There has been speculation recently about what stance the film “Finding Thin” would take on fat acceptance — a very heated and sensitive issue. The time has come to try and make my intentions very clear.
I am obese, and I accept myself and want others to accept me. That puts me on the side of those who do not tolerate bigotry or prejudice of of any kind including discrimination against size, race, creed, religion, sexual preference, etc.
I also believe that fat is beautiful and anyone can be attractive. I sometimes waver about my own appearance and can be very self conscious. I’m lucky that I have good people, including my closest friend and business partner, around me to remind me that my weight shouldn’t stop me from what I want to do.
Despite this, I firmly believe that the health risk that obesity presents to myself, my family and to this great country of ours means we should try to understand how we came to be this way and what we can do to be healthy. I have lost almost half my family due to obesity-related illnesses, and I recently ended up in the hospital with a health scare directly attributable to my weight. If I had chosen healthier eating or a better lifestyle, I’m certain it could have been prevented. Likewise, if my family had known the risks of the weight they carried and had the tools they needed to help achieve a healthy weight, I may not have lost them prematurely to obesity.
I know there are no easy answers, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to find them for our children, who are experiencing increasing rates of obesity, or for the adults, who are dying in larger numbers due to diabetes, cancer and heart disease. These problems are not mythical and have real causes rooted in weight issues. They will catch up with each and every one of us if we don’t learn to take care of ourselves and live at a healthy weight. We know this and can’t seem to do anything about it, and I don’t think it’s acceptable.
I think the fat acceptance movement does a lot to highlight the real discrimination that people of size experience in our society, and I’m not opposed to their efforts. However, I don’t feel discrimination is the biggest problem that we face and that’s why I’m making this film.
I stand on the side of never going up against or hating anyone or anything except this terrible disease and epidemic called obesity. Certainly not the people that suffer from it because I know, love and am one of them.
– Barry Roskin Blake
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