim complex in this country. Many people want to be a victim, so they can talk about how their feelings are hurt. Taken to the extreme, they are the people that go on talk shows, or sign up to be America's Most Pitiful on shows like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". The internet has enabled this search for victimhood, and this whole non-controversy is a great example of it.

I'm not fat, but I am a big homo. And I know that there are people out there who are disgusted by me, or even hate me, because of that, but I really don't give a fuck. It's their problem, not mine. I'm not going to change who I am because of it.

Dan, your original advice was right on. If the guy can't get a boner because his wife is overweight, that is a legitimate problem, no matter how much it might hurt his wife's feelings to know it. If she had bad breath or terrible athlete's feet, or any other boner-shrinking problem, would it be "hurtful" to mention it?

Taking it a step further, is it really anybody's business, other than the man and woman involved? He asked your advice, you gave it, and you shared the exchange with your readers. No one even knows if he acted on your advice, so why the big uproar?

Ignore the whiney victims. Doing otherwise would only encourage them.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | December 8, 2007 6:04 PM

Ok Dan, you don't have to wear the fat suit. I thought it was an absurd idea for an absurd situation. Yes, women in my family have been affected bulemia and anorexia ... a lot. My own personal body image story ...

I was a tall skinny gangly kid ... I wanted to be an athletic kid. I got harrassed by overweight girls trying to take advantage of my sensitive nature and I sort of shut down from it. I started lifting weights, 10 years later I finally feel more or less like I've filled into my body (I'm build like a pretty toned tight end/swimmer/water polo), but I'm still incredibly oblivious. My friends are always pointing to attractive women persuing me ... but I don't even notice. It's gotten to the point where ... it's assumed that I'm some sort of stuck up male hore. I haven't had a serios date in 5 years ... that's perhaps due much to grad school, and much to who the hell knows. Part of me sympethisizes with the pain people feel for not having control over their bodies, but part of me wants them to snap out of it and take control if that want it.

The moral of the story, tall, small, fat skinny, athletic, lazy whatever ... we all have our shortcomings. But happiness, or at least my happiness comes from within ... or how I value myself. The things I enjoy doing, my workouts, the true friends I have. I don't judge people but what they look like ... or judge people negatively, I may make a slightly tasteless joke from time to time ... but that's about it.

Posted by OR Matt | December 8, 2007 6:05 PM

>Jordan, in the amount of time you've spent here Slogging about how fat people are victims, you could have jogged to New York, did some yoga, and got a diet coke.

Mira/Mr. Poe: Not that it's your business, but I worked out last night and took a long walk this morning. What's your point? I'm finishing a project for a client, and I find it entertaining to poke my head in here every so often.

And I don't suppose you could point to where I ever said fat people are victims?

No? Didn't think so. Why in the world would you want to lie about me -- someone you never met?

(And I don't do soda, so save your diet coke. Perhaps you should start reading labels...?)


Dan, love it. The "head up the ass" diet. (And I'm sorry you went through what you did. That's just abusive.)


mla, I would suggest that you are a naturally slender person who gained weight. That's different from being a naturally larger person.

I'm not arguing genetics or chemicals in breast milk or anything else. But some people are naturally slim and some are not. It's a simple concept, not a cop-out. For instance, I need to lose 10 lbs. That still leaves me overweight -- close to obese. But it's the size I am when I am my healthiest.

Eat well. Read labels. Exercise regularly. Incorporate movement in your life. It's all very simple, and it's a way to be healthy. It's not always a way to be thin.



>It's their problem, not mine. I'm not going to change who I am because of it.


Posted by jordan | December 8, 2007 6:07 PM

@49 Perfectly said and I totally agree with you.

Posted by mj | December 8, 2007 6:13 PM

I am completely baffled at those who feel compelled to make rude comments about another person's appearance. I may not find everyone I see attractive but I at least have the discretion and good manners to keep my opinions to myself. And even though I am not fat and most likely never will be, everyone, yes everyone, has something about themselves they would like to change.

Posted by RainMan | December 8, 2007 6:30 PM
I'll admit there is anti-fat "bigotry" but only because people feel threatened by them...

