Adventures on Reddit: How I discovered Hamplanets and lost part of my soul

This blog has pushed me out into the internet in a mean way — sink or swim — CONSUME ALL THE MEDIA. I noticed we were getting a lot of traffic from a site called Reddit. Having never used Reddit, I decided to mosey on over there and see what was what.

Later, I was telling this same story to a friend of mine, and when I got to the part where I said, “and so then I headed over to Reddit-”

“NO! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!”

Why, indeed.

Reddit is the Bridge under which the Trolls live.

Now, there are a few sub forums on Reddit that aren’t soul-crushing. Body Acceptance is one of those forums, and was very supportive of our recent Fitspo/Thinspo/Fatspo article. Fatosphere is also a good subreddit, though with fewer subscribers. However, on the whole, it appears REDDIT HATES FAT PEOPLE.

FatPeopleStories is #1 on TFW list of WTF: Reddit Edition. Let’s take a look at their Rules Section (underlining added by TFW):

FPS rules

Hamplanet? Hambeast? Hamentality? What do those words even mean? Maybe I should use some context clues. Let’s look at the logos:

FPS logo

A fat man on a scooter with a pizza flag

FPSlogo2

A laughing whale

A Reddit ranking button with a hamburger and an apple instead of arrows

A Reddit ranking button with a hamburger and an apple instead of arrows

Clearly, it has something to do with fat people. Or sea-going mammals. Or hamburgers. Dammit, Reddit! Explain yourself!

whatishamplanet

Like a ham needs her McDicks? Oh yeah… hamburgers again.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 9.54.17 AM

Hamplanet = Obesity + Shittitude

Hamplanet = Obesity + Shittitude

HAMPLANET = OBESITY + SHITTITUDE

Still confused? Here is further clarification:

hamplanet

This person has added “delusions” to the list of hamplanet requirements. These delusions, in the Redditverse, are known as “fat logic”:

hamplanet

To learn more about fat logic, let’s turn to #2 on TFW list of WTF: Reddit Edition — The FatLogic subreddit.

Example 1: There is an entire thread dedicated to bringing down This is Thin Privilege. The thread claims that not only does TiTP embody and embrace fatlogic, but it perpetuates it to the ruin of all. Here is an exerpt from TiTP explaining the relationship of thin privilege and health (emphasis added by TFW):

Let me make it completely clear from the outset that I do not believe ‘health,’ however defined, is a reasonable measure to determine whether or not someone deserves respect, civil rights, and fair treatment. If you have a problem with how health markets apportion your premiums or where your taxes go, then by all means, rage against the system. But do not think for a minute your assholish behavior towards people you imagine use more than their ‘fair share’ is justified.

In fact, I’ll go further and state that in my opinion the modern conception of ‘health’ is bullshit. It’s an ever-changing, largely arbitrary definition that seems to serve a single purpose: to blame modern ills on so-called ‘unhealthy’ people then define so-called ‘unhealthy’ people as unpopular social ‘deviants’ like fat people, poor people, and the disabled. The philosophy of vaunting the modern notion of ‘health’ to some kind of societal/moral imperative is called healthism.

According to the FPS subreddit, this is classic fat logic.

fatlogic

A obese person recognizes that their increased size means certain problems might arise. They anticipate and accept this. They realize that this is not “oppression” because they have the same rights to marry/adopt/own stuff/use establishments/free speech like everyone else…

… a hamplanet is defined by their delusional and self-centered perception (fat logic), not taking into account courtesy to others.

In sum, Reddit says a hamplanet is a fat person who uses fat logic to justify not taking care of themselves, as well as not taking responsibility for their unhealthy body size and the impact it has on others, and therefore has no business sticking up for themselves against the ridicule and persecution because they brought it on themselves.

My definition of “hamplanet”?

