Saturday, August 17, 2013

The "fat" in FatLand; why we left the USA

So far I have not commented on the actual name of FatLand and its significance. First of all, it is an acronym. It stands for Fat Acceptance Territory Lease Acquisition No Date. The alternative would have been "FATLIP" - Fat Acceptance Territory Lease In Perpetuity. All told, I like FATLAND a lot better..

A few posts ago, I talked about the reasons for FatLand's becoming a territory and not a state. What I didn't talk about -and what the books both go into in detail- is the reason for the existence of a Fat Acceptance Territory itself.

For about fifty years, fat women and men, but women even more so, have been undergoing varying degrees of discrimination and harassment. This not only prevents a lot of us from being hired, but also, at least before Obamacare, kept us from being able to buy insurance. We were ridiculed in hospitals and told to lose weight, no matter what we came in for. We had difficulties finding comfortable seats in classrooms, movie theaters, waiting rooms of all kinds. We were often seated out of sight in restaurants. Fashion magazines hardly even nodded to us. The clothes available to us were not fitted correctly and were often baggy or tacky and unappealing. We were the first objects of bullying in schools. We were told constantly to lose weight, even though it has never been established that a) there is indeed a reliable weight loss program that will cause fat people to lose enough weight to be considered not-fat and to keep it off  b) that losing weight actually affects health in any way. Deliberate weight loss can also cause eating disorders and malnutrition and yes, sometimes, death. We were told to get bariatric surgery, although the statistics point to horrendous side effects, one of them death. And when we actually did try to exercise or participate in classes and sports, we were ridiculed. Hell, we were ridiculed if we decided to go for a walk.

In other words, we got tired of all the hatred. Those who emigrated to FatLand decided that it wasn't going to stop any time soon. In FatLand I, the USA falls under the domination of the Pro-Health Laws around 2012, laws which stipulate that anyone with a BMI over 25 must be monitored or sent to a Re-Education Center. There are other laws which govern what people are allowed to buy and to eat.

Thus emigrating to FatLand meant not only not having to feel hated, but also not having to be monitored and/or sent to the less than pleasant Re-Education Center, and not having to worry about what we ate and weighed. There are no scales in FatLand!


  1. Oh, Frannie, how I want to live there! And I feel odd classifying your book as science fiction, when we're one small step from this being a reality for fatties. Giant sigh.

    Btw, I want to teach a fat studies course so we can read your book and discuss it for hours. More students need exposure to these kinds of ideas!

  2. Lesleigh, it would be my dream to teach a Fat Lit course :) And I would just love to be there if you ever discuss FatLand.

    I also feel as if we're a lot closer to the way things were on "The Other Side" than many people would acknowledge.