I think the bigotry comes from people feeling threatened that they HAVE TO find large people sexually attractive. So instead of feeling guilty about it, they turn it into rage.

I completely disagree.

First, many men have this idea in their heads that women have to fuck them even when we're not attracted to them. I've experienced it. My friends have experienced it. Are women embroiled with rage over it? Not as far as I can tell.

Second, very few fat women will argue with a straight face that any person is obligated to fuck them. Consequently, the claim that many men have endured hearing that argument is bullshit.

My theory: many straight men can't stand the thought of women not existing for their pleasure, their consumption. Unlike naturally ugly women, fat women are "choosing" to be ugly. Those women dare to exist in the world without making their purpose in life to serve and please men. This causes a lot of guys to start foaming at the mouth.

That's the only explanation I can think of for why fat women are so particularly reviled. Straight women are well aware that men don't exist to please us, consequently we don't get that upset over the existence of fat men. Straight men, on the other hand, need to grow the fuck up.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 8, 2007 6:30 PM

Oh fatties! Go jog around the block!

Posted by KLAFG;AFL | December 8, 2007 6:46 PM

i'm the first to agree with dan about the lifestyle-obesity link. that being said, there is hatred directed toward people who are extremely overweight. i've had overweight friends (women) who've had half-eaten food, half-full giant containers of pop hurled at them along with insults while walking down the street by cars full of guys. more than one friend in more than one city. replace 'overweight friend' with 'black' or 'gay' or 'hispanic' and no one would doubt that there was hate involved.

the people posting who are saying obese people don't face discrimination and hatred and are whining have no idea what they are talking about.

@56 ... very insightful

Posted by susana | December 8, 2007 7:04 PM


You are kind of saying the same thing, but you are embelishing a more detailed scenario. A lot of men do feel that women are there to please them, a lot women feel that men are there to please women, they not mutually exclusive ... I don't think it relates as much to fat phobia as you think... sorry

Posted by OR Matt | December 8, 2007 7:30 PM

This back and forth makes my brain hurt. I was fat. 80lbs heavier than I am now. And I lost it by eating less and exercising more. But it didn't magically stay off. I gained 20lbs of it back and then lost it again. It's an effort--a constant balancing act between calories coming in and then being used. And it will always be something I work on.

Dan doesn't hate fat people. I'm pretty sure he's never said that. I guess Dan's just has to face the fact that he's the person that the "fat but happy" folks love to hate. It ain't ever gonna change.

Posted by Michigan Matt | December 8, 2007 7:33 PM

Dan, I'll help you out here. I'll tell you:

As a fat person - I remember every single shame-inducing face-burning time someone called me a fatty or two tons of fun or whatever, every time I've been yelled at on the street just for having the audacity to walk my dog and try to get some exercise, every time I've been dismissed by both peers and superiors because of my weight.

You've toned your language down in recent times, but you used to take much cheaper shots at fat folk, and as for me, I remember them. And as someone who's been a long-time reader who was dismayed at those early comments, I try to remember that you've moderated your tone, but really all I can picture is the initial sneering and attempts at clever humor. That's my problem.

But I think you have a problem, too. I think that every time someone calls you on this issue, you suggest that fat people think that promoting health means you hate fat people. I don't think that's true. I think the problem is that every time you say that, it incites such hateful bile to spew forth in the comments, and it's getting splashed on you, and maybe even seems a little familiar in your quarter, even if you've changed your tune a little. It's a fucking minefield to access your point, I promise you. It is an emotionally-charged argument because of the hatred it incites in people, and some people are sick to fucking death of taking it.

Even this post says it all. I'm certainly aware of how an inflammatory opening line (one that might, say, use a slur like "fatty" or "excessively corpulent" or whatever clever turn of phrase strikes your fancy) might make it difficult to pass that first line. As such, I see how it might be difficult for you to not skim anything past that opener. But did you catch this part, the part she quotes?

"Anon, you totally have the right to think I am unattractive. That is actually the point - we all have the right to our personal aesthetics. Acknowledging that doesn’t hurt the cause - because the cause is not making everyone think fat people are attractive.

