Smart Answers to Stupid Questions

I can explain it to youThis is, I think, the final piece in what has turned into a trifecta of posts dealing with the BS that fat people have to deal with.  The first two pieces are here and here 

I get a lot of e-mails from readers who want to know what I say to various fat hate that I have to deal with.  Here are some examples, some are serious, some are jokes.  As always your mileage may vary and feel free to use these as is, change them up, or don’t use them at all:

You have such a pretty face

  • Sure, but wait until you see my fine, fine ass.
  • Thanks, it matches my beautiful body

Do you need to eat that?

  • I thought that you were an accountant, are you also a dietitian?
  • Yes, because dealing with your rudeness is depleting my glycogen stores at an alarming rate
  • If I want to talk to the food police, I’ll call 911
  • Thanks for trying to give me your insecurities, but I was really hoping to get a Wii for Christmas this year
  • No, but using my fork to eat helps to keep me from stabbing you with it

What are you doing about your weight?

  • Moving it through space with grace, power, and joy
  • Dressing it in fabulous clothes and taking it out on the town
  • My weight is fine, what are you doing about your rudeness?

Don’t you know that being fat is unhealthy?

  • Don’t you know the difference between correlation and causation?
  • Don’t you know what is and is not your business?
  • No, I don’t and you don’t either.  It looks like you need to do some research.

Are you pregnant?

  • No, but the night is young. (This one is direct from the brilliant Marilyn Wann!)
  • Piece of advice – if you can’t see the baby’s head, don’t assume the woman is pregnant.
  • Yup, I’m in my 108th trimester.

This Health at Every Size stuff is just fat people justifying people being fat.

  • My fat body is amazing and requires no justification. Your rudeness on the other hand is inexcusable.
  • Health at Every Size says that healthy habits are the best chance to improve our odds for a healthy body.  Are you suggesting that we should tell people to practice unhealthy habits?
  • It sounds to me like you are just trying to justify your fat bashing.

But my brother-in-law’s cousin’s babysitter’s best friend’s aunt lost weight and they are healthier that they were.

  • Did they change their behaviors to lose weight?  Then is it possible that the weight loss and the better health are both side effects of the behavior change?
  • That’s fine for that person but everyone does not have to choose the same path.
  • I base my decisions on evidence, not anecdotes. There are people who survive when their parachutes don’t open, but I’m still going to wear a parachute. The vast majority of the time intentional weight loss attempts lead to weight gain not better health in the long term, so weight loss is too a dangerous choice for me.

People on Dancing with the Stars lose weight , why don’t you? (It’s possible that this one just happens to me)

  • People are able to appropriately interact with strangers, why can’t you?
  • People on Dancing with the Stars just started dancing, I’ve been at this a while.  Based on the research they’ll gain their weight back in a few years, but I’ll still be a fabulous fat dancer.

All you have to do is eat less and exercise more and you’ll lose weight.

  • Right, and all you have to do is click your heels together and say “there’s no place like home” and you’ll be there.
  • Oh my god, I’ve never heard that before, thank the gods I met you inappropriate stranger.
  • Looks like I wasted those hundreds of hours reading the research – who needs evidence when you can just repeat a platitude.  Are you still using heroin as a cough suppressant and saving for tickets to sail around the flat surface of the Earth?

You’re pretty for a fat girl.

  • Why on Earth would you think I care what you think about me?
  • That’s weird, I was just thinking that you are attractive for a rude person!

You’re not fat!

  • Holy crap, we need to go to the Optometrist right freaking now!
  • I am absolutely fat, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  I think what you might mean is that I don’t fit your stereotypes of fat – in which case the problem is with the stereotypes and not my size.
  • You know, when you say that I’m not fat, when I obviously am, it makes it sound like you think there’s something wrong with the body that I live in all the time, there isn’t.

You’re not fat, you’re fluffy.

  • Sorry about that – you activated my throat-punch reflex.
  • I’m really not fluffy – I don’t even float in the water.  Really, I’m just fat.
  • Please, for the love of all that’s holy, stop trying to “help”.

We can’t have you as a speaker on fitness/athletics because your lifestyle is obviously leading you to an unhealthy body and we don’t think you make a good role model.

  • Fuck you.  (Ok, that’s not really one I recommend)
  • So you’re saying shame fat people for not pursuing fitness, then stigmatize us when we do pursue fitness, then conceal any success we have pursuing fitness?  Yeah, that’s gonna work out.
  • This kind of stereotyping and silencing of fat athletes means that fat people don’t have any role models who look like us.  Nobody is required to pursue health/fitness/athletics but attitudes like this lead fat people to believe that they can’t do these things even if they want to.  Hope you’re proud of yourselves.
  • It’s interesting that you are comfortable ignoring all of my accomplishments because you can’t set aside your prejudice about my body.

Are you being bullied about your weight?  Then do something about it (implying that the fat person should lose weight.)

  • The solution to social stigma is not weight loss.  It’s ending social stigma. The problem is not fat people, it’s those who stigmatize us.

You can’t tell me that you’re comfortable if you’re fat.

  • You can’t tell me whether or not I’m comfortable since you’re not, you know, me.
  • I can and I am telling you that, despite your best efforts to make me uncomfortable, I am very comfortable being fat.
  • It is not ok for you to replace my actual experiences with your made up ones about what it’s like to be me.

If you could snap your fingers and be thin you would.

  • No, I wouldn’t.  But if I could snap my fingers and stop you from being a fat bigot I would.  Let’s give that a shot. *snap*

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Published in: on August 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm  Comments (37)  

37 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “Sorry about that – you activated my throat-punch reflex.”

