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Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
3 months ago

“In which a woman’s hardwired desire to be wanted crashes endlessly against the feminist’s imperative not to care if you are not.” And in the post (post-post? Where are we now?)- feminist world where to be desired is to hold value as a woman. A world where fat women demand to be seen as ‘hot’ because to be ‘hot’ and looked at, devoured by someone’s eyes, to rack up likes on a social media post, is more valuable than any other trait you can have.

No wonder girls are sad and depressed and hate being girls.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
3 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

It is not just girls
 The days of thriving despite being a portly disheveled gentleman are long gone (probably around the time it became impractical for most men to support a wife and family with one income)


54321
54321
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

The days of thriving despite being a portly disheveled gentleman are long gone

Boris says Hello.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

Quite. Amazing what wealth and influence can do, isn’t it?

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago

Acquire some of it yourself and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago

I wince when I see Boris for many reasons. It doesn’t matter what I think, however. But I do think when I think my “yuk” thoughts “You shouldn’t think that”.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

Good Point on Boris but I am an American… Besides, the exception proves the rule.*
*(never understood this strained retort)

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

‘The exception proves the rule’: yes, this doesn’t make sense in its current usage, which is something like: ‘the exception highlights the rule’.I believe that it originally meant ‘The exception TESTS the rule’, using that older meaning of ‘prove’. That does make sense.

andy young
andy young
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Tonkyn

Exactly! That’s why we still have the term ‘proof positive’

harry storm
harry storm
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Tonkyn

I think it does make sense. In an argument, if someone makes an assertion about something involving thousands or perhaps even millions of people, and the other person points to a single example to counter the assertion, that isn’t “testing” the rule; one in a thousand isn’t much of a “test.” It “proves” the rule in that if you can only come up with one counter example out of thousands, that constitutes “proof.” Well, at least it does for me.

Poet Tissot
Poet Tissot
3 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

What is being outlawed in society is any restriction on pleasure – food, sex – all now ascribed to ‘prejudice’.But undoing limits on pleasure brings a greater misery.
Sins ultimately cause personal disintegration. Being fat is no walk in the park – not because of prejudice – but ill health.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  Poet Tissot

The Old Testament speaks plainly about this. Those who succumb to idolatry eventually become slaves to their vices. Most people associate idolatry purely with the worship of pagan gods, but it is also about the worship of self, pleasure, and nonsensical ideas.

michael harris
michael harris
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Ideas, Julian, ideas are today’s idols. Idealism enslaves its followers.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Poet Tissot

Or both.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

We’re also in a time when “woman” itself is becoming meaningless.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Only on the radical left and with spineless stooges.

Abi Caffrey
Abi Caffrey
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Mmmmm , didn’t the tories float gender self ID? Ms May and cronies are hardly what I’d call radical left.

Finlay Bruce
Finlay Bruce
3 months ago
Reply to  Abi Caffrey

I guess that makes them the spineless stooges then

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Nah.

William Shaw
William Shaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

Being “hot” and attractive to look at is currently making many young women very wealthy on OnlyFans.
Being “devoured by someone’s eyes” is a safe way to earn a living for many.

Ian_S
Ian_S
3 months ago

Let’s imagine the woke revolution clears out the last nests of resistance, and western plebiscite governments are suspended in favour of Jacobin councils of educated professionals instituting net zero, DEI and everything else woke they’ve ever wished for; while all their ideological enemies are “decolonized” (heh heh) by Hamas contractors. Unfortunately for fat people (on my having observed the mating habits of the woke from nearby), the woke are still going to select the *slim* young moustached woman with blue hair and the *taut* be-boobed young man with pink hair. Yeah, dirty little secret, even your average wokester prefers pert ass. Not gonna change. Sucks to be fat.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Great description of liposuction.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

That is some freaky porn you’re “observing”.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader
Ian_S
Ian_S
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Nephew and his/their friends. Nephew is a trans “ally”, so he just picks up any cute chicks who hang around the scene (there’s a whole “ally” scene for that within the scene). But for all their cutting edge progressive student union politics, and the huge fad for trans as a sign of true radicalism (the highest possible virtue the world has to offer), their idea of radical chic evidently doesn’t extend to fat people. Or maybe, just like in the old frat house days, it depends on how long your wick has been dry. Yeah, they posture with their Judith Butler books, but down in the underpants, it’s same as it ever was.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

(there’s a whole “ally” scene for that within the scene)

But of course there is. It’s just Rik Mayall’s ‘Mitch the feminist’ for a new generation.

harry storm
harry storm
3 months ago
Reply to  Huw Parker

Quite true. Canada’s Jian Ghomeshi who became a national icon while posing as feminist-adjacent until it came to light that he liked to abuse women sexually (punching, choking,etc.) Can’t say I was surprised, having seen lots of feminist “allies” in my youth who really just wanted to score (though not necessarily like Jian).

Mustard Clementine
Mustard Clementine
3 months ago

Shaming (a la “cankles”) is generally not something I like, nor something I would want to see resurge.
However, I think where things went wrong was when more positive motivations were deemed equally cruel.
It shouldn’t be considered shaming to say things like regular exercise and balanced meals are good for you, and you would feel better were you to make such choices more often.
As with so much recently – we’ve gone too far, but I don’t think that means we should go too far back.
The phrase “happy medium” exists for a reason.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
3 months ago

The happy medium is being ghosted.

Mustard Clementine
Mustard Clementine
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Good one!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

Agreed. But if everyone occupied the happy medium no one would be overweight or underweight to begin with. I eat cake every now and then, I ate a lot over Christmas, but then I’ll eat less in January and end up somewhere along the middle path.
And we should note that neither the author of the book or the article occupy the happy medium. Kat R loves to do this schtick – take a book that no one reads or takes seriously and is written with the sole intention of generating buzz and sales, then write a crowd-pleasing takedown of it to be published for an already converted choir.
Some of the article actually contains reasoned arguments against the book but a lot of it is a collection of the most extreme elements that we already disagree with.
It’s because writers and other media personalities exist in these extremes that the rest of us do too. But if we turn off the TV, put down the newspaper or get off the internet we’ll find that the actual real world takes place in the happy medium. An article along the lines of “Dave two doors down is overweight and doesn’t like it and has tried to lose weight but found it hard. Please be sympathetic and encourage him as he tries to improve his health.” doesn’t generate clicks, shares and comments.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes, the internet has a tendency to exaggerate the extremes. I’m very nostalgic for the days before its existence, although so much of my work depends on it that I don’t know what I would be doing instead.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Well said Reader. This is known as a ‘Strawman’ argument, and is very popular now days.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Excellent comment. Many articles these days use a similar template.

harry storm
harry storm
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I think Kat Rosenfeld is a brilliant writer, and I also think it’s worthwhile to go after the “fat acceptance” crowd as she does here. This article is basically a book review, and a darn good one in my opinion.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago

Bullies play a vital role in growing up. If they did not exist we would not be conditioned to exist in a real world. Even if we are not bullied – we see it being done, and so understand unfairness is part of reality, which it very much is. Learning this is a survival tool.