HAMPLANET:

A derogatory term used to describe a fat person who refuses to accept discrimination and derision as part of their daily existence, who strives for positive self-image amidst a mine field of prejudice and thin privilege, and who insists that no matter what someone looks like, they deserve be treated with kindness and consideration.

28 thoughts on “Adventures on Reddit: How I discovered Hamplanets and lost part of my soul

  1. Tldr hambeast whines about a dated website on the net because fee fees were hurt. Tries to redefine hamplanet because personal responsibility and reality is too hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re generalizing reddit! It’s not just hurr durr we hate everyone, there are tons of different communities for different things! Once you get past that, it’s really nice and you should look into it sometime! I promise you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

      Like

  2. Hi,
    Redditor here 🙂 Just a couple of questions for you, why are you focusing on fat acceptance movement rather than focusing on the issues in society that are leading to obesity? Such as economical/ racial/ geographical/ educational inequalities and also government corruption(favouring corporations of public health) that are directly linked to growing obesity and a decrease in quality of life. I would throw my weight behind a fat tolerance movement because I understand that you do suffer very real stigma(which is unacceptable), but a fat acceptance movement feels like we’re just turning a blind eye to these important issues. Whilst I have no problem with an individuals obesity, we can’t ignore the growing collective weight of the first world.

    Like

    • Contributor Joe here, filling in for the blog’s founder.

      Thanks for commenting.

      To answer your first question, social justice issues aren’t a zero-sum game. Just because we focus this blog on acceptance does not mean there isn’t a plethora of other aspects worth examining. Were we to prioritize societal problems and categorize them based on which were somehow worth talking about, I highly doubt that we here at The Fat Word would decide that fat shaming would be the One True Issue. But despite what some would have you believe, we think attention spans can handle more than one issue at a time. Putting one more voice on this here internet that advocates for the chubby folk is something we consider a worthy cause.

      Next, a lot of your response kind of hinges on the fact that fat is bad, which is a bit antithetical to our message. While it’s true that obesity (which is a strictly medical term that isn’t interchangeable with fatness, by the way) is an issue in this country and has several causes up to an including some of those you’ve listed, the fact of the matter is that fatness isn’t exclusive to, say, the working poor such as ourselves whose circumstances often lead to fatness.

      In short (too late), yes; there are several issues inherent in our society that are making people bigger, but our point is less that “it’s not my fault!”, and more “stop treating people like crap.”

      Thanks for reading, and double thanks for commenting.

      Like

      • Thanks for you’re reply.

        I think you’ve misunderstood me a little. I’m fully aware of social issues and am not here to prioritize anything. I’m here to argue that in promoting fat “acceptance” and saying that fat is OK, you take any attempt to address the underlying issues that cause obesity as a personal attack on you as a fat person. I feel in this way the fat “acceptance” movement is counter-productive to the overall aim of equality and borderline defeatist in the face of the underlying issues. A fat “tolerance” movement would be far more beneficial overall. In this way we could promote the better treatment of fat/overweight/obese people whilst also highlighting the issues behind obesity and work towards eradicating them.

        We need to start seeing obesity for what it is, which in my opinion(based on my own personal battle with being overweight) is substance abuse. Why has 60% of the population turned to abusing food? Where did we go wrong?

        I would love to hear your opinion on this and please no that I’m not here to shame anybody or force my views onto anyone else. I only wish to engage in discussion 🙂

        Like

      • I’m here to argue that in promoting fat “acceptance” and saying that fat is OK, you take any attempt to address the underlying issues that cause obesity as a personal attack on you as a fat person. I feel in this way the fat “acceptance” movement is counter-productive to the overall aim of equality and borderline defeatist in the face of the underlying issues.

        The problem isn’t that we’re taking offense because people want promote public health. The problem is that fat people are being demeaned, ostracized, and ridiculed in the name of “public health”. A person’s health should be separated from their value as a person, along with their weight, economic status, or anything else they may or may not have purported control over. A person, no matter their size, deserves to be treated with respect and compassion. If someone is genetically fat, or fat through their own habits — neither should warrant discrimination and mistreatment.

