August 23, 2013

"As you are too thin, I am too white. I am so white I literally appear to glow in the dark."

"'Get some sun,' I'm often told. 'Haven't you ever heard of a tanning bed?' It's hurtful, and neither of us should be shamed by anyone for our bodies. HOWEVER. I do not write nonsense comparing myself to long-oppressed people of more pigmented ancestry and taking cheap shots at their intelligence, will-power, and self-discipline just because someone who saw me on the beach failed to understand that my skin color options are white, pink, or red. This piece you've written? It is ridiculous."

A comment on this Daily Beast piece which I got to via this Kate Waldman item that began: "I must yawp my indignation after hate-reading the Daily Beast’s Emma Woolf bemoan the scourge of 'thin-shaming' in Western society."

Hate-reading. I like that. I looked it up in Urban Dictionary and saw it had an entry from January 2012, but only one person had voted on it. 

hate-reading

(n.) -- an online activity in which one visits a website, Twitter feed, or Facebook page for the express purpose of ridiculing -- or indulging one's disdain for -- the author and/or the content on the site

"Okay, I'll be honest: I indulge in hate-reading from time to time, sure, ever since I discovered the Internet in junior high. It's something I usually do alone, late at night, when I'm procrastinating or drunk or bored."

overheard at an office watercooler in Modesto, California, December 16, 2011
The vote was thumbs-up. I agree.

Now, some questions:

Do you hate-read?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Is it OK to say to someone: You're so thin/You're so white?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

13 comments:

Lord Ben said...

I usually use the "you look like you could use a sammich" line when a girl says something like "Oh, I'm so hungry for a burger but I'm on a diet so I'll eat a granola bar for supper" and she's skinny and looks fine the way she is or too skinny.

Fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, whatever. That lady is harmless comment-shaming.

dbp said...

Really the only problem, though it kind of destroys the entire point of Emma Woolf's piece, is that the standard is and should be different when it comes to commenting on a person's weight.

It is commonly understood that it is desirable to be thin* and therefore it is a back-handed complement to say "you are too thin". Meanwhile, most people are trying to loose weight and so saying they are too fat is just plain insulting.

*Anorexia is very rare and much of the excessive thinness is not that apparent depending on how the person dresses, so it is not really fair to expect the kind of sensitivity overweight people should get--they being more abundant and their condition more obvious.

Kirk Parker said...

"I see you're drinking 1%. Is that 'cause you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to. "

fivewheels said...

If you just divorce the topic from identity issues (impossible to do for certain people), just go back to the old rule decent people used to grow up with: It's rude to make personal remarks and offer unsolicited commentary about their bodies. Period.

One suspects that even Ms. Waldman would understand the point if someone said to her, "Nice ass, honey." Hey, it's OK, because society likes a nice ass!

Also, I had already seen Waldman's piece, because I hate-read XX Factor. I should stop.

Bob_R said...

It seems to me that if you start casually criticising people's weight, skin tone, fashion sense, intellegence, education, family....it must be hard to stop. Perhaps it's best not to start.

wildswan said...

To me those comments are rude which is wrong. To people her age there is no such thing as either rude or wrong. But apparently she misses the concepts so now she is going through contortions to get them back - meaning that she is trying to say that comments about fat and comments about thin have something in common, something that is the same - both are rude and therefore both are wrong.
It's a hard life in PC land where simple stuff like this gets an article written about it. Brows furrow, people wonder what to say. Check twitter, see if it's trending.

Henry said...

For my oldest son, who takes after his red-headed mama, I always use Bill Murray's line:

Larry's not white. He's clear.

Except his name isn't Larry.

Henry said...

I made the mistake of following through the link. Sometimes the best I can say of opinion claptrap like that is that it sucks to be writing on deadline.

Invent a controversy! Defend common sense! Cripes.

Henry said...

An addendum: In my comment above, I'm referring to Kate Waldman's item, not Emma Woolf's piece, which easily survives Waldman's tedious indignation.

kristinintexas said...

Kirk, I hear Napoleon's voice on my head every time I buy our 1% milk at Kroger.

lgv said...

At first I thought I didn't hate read. But, I then remembered I read Friedman and Krugman.

These "famous" and highly read columnists produce the worst nonsensical tripe that just calls for ridicule and disdain.

I would have never thought to call it hate reading.

Sam L. said...

Hate-reading is clearly similar to hate-f**king that some claim they want to do to conservative women.

ken in sc said...

I was called 'skinny Kenny, skinny as a weenie' in the 1st grade. I have been overweight or close ever since.
If that made a difference, I don't know.