(I was just talking to a man back from Peru on some agriculture job and he talked about the slave labour used there – and it is as bad as slave labour was 200 years ago)

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago

Or, everything in moderation including moderation!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 months ago

There should be no adulation of obesity. End of story.

mike otter
mike otter
3 months ago

Well there are entire sites dedicated to just that, some genuinely want to improve mental health in overweight people without the pre-condition of slimming, some are leftist- pseudo feminist grievance mongers, some are selling snake oil weight loss products, and a number are sexual fetish sites. Only the first lot can be said to help deal with the conflict between the inbuilt human need to be loved versus being a fully independent single person – feminist or not. The rest are political movements or businesses and both sectors have exploitative or malignant actors when it comes to fat, or for that matter skin colour, gender, class and a thousand other issues that can now be monetised via the internet.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

Why should there not be a pre-condition of slimming?

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago

It being dangerous medically and emotionally. Why not start a political movement dedicated to embracing that dear friend of obesity, heart disease?

54321
54321
3 months ago

“Borderline cankles” is such a gloriously turned phrase that as a lover of language I could not be angry at someone who coined it, even if I were it’s target.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
3 months ago

Through my life the average weight seems to have increased by about 25-30 pounds. No evidence except for the experience of my eyes. To me, many people look grotesque.
Let us say that I am wrong and that I should volunteer for euthanasia. Why should this weight gain stop here? Anyone born today could experience another average gain of 30 pounds during their life. Where does it stop? Will we have a new phenomenon – Spontaneous Explosion?
You can’t solve a problem until you admit that it is a problem.

Andrew Buckley
Andrew Buckley
3 months ago

Your last line, Caradog, nails it!

James S.
James S.
3 months ago

Where does it stop? Will we have a new phenomenon – Spontaneous Explosion?

Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life comes to mind!

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago

“Imagine how unloved you’d have to feel to seek comfort in the erasure of all feeling. Imagine being so certain that nobody will ever call you beautiful that you want to rip the word itself out of the world’s mouth.”

Almost poetic, isn’t it?

Superb article as usual from Kat Rosenfield. I was never going to read the book in question anyway, but now I’m at least grateful that I didn’t even try – it sounds awful.

Max Price
Max Price
3 months ago

I think these new people, not just the feminists need to get the Firetruck over themselves. This self obsession is not healthy and will only lead to more misery. Go feed the homeless and maybe walk to the shelter and back and eat the same food at the same portion they do.

54321
54321
3 months ago

The thing is, that personal sense of aggrievement is not unreasonable, particularly for women who came of age with the famously unforgiving “heroin chic” beauty standards of the Nineties — which in hindsight seem as if they were designed in a laboratory with the explicit purpose of turning millennial women into anorexics.

Something which has always struck me is that while there may be some truth in the argument that “heroin chic” was an unattainable, perhaps even dangerous, interpretation of female beauty, it did not, in fact, have very much to do with heterosexual men.
From what I know of 50+ years of being a heterosexual man (and most of my friends being the same) women with figures like sickly angle-poise lamps feature relatively little in either our IRL relationships or internal imaginings. Which is not to say that Kate Moss, for example, is not perceived as beautiful. We simply don’t, for the most part, expect or particularly want women we actually know and have relationships with to look like that.
So if, as is sometimes claimed, female beauty standards are another product of the patriarchy – by which I take to mean the collective needs, wants and priorities of men which permeate implicitly through our society to our advantage – then it feels very much like nobody actually bothered to consult us on this one.

Ian_S
Ian_S
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

But to be fair, there’s probably a category for anorexic models on the xxx sites. So that would absolutely prove the cishetero patriarchy is structurally fatphobic. Well, if you disregard that there’s certain to also be a plus-size category on xxx too

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

That’s because the fashion industry is populated by gay male designers, silly.

Obvs, they have no actual interest in women but see them as vehicles for their fashion fantasies in some non-existent la la land.

But, to be fair, women for the most part enjoy the fun and nobody is expected to take it all that seriously.

M. Jamieson
M. Jamieson
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Women with willowy figures do tend to make clothes look very elegant, which is often the point of having a model wear things. It’s not usually about her at all, it’s showing the clothes off to advantage.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  M. Jamieson

But then who wears them?

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Rich women they don’t suit. You must have noticed.

M. Jamieson
M. Jamieson
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

The ones that come to the shops are sometimes proportioned quite differently. I suspect the point of high end models is to create a sort of ambiance around the idea of the clothes, rather than show how the clothes will look on a normal person.
Catalogue models tend to look a lot more like regular people. And I think part of the reason heavier models have become more popular is not just the whole fat positive movement, it’s because of the rise of online shopping, where the women purchasing the clothes want to see how they look in their own size.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Yes, models look like pubescent boys because the fashion industry is dominated by gay males. To look at the models in designer ads in Vanity Fair is to be nonplussed.

harry storm
harry storm
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

I think you’re onto something. I’ve always suspected that those who determine what the latest fashions should be are entirely contemptuous of women. It’s almost as though they despise women and are having a giant secret laugh at their expense. Why else would jeans full of rips and holes become fashionable? Or grey hair?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

I think if you poll men, the results will skew toward preferring ten pounds too many over ten pounds too few.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

My personal preference is for athletic = (slim + a few lbs).

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I’m surprised no one has ever polled straight men on the subject

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Women’s fashion is not being sold to straight men.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

I have a friend who works in fashion design and this very subject came out. She said it’s down to two things:
Misogynistic gay fashion designers.Money – anorexic models require less fabric.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Money – anorexic models require less fabric.