        It’s no one’s place to tell someone to lose weight, that’s a decision they need to make for themselves. It’s perfectly fine to try and provide information and support, but I’ve found that many (not all, mind you) opponents of FA misuse research and debate tactics to create a hostile environment where “hamplanets” use “fatlogic” to ignore reason, science, yada yada, to maintain a slothful, gluttonous lifestyle. We are dehumanized. This, of course, causes an emotional, frustrated backlash.

        Like

    • Question for the redditor – why do you think that fat people have an obligation to focus on anything while YOUR peers are heaping hatred on complete strangers for kicks? Why do you think you have a right to tell other human beings what their focus should be in the face of constant abuse and threats?
      Why are you worried about what fat people are doing so much? What business is it of yours?
      Perhaps if you focused on calling out your peers on reddit for their horrific behaviour, we might have the time and resources to actually look at other issues, rather than constantly protecting ourselves from the the stream of abuse we receive.

      Like

      • We don’t hate ‘complete strangers’ , we don’t hate fat people, ( many in our community are or where once fat . We hate their mentality , how they outwardly project their problems on others, and then get angry when it doesn’t get fixed, we get frustrated with the constant excuses , and misuse of medical complications such as diabetes , to remain the same and complain about it ( I.e. They have type two diabetes but say the have to “keep my sugars up”, when in fact they should be trying to keep there sugars low).
        TL:DR – we don’t hate fat people , we hate people who whine about something they have control over but refuse to fix.

        Like

      • “Question for the redditor – why do you think that fat people have an obligation to focus on anything”
        No where did she state that anyone has an obligation to do anything. Merely pointed out where the focus seems to lie within the FA community, and asking why it isn’t elsewhere.

        “while YOUR peers are heaping hatred on complete strangers for kicks?”
        Pretty sure it’s irrational to hold one person accountable for what random internet strangers do. She can’t speak for them, nor did she come to this blog to speak to them. If you want to address those people you should go to the subreddits that were linked to on this very blog. If you don’t want to address them specifically, don’t heap all your frustrations on a random non-fatshamer who happens to post on reddit.

        “Why do you think you have a right to tell other human beings what their focus should be in the face of constant abuse and threats?”
        She didn’t. At all. What she did do it state her *opinion* on the topic in a civil and respectful way. That’s what comment sections are for.

        “Why are you worried about what fat people are doing so much? What business is it of yours?”
        Pretty sure everyone is a part of this dialogue, since the changes FA wants to see happen can’t happen in a vacuum. You do your cohorts no favors by banning civil conversation amongst people of all sizes.

        “Perhaps if you focused on calling out your peers on reddit for their horrific behaviour, we might have the time and resources to actually look at other issues, rather than constantly protecting ourselves from the the stream of abuse we receive.”
        Right. Remind me again why you’re being hostile to someone who was not hostile?
        Seems hypocritical to me that you are using people who aren’t even on this page to attack someone who as far as I can tell, is not a part of the problem you are bringing up.

        Like

      • That’s a pretty big assumption you’re making there. My handle on reddit is Macklelight, feel free to check me out. You’ll see that most of my comments are calling people out on their bullshit and drawing attention to the underlying issues that I’ve mentioned. I’m more of an ally than you think. I just don’t believe an acceptance movement is the correct way to approach this issue. If we say it’s ok It’s ok to be fat, you’re saying that the problems causing people to be fat are ok too! That’s acceptance! Tolerance is a much better approach as it allows us to address the issues whilst also promoting a better understanding and respect of larger people. Because whether you want to believe it or not, from an environmental point of view we can’t afford sustain our ever expanding waste lines. We are already existing far beyond our means and we have a responsibility to future generations.

