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| Not just a river in Egypt|
|♫ We're not listening ♫|
“”Your body ain't Pamela Anderson; it's a struggle just to get you in the caravan
But listen, baby girl: before I let you lose a pound I'll buy a bigger car
|—Sebastian, "The Way I Are"|
Fat activism or the fat acceptance movement is a social movement that works to change societal attitudes towards fat people, both those people who are simply larger than the "model thin standard" of society, as well as those who are obese. The two goals are quite different, though they are often seen in a less than accepting society, as one and the same.
The first group of "fat activism" has more to do with issues of body image in the modern world. There is a strong push to define "healthy" and "at weight" as being extremely thin, not accounting for muscle mass, or a normal healthy body that happens to be overweight. This is fairly sensible.
The second group of fat activists, those who attempt to present a view that it is ok to be obese, aren't sensible. While they are correct in their assertions that it is a medical condition, so should be accepted as such, rather than ridiculed or labeled "lazy", these activists sometimes engage in a form of denialism, claiming that being obese is just a lifestyle while arguing against the medical evidence that being overweight has serious health effects. The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance made an appearance on Penn and Teller's Bullshit, where they tried to convince the world that
Penn's girth obesity wasn't a problem. Remember: drug abuse is also treated as a medical condition, yet many of those who wish to liberalize America's drug laws still feel that mandatory detox and rehab should exist in place of prison sentences for non-violent drug users.
Pro-ana (an abbreviation of "Pro-Anorexia") is a movement and ideal that supports anorexia as a lifestyle choice. The equivalent for the related disorder bulimia is known as pro-mia, and functions in much the same way.
Pro-ana slogans and rhetoric have often caused miniature storms amongst modern mainstream media outlets, who are starting to realise after a few decades that it's wrong to make people want to resemble cocktail sticks. T-shirts reading "Eat Less" and "Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels" (as endorsed by professional inexplicable entity Perez Hilton) were pulled following a public backlash. At times, claims and "tips" from pro-ana sites can descend into seeming parody, such as advice that "[a]t a certain weight ... you will lose your period. This is a good thing because it means that you’re losing weight." Other advice is downright scary, such as tips on how to hide anorexia from your doctor.
This is incredibly stupid. Passing off a psychological disorder and its potentially lethal health effects as a "lifestyle" choice is exploitative and dangerous. Pro-ana proponents often cross over with breatharianism advocates in their levels of denial.
Put simply, body dysmorphic disorder is a serious mental illness, and not a lifestyle choice to be embraced. Thinking that having a body like models who appear in the media only after being photoshopped is a realistic goal is in no way healthy, and the pro-ana movement promotes unhealthy and highly dangerous behaviors.
- Persecution complex: The proposition that one's doctor is part of a vast conspiracy to make them miserable and force them to eat tasteless food.
- The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance: Not to be confused with the National Association for the Advancement of Fat People (NAAFP), a fictitious organisation.
- [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0HCagGjyTY Being pro-anorexia is as sensible as being pro-pnuemonia (YouTube