As long as we’re talking about fashion rather than supermarket clothing, the significance the amount of fabric plays in determining the retail cost of the garment tends to be relatively small.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

Gays through their dominance in haute couture determine what women should look like .

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

And sadly women are slaves to fashion.

Ali W
Ali W
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

Both sexes torture themselves much more on beauty standards than the opposite sex does.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Ali W

That doesn’t make sense unless you mean the two original sexes and the two new ones.

R Wright
R Wright
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

Female beauty standards at the turn of the millenium were not created by ‘the patriarchy’, they were and still are the product of gay men who run the fashion industry. Few men ever found anorexia attractive.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
3 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

‘[G]ay men who run the fashion industry’ are very much part of the patriarchy. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t run the fashion industry.

harry storm
harry storm
3 months ago
Reply to  Huw Parker

Gay men can’t be part of something that doesn’t really exist.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
3 months ago

This book sounds as if it is simply an extension of extreme trans ideology to fatness. Initially the man who wants to be seen as a woman goes to extreme measures to sculpt himself to appear to be a woman and insist that others acknowledge the success of the exercise by treating him as a woman. But the extreme trans activist now insists you should see him as a woman without him taking any steps to appear to be a woman and that his insistence that he is a woman should be enough for everyone to fall into line and agree he is a woman.

So the fat author wants to avoid the hard business of slimming and instead declare that everyone should no longer see her as fat with all the disadvantages in life that brings. Her reality should trump our observations. Of course it is all part of the narcissistic desire to insist that your own fantasy should be shared by everyone. That cancelling someone’s life is all part of being kind to the deluded.

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes it’s absurd narcissism, the discrimination in favour of good health (fitness and fertility) happens wherever there is life. For this reason the ‘heroin chic’ look was a marketing ‘shock’ tactic, the models not being physically attractive apart from the appeal of being fashionable/high status.

A J
A J
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes, I agree. It’s also reminiscent of extreme ableism. Extreme ableists want the world redesigned to meet all accessibility and participation needs of disabled people, and for disability to be redefined as differently abled. They argue for a social model of disability, where it is the world that disables people, not their bodies. Moderate ableist goals are fine, of course; eg in the UK all new public access buildings must be accessible to disabled people. Airlines should look after people’s wheelchairs and their users according to agreed standards.

Extreme ableism argues, for example, that a pregnant woman shouldn’t have to take any precautions to protect her child from being born with a disability, on the grounds that there’s nothing wrong with being disabled. An example of this is pregnant “trans men” who want to continue taking testosterone while pregnant, even though it might cause serious limb deformities in the child. Imagine explaining that choice to a child with missing limbs.

Janos Boris
Janos Boris
3 months ago
Reply to  A J

The ultimate form of extreme ableism would then be sports.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago
Reply to  Janos Boris

How so? Surely extreme ableism in sports would consist in e.g. selecting blind people as test cricket batsmen, or quadriplegics for the Rugby World Cup.

Janos Boris
Janos Boris
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

What I meant was athletes were physically “abler” than ordinary people, and were actually matching their abilities against each others’. A maths genius, on the other hand, may be suspected of having greater ability or being brainier than ordinary persons.

Y Way
Y Way
3 months ago
Reply to  Janos Boris

Well. Trans women are definitely making a mockery of it in women’s sports.

Y Way
Y Way
3 months ago
Reply to  A J

Extreme ableists also argue that teachers must design lessons that teach core content to all (not through differentiation mind you) where each child can access and learn the content easily without any barriers no matter the child’s physical, cognitive or emotional abilities. Oh, and with deep rigor.

No one can show anyone how this is actually done, but, do it nevertheless.

And do not try to teach a child with social emotional behavioral issues or cognitive behavioral issues to behave correctly. There is nothing wrong with any child. Meet the child where he or she is and help them find his/her own way to success.

Okay.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago
Reply to  A J

Cripple or crippled were perfectly useful words that described physical states. Let’s bring ’em back.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

This book sounds as if it is simply an extension of extreme trans ideology to fatness.

You have it back to front. This has been part of feminism since “Fat is a Feminist Issue” back in the 70s. As in so much, it is feminism which laid the way for later trans ideology. In a phrase: reality must give way to suit me.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago

Being fat is unhealthy. Certainly bad for physical health. Usually bad for mental health. Not sure what else there is to be said about it.
And unnatural. You don’t see fat wild animals. Or indeed farm animals.
It is only humans for which the body mass index ratio is quite so wide.

54321
54321
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Sorry to be pedantic, but some animals are fat, in the strict sense of having thick layers of subcutaneous fat. Walruses for example.

In their case though it’s an evolutionary adaptation to their environment. It’s not because they comfort-eat Ben and Jerry’s.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

Most (all) obese people aren’t swimming in frigid waters.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

Sorry to be pedantic, but you don’t have a wide BMI ratio in walruses.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  54321

So far as I am aware, walruses don’t claim to be beautiful. Nor do they seek to abolish the concept of beauty out of a feeling of resentment towards better looking animals.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The health argument against obesity is itself a moral victory for the cultural relativists who peddle body positivity. It is a tacit concession that you will no longer advance your own aesthetic preferences as a basis for opposing obesity and must retreat into utilitarian arguments.

But you are in fact quite entitled to assert an aesthetic objection and it’s not even necessarily only due to physical attraction. Even when its the case that the fat person is not the sex of one’s attraction, they still appear graceless and ugly compared with what they would look like if they were lighter, lither and fitter. There is a fairly strong correlation between age and the tendency to put on weight easily, yet nobody would seriously claim that the commonly-experienced desire not to become old is the result of ageism: the idea would be absurd and fatuous.

The equally common desire not to be fat is of course dismissed as fatphobia by the body-positivists, but it really isn’t: it’s simply the same instinctive aesthetic sense Keats described when he talked about Beauty and its connection to Truth. This goes deeper than social conditioning can explain and it is quite wrong of the body positivists to claim otherwise.

