Hillary Freeman does not need to protect her child against fat people

Hillary Freeman has it all wrong. She doesn’t need to protect her daughter from the influence of fat people. I want to know who will protect her daughter from the influence of her mother?

She doesn’t want her daughter to learn that it’s “normal to be fat,” She’s okay with her daughter learning it’s okay to judge, and more importantly shun, people because of their physical appearance.

I know the arguments.

The “It’s not healthy” justification for being bigoted and a sizeist is invalid. If the argument were valid and not a thinly-veiled rationale for being a fatty-hater, then there we should be judging and avoiding many more members of the human population. I won’t argue that there are not health risks associated with being fat, but I will strongly maintain that fat and healthy are not mutually exclusive.

Hillary can find another daycare. She can find one where all of the caregivers are thin. She can feel comfortable that they won’t normalize obesity and that her daughter will learn that fat people should be avoided.

I certainly hope that Hillary’s daughter has healthy coping skills. I hope she doesn’t turn to food for comfort, because somehow I can’t imagine her mother is much good at comforting her daughter.

Ms. Freeman makes a statement suggesting that fat acceptance has gone too far. She wrongly insists that fat acceptance started out as pushing back against having to be thin to be beautiful.

“Fat-positivity — also known as fat acceptance — has gone too far. Originally a response to discrimination against those who aren’t slim enough to fit into society’s beauty ideal, it’s now an excuse for the severely obese to celebrate their bodies, the consequences be damned.”

– Hillary Freeman

She’s wrong. Fat acceptance is about loving yourself, loving your body and accepting that your value as a human being has to do with the things that are not visually noticeable. 

I’ve yet to meet an anti-fatty crusader who doesn’t try to defend their bigotry with the “it’s so unhealthy” argument but eventually reveals their real reason. They need to feel superior and whether it’s people of a certain race, religion, or body weight doesn’t matter.

In fact, it’s not politically correct to just people for their skin color or their ethnicity because those are things they can’t change. They were born that way, but Ms. Freeman says right in her rant, “Nobody is born obese.”

If there were height/weight charts for infants, there would definitely be obese newborns. That’s not the point and it’s entirely the point. Hillary isn’t trying to promote healthy bodies, body positivity or healthy habits. She’s a sizeist. She discriminates based on body weight and she justifies it by saying, “it’s unhealthy to be overweight.”

She fears her daughter will learn bad habits from an overweight childcare provider. I’m a lot more worried about what the child will learn from her mother. She might become a sizeist like her mother. That, sadly, would be the best of the possible negative outcomes. She would hate other people for how they look which is slightly better than hating herself.

Since her mother openly shares how unattractive rolls of fat are, I hope the child never gets any rolls, but it’s entirely possible (even with her sizeist mother) she may. This is especially true between ages 9 and 13 where it’s fairly common and not an indication that the prepubescent girl will go onto become obese. It’s scary to think how that child may internalize her weight, her changing body, and her self-worth.

Of course, Hillary Freeman is free to choose whatever daycare provider she thinks will best care for her child, but I maintain that avoiding a provider because the caregivers are overweight is the worst of all possible reasons.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.