But here is the difference: if someone thinks a thin person is unattractive, they don’t fuck that person. If someone thinks a fat person is unattractive, they throw things or verbally harass the fat person as they walk down the side of the road."

I think that's important. It's okay to give a little. Don't you think so?

Posted by Kristin | December 8, 2007 7:47 PM

But why should we feel guilty for not wanting to have sex with large women ... I must be an insensitive ass hole.

Unless some of are afraid obesity can catch up with us as well ...

and thus more nasty emotions

Posted by OR Matt | December 8, 2007 8:11 PM

I actually respected large people *more* before I read these blogs. Seriously.

Posted by Waah | December 8, 2007 8:38 PM

OR Matt - was that to me? Because I didn't say that, I don't think. I quoted that bit, and maybe you caught a different emphasis. I think the quote is not saying that people should feel guilty for not wanting to fuck the fat, but that the fat are subject much more than having people not want to fuck them. At times we are denied even common decency and respect.

(Incidentally, I think that's where some fat bloggers may draw comparisons in the ex-gay movement or whatever, and people are being hard-headed about seeing it. In plain language, while I would never dream of condoning anyone screaming epithets at a gay couple for walking down the street holding hands -- and I certainly wish every day that we lived in a world where that didn't happen -- why do the same people that find that abhorrent think that others who receive the same abuse should just suck it up because it's a harsh world?)

Posted by Kristin | December 8, 2007 8:39 PM


wtf? where have you been? I thought women had been faking headaches and complaining about male sex drives for decades. I'm young and naive, was that all made up?

And they're not saying that the men are obligated to bone the women, they're obligated to find them attractive. They're supposed to "see the beauty within" and fall in love with the nice smart girl inside. "Do these pants make my butt look big?" men are supposed to find the woman they're with to be attractive even if/when she puts on a few pounds and no longer fits those college sweat pants. Plenty of people have been saying that this guy should've squashed those feelings of "ick, I'm married to a whale" and assured her that she's still beautiful but he worries about her health. So they're not pressuring him to say he finds her attractive with this extra hundred pounds?

Posted by lynn | December 8, 2007 8:43 PM

Hey Dan (and his fans),

You want to read something really, really stupid?

Read this:

It's an article complaining about Dan Savage and trying to teach you how to love your girlfriend when she gets really fat and ugly. It's completely stupid.

I think they're that desperate.

Posted by Rachel | December 8, 2007 8:49 PM

Everyone here assumes that the majority of people, mostly men, are not attracted and therefore will not have sex with over weight or obese women.

I think what's true is that most men will not admit that they are attracted to and will have sex with overweight or obese women, just as most men won't admit that they, at one point in their lives, have felt attracted to and/or had sex with other men.

In theory, I've always known this was true, but a few weeks ago actually, I came across a posting on xtube, a porn site. Someone had posted a picture of an extremely, morbidly obese woman and asked if anyone would have sex with her. Overwhelmingly, out of at least a hundred responses, most people said yes. Which was actually surprising to me, because although I've always suspected that many men are attracted to fat women, I had no idea that the number, when asked anonymously, would be that high.

Now, I also suspect that although these men would have sex with these women, that they would hide the relationship and not take these women out in public. In my opinion, this denial is due to the mainstream idea that fat women are not attractive, and the resulting shame these men feel because they are with a woman deemed unattractive by society, and not because they actually find these women unattractive.

Posted by Ctree | December 8, 2007 8:59 PM

A specific geneotype has been shown to increase people's response to food, so that they eat more.

I have no doubt there will be many more pathways involved in taste and appetite regulation.

Diet soda is just as bad for your health as sweetened sodas, sorry folks, that change is irrelevant.

Diets in general just don't work well, we need to understand what's going on in brain chemistry and bodies before we'll be able to solve the obesity problem for most people.

