Saturday, September 1, 2012

what fat Social Justice Warriors don't know about class markers

Fat is now the most obvious marker of class.

Starkeymonster, who identifies as a "fatshionista" and promotes fat acceptance, said in  the discussion on the original LiveJournal post of "parallel lives: a different race, a different class":
I'd also point out that class markers on black people are often ignored in favor of the bigger marker of race. Dressed up in my fancy college interview clothes, I had someone mistake me for a homeless person and toss money into the empty cup I was holding in my hand. The person tossing me money ignored the class markers I was displaying and saw "black person with cup" = homeless. This was not an isolated event. I often have people ignoring what I would consider my fairly obvious class markers (in terms of how I talk, how I dress, etc) in favor of what they perceive my class is based on my skin tone.
What was seen was "fat person with cup." Skin tone may have been considered as an additional marker, but just as middle-class white people have been mistaken for clerks, they've been mistaken for beggars, too. Remember, there are twice as many white people in poverty as black: no one assumes all black people are beggars or all white people are not.

Fat person holding an empty cup? To someone in a hurry, that's a beggar.

Recommended:

Poor and fat: The real class war - CNN.com by LZ Granderson: "In fact, the five poorest states are also among the 10 fattest, and eight of the 10 poorest states are also among the 10 with the lowest life expectancy."

Pricey grocery stores attract skinniest shoppers - Health - Diet and nutrition - NBCNews.com: "The percentage of food shoppers who are obese is almost 10 times higher at low-cost grocery stores compared with upscale markets"

[PDF Fat and Class PrejudiceAmerica's Two-Body Society: "overweight and obesity are disproportionately frequent among poorer American populations,  including rural whites, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and African Americans (Stearns 134-137, Foreyt 536-40, Stein 1, Paeratakul). In all racial and geographic population groups "women of lower socioeconomic status […] are approximately 50% more likely to be obese" than wealthier women (Surgeon's Call). Hence there is both a gender and an income bias in the determination of who is seriously overweight in America."

ETA: If you improve your community, do you get healthier? | Ground Level | Minnesota Public Radio: "Gradations in economic hardship matched childhood obesity rates almost precisely."