death · diets

Death and diet culture

Michelle Allison, the Fat Nutritionist, wrote on Twitter, “I first made the connection between social hierarchy, health, and the fear of death many years ago, as a teenager, but it became really explicit to me in online arguments about body weight and health just a few years back. It was so obvious that people constructed hierarchies……of “better” and “worse” people (along lines of body weight, presumed lifestyle choices, and other health indices) as a way of convincing themselves that they wouldn’t ever do something as gauche as GET SICK AND DIE. A lot of this came from various alt-right types and corners….I remember one of my twitter friends responding in the most perfect way ever to these attempts at bullying with “That’s right, in this land of immortal highlanders only the weak die,” or something like that. It cracked me the hell up, but it also pointed to something crucial……which is a theme running through alt-right and neoreactionary ideas, a sort of ubermensch or superhuman ideal, but in the updated format of transhumanism or the technological singularity. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s okay, I kind of wish I didn’t.)”

I’m interested too in the extent to which fear of fat is really just a version of fear of death.

I teach courses on death, and on feminism and death, and as someone who shares the feeling, I’m interested in our fear of death.

If that’s where our fear of fat comes from, fear of death, those of us who preach body positivity have our work cut out for us.

See the full thread on Twitter here.


A skull, side view, white on black
Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

One thought on “Death and diet culture

  1. I don’t think it’s as much about physical death, as it is about a cultural death. That is, losing one’s f**kability status, and therefore becoming a non-entity in western culture. After all, it’s all about the male gaze. Ugh!

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