I think it's good to advocate healthy eating, emphasizing vegetables and whole grains, and to advocate more exercise. I do think it's a fallacy to assume that thin people have healthy diets and exercise a lot, or that fat people have unhealthy diets and don't exercise--I hear too many stories of people working hard at eating right and exercising hard, yet still keeping those pounds on to believe in that. Plus my own husband eats less than I do and maintains a much higher weight with about the same amount of exercise.

Plus anyone complaining that people are fat should be encouraging them to don swimsuits and hit the beach, not complaining about how they look in those suits. Swimming is grand exercise for those with joint and mobility problems.

Posted by SpookyCat | December 8, 2007 9:02 PM

Diet foods in general are ineffective, even counterproductive:

Two links I had to cut from the previous post, due to the spam filter.

Posted by SpookyCat | December 8, 2007 9:03 PM

I would never, ever date a fat man. I even had fat friends who were really nice to me, but I would have never dated them because their folds of fat smelled really bad, always.

I can't even imagine not being able to feel someone's heartbeat because there's too much fat covering it.

And the idea of being mobile decades later than your partner is not at all appealing either.

As for a one night stand? Still hell no. There is nothing attractive about fat people to me. They are honestly and truly the bottom rung as far as attractiveness goes.

Posted by Yuck | December 8, 2007 9:04 PM


Oh, and I'm sure that those people's genotypes mutated in the past thirty years to turn 200 pound fatties into 400 pound fatties? Not likely.

Go back to your fatass blog. Your science defense is a joke.

Posted by bodyguard | December 8, 2007 9:07 PM

I've managed to stay out of this thread after annoying even myself in yesterday's, but I want to agree with @61. Dan is a hero to me. Not in the casual, dilluted sense, but in a very real sense. His column and other writing really helped me deal with being gay and you could say that in a way, he helped save my life. I agree completely with his advice in the original column. You have to talk with your partner about problems in the relationship, be they weight gaining, moustache growing, porn overindulging, nosepicking, whatever. I don't think he's been a fat hater - maybe a tad insensitive, but that's why we love him. My frustration is with the hateful commenters and those that want to defend them. I don't know why reasoned people can't just come out and say, "It's wrong to treat fat people like shit." It's simple. You don't have to change your opinion on why people are fat or if you want to fuck them. Just don't throw us under the bus when people talk shit. I'm looking at you Matt.

Posted by skweetis | December 8, 2007 9:14 PM


Sad to say ... but my experiences of hooking up with large women are women I wasn't attracted to ... was basically just out of desperation. Just months (if not years) without sex and if a woman got me when I was depressed every once in a while and liquored up ... then I apparently I have sex. I may be a "larger" male. But I'm a very fit male (no beer gut here!), and I'm attracted to fit women ... I just don't meet them ... I'm locked in a lab with respect to being social.

I think more often than not, they choose me because they wanted to try to feel small, and well ... it's not that I don't care ... I just really didn't want to have sex with them.

And I'm an insensitive ass hole male in my 20's because it took me years to learn how to say no.

I may be an outlier on this one ... but I don't care, I've pretty much adjusted to being alone.

Posted by OR Matt | December 8, 2007 10:10 PM

@56 -

I completely disagree ... very few fat women will argue with a straight face that any person is obligated to fuck them. Consequently, the claim that many men have endured hearing that argument is bullshit.

My theory: many straight men can't stand the thought of women not existing for their pleasure, their consumption.

Oh, horseshit. That's a thinly veiled grudge, not a theory. (And how ironic it is that you should cite when the original argument was started by a gay man.) No, fat women will not directly argue that men are obligated to fuck them. Rather, they will merely say that it is evidence of men's personal deficiency that they don't want to fuck them. Rather than cite duty, they simply frame it as a sign of character.

Now then, reread the original column, please. Would a man who feels women exist solely for his sexual pleasure be desperately looking for the right, tactful, loving way to address the issue of his wife's weight gain making it harder for him to find her physically attractive? Why would such a man care?

Posted by tsm | December 8, 2007 10:56 PM

As a plus size woman, the only thing that annoys me is that when people look at me that they assume that I got fat because I am sloppy and lazy.

