Your Fat Friends Are Not Acceptable Collateral Damage

I really like Your Fat Friend’s take on pretty much everything. Yesterday, she talked about the colossal example of both fat hatred and missing the point that is the #MarALardass hashtag.

I sat at my laptop, a lifelong fat person and a lifelong progressive, watching it all unfold. My stomach sank, turning in on itself, as thousands of anti-Trump tweets targeted him not for his racism, xenophobia, transphobia, ableism, misogyny, proud history of sexual assault, destructive policies, bold power grabs, or the vast and serious harms he’s causing in communities across the country and around the world. Instead, they posted pictures of his belly, his buttocks, his double chin. Photographs that didn’t look fat enough were enhanced to look even fatter. One person after the next — people with equality and ally in their twitter bios — took aim not at Trump’s actions, but at his body.

I understand the temptation to snark on Trump for his body.  The man is so vain, so fake, and so hypocritical in the way he rates women on a numerical scale while he’s a geriatric fat dude with a spray tan and a bad hairpiece. It’s low-hanging fruit, an easy way to get laughs.

But, as Your Fat Friend points out, it’s also beside the point.  Obama wouldn’t have been a worse President if he’d been fat, or older, or balding. Trump’s flagrant xenophobia, obstruction of justice, and blatant authoritarianism wouldn’t be any better coming from a thin guy with a real tan and most of his own hair left.

And, let’s be realistic. None of this hurts Trump. He likes attention. He enjoys the hell out of pissing people off.  Calling him names is fighting exactly the way he wants to fight. That is, if you even reach his notice. Random people on Twitter aren’t going to accomplish that.  Media figures he already hates might, at least briefly, but he’s got his fake national emergency, rallies to whip his cult following into a frenzy, a busy Fox News watching schedule, and golf to keep him occupied.  He might also pretend to do his job on occasion.

You know who it does hurt? The good and decent people who share a body type with him, who now know just how much you hate them.  All the people whose eating disorders will magnify the ugly things you said about being fat and make it that harder for them to actually eat anything today.

You want to hit Trump where it hurts? Take away his access to power.  Call on your senators and representatives to impeach the motherfucker already. Protest at the White House. Donate to groups that are suing him, like the ACLU. Work with people who share the same goals you have —even if you don’t find them attractive— rather than wasting their time and emotional energy by turning them into collateral damage in your game of grade school insults.

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