You can read all about the dust-up The F Word, and see JLH's response at Feministe.
I'm sort of impressed- it took until almost comment 40 before someone started in with the fat shaming.
Thank you, Mike at 39, for these sage words of wisdom:
In other words, when someone on the fat positive side says “fat is beautiful,” they could mean one or both of two things. 1) Fat people are beautiful, or 2) Shut the fuck up and stop telling me how to live my life to please your eyes.
I’m totally down with (2), but (1) depends on something that just isn’t true. Fat isn’t beautiful, and let’s all admit something here — we all date people of attractiveness that is comparable to our own. If you’re a 7, you commonly date 6s, 7s and 8s. If you’re a 10, you date 9s and 10s.
This is a slightly different, and more honest, tactic than traditional fat-shaming, which tends to run more "but fat is unhealthy!" Mike's point is pretty explicit- he doesn't think that fat is beautiful. While I sort of appreciate the honesty involved there, there's the problem of universalizing our opinions. It's fine if Mike doesn't find fat beautiful, because nobody is trying to force him to. If he doesn't want to date someone that weighs over a certain number, that's his business. It's not his business to start gerneralizing about other people's feelings, though.
The point of the "fat is beautiful" movement isn't to try to convince people like Mike that they're wrong, it's to try to fight the overwhelming social message that tells us that even the slightest bit of weight ruins your attractiveness. That carrying some weight drops you from a 10 to a 7 (or lower). It's about recognizing that, even if you don't find a particular person attractive, other people might, and it's not your place to tear that person down.
Of course, a few comments later we get the typical fat-scaring technique in action: I know someone that works in health care, and it happens all the time! People come in that are morbidly obese! They weigh over 400 lbs!. They had to install a crane! *GASP!*
The response, when told to stop, was almost amusing:
sorry to hear you writing off the people my husband treats every day on the plea that it is beneath you to think about how they might be helped, or what about our society is creating this problem, which is likely a species of the same thing creating anorexia, which we normally get the horrors about around here.
The thread was about Jennifer Love Hewitt's criticism of a tabloid journal for talking about her "fat" ass, not about morbid obesity. I know that it's difficult for some people to understand, but not every post that mentions the word "fat" needs to turn into a discussion of "OMG! FAT PEOPLE ARE IN DANGER!"