Bad Responses to Bad Fat Shaming – Starring Keath Hausher and Tony Posnanski

WTF are you doingA fat woman went to a baseball game.  Unbeknownst to her she was sitting in front of certified fitness trainer Keath Hausher.  Keath couldn’t manage to keep his eye on the ball, and instead took the picture of the fat woman in front of him without her consent, and posted it to Facebook accompanied by his judgments about her size, and the food that she ate at the game, calculating the calories she had eaten, and making fun of her for using My Fitness Pal. Keep it classy there, Keath.

The woman found out about it and called him out.  Keath responded “Holy shit, I’m a complete tool, what the hell was I thinking, I apologize for my absolutely fucked up behavior.”

JUST KIDDING!  He doubled down, saying:

As usual, I’ve come under fire for being a ‘fat-shamer’ and a ‘bully’ for my views concerning obesity in our nation. I stand by every comment without reservation…It is a public health issue. I didn’t name her, or show her face. It is raising awareness to say it’s okay to not stand for that.

He’s just another brave person bullying fat people “for our health and getting bullied for it, poor baby. Well Keathie (can I call you Keathie?) you can stand for it, sit for it, or lay down for it, but fat people  have the right to exist in fat bodies without bullying, shaming, stigma or oppression and it doesn’t matter why we’re fat, what being fat means, or if we could become less fat, and you can fuck right the hell off. (Those wanting to make some sort of “but wut about muh tax dollarz!” argument – or wishing to learn why those arguments are bullshit – can head over to this post.”)

It turns out that, happily, Keath lacks the courage of his bigoted bullying convictions. After “getting hammered” on social media, he first tried the Jamelia approach:

I stand by MY views … not the one’s I’ve been inaccurately portrayed to have.

Like Jamelia, he learned that when you do something shitty in a glaringly public way, the Shaggy song “It Wasn’t Me” should not be considered solid damage control advice. So he then came out with this gem:

“I would like to take a moment to express my apologies to the individual in the photograph I posted and those it upset. One of the things I have learned quite painfully over the last couple of days is how sometimes something that is well intentioned can be executed poorly…

“Well intentioned…Executed poorly.” Good one Keathie.  He went on:

I have absolutely learned my lesson and will be more careful going forward about how I use social media, and I don’t think it’s productive to draw further attention to what is now behind us.

Not more careful about fat-shaming – but more careful about getting caught. I still think he should have gone with “Holy shit, I’m a complete tool, what the hell was I thinking, I apologize for my absolutely fucked up behavior.” but that’s just me.

In another twist, it turns out it wasn’t the woman at the game who responded.  It was this thin dude who enjoys pretending to be fat people on the internet who have been fat-shamed.  He crafts his responses based on “Good Fatty” tropes, making up stories about how the person used to be much heavier and lost a bunch of weight and so they should be treated with respect, and purposefully misrepresents himself, sending tons of traffic to his website were he posts these “responses”.  In this case he used his friend Beverly (complete with pictures and I’m hoping with her permission) who was subsequently hounded by the media until he admitted what he had done.

The problem is that this dude also can’t keep his eye on the ball.  Keath’s behavior wasn’t inappropriate because the subject of his bullying had lost weight. His behavior was inappropriate because you shouldn’t take people’s pictures without their consent, post them on the internet, and mock them. (And that sentence will be immediately added to my “Shit I can’t believe I have to say” list.)

Let’s keep our eye on the ball y’all – the truth isn’t “You shouldn’t fat-shame people because they might be losing weight.” The truth is “You shouldn’t fat-shame people.”

Activism Opportunity:

Keath’s certification is through The Cooper Institute. If you’d like to let them know the behavior that Keath is exhibiting under the banner of their certification:

E-mail through their contact form:  http://www.cooperinstitute.org/contact
Call: 972-341-3200 or 800-635-7050
Fax: 972-341-3227

Care to share some thoughts with Keath and Tony? (All the trigger warnings, obviously…)

Keath:

E-mail him:  keath@sharkfitness.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keath.hausher

Tony:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tonyposnanski

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/tonyposnanski

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Published in: on May 9, 2015 at 10:15 am  Comments (23)  

23 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. In his apology, He actually said obesity was “… a national security risk.”

    Wtf.

    His personal page seems to be gone on FB now but here’s the link to his training page (trigger warning for pretty much everything) shark fitness:

    https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=127013796322

  2. Our local news picked up this story, which then linked it onto Facebook. Way too many of the comments echoed Hausher’s original comments, many using the same weak justifications and ignorant assumptions.

    On another note, I had my annual Health Screening yesterday, which once again determined that, because I’m 6’2″ tall and weigh 200 pounds, my resulting BMI indicates that I am overweight. The funny thing is, the person going over the screening results with me agreed that BMI is bullshit, but because it’s the current dogma in the medical and fitness community, she was obligated to discuss it with me.

    With any luck, within the next five years, BMI will be abandoned by both the medical and fitness industries for the bad science it is. Granted, they will probably latch onto something else just as unsound, but at least one more unsubstantiated metric will be discarded.

    My body seems happy with this weight at this stage in my life. I’ve been at this weight for several years, without any specific efforts to change it or to inhibit it from changing. That seems to me to be a lot healthier than stressing out over losing 20 – 40 pounds to get my weight where some arbitrary chart says it should be.

