Hypocrisy at it’s finest: I can eat whatever I want, but you and your children need to eat healthier!
First lady Michelle Obama ordered a whopper of a meal at the newlyopened Washington diner Shake Shack during lunch on Monday.
A Washington Post journalist on the scene confirmed the first lady, who’s made a cause out of child nutrition, ordered a ShackBurger, fries, chocolate shake and a Diet Coke while the street and sidewalk in front of the usually-packed Shake Shack were closed by security during her visit.
According to nutritional information on Shake Shack’s Web site, the meal amounted to 1,556 calories.
I don’t think anyone has ever argued that a healthy diet can’t include indulgences.
Also, I have yet to understand why anyone thinks working to provide healthier, higher quality lunches for school children is so scandalous. God forbid kids get decent meals in school!
While I understand that she does push healthier and quality meals provided in schools (which is the only meal some kids get every day) she does it in a very sizeist and wrong way. She supports other get-fit celebrity programs (such as the one on Disney Channel, where all their fat stars seem to miraculously disappear), as well that pair health with thinness.
Not to mention, her Lets Move! campaign is guided by the Obesity Task Force, an organization that is largely funded by pharmaceutical and weight loss companies. In fact, almost every obesity ’expert’ has received financial support from the $46-billion weight loss industry. These are the people that are supporting her, encouraging her, funding these campaigns, and probably where she’s getting all her ‘facts’ from. You know those places that still rely on the pseudo-science known as the BMI?
I am ALL for spreading the value of nutrition and trying to increase the quality of school foods (especially when McDonald’s wouldn’t even buy the meat they give you), and introducing it into homes where they were not privileged enough to understand how nutrition works. That’s fine. But she’s doing more than that, she’s pushing an anti-obesity campaign that only PROFITS off of your humiliation and shame and that’s nothing more than another scheme to get more people on diets and pills and be in the hands of the media, weight loss companies, and the government, while simultaneously reinforcing the negative stereotypes on fat people.
So yeah, she’s a hypocrite.
While I agree that Michelle Obama should be promoting children’s health in a less fatphobic way, I’d like to point out that it’s also hypocritical to food police someone in the name of dismantling fatphobia.
First off, if this did come across as food policing of the First Lady, I apologize. Because whatever I intended doesn’t matter. Food policing is wrong. End of. I had no intent to, but intents are for shit. You’re right. Food policing isn’t going to end fat hate (I use hate because phobia is ableist, IMHO, and I think hatred/bigotry are better and more accurate words to describe the attitude of US society towards people it deems fat).
I did not interpret or intend this to be food policing (again, intents are for shit, so I don’t expect that to matter overmuch to anyone). I wanted to point out with this reblog that it’s extremely hypocritical that Michelle Obama has no problems allowing herself certain indulgences and, as a thin person, expecting that she will be given space to decide that she knows when and what she should eat and that she can be trusted with food decisions while making sure that millions of U.S.ians are told that they’re not eating right, that they can’t be trusted with their own nutritional needs, and that what they need is a bunch of fitness/nutrition experts to come in and save them from themselves.
I would never impugn Michelle Obama’s right to eat whatever she wants, to eat that something without anyone getting in her face about it. It’s not the meal I’m mad about. Go Michelle, eat whatever you like. But don’t grant yourself the right/ability to eat what you like sans comment/judgment and then deny that to others. Don’t say “hey, I know when to indulge and when not to, because I’m thin, but obviously if you’re obese/overweight, you don’t, so here’s a campaign to teach you fatties how to do it right”. I will always impugn any assumption that it’s okay for her because she’s a “fit” and “healthy” person who can do and should be trusted to do that that but others need her to launch a campaign to fix them and the way they eat because obviously they just don’t know how to Do Food Right.
Again, I see where this could be viewed as food policing, and I get there are intersectional issues, especially given that this story comes from Fox News which loves to make a target of the First Lady and tear her down, because well, it’s Fox News and I think the words “a wretched hive of scum, villainy, racism, kyriarchy and general fuckery” are just not strong enough.
Furthermore, I have no problem with people wanting to bring up the quality and variety of foods offered in school meal programs, especially since those programs are able to reach students who come from very disadvantaged families. I’m cool with the idea of offering up better quality food to them, of offering up fresh fruits and veggies where can, of making sure that both the macro (ie - raw calories) and micro (ie - vitamins and minerals) nutritional needs of growing kids are met. I’m all for that. Yay! Let’s give the best food possible to these kids. Let’s give ‘em lots of great produce and the freshest, best we’ve got. I can get behind that 110%.
But talking about the poor quality of school food (a very necessary and long overdue conversation) for ALL kids is different than focusing on it only because you think it might be making kids fat. Apparently if the food quality sucks but doesn’t make anyone fat, that’s fine. If you feed kids nutritionally devoid cardboard, so long as nobody gains a pound (never mind stunted development and health problems), we’re cool. And framing school nutrition as a part of “attacking” the obesity epidemic rather than framing it as something deserves attention just because PEOPLE DESERVE NUTRITIOUS FOOD, and that means kids in schools, is deeply problematic and ineffective.
Good food and opportunities for physical movement and other forms of self-care MUST be offered without judgment and without all this talk of obesity. Otherwise you’ll get a bunch of kids who are so traumatized that they spend their adulthood guilted, shamed, and unable to eat/exercise without constant self-loathing, none of which are particularly health promoting. You’ll also get a bunch of kids who think that thin = healthy, which may delay or prevent them from getting medical and nutritional care. After all, this kid is thin, right, so they must be a-okay and we can’t risk feeding them more if they need it because we can’t risk TEH_OBESUHDEE.
Again, if this came across as food policing of the First Lady, I apologize. I should’ve seen and addressed that straight off.