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The Left’s new 'social justice' push comes with an early death wish

Obesity, unhealthy weight. Nutritionist inspecting a woman's waist using a meter tape to prescribe a weight loss diet.
Obesity, unhealthy weight. Nutritionist inspecting a woman's waist using a meter tape to prescribe a weight loss diet. | iStock/peakSTOCK

The latest “victimized” class to air their grievances against America?

Fat Liberationists.

I mean, if rational thinking, delayed gratification, and hard work have all been tagged as perilous attributes of “whiteness,” what made you think that today’s woke ideologues wouldn’t wag their stubby fingers at healthy eaters next?

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Well, the fingers they are a-wagging, and there is corporate support behind the new movement to boot.

The soap company Dove, for instance, recently linked up with a 22-year-old college student named Zyahna Bryant to be the company’s envoy for fat people.  

“My belief is that we should be centering the voices and the experiences of the most marginalized people and communities at all times,” Bryant started off in an Instagram video announcing her partnership with the beauty business.

“So, when I think about what fat liberation looks like to me, I think about centering the voices of those who live in and who maneuver through spaces and institutions in a fat body.”

Bryant concluded her post with the message that fat liberation is something “we should all be talking about” and encouraged her followers join the #SizeFreedom campaign and “share your story.”

Notice how these so-called “marginalized” voices always end up with lucrative corporate deals?

Funny how that works.

In any event, if Zyahna Bryant sounds like your typical whiny leftist but with a sweet tooth, you’d be correct.

She’s thrown her weight behind the “defund the police” crusade put on by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and is likewise a big backer of racial preferences in college admissions.

Bryant described the Supreme Court as “doing nasty and evil work” after striking down affirmative action and intoned that “policing as a system/institution needs to be defunded – and cops should be removed from schools.”

She also instructed her followers during “Pride” month (summer?) that “it’s not enough to say you support queer folks and gender-expansive people, your actions must also align with that declaration.”

There are more political ramblings, but I’m not sure you can stomach as many progressive hobbyhorses as she can.

Bottom line: The Left has an unsatiable appetite to, as film critic Christian Toto observed, “make America appear more [sinful] than it actually is and support efforts to right fictional wrongs.”

And what could be more “fictional” than arguing for a new elevated status contingent upon the number of loyalty points one racks up at Pizza Hut.   

Yet that’s what’s happening, so to speak.

  • One writer for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance petitioned readers to embrace “fat liberation” by “prioritizing” relationships with those “who are very fat (some of whom identify as superfat or infinifat),” especially if the “superfat” person happens to be a homosexual.  
  • Retail stores like Old Navy have launched “BodEquality” initiatives, which supposedly are designed to “shape diversity” and “create an increasingly inclusive experience” for plus-size shoppers.
  • The famed New York Fashion Week now features runway models who boast a morbidly obese 49-inch waist size.
  • And in academia, there are calls to eradicate the word “obesity” altogether and instead use the nomenclature “people in larger bodies.”

What’s clear is that if an agenda can fit into an “oppression narrative,” the left will give it a platform, no matter how outlandish the claim is.

It’s the reason why progressives are so hot on the concept of “intersectionality” — because it allows them to take disparate groups and toss them into the same victimization bowl of soup.

That’s why “‘fat is a feminist issue,’” as the far-left Ms. Magazine put it.

And why “fat,” to them, is “also a queer issue, and a racialized issue, and an issue of class.”  

“Fatness is inseparable from all other intersections of identity.”

This, in a nutshell, is wokeism — a nasty belief system that tries to convince Americans that they are in war with each other based on certain attributes, notably skin color, gender, sexuality, and evidently body mass index.

Public Enemy No. 1 in this war, let’s not forget, is the straight, white, Christian male. He’s inevitably the bad guy, no matter what.

Overall, though, the woke crowd doesn’t approach obesity from the perspective of poor dietary choices or physical inactivity.

Rather, it’s yet another example of repressive Western traditions — and more fodder for why those traditions must be torn down and built anew.

Okay, whatever.

The nagging question I have throughout the sermonizing is this: What exactly are these folks being liberated from — a long and healthy life?

The Journal of the American Heart Association released a study this month that revealed how “obesity-related cardiovascular disease deaths tripled between 1999 and 2020 in the U.S.”


“The number of people with obesity is rising in every country across the world,” warned Zahra Raisi-Estabragh, a cardiologist and the primary author of the report.

He added that “our study is the first to demonstrate that this increasing burden of obesity is translating into rising heart disease deaths.” 

I’ll ask it again — what is the “liberation” play here?

To Make Heart Attacks Great Again?

Unfortunately, these mortality totals are likely to increase further because the percentage of obese adults have jumped within the last year alone. 

The sad irony here is that obesity is a “racialized issue,” but not as the left portrays it.

The Journal of the American Heart Association noted that “obesity-related cardiovascular disease deaths were higher among black individuals compared with any other racial group” analyzed.

And when you drill down deeper into the data, you’ll find that “Black women had the highest rates of obesity-related heart disease deaths than all others in the study.”

Black women like Zyahna Bryant, Dove’s fat ambassador.  

Of course, not everyone has to look like Tom Brady or his supermodel ex, Gisele Bundchen.

But we don’t have to eat our way to an early grave either.

It’s important to remember that obsessional attitudes toward food — gluttony, in particular — is still a cardinal sin (Proverbs 23:19-21, Philippians 3:19).

As Christians, we should love everyone, regardless of their size and weight.

However, we shouldn’t normalize any sinful behavior, let alone one that will kill people before their time and render them sick and miserable while they’re here on earth.

Originally published at the Standing for Freedom Center. 

Jason Mattera is a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy-nominated journalist. Follow him on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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