Rob McMillin
Rob McMillin
3 months ago

I thought the name was familiar; Down Girl and Entitled were her two fatuous previous works. Her genre is saying what a certain sort of feminist wants to hear, but as the collapse of Jezebel shows, the market of women who hate themselves for wanting a man in their lives (or worse, having one) is notoriously fickle.
Looking at Manne’s photo, you could almost see this book as a sort of sly manifesto aimed at getting those other women to buy into fat positivity, as a way to better her own odds.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob McMillin

a sort of sly manifesto aimed at getting those other women to buy into fat positivity, as a way to better her own odds

To judge by my diligent researches on tinternet, this is actually thing; that is, studies show that women will give ostensibly ‘encouraging advice’ to other women with a view to their becoming less attractive to men. And for exactly the reason that you state.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
3 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Anecdotally, there’s a variation on this which is even worse: obese mothers overfeeding their daughters to try to ensure they’re not more attractive when seen together.

David B
David B
3 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Short hair on women is IMO a classic example. Only the extremely beautiful can carry I toff and remain attractive – the less attractive women who adopt the fashion are rendered considerably less attractive and thus a layer of competition is removed.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 months ago
Reply to  David B

Spot on.

One of the studies I had in mind was one where women recommended that other women have shorter haircuts, and the more the subject was sensed as a possible rival, the greater the amount recommended to be cut off.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

I don’t belive that.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019188692300329X

Off with her hair: Intrasexually competitive women advise other women to cut off more hair.

J Hop
J Hop
3 months ago
Reply to  David B

So true. When I was in my early 20’s I sported a pixie cut, and while the men in my life lamented the loss of my long locks, I still received quite a bit of male attention. Did it again in my late 30’s and ..crickets. I was married by then (poor husband) so didn’t mind, but short cuts on girls are best while in your prime. Or not at all! 🙂

Tom K
Tom K
3 months ago
Reply to  J Hop

Agree 100% (bloke’s perspective).
A pixie cut on a pixie = cute. Same cut late-30s onwards = bad news, typically signifiying they have given up. Women’s femininity reduces anyway as they age, short hair emphasises this and sends out all the wrong signals.
Unless of course women have actually given up on being feminine, in which case I imagine short hair is quite a practical choice, and if husband has given up as well (fat, bald, lazy, inattentive etc), then why not?
But don’t expect a pixie cut in a single older lady to attract romantic attention. Single older blokes making an effort themselves when looking for a prospective partner generally want femininity.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom K

They want nice,diminutive and caring Thai mail order brides or Hot Ukranian chicks from online sources. The Thai brides are a better deal as they usually stick around,do cooking and housework and are nice. The Ukranians lead the man a merry dance,rook him of all his money,then are off to the next man,but so fabulous was the experience the men would happily get another hot ukie if they only had the money left to attract another one. ( Not made up.story,saw it in real life).

Tom K
Tom K
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

I was talking about normal blokes not boorish knuckle draggers with Gary Glitter tendencies. There’s not a single man in my circle who fits your description. When normal blokes look at what you describe they see the same loser you do.
Having said that the evident reluctance of many Gen X women to embrace femininity and meet genuine, courteous, presentable men halfway (ie, bother to make an effort to be feminine) might well have something to do with the emergence of what our US cousins call the ‘passport bro’ phenomenon.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom K

Rubbish. And the topic was fat.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  J Hop

On the contrary, Jamie Lee Curtis looks fabulous with very short, white hair as does Judi Dench, to name but two. It depends on a lot of things, but keeping fine hair long is awful.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Jamie Lee Curtis does not have ordinary looks. She is both very attractive and very unusual.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
3 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

But would never have come to your attention were she the offspring of non-Hollywood parents.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

I mentioned her to make a point because most people know what she looks like. If I had said Jane Smith looks sexy with short hair I could not have made the point. I see many unknown women with short hair who also look sexy, and many with grey hair who also look sexy.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob McMillin

“fatuous”
Haha!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Oh right, I didn’t get it at first. I wonder if the pun was intended.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 months ago

I’m guessing that Manne is herself somewhat obese. Since it’s impossible to imagine that a slim person would write such a book it goes down as special pleading.

Jamie
Jamie
3 months ago

Can your photos be less sensationalist, less click bait, less sexist (no grotesque men out there to photo?, less mocking, less cruel? Can they be more humane?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

“Grotesque”? That’s not very positive and accepting of you.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 months ago

Exactly. Jamie’s missing the entire point of the article. We are being challenged to not see this as grotesque.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

But isn’t this a beautiful fat body?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Grotesque? What is grotesque about having all that sweaty, soft, wobbly stored food inside your skin? It’s simply beautiful, you see, especially when it causes one’s bodily organs to work in overdrive and eventually collapse prematurely.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

The article is reviewing a work of feminist philosophy. Were it concerning males, I’m sure UnHerd could find a picture of a corpulent, red-faced sweating man with a baseball cap and polo shirt you fit a scout camp into.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago

Not hard to find, for sure.

Marko Bee
Marko Bee
3 months ago

“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
George Orwell

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

First, there is no phobia. No one has a fear of fat people, irrational or otherwise. Second, Kate Manne can pretend all she likes that “there is truly nothing wrong with us” but that doesn’t make it so. Being seriously overweight is not healthy; that’s beyond dispute. At the same time, if someone chooses to be fat, okay, but as with the trans people, don’t insist that the rest of us have to accept something that is not so.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

“I believe that when it comes to fatphobia, the solution is not to improve our self-image or love our bodies better,” writes Kate Manne in the introduction to her new book, Unshrinking.

I certainly don’t agree with her conclusions, but I think she’s right here. The fat positivity movement has been around for decades in one form or another, yet it remains an unmitigated disaster. If it worked, there wouldn’t be such a cohort of perpetually angry fat people espousing it as the solution to their ‘problem’.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago

Making fun of someone, shaming them in public and visiting other forms of bullying on fat people is just plain wrong – and is more likely to cause the fat person to turn to food for comfort. But going to the other extreme and claiming that fat is beautiful and ignoring the health risks is just as wrong.
I’m a living breathing example of all the health problems that go with being extremely fat. I stopped smoking several years ago and the weight just piled on. With it came gout, heart valve disease, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and sleep apnoea. I knew I was too fat but never once did any of the doctors at my local surgery comment on it and advise me strongly to lose weight. With the weight came reluctance to exercise due to the constant backache and breathlessness whenever I attempted any movement at all. The last straw was when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Since then I have managed to knock my type 2 into remission, lose nearly 3 stone and am a regular gym and exercise bunny at my local leisure centre. I feel loads better for it, but some of my other health problems I’m stuck with. I have support and regular weight checks with a diabetic nurse which has helped enormously.
I’ve come to the conclusion that obesity is as big a health risk as smoking. But it’s a complex issue as recent research indicates that it’s not all down to lack of self-discipline but can be affected by hormonal and also emotional issues.
Obesity has risen here in the UK. If as much effort and support was put into supporting people to lose weight as was put into smoking cessation, all fat people would be well on the way to becoming happier and healthier.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

