A professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse argued in a blog post this week that it is “fatphobic” to encourage people to eat healthy foods and avoid weight gain during the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by the College Fix, a professor published a blog post on the “Two Fat Professors” site this week about “fatphobic” attitudes towards gaining weight and diet culture during the ongoing pandemic. The post, which looks to have been authored by Professor Darci Thorne, makes the case that it is toxic for Americans to be concerned about gaining while they are quarantined in their homes.
Professors Darci Thorne and Laurie Cooper Stoll of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse run a blog called “Two Fat Professors” on which they discuss “fatphobia” and other issues pertaining to body image in American society. Breitbart News reported on the “Two Fat Professors” blog in December, highlighting a post in which Stoll wrote that the “fat revolution” changed her life.
Now, Thorne is arguing in a blog post entitled “Diet Culture at the End of the World” that it is problematic for people to joke about putting on weight while they are stuck in their homes.
Unsurprisingly, other thoughtful folx are beginning to see the same patterns that we are about how unhelpful and unhealthy it is to continue to traumatize people who are already being traumatized with “advice” about how to avoid weight gain during a global public health disaster. De Elizabeth from Allure notes that,“The most obvious problem with jokes about the ‘quarantine 15’ or ‘the COVID 19’ is that gaining weight is framed as an inherently bad thing–an idea that’s steeped in fatphobia.” And, she’s absolutely right.
Thorne goes as far as to argue that it is “fatphobic” to argue that it is “dangerous” to gain weight. Instead, Thorne says that Americans should be focused on approaching each other with “love, empathy, and understanding.”
To persist in promoting the idea that gaining weight is dangerous, bad, or something that we should be preoccupied with in this moment (or any moment) only feeds into a system of fatphobia that oppresses and abuses so many even in the best of times. Clarkisha from Intersectional Feminist Media also reminds us that “it would actually be productive if the conversation about ‘health’ during this COVID-19 outbreak was about surrounding [. . .] people with love, empathy, and understanding so we are all able to get through these next couple of months without losing our minds.” It’s difficult to disagree with this logic.
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