    • I too think it will be discarded, but maybe longer than 5 yrs.

      I tend to think of medicine and these medical worryings as the current vestige of moral authority, since the Church is no longer the unifying body that controls access to salvation, someone else would of course have filled that vacuum. It’s just a shame that it had to be that “science” that can take away our pain.

      I put “science” in quotations because it’s been a long debate over whether medicine is actually a science, since it was based largely on superstition until about 1900, and was the subject of satire in the Middle Ages up to and including to about 1800. It seems to be the universal dumping ground of all unsavory practices (eg. doctors taking advantage of their patients, medical quakery for a quick buck).

  3. Thank you very much indeed, for providing the names, the contact info, and the sanity. I spent yesterday fuming off and on because of this giant steaming pile of WTF.

    The violation these clickwhores committed with no thought and certainly no real apology, is that other people’s bodies don’t exist for them. Not to fuck, not to look at, not to comment on, not to fulfill anyone’s “before and after” narrative, not to provide website traffic, not to give up money for any reason, not. at. all.

    My body is for me and anyone I choose to share it with, full stop.

    • THIS. So. Much. This.

  4. I’m so sick of this “it’s for their health!!!!!111” bullshit. I’ve had roommates and students who are skinny, hate exercise (their words, not mine), and eat junk food all the time and NO ONE gives them shit because they’re thin.

    • A former coworker was a classic example of this. She was so very “healthy”* that it took a team of doctors years to connect the dots and wonder whether primary infertility plus painful periods miiiiiiiiiight be endometriosis. Her untreated endometriosis had by that point gotten so bad that they had to open her up like a fish to get it all out. But, gosh, she was so “healthy!” How could they possibly have guessed?

      *She lived in fear of ordinary upper respiratory infections because they would burn through her scanty energy reserves and land her in the hospital on a drip. Her dietary supplement of choice during flu season was full-fat ice cream, just in case. But hey, she was healthy!

  5. This is a general trend I’ve noticed in a society desperate to prove fat is caused by a behavior it considers immoral: people go to an event where everyone/almost everyone is participating in that behavior (ie, a game where many spectators eat snack foods), and then they take, swap, and spam pictures of the fat people *only.* It’s like they’re trying to selectively edit reality to fit their prejudices.

    • I went to a Curling game 2 months ago, and the choices for food there weren’t much to look at: beer, pizza, burgers, etc. It’s the same venue for rock concerts and hockey games, so these are pretty much the only options. Everyone’s in the same boat.

  6. Hi Ragen! Your post today (and this man’s rationale for fat-shaming this woman) reminds me of a favorite quote of mine; I might have actually first seen it here but I’m not sure: “You have the right to your own opinion, but you do not have the right to your own facts.” This Keath person not only uses incorrect facts, he makes them up. How amazing…and really, unsurprising, but he seems to think he has the right to make them reality.😦

    Anyway, thank you as usual for your work! I hope you have a great day tomorrow.🙂

    Sending hugs and thanks,

    Jill

  7. How is being fat a threat to national security? Isn’t that the realm of terrorism? I’ve never heard of or seen a fat person bomb a bank, blowup a building, or threaten nuclear war!

    • I’ve seen a couple fat politicians threaten war of various sorts over the decades… but I have yet to imagine that was a function of the fat.

      A fat person certainly could do all those things. It just probably wouldn’t have any connection to being fat, unless someone got so overwhelmed by all the stress of living under so much pressure to lose weight at any cost they had a psychotic break and went berserk.

      But in that case I would consider the incredible fatphobia of our society to be the security breach.

    • I’ve heard so-called experts say that folks are too fat to serve in the military. With what we know about health, weight, and fitness, it would behoove the military to adjust its criteria.

      • The military instituted the “Fat Boy Program” when I was still in the Air Force Reserve in the early 80s. Their criteria was strictly height/weight ratio, so the service members that were body-builders ended up tagged on the Fat Boy Program, despite the fact that their body fat percentage was extremely low. Service members whose height/weight ratio (I don’t recall hearing it referred to as BMI back then) exceeded what the chart said it should were put on the program with mandatory weigh-ins and progressive consequences for failing to bring their ratio into tolerance.

        After I finished my term of duty, I heard rumors that they finally revised the policy to allow for medical evaluation to determine if the weight was actually fat, but I also heard from those who remained in the Air Force after that time that the program was still a blanket one-chart-fits-all, and that those who failed to conform to the charts were not allowed to reenlist at the end of their current term of duty.

        The DoD is notoriously slow in revising its policies.

  8. I saw the response supposedly from “B” on facebook. It annoyed me with commentary that suggested the reasoning fat-shaming her was wrong was because she was losing weight and already lost a lot, and even at one part commenting on how you can hate obesity without hating fat people, but I also thought “well, she has a right to her experiences and expressing them.” Makes it so much grosser that it actually wasn’t her experience and her thoughts, but those made up by someone else. Taking that photo and Keath’s comments are vile and disgusting regardless of whether of the woman he photographed has lost weight, is trying to lose weight, or is the fattest she has ever been and isn’t trying to lose weight at all- doesn’t matter, still wrong.

  9. Reblogged this on Tessa Can Do IT! and commented:
    Love this site! No holds barred.


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