In September, the women’s cosmetics company kicked off its “Beauty Of…” podcast with a half-hour interview with Virgie Tovar, an author and activist who promotes the pro-fat movement under the guise of “body positive.” .
The “Beauty Of…” podcast, according to its host, celebrity hairstylist David Lopez, is a podcast that hosts the “dreamers and visionaries who drive our ideas of beauty forward.”
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Lopez and Tovar began their conversation with an honest reflection on their own insecurities, breaking the emotional roller coaster that overweight young people face when they become old enough to be aware of their own appearance.
“You emanate joy,” Lopez tells Tovar at the top of the interview, and she does. Her oversized glasses – tinted rose, topped with bangs and complemented by low-rise earrings so big they can’t be missed – express a colorful and charismatic yet confident activist who isn’t afraid to show a certain vulnerability to put forward his point of view.
“For me, fatphobia, which is a form of bigotry against people with high weight, is what took me out of my body,” Tovar said of his own experience.
“Once I learned about grossophobia, I had a feeling of ‘this is my body and this is me,'” Tovar added. “There was a separation, and when I was a kid, those two things were never separate. They were one and the same, and I think the truth is that we were all on some level.
But she also probably seems confident and comfortable in her own skin because she wrote a book to justify obesity. Most overweight people aren’t comfortable, and they usually aren’t comfortable with their obesity for good reason. Because being obese is not comfortable. Try walking around carrying an extra 100 pounds and see if you’re comfortable.
Tovar goes on to further break down the so-called “fat phobia,” explaining how “fat activism” is sort of the answer to “fat phobia.”
“In fact,” she says, “fat phobia is a real, legitimate form of discrimination. It lines up with other kinds of discrimination, like race or gender, or, you know, or a number marginalized identities.
But the problem with “fat activism” is that its message is one of apathy and helplessness in the face of the most pressing public health crisis of our time. Tovar says it herself (emphasis added):
[‘Fat activism’ is] basically some kind of intersectional politics that looks at the “big phobia” and says “that’s wrong, there is nothing wrong with being fat, it’s totally a natural part of body diversity. Yes, fat people have full, wonderful, beautiful lives, yes, fat people are desirable, and absolutely fat people should be protected from things like medical discrimination and the wage gap.
There’s nothing wrong with being fat as long as there’s nothing wrong with being unhealthy, but Tovar doesn’t seem to have a problem with that either.
“Nobody has to be healthy,” Tovar says later in the interview. “No one owes this to anyone.”
It may be true that no one has to be healthy, but a happier society would want to be as healthy as possible, cherishing health and well-being as the key to longevity. We owe it to ourselves to be healthy, and we owe it to our loved ones, who want us to live as long as possible – and not just long but good.
Today, more than a billion people are obese in the world. In the United States, more than 2 in 5 adults are obese, with nearly 77% of the adult population considered at least overweight. By the end of the decade, half of all American adults are expected to be obese, according to a Harvard University study published before the coronavirus pandemic accelerated American weight gain and likely the researchers’ timeline too. Children are also gaining unhealthy weight, mimicking their parents’ habits and consuming mountains of processed foods. A study last year found that almost half of all children aged 5 to 11 were overweight or obese.
Tovar tells women that their weight doesn’t matter. But that’s only true if women’s health doesn’t matter either. Obesity leads to a higher risk of high blood pressure, cancers, diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, respiratory problems, high cholesterol, and mental illness, to name a few. – not to mention the disadvantages of excess weight in the immediate future. . Are we really ready to drop the question after almost 80% of people hospitalized with Covid-19 were overweight or obese? Women in particular already face twice as many risks as men of becoming overweight or obese.
Prescribing Tovar to a culture that stigmatizes obesity raises the white flag of capitulation on the issue. The side effects of this prescription include short-term sedentary lifestyles and a pandemic of long-term chronic disease with premature deaths for millions of people.
No one should be ashamed of their weight, which can be both counterproductive and traumatic, but don’t lie to them about the fact that their weight (their health!) doesn’t matter either. Healthy stigmas against certain behaviors (like smoking) exist for a reason. Erasing these stigmas threatens to open a “Pandora’s box” of suffering that Americans are not and should not be prepared for.
Tovar defines “grosphobia” as “a form of bigotry against people of high weight”. Based on his comments throughout the interview, this “bigotry” includes rejecting his ideas that overweight people are healthy. If “fatphobia” means holding up a healthy stigma against being overweight, then we need a little more.
Tristan Justice is the Western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan is a graduate of George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]