Is Fat Shaming and Other Judgementalism Ever Useful?

Is Fat Shaming and Other Judgementalism Ever Useful? January 14, 2020

I kind of hate to do this to you, and I hate feeding the attention-whoring monster that is The Transformed Wife Lori Alexander, but we just cannot ignore this. Today Lori Alexander is seriously fat shaming on her blog. Another dumb attempt to go viral.

People are moseying over to her Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram and reporting this piece as hate speech. It will be interesting to see which organizations will take action, and which will not.

Lori’s world must be such a small, very limited sphere of influence outside of her constant online presence. No hobbies, no interests, not even decent relationships or friendships. She pours her entire being into being internet internut famous. So sad and sick. A complete waste of a life.

But she’s hardly the only one. Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy and a few of her daughters have done some serious fat shaming, even of children which is very unhelpful. Nancy Campbell is guilty of fat shaming. I have seen Suzanne Venker and many others post fat shaming language. Even the guys get in on the fun, Larry “Hairy-Man” Solomon of Biblical Gender Roles (rather rotund himself) has dictated that women must stay thin and attractive. The fatter the patriarch the more likely they are to have an opinion on women  needing to stay skinny.

We’ve covered a pile of fat shaming here in the past.

The rest of the fat shaming articles are more subtle and mixed in with shaming over other things.

Are you sensing a  pattern here? Take that big old pile above, mix it with the many posts Lori Alexander has made about how and what she eats and it reads just like the ravings of someone with serious food issues, perhaps with anorexia, bulimia or control issues. When you cannot control anything in your life you can always control what goes in your mouth, which is how  you end up with a pile of Loris. Very unhappy women refusing to go get legitimate psychiatric help for a huge laundry list of mental problems controlling the only area of their lives they can  – food.

I would no more take food, eating or weight loss advice from someone as ill as Lori than I would take advice on wine vintages from an alcoholic.

Where Lori’s writing today is so disgusting is that she is trying to claim that shame, guilt and conviction are the same thing. She asks the question if fat shaming is just conviction instead just so she can continue to fat shame.  They are not. Let’s look at a few definitions from Websters:

Shame

  • a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute
  • something that brings censure or reproach

Guilt

  • the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty
  • feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy
  • the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously

Conviction

  • the act or process of finding a person guilty of a crime especially in a court of law
  • a strong persuasion or belief
  • the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth

There is a huge difference in these words. It is possible to feel shame or guilt over things that are not real or genuine. They are feelings. Conviction is not a feeling. You might feel a conviction to gain or lose weight due to learning that would impact your life, but it is not automatically married to guilt and shame.

You might even feel guilt and shame over your body, and not need to gain or lose a pound. I’ve spoken before about how some of the most awful days of shame and guilt over my body were back in my late teens and early twenties when I wore a sample size six and was convinced I was hideously overweight.

With everything Lori Alexander I suspect that’s was is really going on here. Lori feels guilt, shame and other awful emotions that she takes out on herself, and then they come out in very unpretty ways in her writing. Part of me despairs for her, feels nothing but sorrow because this is a very miserable way to live your life.

A quick story that explains why I mention gaining weight as well as losing weight that pretty much puts to a lie on being super skinny. Many of you know I have Mast Cell Disorder and asthma,  have since birth. I had a wonderful critical care pulmonologist for many years, Dr. Y. Saw him twice a month religiously for my Xolair injections and lung follies.

Y. also got to see my struggles to eat right, exercise, and attempt to control my weight even while scarfing down a sea of what I have always called “Satan’s Tic Tacs” – those piles of steroid based medicines many with my problems must routinely take, that will cause you to gain weight even if you are licking lettuce leafs and crunching ice instead of eating real food.

Dr. Y. was also one of these doctors that stayed abreast of all the latest theories and research. Once he showed me a study that said that those with significant lung issues did much better in their senior years if they weren’t super thin. It turns out that having zero fat on your body is a very bad thing, that if you develop pneumonia, or go into the type of serious respiratory distress that lands you in the ICU your body has no fat stores to tap and you die very easily.

How about we stop judging skinny or fat, and just accept people where they are, as they actually are? You don’t know someone else story, their health struggles, or family tendencies. Leave their health concerns between them and their doctor, not you.

If you feel you must judge them, why not simply pray for them to find balance in their lives, or to be blessed. Just do not sound off to others about their lack of weight or gaining weight.

I pray Lori does not get pneumonia because she’d likely never survive it.

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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