Thursday, January 04, 2018 by Jayson Veley
Picture this: You’re a fitness instructor working with an overweight client at a local gym. Thinking that you’re being an encouraging and enthusiastic trainer, you look at your client as he or she is running on the treadmill and yell, “Come on! Lose that weight!” The client then turns to you with a shocked expression on his or her face, accuses you of perpetuating “fat oppression,” and then storms out of the gym.
It may sound silly, but the concept of “fat oppression” is something that was actually discussed recently by two professors at Oregon State University in the academic journal Fat Studies. In their article, Vicki Ebbeck, a professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and Shannon Austin, a graduate teaching assistant at OSU, argued that fitness instructors are guilty of fat oppression because they work closely with people who are overweight to try to get them to become more fit, active and in shape. Exercise, the two professors warn, is “often promoted as a way to manage, control, or manipulate body weight.”
The authors of the article explain that gym instructors can perpetuate fat oppression in a variety of different ways, including encouraging clients to “burn that fat” during a workout. They added that fitness coaches may also be guilty of fat oppression if they believe that reaching and maintaining a normal weight is “important to one’s health.”
But what if those who work with personal trainers have explicitly stated that their goal is to lose weight? Surely a fitness instructor can’t be guilty of fat oppression if they are simply helping their client reach their stated goal, right? Wrong! The two educators from the university argued that even when clients set out to lose weight, gym instructors may risk perpetuating “anti-fat bias” if they don’t first warn their clients about the “advisability of even having weight loss goals.”
It seems absurd that anyone would argue against the promotion of more exercise as a means for weight loss, especially considering the fact that there have been hundreds of studies conducted that have found that obesity increases one’s risk for everything from heart disease to cancer, but then again, the social justice warriors usually don’t make much sense anyway. They have their agendas set in stone, and they aren’t going to let facts, statistics, the truth or reality get in the way of them achieving their progressive goals.
Amazingly, this isn’t the first time that the term “fat oppression” has made national headlines. Last year, a woman by the name of Virgie Tovar, who describes herself as “one of the nation’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image,” was invited to speak to a group students at the University of Minnesota in honor of “Intentional No Diet Day.”
Tovar’s talk, which was titled “Dispelling Myths: Fat, Fatphobia, and Challenging Social Stereotypes,” was designed to educate students on “fat phobia,” which she considers to be running rampant in a “white heteronormative society.” Tovar, much like these two professors from Oregon State University, argues that fat people are being discriminated against, even though there is no evidence to prove that whatsoever. (Related: Oregon University is now pushing a course on “fat studies” that claims “weightism” is the new civil rights battleground.)
Helping someone to lose weight is not a form of discrimination, nor does it make one “fatphobic.” Frankly, everyone in the entire country who has faced real discrimination, whether it came in the form of religious discrimination, racial discrimination or otherwise, should be absolutely outraged that two educators from Oregon State University are talking about something as silly as “fat oppression.”
Hopefully one day this obsession with social justice will start to come to an end, but unfortunately, it looks like that day isn’t coming anytime soon. Find more reports of incredible stupidity at Stupid.news.