        As for my concern for fat people, until the age 18 I was an extremely athletic person. All that changed when I found myself in control of my own life. Over the space of three years I had undone 15 years of exercise and found myself in the overweight catagory. Now I know that even at my biggest I wasn’t that big but that’s mainly because I managed to change my habits before they became uncontrollable. But I still found myself extremely depressed, I knew what I was missing out on in life but didn’t feel that I had the strength to do anything about it. I tried to diet just to conform to societies standards of beauty but I could never maintain the weight with that as my only reason. All that changed when I witnessed my grandfather pass away. I asked myself would I be happy with what I’ve accomplished in life if I died tomorrow and the answer was no. Since that day I’ve set out to make the most life. I’ve travelled the world, watched the sun rise over Mt Everest, walked an original section of the Great Wall of China, gone barefoot in the Taj Mahal, run a half marathon in the Mongolian plains and so much more! I could die tomorrow knowing that I’ve truly made the most of my life. I could never have accomplished what I’ve done in my life if I was overweight or obese. This is why I care so much. I want people to break free from the oppressive chains of western society and start living rewarding lives. To be able to come to the end of your lives and be happy with the life you’ve led.

        The reason why I’m work concerned with the underlying issues is because I’ve fought them to become what I am today. In three years I destroyed 15 years of hard work, thats insane. Everything in our society is set up to make us gain weight. It’s all so broken. But accepting fat isn’t the answer to our problems. We need to challenge the institutions that have failed us not give them free reign to do whatever they want.

        I hope this answered your questions and I look forward to your reply.

        Like

      • If we say it’s ok It’s ok to be fat, you’re saying that the problems causing people to be fat are ok too!

        I think this is one of the primary points of disagreement. Health problems that are co-morbid with metabolically unhealthy obesity are being tied to the the personalities of said people, and then generalized to others who may or may not be metabolically unhealthy. It will be really hard to get any traction on the issue as long as people feel stigmatized in this way.

        Like

    • This is more or less a reply for Owen’s whole thread. Sorry for jumping in a year late on a thread that may have been partially frozen. I just felt like no one was saying what seemed obvious to me.

      While I’m on board with fat acceptance as a bodily autonomy and human dignity issue, at first I honestly kinda agreed with Owen, as someone who intersectionally is very into class issues. You gave your life story Owen, well here’s mine. I grew up poor, my single mom sometimes needing food stamps to feed us. She tried her hardest and could stretch a buck further than anyone and made home-cooked meals even when she was exhausted from work, but sometimes even then there wasn’t enough food. My mom is fat. I knew she wasn’t overeating, because she’d have to go without sometimes just so I could eat. (The “loving your child” diet.) She was also unhappy and self-conscious about her weight. She did exercise when I was younger, having a home routine which included, among other exercises, 400 situps a day. This did have some effect, the problem was it was impossible to keep up with all the other things a single working mom has to do. And though my mom cared a lot about health, and I wasn’t even allowed processed sugar until I was older, poverty and food subsidization pushed us more and more and more onto crappy food full of sugar and carbs. We ate what we could afford to eat, and I was defensive about that, about hipster snobs looking down on our “poor people food” and thinking we were worse for it.

