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October 23, 2010

If You Think Fat Hate Isn’t Real, Read This

Filed under: This Week In Fat Blogging — Twistie @ 11:10 am

sugaredvenom over at Tumblr posted the results of an interesting experiment recently: typing variations on the term ‘Fat People’ into Google and seeing what came up in the trends.

For those who didn’t follow the link, here are a couple of the blanks filled in:

Fat People: Falling Over, Insults, Names

This was the most benign category.

Fat People Are: Harder to Kidnap, Hard to Kidnap, Lazy, Gross, A Burden on Society, Immoral, etc.

Fat People Should: Be Killed, Die, Be Shot, Be Ashamed, Pay More to Fly, Pay More, etc.

To be fair, sugaredvenom did find a couple of positive concepts in there as well, such as Fat People are Strong, and a few that might turn out to be neutral or positive, depending on what the results were when you clicked the link, but they were by far the rarest Google trends.

And this morning, sleepydumpling over at Fat Heffalump decided to post the results of her own attempt to replicate sugaredvenom’s experiment. Depressingly enough, she comes up with not only a lot of the same phrases, but plenty more besides. A few of her finds:

Fat People Make Me Sick

Fat People Must Die

Fat People Go Be Fat Somewhere Else

Fat People Have Smaller Brains

Fat People Have No Reason To Live (Yeah, I remember Randy Newman telling me that about my tiny Shetland people, too. Didn’t listen then, don’t intend to now.)

These aren’t full phrases sugaredvenom and sleepydumpling entered into Google and found results for. These are the ways Google offered up to finish the partial phrases they did type in. That means that there are large numbers of people out there looking up reasons why fat people should be shot.

Think about it.


  1. However, I do feel better knowing that I am harder to kidnap. Fk the haters, twistie. I love me and I love you. Phhhhhhhhhhbt.

    Comment by Lisa from SoCal — October 23, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  2. Right back at you, Lisa! And Yay! for being harder to kidnap.

    Comment by Twistie — October 23, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  3. OMG…So I’m not being delusional. This is so depressing and actually maddening. I wish I could share this with my FB friends.

    Comment by The Curvy Goddess — October 23, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

  4. No, you’re not delusional. But apparently (according to sleepydumpling’s research) we get Wisconsin. Frankly, I’d rather have the respect… not that I have anything against Wisconsin, per se. Just respect is easier to pack than a whole state.

    Also, note that until I canned it for being spam, there was a pingback to a weight loss program on this thread. Cute, huh?

    Comment by Twistie — October 23, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

  5. That IS cute…By the way, my last boyfriend was a fat hater. I actually just wrote a little article about it on my site — Sleeping with the Enemy.

    I had to get out but it was tough for some reason. It deal was cinched when I found out he wanted to get chin implants, an eye lift and his teeth redone…oh yeah hair implants.

    Comment by The Curvy Goddess — October 23, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  6. I think you still have a weight-loss scam spam problem here.

    On the main topic, it’s pretty depressing, but I don’t think there’s much value in dwelling on it. The internet is the worldwide home of the lowest common denominator, and if we all spend our time focussing on what dipshit fourteen-year-olds (and their intellectual equivalents) think about, we run the risk of missing out on the fact that there are a lot of cool and fun people out there that we actually want to interact with.

    Comment by daisyj — October 23, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

  7. I have no intention of dwelling, daisyj, but I do believe in bringing things into the light where everyone can have a good look at them for what they are. This isn’t two or three people with too much time on their hands and smutty minds. These are phrases so common that Google will finish them for people making searches. I think that’s kind of important to know.

    I also think we need to know about the cool and fun people. But the fact that there are fun and cool people who want to interact with us doesn’t mean we can safely ignore this kind of widespread hate.

    The key is not to dwell and not to ignore. Awareness is a useful tool. Ignorance on the one hand and paranoia on the other are not.

    Comment by Twistie — October 24, 2010 @ 12:56 am

  8. The fat hate continues, and for no reason I can understand. Last week I was at a conference, and during the lunch break heard one women loudly remark about me ‘Someone did not get the memo that she’s fat’. I have never met these $#%^. Rather than stew, I walked up to her and told her ‘I may be fat, but you’re ugly inside and out.’ It may not have been the best thing to do, but I felt better for a bit. But I still don’t understand why people need to be so hateful, when they know nothing about me, my lifestyle or my habits. What gives them any right to judge? I didn’t ask to be fat, but I’m making the best of it and doing fine, thank you.

