Ragen Chastain of Dances With Fat asks “What’s Stopping the Fatty Uprising?” She writes:
I think that one of the main things standing in the way of a fatty uprising against all of the stigma, bullying and oppression of fat people is the belief that weight loss is possible, even likely, for all fat people. It’s not just that the people doing the stigmatizing buy into this idea, it’s that fat people do too. That’s pretty problematic since in over half a century of research there has never been a single study where weight loss worked long term for more than a tiny fraction of people. …
So many of things are only acceptable because of fat phobia, and because people (including fat people) believe they not only can, but actually should, be obligated to lose weight in order to be treated better.
I’m with Ragen that research on weight loss suggests that it’s not a good bet. She puts her efforts towards activism and HAES, both of which I support, but call me crazy, I continue to explore weight and weight loss (as a populace, we weren’t always this heavy, so maybe, just maybe there’s a way back).
But I think things are going to get worse before they get better as far as fat penalties go. So paying attention to these issues is paramount. I’d strongly encourage you to make Ragen’s blog a regular read.