      As I got older and experienced more of the world, in its varying class strata, I realized that rich people’s dogs eat better than poor people. (This is literally true. I’ve dogsat for rich people, those dogs get organic pastured raw meat.) And instead of feeling defensive about my garbage, I started getting angry that someone with a lot of power thought all me and my family deserved was garbage unfit for livestock. I saw how the supermarkets in different neighborhoods literally sold different items, and that it did correlate with the physiques of the shoppers there. I saw how much obesity was literally tortured into people with lack of access to real food, no time or space to enjoy exercising even for those who want to, and brutal sleep deprivation wreaking havoc on the hormones. I’m accepting of fat people, I’m even cool with people with feeder fetishes who get fat on purpose. What makes me boiling angry is that people aren’t getting a choice, and that poor people’s lives are being shortened by those who don’t think they’re worth getting to eat people food. I think it’s fair to say that we shouldn’t accept food deserts and subsidization of high fructose corn syrup, and it’s burying one’s head in the sand to say that being fat isn’t sometimes a side-effect of those things. When gaining weight is an involuntary consequence of poverty, that isn’t respecting people’s bodily autonomy. I feel like it doesn’t do poor people a lot of good to have middle-class people who eat well and exercise and get sleep and are also fat preaching how everything is fine and the only problem is a few mean people. Everything is not fine. I think activism has to be intersectional, and fat politics are a lot more complicated than middle-class people getting to feel beautiful. It’s intersectional with poverty, disability, imperialism and loss of access to traditional foods for native peoples. Sometimes being fat is not just how people are, but a symptom of a war being waged against them by a much more powerful group. These are parts of the issue that shouldn’t be dismissed as unimportant. If middle class and above people get access to food that won’t make them fat and I don’t, that’s the wound getting hated on for being fat would rub salt in.

      (And yes, I went from overweight to an ideal weight when I started eating what rich people ate. It also made the effects of chronic illness less severe. And it isn’t cheap.)

      But Owen, you really lose me on the touching Eat, Pray, Love story of deciding to travel and become fit. Firstly, you decided that these aren’t things you could do while fat–but a lot of people could travel or do whatever it is that’s on their bucket list while fat, and if they’re happy and feel fulfilled, it isn’t for you to judge that. You may not be hitting other people’s bucket lists either. But honestly, most people aren’t trying to fill out a bucket list, because they don’t have that incredible privilege. They’re just trying to survive. And just surviving without being fulfilled is terrible, yes, but welcome to capitalism. Capitalism is the problem here, not fatness. Most people don’t have the money to do all that traveling. Personally not only do I not have the money, but I get shit when going through international borders because I have a criminal record from things I’ve had to do just to survive in the past. (Literally it was stealing food. I’m not kidding. And no I wasn’t fat, I was starving.) And lacking certain markers of legitimacy also raises red flags–even if I could raise money for the plane ticket, no one would let me in their country. That’s the same no matter what weight I am. Lucky you that the only thing you felt was between you and an ideal life was a few pounds. For a lot of people, those few pounds aren’t going to make much of a difference.

      You also seem to equate being fat with environmental damage, which I find truly confusing? Fat people don’t exude more toxic waste than thin people. If anything, fat people tend to be poor, and poor people by definition have a smaller carbon footprint. What habits they are forced into that are harmful are engineered by billionaires and designed to not allow them leeway for alternatives. I agree that what’s going on with the environment is not sustainable, but I don’t see how people being thinner will change that. Thin people can be every bit as destructive. Look at the monocropping of quinoa causing erosion and destruction of farmland in Bolivia, and the huge carbon cost to transport it from there, and thank a thin vegan.

      So I kinda see parts of both sides. It IS messed up that we live in a system that can mess with our bodies without our consent, leading to a whole host of health problems and also obesity as a visible and stigmatizing side-effect. (Note that I’m saying that the strain of poverty and shitty food options makes people sick and also fat, not that being fat makes a person sick.) People deserve not to be made sick just for being poor, that’s part of having basic human dignity. So if fatness is one of the symptoms and we’re being told it’s fine, I’m with Owen that nah, it’s not fine, capitalism is not fine, not having access to healthy food is not fine, being treated like expendable, disposable labor is not fine. But Owen, you also gotta realize that being thin is not everyone’s bucket list dream, and people are allowed to be happy without being thin, and it’s not really your business or place to butt in if they are. There’s little enough happiness in this world, don’t add weird false barriers to it like you must be this thin to party. If someone can hit that level of contentment that you have in yourself while being fat, good for them. Personally, I’m an ideal weight and still miserable, so I know from experience that being fit, thin and athletic doesn’t buy happiness.