    Comment by retna — October 24, 2010 @ 9:27 am

  9. Don’t worry about the fat haters.

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — October 24, 2010 @ 11:48 am

  10. When I typed “fat people” into a google search, none of the results on the first two pages offered up the kind of insulting stuff someone else was apparently able to generate. I wonder why this is so.

    Comment by annie — October 24, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

  11. @annie: I don’t know. In point of fact, I just tried it and not only did I get the same kinds of results for ‘fat people’ as the other two bloggers, the first actual site result I got for ‘fat people should’ was “Fat People Should Be Raped and Killed.” Maybe you have a kinder, gentler Google than I do. If so, I’m happy for you!

    Comment by Twistie — October 24, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  12. @dcsurfergirl: Joy Nash rawks! I had fun watching that again. I don’t think I’d watched it in at least six months. If you haven’t, be sure to check out the sequels.

    Comment by Twistie — October 24, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  13. Wow. This is scary.

    I also get some nasty ones if I type “women should”, “gay people should”, and “black people should”…

    It’s disturbing that people can be THAT hateful.

    Comment by Stephanie — October 24, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  14. @Stephanie: I don’t doubt it one bit. I haven’t worked up the intestinal fortitude to check any of those out.

    Comment by Twistie — October 24, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

  15. To state something that is probably obvious: Don’t take it for granted that most fat people would resent this the way people in the fatosphere do. It’s easy to forget, hanging around these fine blogs, how marginal an attitude fat acceptance really is.

    Nearly all fat people (and nearly all their doctors) believe that they are defective thin people, and that if, in those fabled words, they “ate less and exercised more,” they would become their true, thin selves.

    I believe most fat people would look at these Google search suggestions and, to at least some degree, agree with the attitudes behind them. And that is a huge, huge part of the problem.

    Comment by Mifty — October 25, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

  16. Though I agree the hate is out there, I think, as with many survey statistics, (especially those based on Google and its algorithms), this one is skewed from the start.

    While this community and others like it embrace the word “fat” as positive, the fact is, among the majority of web-surfing English-speakers, “fat” is still a negative term. Therefore, searching for language associated with that word is predisposed to be negative. It’s a bit like searching for “stupid people are…” and expecting to get positive content.

    For contrast, I searched for “curvy girls are/should”, “big girls are/should” “round girls are/should”, etc. and received very different results.

    Comment by Tora — October 26, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  17. I’m not surprised. Just this morning I read an article in written by a woman who wrote about how much she hated herself for being so fat and for “failing” on weight watchers, countless other diets, and even baryatric surgery–and how she’s finally got herself together and has lost 150 plus pounds and has stopped “sabotaging” herself. I wanted to comment with “Why the f**k is this published here?”, because I still don’t know if it’s supposed to be a lesson to us all, or a sad tale about buying a bill of goods like you’re supposed to. This is what passes for news now?

    Comment by ChaChaheels — October 26, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  18. I wish I could say this surprised me. However I just read this article on Marie Claire apparently reviewing a new sitcom about two overweight characters.

    So anyway, yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.
    Now, don’t go getting the wrong impression: I have a few friends who could be called plump. I’m not some size-ist jerk

    That quote really says it all.

    Comment by barbara — October 27, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  19. Anyone see the Marie Claire online edition? There’s a piece about “fat people” comparing ME to drug addicts. Im so angry Im in tears. This fits right into are talk about intolerance. What a B###CH!

    Comment by Peaches — October 27, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  20. Tora: first, I think it’s already awful that fat is a negative term in English-speaking Google-searching societies. So that may skew statistics for the REALLY bad stuff, but the fact that it’s bad at all is already a problem.

    Second, I think much of the time, for people fat and thin who hate fatness, using words like curvy, round, or big is masking the fact that they’re THINKING “fat.”

    So, really, this is just google-searching “insert polite euphemism for fat people” rather then google searching “fat people.”

    I am not happy about that.

    If we didn’t live in a fat-shaming society, we’d turn up pretty much the same results no matter what we typed.

    Comment by AnthroK8 — October 27, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

  21. I’m not some size-ist jerk

    Actually, you are.

    Comment by The gold digger — October 27, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

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