Elastic Waist yesterday turned up a tidbit on a new evolutionary argument for prejudice towards those of size. There are factors left out of the research in this article, all of which would debunk this argument:
1. How does this account for entire cultures that revere fat women, even prize them? I know from direct experience there are plenty of non-western men that make a beeline for the big girls.
2. This does not explain why plus size men are penalized less for their body size than plus size women. I’m not saying that plussie men don’t suffer – I have a plussie father, and believe me, they do. I’m saying that they statistically have less incidence of discrimination than women, and often their size is simply attributed in an accepting way to their personalities, which is why you will see plus men with traditionally “thin” women far more than you will see a “thin” man with a plussie women, unless he’s what is derogatorily referred to as a “chubby chaser.”
3. If we are truly responding to signs of disease based on body type, wouldn’t the supremely-thin be more likely to suffer discrimination? On a pure animal level, being underfed is a sign of a weak specimen.
The quote from the one remaining of the Two Fat Ladies put it in a way that raises more questions to consider:
“In the 1960s there were a lot of bigoted people who were anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-everything but when they couldn’t get away with that any more they turned into food-Nazis instead and began attacking people who were fat,” she said. “I suspect that this is what really drives people to be negative about fat people rather than an unconscious reaction.”
If that’s true, does that mean that humanity has a biological drive and need to hate someone as a means of cementing our tribal connections?