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Fat? Why your body is not a problem to be fixed

Pretty much the first thing that fat studies scholar Dr Cat Pausé asks when I contact her to see if she'd like to contribute to our story on fat is, "Are you going to use any photos of headless fatties?" If we are, she's not interested. Awkwardly, we were going to, actually. For the cover, we had planned to use a photo of a headless fat person with the headline, "What's wrong with this picture?" and then earnestly point out how frequently the media uses images of headless fat people and how problematic they are.

Fat Studies scholar Dr Cat Pausé.
Fat Studies scholar Dr Cat Pausé. David Wiltshire.

Even though it was meant to be sympathetic, meant to open discussion on the problems of being fat in a society obsessed with the thin, Pausé, a Massey University senior lecturer, said no. It's still a headless fatty. Even if you're trying to be clever with it. No interview. "Why not use a photo of happy, smiling, laughing fat people with the same headline?" she said. "When do you ever see that?" She has a point. Because we all know the photos she's talking about. They're the ones usually accompanying the headline "Obesity Crisis". We see those pictures on the news, in the papers all the time: fat people's bottoms walking along a street, fat people in the mall, and the Holy Grail: fat people eating and drinking. (Because, how dare they?) The photos are snapped sneakily, to avoid the need for permission, and to avoid embarrassment. (Because they should be embarrassed, right?)

Continued…Read full original article…

Source: New Zealand Herald

Original publication 30 Mar, 2019

Posted on NatCorn 5th April 2019

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