Binge eating and being fat

Beth Mazur's picture
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Michelle, the Fat Nutritionist, wants folks to know that, no, not all fat people are binge eaters. In fact, some fat folks don’t binge eat, and some binge eaters are actually thin.

As a fat person who does binge eat, I understand wanting clarity about this subject, but it hurts her feelings? Really?

My name is Michelle, I am fat, and I don’t binge eat. Binge eaters are not bad, out-of-control people – I simply don’t share that experience, despite being really fat. Assuming I do based on the way I look is stereotyping. …

The part of stereotyping all fat people as binge eaters that I find the most hurtful is when it comes from other fat people, or formerly fat people – because their experience of looking like me, at some point, apparently lends them the veneer of rarified insider knowledge; because fat people in our culture are such an intensely stereotyped group that, of course, it is assumed that the experience of a single fat person represents the experience of all; and because confessions of binge eating represent useful anecdata to prop up the dominant narrative of fat people as unrepentant gluttons. …

Let me make this very clear – I am not hurt when a fat person or formerly fat person discloses that they do or did binge eat. Not only is binge eating morally neutral, but a person sharing their personal experience is not about me.

But when they make it about me by promoting the idea that, because they did it, every other person of a particular weight must be doing it too – then I am hurt.

Hmmm. Binge eating is “morally neutral” but she’s hurt when someone presumes she is doing it because of her weight. Maybe it’s not as morally neutral as she says it is.

That said, some good info about binge eating in the post. Check it out.

Beth Mazur blogs at Weight Maven

Image credit: kennymatic


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