There is a difference between publicly trying to humiliate someone and soberly pointing out that being grossly overweight is not a good thing. I don’t know about the UK, but in the US we were subjected to a series of obviously obese models on the covers of health mags and in sports drink commercials with the caption or implication that “this is healthy.” It’s not. Also, kudos to you for the work you have put in and continue to do. May you keep reaping the benefits of improved health.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Thank you. It has been and continues to be hard – especially at Christmas. But there’s a banner on the wall in my local gym which says ‘When you feel like quitting, remember why you started’.
That keeps me going when I’m toiling away on the treadmill and cross trainer!

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

There are almost no circumstances in which a fat person doesn’t actually know they’re fat and therefore would need someone else to inform them of it. In fact, fat people usually know far more about diet and exercise than do most people who don’t need to think about it all that much.

However, when people start saying that fat is beautiful or healthy and that questioning this is evidence of bigotry on the part of anyone sceptical, well then of course all bets are off and everyone is entitled to dispute such claims in any way they choose. It is fundamentally offensive to push a line of argument by such a technique, and people who do so lose the right to be treated as sincere and constructive participants in any debate.

Elizabeth Fairburn
Elizabeth Fairburn
3 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

In so many ways it is worse especially for the NHS, trolleys need strengthening, as do beds, operating tables need enlarging, lifts need upgrading and when the time comes mortuary draws need enlarging, as do coffins and graves!! Oh and don’t forget all the chairs that actually cannot take the weight. At least with smoking, you just got thin and died gasping for air!

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago

Wouldn’t want to die gasping for air though. And the prospect of losing my legs, kidneys and/or eyesight with type 2 didn’t appeal, hence the fitness campaign.
I’ll die of something eventually but I want to have fun before I go – and fat is definitely NOT fun.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Thanks for being brave enough to share this.
Those of us fortunate enough not to have ever suffered from obesity should not be judgemental and should try to help and eencourage people like you where and when we can.
It is disappointing that some doctors feel unable to be honest enough to actually help people here.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I found the diabetic nurse to be most helpful. She was very outspoken about the risks I was facing if I didn’t lose weight. I was aware of them, but needed somebody to be honest with me.
If my experience can help someone else in the same boat, so much the better.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

It’s brave of you to be so vulnerable on a comments site. Your health journey sounds harrowing and I’m sorry you’ve had to go through it. Stress produces cortisol which affects fat-making hormones and it’s hard not to be stressed from external and internal challenges. I wish you all the best for the future.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I’m not really brave, and I don’t feel vulnerable because my self-esteem doesn’t rely on the kindness of strangers. I’m well able to stand up for myself as others – on occasion – have found to their cost.
But thank you for your best wishes – I’ll need them as I’m still as yet only half way to my target weight.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

But words can hurt, surely?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

No certainly not.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Then you must be thick-skinned as well as overweight!

Liz Runciman
Liz Runciman
3 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Your comment about your GP never advising you to lose weight is interesting. A friend of mine who is seriously overweight changed GPs because his GP kept trying to persuade him to lose weight!

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago
Reply to  Liz Runciman

When I was a smoker I got challenged on every occasion I had to visit the GP as to when I was going to give up the habit. I didn’t take offence as I knew they were advising me in my best interests. It sounds like your friend is still in denial about his weight problem. Maybe a health problem directly related to his weight might act as a motivator. God knows, there are plenty of them and I’ve got them all lol! You’ve got my permission to hold me up as an example of the consequences of failing to do something about it if you think it will do any good..

Peter Samson
Peter Samson
3 months ago

Kate Manne is an easy target but Ms. Rosenfield wonderfully hits the bulls eye. I think its also worth noting that Rosenfield is a quite attractive woman and Manne is not. Although we may not want to talk about it, everyone knows that physical attractiveness has a very large impact on our lives and the way we see the world.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter Samson

Opens doors.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Do you mean doors open?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter Samson

Absolutely. One definitely has a better chance in life if one is attractive.

mike otter
mike otter
3 months ago

Obvs there are a lot of shallow and vapid men and women who value their appearance to others more than their own self worth. I have met people who’s vanity level is, well, narcissistic. This led me to wonder about a thought experiment: What would you rather be – fat and or ugly or have a personality disorder, bi-polar depression or similar? Clearly anyone unlucky enough to have a serious mental health condition would prefer to get well at almost any cost. But a truly committed narcissist? I am not so sure. So i think a large part of the fat hater crew are simply very mentally ill with solopcistic personalities. When you add in the fact that the BMI required to be called obese has fallen continually since the 70s that seems to show that nearly all the media chat about fat is fake. The very small minority who are obese through behaviours (eating, inactivity) or genetics (hypothyroid, Cushings disease) clearly need health care. I also suspect the bmi calculus has been tampered with in the Anglosphere. I am 5’10” and 12.5st. I have been labelled over weight by a UK NHS Doctor and a UK Private one, and spot on for height and build (lean) by an SNS Doctora in Spain. One of these “scientifically educated” opinions must be mistaken and i expect we all know who it is. IMO fat IS a subjective issue in 95%+ of cases, it is based on prejudice, sexism and poor education levels amongst anglo ABC1 social classes. At 60 i have no known health issues excepting sports injuries to my knees and spine. My wife is currently 22.4 BMI on Uk measure and a little older than me. She still does 10k runs. She was 20-21 BMI until her 50s and sees herself as fat now. It is supposedly the job of doctors to improve health but they seem in UK/US at least to be shilling for the OTC meds and beauty industries instead.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
3 months ago

The article gives the impression that Manne is herself a bit of a chubber. She isn’t; she looks to be around a healthy weight (although presumably wasn’t when younger). This does beg the question of why, if being overweight is fine, she isn’t.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
3 months ago