      Like

  3. Redditor here.

    Just a quick question for you all. Where do you stand on the fact that obesity does lead to medical conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes, joint pain etc.? I know that there are other factors that lead to this. I was over 310 lbs with borderline diabetic, sleep apnea and I caused permanent damage to my left knee from all of the weight. I have lost quite a bit. Also one last question. Why does the fat acceptance movement consider doctors to be fat shaming if they are only concerned about your health in the long run?

    Like

    • The thing is that correlation does not equal causation. There are many health issues “linked” to obesity that may not in fact be caused by obesity. There are studies out there to suggest that some of those health problems can be attributed to yo-yo dieting instead. Our constant struggle to conform to what society says we “should” look like is putting undue stress on our bodies. Another assumption that people make is that the fat came first. This is not always the case. Some issues, like PCOS, joint pain, Chronic Fatigue syndrome, etc., make it harder to be as active as one would like to be. Therefore making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it.

      I’m a woman with PCOS (polysystic ovarian syndrome. It comes with imbalanced hormones and makes it harder for me to lose weight because there are also connections to diabetes). I am fairly active at work and exercise 2-3 times a week. I love vegetables and I have a pretty well rounded diet. I’m still 250 pounds of woman. And everyone who weighs 250 pounds carries it in different ways. A football player at 250 lbs isn’t considered at an unhealthy weight because that weight is primarily muscle. Another individual might carry that weight mostly in their middle. My weight is partially muscle and partially fat. I have very little fat on my legs. I regularly lift items at work that are 50+ pounds. I’m strong and relatively healthy, aside from the hormones. But I’m still fat. And I’m pretty sure my fat isn’t producing the excess testosterone in my body.

      What the fat acceptance movement wants is for people to stop presuming we are unhealthy simply because we are fat. We might be perfectly healthy. We might have health issues. But that’s not really anyone’s business but our own. We still need to be treated like humans and not “hambeasts.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Purposefully misrepresenting those that will not swallow your bullshit pie whole? Crass, if unsurprising.

    Truth is, /r/fatlogic doesn’t hate fat people. Most /r/fatlogic members are, in fact, fat.
    Even in your cherry-picked view of the sites listed, you:

    1) Had to stick to TTIP’s mission statement rather than link to their actual content, which is full of hatred toward anyone thinner than themselves (try running a search for “skinny bitches” – but be forewarned: results might take years to come up), denial of science (“I don’t eat, but I’m still fat!”), entitlement (there’s an actual post about how thin people should buy 2 plane seats to accomodate eventual fat seatmates – because “thin privilege” means all thin people are rich, you see), idiocy (Samwell Tarly posted there. The mods accepted the submission as genuine) and general entitlement (fat women should be considered “hot”, but men need to be thin and muscular or they’re not real men!).

    2) Couldn’t find actual hatred on /r/fatlogic and deliberately strawmanned the few examples you listed.

    Personally, and I think that’s a pretty common stance on /r/fatlogic, I don’t care about your weight.
    You want to eat a North Korean family’s year-long supply in a day and lose the ability to ambulate on your own legs? Be my guest.
    But I will take issue if, to assuage your shame, you claim to have a magical body that somehow creates calories out of thin air.
    If you make Science your enemy, don’t be surprised some people will stand up to defend it.
    Another thing I’ll take issue with is if you try to discourage (or even disparage) other fat people from losing weight. Telling them it’s impossible, only 5% manage to,… and the rest of the Health at Every Size (But Seriously, Fuck Those Skinny Bitches) myth.

    Like

    • This comment demonstrates two things. One, you know very little about both the body acceptance and HAES movements (including that they are very different and separate from one another). Two, you think it’s worth your time to defend the fat logic subreddit to me, like you could ever change my opinion about a group of people who actively ridicule and deride fat people 24/7. Even if your science was good and more valid than science on the other side of the argument, even if the people there really want to help… You all are doing a shitty job of “helping”.

      Like

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