A terrific This American Life on fat
audio and a transcript
from Ira's intro
When you come out as gay, most people accept it, because they know you can't do anything about that. That's who you are. You can't change it. But coming out as fat, doctors and your family and kind of the entire culture is organized to point out how wrong-headed you are.
When you're over a certain size-- it's been explained to me by a few people now-- complete strangers walk up to you on the street and tell you to lose weight. They shoot you dirty looks when they see ice cream in your shopping cart. They talk down to you like you're stupid about nutrition and calories, as if pretty much every fat person has not been around the block 500 times on that one already.
That's why deciding to stay fat and be OK with it is at a peculiar frontier right now, where things are shifting and people do not agree about what is acceptable to say and think. I was talking to Lindy. I used the word "overweight" a few times.
And at some point, she stopped me and said, the word "overweight" is not preferred. She wasn't strident about this. It was super friendly. She said the problem with "overweight" is that it implies that there is a correct weight for people.
That's how radical this is. It's saying that no weight is better than any other weight, which, given the health risks associated with greater weight that Lindy acknowledges, it can be hard to get your head around. And we're doing this show today because I read the book that Lindy just published about this. And it made me see this whole thing differently.
And so what we're going to do today is we're going to present some excerpts from her book. Her book's called Shrill. And we're going to hear from people who definitely do not feel the same way that Lindy does about all this. For WBEZ Chicago, it's This American Life. I'm Ira Glass. Stay with us.