Manne is of that ignoble cohort of tyre-kickers: the academic cynic who contrives a personal affinity with her chosen oppressed subjects purely for career purposes. Her first books about the alleged ‘harm’ misogyny and the patriarchy does to women were narcissistic pantomime. She’s the privileged daughter of one of Australia’s most connected, woke-intelligentsia power couples. Australian academia has been dominated by women of her class and background for at least two generations now, and as an at-least partial result, her career arc to date has far exceeded what her naturally-endowed intellectual originality and output might on merit have produced. She’s just not a particuarly interesting or substantially unique thinker: it’s all received right-on orthodoxy, regurgitated academic platitude, philosophical woke ‘churn’. Yada-yada-yada-geez-don’t-men-suck-grrrls? Australian universities produce undergrad armies of these cod-feminists, and there’s only so many ‘feminist angles’ for them all to squabble over and craft a career from. (The hardest part is thinking up a catchy name for your debut: Meme-worthy two or three word title, elegantly catchy longer sub-title: The Jagged Hook: How the just-right book title can fuel an entire career in populist academia) So much for patriarchal ‘harm’ to Manne’s prospects. One might as well sympathise with Martin Amis’s grinding slog to make it as a novelist.
A woman like Kate Manne has never suffered a second of real misogynist-engineered disadvantage in her life. And similarly I doubt she’s ever suffered truly debilitating ‘fatism’, either. She seems to be of a very healthy weight, and (at least in my aesthetic opinion) she’s not physically unattractive. So her claim of a sisterly affinity with truly fat women who suffer genuine pain and discrimination because of it is – assuming this review is a fair reflection of that – is even more risible. I have sisters who grew up genuinely overweight: it is a miserable, miserable place for a young woman to be. It’s not something that women who don’t suffer should appropriate lightly. Nor should they excuse and enable it. So Manne’s book would seem to be a particularly noxious version of the nasty-pretty ‘mean girl’ riff: emphasising her own not-unattractiveness (and reaping its worldly-benefits) by claiming to be…ugly. Germaine Greer and Naomi Wolf are two other examples of ‘feminists’ who based their careers on this disingenuous posturing: cynically exploiting their own feminine ‘hotness’ – largely playing to/legitimising misogynist men and patriarchal tropes in doing so – while pretending they despised and opposed the attention they got from it. To me it’s the worst kind of gender betrayal. And yes: as someone above said, I think it springs from the same place as ‘pro trans’ faux-feminism’s encouragement of biological negation, inversion…taking out rivals. (Kate Manne is of course married, to, of course, a man, and, of course, has (at least) one child. So…woke books aside, she’s an attractive, traditional-CIS philosopher-chick, when it comes down to it, huh. If you sidestep the costumery (hubby took her last name when they got hitched, aww so meet-woke-cute Mrs & Mr Manne!).
But like her own lifelong-lefty mum and dad, she’s as…traditional nuclear family as they come. Conservative, one might even deduce. And conservatively driven by all the usual social, aesthetic and biological human imperatives. And…not at all obese. So she probably should stop cosplaying at it; stop arguing that it’s ‘OK’ (erm, for others) to be unhealthily obese. Because it’s not. And to argue so is…sh*tty, anti-rational, unscientific, regressive academic negligence. Obesity is a global health crisis-epidemic. And unless and until the entire food industry is hit with serious (profit game-changing) added-sugar taxes, it’ll just keep getting worse. Pretty much everything we all of us eat now, daily – unless ones makes a conscious and active plan to avoid it (beyond the capacity and resources of many lower socio-economic folks, who barely have time to cook at all, let along shop, cook and eat healthily) – is drowning in profit-efficient corn/maize/sugar cane syrup artificial sweetener now. That’s what’s screwing our collective metabolisms, and making us dangerously fatter and fatter.
Smart privileged attractive people lik Manne need to stop dooming their social ‘lessers’ to the Fatties Ghetto.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

Yes, that more or less sums it up!

R Wright
R Wright
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

I enjoyed this post almost as much as the article itself.

0 0
0 0
2 months ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

Excellent information, thank you!

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
3 months ago

I suppose type 2 diabetes, cardio vascular disease, arthritis, hypertension and metabolic syndrome are healthy too.

John L Murphy
John L Murphy
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Who pays for the rising medical costs of obesity, heart disease, diabetes? Whether as taxpayers or insurance recipients, we’re facing higher amounts of often self-inflicted conspicuous consumption. Those insisting that their indulgences impact only themselves and harm nobody else…what’s their reply?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago
Reply to  John L Murphy

They don’t have a reply because they know they’re on shaky ground. The trouble is that illness is always something that happens to somebody else unless they get a rude awakening as I did. Smokers at least can say they’re paying for the extra medical care they’re likely to need, due to the heavy tax payable on cigarettes.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
3 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Also smoking is cool.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

The endgame of glorifying fatness.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1742651950846378479

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago

“It’s a neat rhetorical trick, to declare that any criticism or even inconvenient truths are actually just a personal insult in disguise.”
Borderline Personality Disorder is widespread in Wokeworld.
“In 2023, nearly 43% of Americans are obese; in the late Seventies, that number was 15%.”
Four months spent in the USA in 1988 was my introduction to mass obesity. I remember suspecting as my jaw dropped that this might also be the UK’s destiny.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I first visited the US in 1979 and was advised by an English friend living in NY to be very careful about ordering a large anything in a restaurant, before seeing what an American meant by that term. I ignored him and ordered a large pizza. It would have fed a UK family of four, seriously. Absolutely bizarre – but now we have (nearly) the same size absurdity over here, you’re right.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago

Instead, the reader is invited to marinate in an absolute sense of victimhood, safe in the knowledge that her misery is the job of the world to remedy.

Isn’t that just the motto of the 21st century in a sentence? Or more succinctly: reality must give way. The last word in morbid self centredness.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago

one starts to wonder if this catharsis might actually be the book’s primary purpose

Unless the author, or reader, feels better after this miserable resentment fest, it’s wallowing rather than catharsis.

Dominic A
Dominic A
3 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Indeed – catharsis is a largely disproven concept; works only in short-term, or with superficial issues (such as swearing when you hit your thumb). Otherwise, it is properly called ‘whining’, and it actually extends and deepens pain. Although for the professional SJW it is a raison d’etre, and attracts attention and money.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago

I have to say that as a European emigre to the US, the level of obesity I see here is beyond anything I have ever witnessed in Europe. Only the UK is somewhat comparable.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago

“Go for a walk sometime: you can appreciate a leaf, a sunset, a dog, without ranking it against others or pronouncing it superior.”