    I almost fell out of my chair on that one!

    • I loved that one. “Fluffy” used in that context makes me gag.

      I also love “if I could snap my fingers and stop you from being a fat bigot I would. Let’s give that a shot.”. Yes, let’s!

  2. These are great!

  3. You’re seriously awesome, Ragen.

  4. Remember ‘Mad’ Magazine’s “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions”? (No? Ugh, I’m not *that* old!) These remind me of those! Awesome!

    • Honey, we’ll be old together and giggle in corners a lot.

  5. Reblogged this on a bit funny in the head and commented:
    Fabulous post on the entitlement some feel to bodysnark people……via @myarchedeyebrow

  6. ” Are you still using heroin as a cough suppressant…?”

    Though that actually was more reliably effective than calories in vs calories out. And opium really did get colicky babies to quiet down.

    Of course the side effects may have been a little extreme compared to the benefits….

    • A little extreme? *snort* I just about gagged on my coffee.

      Love you Twistie!

    • You know your argument’s weak when “giving opium to babies” is a more scientifically-valid argument.

      • In believe we may have the quotable line of the week right here.

  7. Reblogged this on The Cheese Whines.

  8. Utterly wonderful and brilliant. Thank you, Ragen. I’ll print these out and keep them handy.

  9. I’m SO using the fork comment!!!!

    I was hoping for a Wii, not your insecurities!

    LOVE IT!!

  10. The fork comment was my fave, too, but they’re all great!

  11. I have never understood the “If you could snap your fingers and be thin you would!” What is the point they are trying to make? I am a bit dense about people, but I just can’t understand the point of that one. Is it just a effort to “prove” thin is best? Or just an attempt to shut fat people up? I’m afraid I just get a muddled look on my face and shake my head.

    • I think it’s an attempt to reassert thin superiority. “Fat people may not be able to change their bodies, but they totally would if they could, right? Because fat=bad thin=good, duh!”

      It also seems to be a good way to undercut someone’s self-esteem, as what I’ve read says that it’s extremely difficult for many to become completely comfortable in their own skin even if they fully embrace FA.

    • It’s like the assumption that everyone in a wheelchair would automatically choose to walk again if you could wave a magic wand and make it happen.

  12. These are great. The pregnant comment reminded me of the time a stranger asked my daughter that. She just looked sad, and told the person she’d just lost a baby. Manipulative, yes, but also humanizing, as it made her a real person instead of a stereotype, and resulted in a peaceful plane trip. One of the multitude of things we are not required to tell a stranger is the truth.

    • A friend of mine did something quite similar when a woman complained about the fact he had a Christmas wreath on the bumper of his car in March. He solemnly told he wasn’t going to take it off until his boy got home from serving in Iraq. She didn’t need to know he didn’t have any children.

      I’m betting both she and the twerp who hassled your daughter will think twice about making crass assumptions… or at least giving voice to them.

    • One of the multitude of things we are not required to tell a stranger is the truth.


      • These comments are wonderful.

  13. A while ago, I got the “are you pregnant?” a lot. Depending on who was asking, I´ve been known for answering in a pretty graphic way why noone´s sperm has yet reached my uterus.

  14. “You have such a pretty face…” =

    “Thanks. And I put out like crazy because I’m a total demon in the sack.”

    “Do you need to eat that?” =

    “Do you like anal? Oh, I’m sorry…I thought we were asking personal questions that were nobody’s f*cking business.”

    • That last one wins forever! I almost hope someone asks me if I need to eat something sometime soon so I can say that. You rock, Yorkie! 🙂

      • I am a fantastically caustic wise-ass. It’s not a skill I use that often. But thanks!

  15. I was going to type something clever but my mouse is screwed up!! Thanks for these they made my day!!

  16. My partner is entrenched in ‘you’re not fat’ camp. To his defense, he is partially sighted:-).

    • I hope you don’t mind my reply just so people aren’t quick to assume/stereotype visually impaired. How does he see fat? My blind partner is quite, I would say overly, sensitive to the tactile qualities of fat. Of course he thinks it’s rude to say so! But definitely has ways of knowing…

      • I meant my comment more as a joke on ‘need to visit the optometrist’ answer. However, we’re both creatures of our upbringing. He’d never admit to be attracted to a fat person as I would never see myself as attractive. Old habits die hard.

  17. Love these. I think my favorite is: “Don’t you know the difference between correlation and causation?”

  18. Reblogged this on Darswords and commented:
    Love this!

  19. I personally use the term fluffy, sometimes, for myself. I also say I’m fat, though. I usually use the term “fluffy” when I am being playful/goofing around. However, the thing is, that’s the difference between choosing to use words for yourself, and having someone else force them on you. I also identify as queer, but if anyone called me that without my consent… and if anyone I didn’t know pulled the “you’re not fat, you’re fluffy” thing… I would be angry. People need to stop forcing a lot of things on people, including terminology.

  20. I just wanted to let you know I got to use one of your Smart Answers to Stupid Question . . . I was in Starbucks in Berkeley this morning and an older (about my age) man said I was cute for a fat girl! GRRRR . . . my response: “How odd, I was just thinking that you are kinda cute for a rude person!” A woman near the end of the line yelled, “Right on Sister!” Thank you Ragen!

  21. “Sorry about that – you activated my throat-punch reflex.” 😀 What do you say to people that say “oh, I’m only concerned about your health”?

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