That shit-eating word again.... I am overweight, obese, rotund, roly poly, ample, chunky, bearish,
come off it.... I'm FAT (chud, lardarse, moonblocker).
But what is that word for and why is it here?
Well, would you beleive it? It belongs to that stream of terms that are meant to discipline the body, designed to shrink it into its smallest and least volatile (and therefore most manageable) form - good worker, efficient monkey.
This is the point - fat bodies are bodies in rebellion against the body-work-health hegemony: they are less 'efficient', they 'take longer', they requrie 'more energy' and they are more likely to break, to get damaged.
The politics of fat, which has a long and complex history, has reached a certain moment of intensification: where fat bodies used to be considered as one of many types, they are now marginalised as a visual fetish for the narrative of moral decline: obese children, fat parents, ample shellsuits and enormous gold chains, spots on unfeasably large arses, and reams of greasy hair, bad teeth, large gravity-sucking arses that sway to the ryhthm of chomping, chomping, chomping..
Swear a lot, drink too much and get fat - it's all part of the decline...
Oh the fatness, the lard, the waves and waves of fatties that will bring it all tumbling down - capitlism is doomed, doomed, I tell you!
But ther 'truth' (and I really do mean that) is that the hysteria attached to obesity is all a bunch of limp lettuce or carrot juice. I have reacently been struck by the casual hysteria of doctors intervening cruelly in several of my friends' lives: they are 'obese', they are told, and their lifestyles are 'dangerous'.
OBESE?: This term of all terms, it seems to me, enacts a particularly overarticulated medicalised violence onto those of us who choose to eat in ways that increase our body masses, or who are born with bodies that will not (and, frankly, do not want to) fit onto the body ideal of the dominant discourse, the new body aristocracy.
To demand weight loss of a patient is to exercise a certain violence over that 'poor creature' - I have been told on several ocassions that I 'must lose weight': but my reaction has always been to question the terms on which such demands are made: who am I when I am thin and who am I when I am fat and why is the former better?
What is it to say I am TOO FAT? For whom? Against which criteria?
The exercisment of discursive violence over fat people usually goes like this:
- if you don't lose weight, you will be ill (well who isn't?)
- if you don't lose weight, we won't operate on you (well that's good, isn't it?)
- if you don't lose weight, we will come and steal you house (OK, welll no one has ever made that threat, but well I'm exaggerating for effect)
- if you don't lose weight, you will get heart disease, and you will die alone (good, the last thing I need when I'm dying is some emotional pain in the ass weeping and wailing and telling me they'll miss me or some other dumb-ass shit when I'm trying to die (it requires concentration, damn it))
- if you don't lose weight, you will become impotent (ridiculous - have seen how many fat paraents there are out there?)
and so on and so on, blah blah blah (talk to the hand 'cos the face is munching)
There is a clear Marxist critique of all this to make here (ain't there always?) - fat people represent the worker less efficient, a deficit of labour hours, an amplitude that marks a lack.
At base this is what this is all about - medicine emerged (pay attention now) not as a humanitarian technology to save us all from horrible cdeath, but as a discourse that functions still as a way of expanding the number of labour hours extractible fom the drones.
well, guess what... I'm keeping a few labour hours o myself for pigging out
now fuck off I'm busy eating