The truth is I actually forced myself to gain weight as a teenager because I was being abused and thought that would keep my abuser from hurting me. And now I've been having a really hard time getting the weight off, even though I work out as much as I can.

Most people that are obese are that way because they have issues, but people don't care about that. They just want to get their five minutes of laughter and have something to talk about so they can ignore the things that they hate about themselves.

Posted by J | December 8, 2007 10:59 PM

Is it really about the original column anymore? Was it ever?

Posted by Kristin | December 8, 2007 11:12 PM

I really struggled on whether to respond at all to this thread. Dan is awesome and totally within his rights to have whatever opinion he wants on obesity, and articulates himself well and respectfully on the subject, and while I'm a fat guy I have no sense of kinship with the "fat power" crowd. And I'm aware that any push back on my part will be reflexively branded by some as being "defensive."


(1) I find the lack of compassion towards fat people exhibited by this otherwise progressive crowd *stunning*. Even if you accept that it's entirely our fault and that we're all just willfully fat, the venom and cruelty contained in the last couple of threads is amazing. Do you tell the woman with the unplanned pregnancy "that's what you get for fucking, dumbass!" Ditto the guy who got AIDS from unprotected sex? How about the person with a drug addiction?

(2) It's not entirely our fault and we're not all just willfully fat. The people who say "just go exercise and eat less" don't understand nutrition or physiology. Go read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. There are people who gain weight on 1300kcal/d diets and there are people who lose weight on 5000kcal/d. Obesity has become a bigger and bigger problem as the American diet has switched further and further towards simple starches and artificial sweeteners. Try eating for $10/d or less and avoiding corn syrup. Who's the largest funder of nutritional research in the United States? GENERAL MILLS.

None of this is to excuse the fact that being overweight is unhealthy and reduces your social options. Believe me, every single fat person in America knows this, as we are reminded of it roughly 100 times a week. It would be nice if one of those times *wasn't* from our progressive "friends" on the SLOG.

Posted by Big Sven | December 8, 2007 11:36 PM

LOL! Food, fat and feminism...too funny.

Posted by Tank | December 8, 2007 11:50 PM

I tried to point this out to Rachel, the author of the post on The-F-Word (that she was completely misinterpreting what you said), but she never let my comment through moderation and announced that she was closing the post (then made a new post whining about everyone attacking her). Of course, when anyone has tried to explain to her why the whole ex-gay analogy is massively offensive, she's basically shoved her fingers in her ears and gone "Wah wah wah wah wah can't hear yooou!"

Personally, I feel like if you're going to attack a public figure in a public forum, you should probably be willing to defend your accusations (especially when they are just simply untrue). But of course, this is the internet, where anyone who disagrees with you in your own blog is branded a troll and chased out by a pitchfork-wielding mob. I forgot.

Posted by Dark | December 9, 2007 1:13 AM

I'm hammered ... I have to live in Eugene Oregon ... and I have to say one weird thing

Everything is on a woman's terms in this town

I ... am not a bad looking guy ... fine ... but I scare the shit out of people ... I have no clue why ... nor can I care because I have to pay MY bills I have to work, and I will use my body to push it to the limits because it makes me feel good regardless of what women think of me ...

and they think I'm stuck up pompus shit because I actually DO have a decent body. And the moral of the story .... fat or not it I mrean really ... fat or not it really DOES NOT FUCKING MATTER.

There is something more bizzare and more ... less typical that defines this universe and I have given up figuring out what the fuck it is ....

just be happy with you are ... the end!

Posted by OR Matt | December 9, 2007 3:11 AM


Defend your statement. I linked to the articles I used to support my arguments, you made a lazy statement that shows considerable ignorance. The ignorance you show has two underpinnings:

1. Environment affects the phenotype expressed by genes.

Changes in the last thirty years which affect weight:

2. Genes *can* change in a generation.

There's a whole fascinating field of genetics just starting to be explored called epigenetics, where genes are modified by environmental cues and expressed differently due to those cues. Interestingly, as new as this field is, some of the early data clearly shows epigentic effects upon weight and the propensity of offspring to gain weight depending upon the life experiences of parents. Here's a link:

Nature is a well-respected source, BTW.

