An Open Letter to Dear Abby

Spreading fat hate wherever she goes!
Spreading fat hate wherever she goes!

Dear Abby,

Recently, you sent me a letter asking me to join you in the fight against Alzheimer’s. This is a cause very close to my heart, because my grandma passed away last month after a long battle with the disease.

But you know what? I’m not going to join you in this fight. Oh, sure, I’m going to do what I can to contribute to this cause. But I’m definitely not going to do it alongside you, or because you asked me. Can you guess why? It’s because I think you’re a judgmental bully.

Oh, sure, you’re caring and kind about some things, but when it comes to fat people? Then you’re all about making assumptions and shaming. Last year, a woman wrote to you about being scolded by her mother for wearing a bathing suit (the woman is fat and the mom thought that was highly inappropriate). Your response was, in part:

While you say you are comfortable in your own skin, it would be interesting to know what your physician thinks about your obesity. I suspect that your mother would be prouder of you if you were less complacent and more willing to do something about your weight problem.

I love that you assume that this woman is in ill health, and is complacent and unwilling to do something about her “problem.” Thank the heavens you are here to open her eyes to her ignorance! Remind me: Are you a doctor? Are you a psychic? Oh my gosh… Abby, are you a psychic doctor?!

For your New Year’s resolution column, you did it again – made offensive assumptions about fat people. You offered up a bunch of “just for today” ideas, including this gem:

JUST FOR TODAY: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I’m a smoker, I’ll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully – if only just for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it’s only around the block.

Honestly, are you for real? …”if only just for today,” “even if it’s only”… Because embracing healthy habits is a huge struggle for fatties, and to assume we would do them all the time is just beyond the pale, right? Tell me truly: Have you really never met a fat person who wasn’t this ridiculous stereotype? Sorry, even if you say yes, I won’t believe you.

I’m an open-minded person, Abby. Maybe we can fight Alzheimer’s together. Just make me a few promises: Stop spreading fat hate and shame. Start treating fat people like human beings who understand and can make their own decisions about their health. Stop acting like a psychic doctor, because there’s no such thing. If you can do all that, then we can join forces. I’ll be waiting.

Sincerely,

Bethany