Cutthroat Fat-Hate

Alton Brown is at it again. By “it,” I mean being a self-important, smarmy fat-shamer.

In the New York Times, he decided to lay in on fatties by using the highly unoriginal stereotype that we’re all throwing back Big Macs every day.

Obesity is not a disease…the second that our society starts thinking that shoveling Big Macs into our face is a disease then we’re done, we’re done as a culture.

Had he stopped after the first five words, we’d have been on the same page. “Obesity” is a made-up medical condition that means nothing other than that you carry a bit more adipose tissue than average. It’s based off the BMI system, which was never intended to measure health. It’s not a disease. He’s right about that.

But then the rest. It’s hateful as well as boring. Using McDonald’s as a jab against fat people is tired and old. It’s like a fallback for people with no originality. The topless woman in Times Square just used it as well. It’s an easy scapegoat for bigots. As an aside, if you DO eat Big Macs or other fast food every day, that’s OK. In this space there is no judgment about anyone’s eating habits or other lifestyle choices.

And apparently, a bigot is exactly what Brown is. According to this account, at a reading in Iowa a few years ago he managed to insult Black people and gay people, plus he advocated for being unbelievably rude to restaurant workers. Plus, this is not the first time that Brown has made anti-fat statements. He is a typical formerly fat person who believes he has all the answers and that everyone should strive to be former fatties as well, despite the fact that this is not attainable in the long term for nearly everyone.

I had been enjoying watching Cutthroat Kitchen, Brown’s current hosting gig. I don’t have cable at home, but every chance I get I have watched it. It’s a good combination of competition and fun evil. But I’m sick of supporting this man and his hateful words. So I won’t be watching it anymore. Nor will I buy any of Brown’s books or other merchandise.

This post originally appeared on fatgirlbrooklyn.

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[E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

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