And I don't particularly read personal blogs at all; I just like science and accuracy. I will nitpick if people say stupid things, whether or not the subject affects me in particular.

Posted by SpookyCat | December 9, 2007 8:03 AM

I'm 40 - 60 lbs overweight (depending on who you ask), incredibly healthy by most standards, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, love my body, don't think of myself as a victim, and have NEVER had problems finding people who think I'm sexy. I am perfectly happy with who I am and what I look like. I personally think fat can be beautiful. I don't hear enough people saying that. I've encountered "fatphobia" in my life, not on the scale of some (like Dan's comments above, which were heart breaking), but anyone who has the nerve to spit vitriol in my face usually has something they hate about themselves right under the surface -- and it's never that hard to point it out to them. In any case, I'm sexy fat, and I have the final say on that. And I love delicious food. I do not deprive myself of life's pleasures.

Posted by caracola | December 9, 2007 9:22 AM

Hey Spooky-and Jordan,

Thank you for the article, and those factors are all reasonable and researched. They are also factors which can be changed.

In other words-if undersleeping makes one fat (it does for me)-get some more shuteye!

It is true-one can not control genes-some people are more "hefty" than others. This doesn't mean to throw in the towel, or that a healthy weight (whatever that may be-and minor "overweight" is considered healthy for many females) cannot be maintained. I need to eat 1200-1400 Kcals to lose weight, and 1800-2000 to maintain slimness. Some posters think this is somehow unnatural-but no-many people are like this. Just like some people need to study more to maintain good grades; some need to work harder at staying healthy.

Honestly I think people are eating more than they think they are (who gets 8 servings out of a box of pasta anyhow?) and working out less than they think they are. Classic optimism at work.

since everyone else is posting fun articles-I shall too!

Posted by mla | December 9, 2007 9:32 AM

That's a fun quiz thing there. Yes, portions are going up. One of the easy tricks to helping people lose weight is to give them portion control plates, where the proper portion sizes are printed on the plate. Being mindful does help with weight loss.

And, yes, getting more sleep would be a great health advance for many people for many reasons, car accidents alone would be greatly reduced. However, it's another reason poorer people gain more weight, they're more likely to be working two jobs.

Posted by SpookyCat | December 9, 2007 9:51 AM

When I used to work at Subway, fat people would drive up to the front door, roll out of their car, and then ask for "whatever Jared would get".

Posted by high school jobs teach you a lot about people | December 9, 2007 12:03 PM


I agree with most of your post, but I think there is a huge difference between "throwing in the towel" on health and deciding that exercise and healthy food choices are beneficial in their own right -- regardless on their impact on my BMI.

But you make a good point about some people having to work harder than others. And it is my choice not to live on 1200-1800 calories a day. But then, my goal is sustainable overall health, not weight loss.

And I completely agree with you on serving size. As you can guess, I'm not a big fan of measuring every morsel. However, before I cut out most red meat, I started measuring the serving size. It was enlightening and helpful. (I was floored by that quiz. Wow.)

FWIW, I don't find that mindfulness leads to weight loss, but it probably inhibits gain and it certainly helps me stay away from the sort of mindless snacking that's just unhealthy and unsatisfying.

Posted by jordan | December 9, 2007 12:23 PM

Congrats, Dan. Your HARD column is the best troll ever. Truly legendary.

Posted by Bennie | December 9, 2007 1:13 PM

I can't believe this thread is still active, but since it is I might as well jump back in.

First, I am truly sorry for all the abuse from teachers, relatives, total strangers, etc that overweight people have to endure. As a skinny person I had no idea since I have never witnessed such cruelty first hand, at least not since junior high school. There is absolutely no excuse for that kind of rudeness.

Having said that, I had the opposite problem. As a skinny straight guy I probably missed out on a lot when I was younger because I assumed women were attracted to guys with more muscle. OR Matt @52, your experience sounds a lot like mine. So I started working out and eating better (avoiding crappy junk food is just as important for people trying to gain weight as for people trying to lose it). Today at age 45 I am still skinny (BMI of 20.3), just like some overweight people who exercise regularly and eat healthy food will still be overweight. Genetics really does have a lot to do with it.