Err – actually we do this all the time, and have always done so. Hence the story of Xerxes pausing his entire army so that he could contemplate a particular very beautiful tree. Hence the fascination with human and animal beauty. Similarly there are things in nature which trigger a sense of disgust. These feelings may be intensified where human beings are concerned, but we find both beauty and ugliness everywhere we look.

J Hop
J Hop
3 months ago

” And yet, more than anything else in the book, it made me feel the most compassion for its author. Imagine how unloved you’d have to feel to seek comfort in the erasure of all feeling. Imagine being so certain that nobody will ever call you beautiful that you want to rip the word itself out of the world’s mouth.”
This is such a healthy way to view these things. I tend to get angry, but really this type of nonsense reflects more on the person espousing it than what they are attacking. This same concept could apply to almost all of Libs of TikTok really.

Kelly Madden
Kelly Madden
3 months ago

“[T]o remake the world to properly fit fat bodies, and to effect the socially transformative recognition that there is truly nothing wrong with us.”
Personal mission statement of Lucifer the Fat.
In the objective, non-solipsistic world, however, about 80 percent of Covid deaths were obese.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago

The slick magazines from woke Sports Illustrated upward or downward according to your point of view failed in their efforts to glamorize fatness. BTW why make farting in elevators a big deal? Everybody does it.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Really? I hold it in in case a silent-but-deadly accidentally turns into a ‘tommy-squeaker’.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
3 months ago

Fat people do not realize how debilitated they have become. It is sad they can never reach their potential.

Lord Plasma
Lord Plasma
3 months ago

Brilliant article, Kat. So well written. And so true.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
3 months ago

The real fun part happens when the health Nazis’s start telling you how much you can weigh to not load up the “free” medical system.
Or perhaps, how much CO2 and other green house gasses you are allowed to emit.
Fun times indeed.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
3 months ago

“You can’t argue your way to beauty” – but you can gorge your way into an early grave.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago

How far has body positivity gone? This far: https://twitter.com/i/status/1742651950846378479

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago

Brilliant. As always, the political is personal, not vice-versa.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago

I think obesity in America is due to the corrupted food that ordinary people have to eat as so many.additives and chemicals are legal to use there that.ate banned in the EU. There is a danger that under the banner of encouraging free trade especially with USA our government will drop the high EU food standards. The thing is when EVERYONE in your locality and social circle is built like a truck you are all normal,to each other.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

So true in the midwest of the US.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago

The fact that most women are rushing to take Ozempic says it all. We may try to be kind about fat, but most people don’t want to be overweight. However, It’s more accepted in black and Hispanic communities and we all know it’s a first-world problem. Obesity does have to do with food intake because there were no fat people in concentration camps.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

My wife and I are losing weight. One motivation was our experience in Oct when we went to a concert. We had gained some weight, and were simply not able to sit for the time of the concert in our normal seats. Now we have lost weight, and will lose more by the end of Jan. The next concert will be telling – will we be able sit comfortably?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Good for you! It’s not an easy thing because we all have to eat. Losing weight was the one thing that Oprah couldn’t do. She achieved everything except losing weight. Then Ozempic came along.

Douglas H
Douglas H
3 months ago

Great column, Kat -as usual

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
3 months ago

Very good comment with a rubbish byline. Two things stood out for me:
“Imagine how unloved you’d have to feel to seek comfort in the erasure of all feeling.” I know people like this. I was like this. It’s extremely painful, ironically.
This is where it always ends, inexorably and “unsatisfactorily.” I would disagree with this statement. But I think I’m slightly older than the writer and had a better foundation in the 80’s of seeing powerful, talented, diverse and content women all around me. God knows what happened in the 90’s. Those androgenous models were a construct of a particular type of male fashion designer however.

Christopher Kobus
Christopher Kobus
3 months ago

30 years ago if I was tasked with anesthetizing a 300 pound patient, it being unusual peers would later ask me if a distorted airway caused difficulties. Today if assigned to a Bariatric surgery suite I may care for 4 much heavier in a single day and no one even notices. One thing I rarely see is a morbidly obese 80 year old. They are mostly dead.

James S.
James S.
3 months ago

True on this side of the Atlantic as well. While I care for some morbidly obese 80+ year olds, the diseases associated with obesity cause a steep rise in mortality past age 70. And I can’t recall a morbidly obese 90 year old.

And severe obesity makes younger people miserable dealing with arthritis and joints giving out. I cringe at “fat positivity.”

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
3 months ago

That’s a good point. The morbidly obese die in the 50s and 60s. Hopefully this Manne person will kick the bucket soon. I want to read those obits.

Marissa M
Marissa M
3 months ago

Being fat is a disease of privilege. Privilege of having too much food, eating specifically foods you like, of having people around willing to help you indulge, of living in a country that will pay for you stay home and indulge yourself further…
We need to stop viewing it as an extreme to the norm and more as a selfishness that needs to be curbed.

Monica Wilde
Monica Wilde
3 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

You’ve obviously missed the entire recent debate on ultra-processed foods. Obesity isn’t ‘privilege’ it’s more often poverty. Cheap food – often the only choice in poor districts without car ownership – is loaded with high fructose additives, empty calories and addictive flavourings. ‘Privilege’ is having enough money not to work, join an expensive gym with a personal trainer, fund a health coach, and the luxury of time to cook meals from scratch, etc. I am not advocating obesity as healthy, however to dismiss it as ‘privilege’ is uninformed.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  Monica Wilde

Total rubbish. The cheapest food is the tougher cuts of meat, the simple vegetables, prepared from scratch in big batches & cooked long & slow (so doesn’t need time to stand there watching it) to feed a family. That’s how my Mum fed our family of four men and she never wasted a penny.
And you’re seriously saying people live beyond walking distance of a shop? By walking, I mean 4 miles or so. Or get a bus?

Monica Wilde
Monica Wilde
3 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

Have you ever tried buying any of those ingredients at a corner shop?

