New Cartoon: The Fat Whisperer


Read the whole cartoon over at Everyday Feminism.

This entry posted in Cartooning & comics, Fat, fat and more fat. Bookmark the permalink. 

7 Responses to New Cartoon: The Fat Whisperer

  1. 1
    Veri says:

    Who are these people you are hanging around who are constantly being rude to you? And, more importantly, why are you hanging around them?

    I was fat for a good chunk of my life before I did something about it. My experience was that no one really cared. I would occasionally get rude comments from busybodies (I specifically remember the wife of a friend of my parents) – but they were really few and far between.

    This is more of a matter of rude people in general, and people sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong, and thin skin and a universe of rude comments with a sliver involving the specific issue of being fat.

  2. 2
    Mookie says:

    Veri, if we occupy “a universe of rude comments,” why are you especially interested in what sort of people Amp’s hanging around? They can’t be that special, if this is that common. If the experience of being interrogated by strangers about one’s daily caloric intake and jogging routines is universal and not something we should waste our concern or cartooning skills on, why did you think you were blessed enough that “no one really cared” when you were fat?

  3. 3
    Falstaff says:

    This cartoon is a sheer delight. Through luck, I happened to be checking Tumblr around the time you reblogged a compliment on it, Amp, and I’m so pleased that I was. It let me reblog it, and when a friend of mine did likewise, one of *her* followers said that she was going to spread it like wildfire, that you’d put into words something that she’d been trying to for years. (I thought you might like to know that.)

    I don’t know what kind of saintly people Veri was hanging around with while he (or she) was fat, but she (or he) certainly didn’t have the kind of experience that I had, and still have. I was made miserable all through my childhood; the daily, nearly nonstop namecalling wasn’t the worst of it, but it was the most universal.

    As an adult, it’s not as bad, but because I live now in Australia, where very fat men (and also women, to a slightly lesser extent) are less common and held in more contempt than in the U.S., I’m subject to a lot of “funny” jokes that I’m expected to laugh along with, and a lot of rude stares, plus the odd comment about what I’m buying at the grocery store. It enrages and intimidates me at the same time, and this cartoon sums up what I get on a regular basis.

    It’s a great one, Amp. I hope you’re proud of it. You should be.

  4. 4
    Mookie says:

    In other words, Veri, are you saying that fat-shaming doesn’t matter because the world is not perfect and we need to shift our priorities away from discouraging rude and unhelpful and unsolicited remarks about people’s bodies, or that because you rarely experienced it personally it doesn’t exist at all? Those seem like fundamentally contradictory statements, if I’m reading you correctly.

  5. 5
    closetpuritan says:

    FWIW, I don’t hear a lot of people saying the stuff in the comic to me… to my face. This is probably partly because I’m not unusually fat.

    I do hear the occasional in-person comments about folks larger than me, said to me–and in a couple cases I could recall, they were talking about stuff in the news (X percent of Canadian mounties are obese, hospital is not going to employ people with BMI >35), and didn’t seem to realize that I was, if not quite in the BMI of the people in the news, pretty close to that high a BMI.

    And of course, there are the thousands and thousands of messages in the media, on facebook, etc. said about “the obese” in general, or about people who look like me or are quite a bit thinner than me. I mean, if people are criticizing Ronda Rousey for being fat, what do they think about me?

    Obviously people say this kind of stuff in comments online all the time, too, though they haven’t really been coming to my blog to do it so far.

  6. 6
    Pesho says:

    You had it right, up to the last four panels.

    It is not that there are no people who outright hate fat people, but my bet is that they are few and far between. For example, I’m unaware of ever having met one.

    It’s that this cartoon would be a lot more effective if it held, a bit longer, the mirror to those who put fat people down to make themselves feel better. Those are the people you want to make aware of what’s going on, and those are the people whose minds you may be able to change.

    By turning the character into a raving, drool-spewing maniac, you managed to give such people an out – “Oh, I am nothing like this.” And of course, to make people who despise fat shamers feel oh so good about themselves…

    All in my opinion, of course.

  7. 7
    closetpuritan says:

    @Pesho–Eh, I’m not sure that I’ve never met one. Usually they had additional reason to dislike them, e.g. the person they were talking about was a teacher that they didn’t like having to deal with. But yeah, I’ve heard “X is so disgusting” from real live people I’ve met. Granted, most of them were under 18 at the time…

    I think convincing fence-sitters or slightly-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence people is one legitimate goal of political cartoons, but illustrating reality as the cartoonist sees it or telling like-minded others, “You’re NOT disconnected from reality; I’ve noticed this too” are also legitimate.

    I think I understand why some people get so angry at fat people (especially when they seem happy and are not trying to lose weight), too. It violates their sense of fairness. It’s not so different from the anger I feel when someone cuts in line in front of me. As they see it, they’re putting in the hard work required to become ‘acceptable’, so why should fat people get to skip straight to being ‘acceptable’ without putting in the work? (Leaving aside that not everyone has to put in an equal amount of work, that some thin people may not be able to get much fatter even if they tried, that requiring certain eating/exercise behaviors (other than, e.g., ‘don’t steal other people’s food’) to grant people basic respect doesn’t make much sense…)