This whole conversation started from a letter Dan received from someone asking his advice on what to do now that his wife has put on a few pounds and he is no longer attracted to her. Now as Keshmeshi @56 points out, a straight guy who thinks that his wife/girlfriend exists totally for his pleasure and demands that she always look her best while he himself looks like a slob, yes, should grow the fuck up. But give us straight guys a little more credit. When I have been in serious relationships I didn't think it was unreasonable or selfish for me to want my girlfriend to look good. And I didn't think it was unreasonable or selfish of her to want me to look good. It goes both ways. I was happy to make the effort not just for my own health, but to please someone I cared about. Did we always look our best to each other? Of course not. We smelled each other's farts and bad breath and saw the other's nose full of snot when we had colds. That happens when you are in a relationship. But when we made the effort to appear presentable, I know we both appreciated it. It doesn't matter if you are male or female, gay or straight, you do that for someone who is important to you.

Posted by RainMan | December 9, 2007 2:46 PM

Straight people are dumb.

Posted by fuckin' breeders | December 9, 2007 3:20 PM

sorry i'm late on the bus. and i'm sorry for the lack of my capital letters, as my shift key just decided to crap out on me.

as my name implies, i'm a fat chick. i'm 26, in school, and it doesn't ever occur to me that i'm fat until arguments like these come up. i don't see a fat person when i look in the mirror, i don't hate myself, i'm not ashamed, and i am not disgusted by my body.

not all fat people hate themselves, nor do we all experience this supposed fat hatred. i've never been treated poorly in public because of my weight, at least not that i've noticed as we're all used to poor customer service and angry cashiers.

i can walk into a club and a bar without people staring. i still occassionally get approached by men, perhaps not as often as a thin woman, but frankly it suits me fine not to constantly have to be bombarded by come-ons.

i live my life on my own terms and don't listen to the anti-fat rhetoric which is based on the assumption that all fat people are miserable.

Posted by fat chick | December 9, 2007 5:10 PM


Jabba the Hutt

Posted by kmonkey | December 9, 2007 8:12 PM

@91 the thin old emperor was arguably nastier

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 9, 2007 10:35 PM

This might have already been said in the comments but who has time to read through all of them: I definitely think you misunderstood that quote, Dan. They're not saying that you literally said that. They're voicing their opinion that you wrote a column about how fat people suck. That's not putting words into your mouth, it's just an interpretation of what you wrote (or what they misremember that you wrote - whatever).

Posted by Dave | December 10, 2007 5:04 AM


So, to sum up: some people didn't like Dan's advice, and flamed him.

I'm sorry, is this a new development? I thought that was a weekly event. ;)

If we haven't already, lets please move on. The more we pick at the scab the more it'll bleed.

Posted by Toby | December 10, 2007 7:43 AM

Last winter, I deep fried everything, and supplimented my non-fried foods with sugars and massive carbo loading.

Guess what.
I got fat.

Last spring, I began to eat right and exercise, and have continued to do so since.

Guess what.
I lost 45 lbs.


Posted by thinner | December 10, 2007 10:00 AM

Again, I remind everyone who seems to think that their everyone wants to smell their brain droppings: NO ONE ASKED YOU.

We know we are fat that it's unhealthy, eat less junk, move more. So shut the fuck up about it already.

All this "All you gotta do..." and "Well I lost such and such, just by getting off my ass so thats how it works for everyone" is all a bunch of self-important, narcissistic, ego masturbation. Frankly, I'm tired of it.

Ya'll win, your right about exercise and eating healthy. So shut up about it already! We heard you the first time. The rest is our decision and none of your damn business, fat, skinny, or formerly fat.

You don't have to fuck us, you don't have to like us, you don't have to agree with us, you can even think we are lazy whiners. Hell, you might be right. But you don't need to keep reminding us, it's cruel. Just let the issue go already.

Posted by Brandon H | December 13, 2007 12:19 AM

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