In the fat acceptance movement, there’s what’s referred to as the good fatty/bad fatty false dichotomy (coined by Kate Harding). It’s problematic because it pits “good fatties” against “bad fatties” and implies that “good fatties” can “earn” their way out of fat oppression by exhibiting “good fatty” behavior, which is, one, not true, and, two, harmful to so-called “bad fatties.”
Being a good fatty is essentially performing fatness in a way that you’re hoping meets the approval of society. You can’t perform your way out of fat oppression. Individual behaviors will not save us and may in fact cause damage by creating a false hierarchy among oppressed people.
Others have written much more eloquently and in greater depth about this:
- Good Fatty Bad Fatty BS by Ragen Chastain
- There Are Two Kinds of Fat People by Ragen Chastain
- 12 ‘Good Fatty’ Archetypes by Stacy Bias (There’s a transcript link at the bottom of the article if you find the cartoon script difficult to read)
- 9 Ways to Defy the ‘Good Fatty’ Trope by Maria Southard Ospina
- 6 Ways I Was Taught to Be a Good Fatty (And Why I Stopped) by Kitty Stryker