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  Monica Wilde

So you limit your shopping to a corner shop?
Jeez, someone needs to tell Asda, Aldi, Lidl etc. that there’s a huge population of hard-up people who live so far away from any store that they’re unreachable.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
3 months ago
Reply to  Monica Wilde

The reason that they are not available in cities is due to the FACT that the inhabitants have usually burned down the big markets, or shop-lifted them into unprofitability.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

Just one more step towards the end of reason in the West. Life threatening stupidity.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 months ago

I’d never imply that fat people are “weak-willed, gross, lazy, lax and stupid”. I’d just state it as fact, though I’d replace that last “and” with an “or”.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
3 months ago

My wife and I both are slightly overweight – our BMIs are close to 30. In October, they were about 33. We cut out alcohol, carbs, and most interesting food. We ate salads and only modest portions of chicken and fish.
Now that the holidays are over, we are back on the no-alcohol, low-carb diet. Hopefully we will get to 27-28.
Losing weight is possible without the drugs.

William Shaw
William Shaw
3 months ago

Just a correction to an incorrect analogy.
The bowerbird does not collect shiny bits and pieces to make a nest for itself.
The male bowerbird collects shiny bits and pieces to attract his mate.

JP Shaw
JP Shaw
3 months ago

The obesity epidemic has more to do with the food industry and the amount of corn sugars they put in their foods since the 80’s, foods only those less blessed with wealth eat. Yet we gloss over that fact. (Other contributing factor such as trend for eating on the run, age and on medications that induce fat storage, sedentary lifestyles, increased use of cannabis and decrease in cigarette smoking are also at play,) So we blame the victims, who are desperately trying to fit into our shallow society. It seems only women are being centered out when obesity discussed, yet there is nothing more repulsive than to see obese men, victims of the food industry also, in ill-fitting clothes showing their b u t t cracks or wearing womens clothes.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  JP Shaw

So we can put personal responsibility to one side, fat people had no choice what to eat and were forced to be idle. They weren’t allowed to cook healthily either?
What a terrible outlook on life to have.
Bit of a mystery how so many ordinary people aren’t fat isn’t it?

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

Their only reason for staying slim is so they can criticize those who are fat. It’s a pathology.

Stephen Kristan
Stephen Kristan
3 months ago

Kat Rosenfeld’s capacity to articulate the complex and elusive innards of a person’s or a movement’s motivations, with finely focused concision and yet a humane texture, borders on the wondrous. She’s a real seer with, I think, humane intent. Five stars for Kat!

Hans Daoghn
Hans Daoghn
3 months ago

Tickets for airline passengers weighing over 100 kilos should cost more. Further, those passengers should be assigned seats where they do not obstruct access to emergency exits.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
3 months ago
Reply to  Hans Daoghn

Put them in the hold.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
3 months ago

Once you put it on, its so difficult to get it off and keep it off. Fat people are not happy people.

J. Hale
J. Hale
3 months ago

Fatphobia ia perfectly appropriate when you discover your airline seat is next to an extremely obese person.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  J. Hale

Especially if you’ve booked on Southwest Airlines and found yourself bumped off the flight because a “person of size” hadn’t pre-arranged their extra (free) seat entitlement.
https://www.southwest.com/help/booking/extra-seat-policy

Travis Cooper
Travis Cooper
3 months ago

I don’t know what the obesity rate is in Europe or other Western Civilizations, but in my small little corner of the Southeastern US, it is abysmal (about 30 – 35% in my county and greater than 40% in surrounding counties).
Some of the detritus the US FDA allows to be called food should be criminal – high-fructose corn syrup being at the top of the list (and we’re worried about naturally-occurring arsenic in our food – give me a f***in’ break). For crying out loud, they put high-fructose corn syrup in cough syrup – Delsym. I do not knowingly eat that s***.
Then you have the “sugar” lobby who, for years has criminalized fat content and pushed dangerous diets as the “keto” (or any other) diet. They took out the fat and added sugar (you have to get the flavor back). Look at almost any yogurt – low-fat, high sugar content – most of them 11g of sugar or more per serving. That increase of sugar has a direct correlation to increases in obesity, increased diagnoses of diabetes (or in the case of Wilford Brimley, diabetus), and increased diagnoses of heart disease.
Oh, I could go off on several rabbit trails…
As with anything else, follow the money…

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
2 months ago
Reply to  Travis Cooper

Agreed, but the element of person control remains relevant. More exercise, healthy foods, less alcohol, water instead of sugary fizzy drinks are all personal choices.

Chuck Pezeshki
Chuck Pezeshki
3 months ago

There is a reason almost everyone is getting fat. It is called metabolic destabilization, and it’s driven by the different types of food you eat. We have bad models for all of this, and it doesn’t stick in people’s heads. And worse, our various FDAs of the world don’t help by basically lying to us constantly.
I’ve written extensively about this, but if you don’t like my stuff, you can look up Gary Taubes or Nina Teicholz. What’s missing here is how our minds perceive this crisis. Here you go. https://empathy.guru/2017/09/17/weight-loss-by-the-v-memes-iii-whats-the-v-meme-stack-look-like/

Judy Gruen
Judy Gruen
3 months ago

Obesity frequently results from emotional problems. Eating can be an ineffective but addictive way to fill an emotional void, to feel a sense of control, to deal with worry, to create emotional distance from another, etc. No diet or weight-loss program will be effective till these underlying issues are resolved.
I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life and have made peace with my “huggable” (not obese) proportions. I work hard to exercise, eat right, and eat mindfully. Having previously felt shamed for being overweight, though, I’d still never want society to put blinders on and say, “Nothing to see here. Move along.”
Problems don’t go away by pretending they don’t exist. The cost of our obesity epidemic is severe and growing worse.

Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen
3 months ago

Feeling recrimination for being fat is a monster under the bed. It’s only there if you believe it’s there. “Fat” is a symptom. The cause is the lies the government propagated in support of processed food manufacturers.
Eat meat and vegetables that have not been processed. It’s impossible to get fat or remain fat. It doesn’t even matter how much of each you eat, it is virtually impossible to maintain an unhealthy weight unless you introduce processed foods or fruit. (Fruit has been genetically modified to be as sweet as soft drinks. It ruins children’s teeth and is a leading cause of childhood diabetes. We’ve been conned, but good, on the fruit front).
And don’t get me started on dry dog food.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
2 months ago

“It is nothing less than to remake the world to properly fit fat bodies, and to effect the socially transformative recognition that there is truly nothing wrong with us.”

And that, right there, is the modern disease — a conviction that everyone’s out of step but me.