Fat hate, Deborah Coddington, and The Herald: a match made in troll heaven

This is a first, people.  Today we award someone not merely the distinction of being Officially Scum; we have our inaugural Official Scum and Bar.

Not content with merely using gang-rape as a metaphor for being asked tricky questions, everyone’s favourite former-ACT-MP-and-hater-of-AZIAN-CRYME Deborah Coddington has outdone herself.

And she hasn’t even had the fucking guts to own her bullshit.

As seen at The F-Word, and also covered at Life on Fats, she’s penned regurgitated this little bit of bollocks in the Granny Herald:

Finally, an expert on human nutrition brave enough to tell us what we don’t want to hear – it’s our fault if we’re fat.

[A]long came John Birkbeck of Massey University, adjunct professor in human nutrition, who told journalist Geraldine Johns in this newspaper: “You can’t get over-fat without eating more calories than you expend.”

And this: “You do not see fat people in concentration camps. Why? Because they get hardly anything to eat and they have to do a lot of work.

National MP Maurice Williamson must be muttering into his whiskers. Two years ago he was pilloried for saying virtually the same thing: “If some people can’t lose weight no matter what, how come there were no fat people in Nazi concentration camps?

Williamson was correct then, and Birkbeck’s correct now, but of course he’s already angered the Eating Difficulties Education Network.

I just think it’s really courageous for someone to not only tell fat people “hey, those Jews were all skinny and shit after forced labour in concentration camps under a fascist regime trying to exterminate their entire culture”, but to use quotes from other people to do it.

Coddington is of course full of shit:

Spokeswoman Maree Burns called Birkbeck’s comments “flagrant, inappropriate, intolerant and offensive”, adding “shaming and blaming people has never been effective”.

But actually it has. Look what we do to smokers. We treat them like lepers, forcing them out into the street, away from bars and restaurants. Two decades ago it was acceptable to smoke on planes, in offices and pubs. Now everywhere is proudly a smokefree environment.

And no one smokes any more, which would have been the conclusion if her argument were anywhere in the vicinity of Consistenttown.

But Coddington’s from a special school of thought, the kind that says “we need to get the homeless off our streets” not out of compassion but because they make the place look untidy.  I don’t actually think she cares about health, or nutrition, she just doesn’t want to have to look at fat people because she thinks they’re icky.

Sidebar: Due to my strange obsession with Next Top Model in all its variations, this I found actually funny:

These days, it’s the skinny, flat-chested girls who are shamed on television modelling competitions. She must be anorexic, we gasp, if we see a hip bone or a rib.

Which is why NZNTM was won by a size 14 girl and Ruby, constantly pilloried for being a chub, was informed by Nigel Barker that she was 20 pounds too light for plus-size modelling.

Anyway, Coddington is clearly well-prepped for the assertion that she hates fat people, so like the real-life concern troll she is she’s quick to mention (on page 2):

I don’t mind if people are overweight. I don’t judge their personality by their size, but I care if they’re unhappy. I feel sorry for fat children if they’re bullied at school – they’ll feel miserable, be reluctant to do sport, eat more to compensate and so the vicious cycle begins until they become obese adults.

But molly-coddling won’t help. Tough love works with treating other addictions – we should use it on food addictions.

We’ve got a real “judging” meme going on this week.  Coddington doesn’t judge you for being fat, she just knows (crystal ball? Power of Three?) that you must be unhappy about being fat, and you’re only fat because no one’s made you put down the Snickers and Coke.

I would direct Ms Coddington to the stellar works of Kate Harding or Marianne Kirby, but I don’t think she’d actually care to learn that being fat is not the end of the world and there is life after “normal”-size clothes.

And just to round things off, a few classics (I swear, Coddington’s been attending how-to-bingo-fat-people seminars or something):

So how about some incentives for losing weight? If you’re a smoker you pay more for life insurance because you’re a greater risk. But I don’t get any discount on my ACC levies or my medical insurance despite my BMI being 22.

If I fly with excess baggage I’m charged extra, yet the gut from the guy next to me could be rolling over the armrest into my seat, so why shouldn’t he pay extra for his 130kg of bodyweight?

Death camps, BMI and airline seats (which are, we all know, totally designed to be spacious and comfortable) all in one go.  It’s how you spot the most-practised trolls, they produce such brilliant, perfect examples of hateful crap – but can’t resist nasty little shots right at the end:

Yes, I know why, because it would hurt his feelings. He has every right to be a big, fat slob. And people like me who don’t eat more than we need should just shut up and pay.

Yep, no judging fat people here, Coddington!

And if anyone’s gearing up to say “but she totally has a point!” I leave you with this excellent comment by Rachel at The F-Word:

If weight loss were as easy as controlling one’s environment and food intake, then why do people like her have to resort to using Jewish Holocaust death camps to “prove” their points. I mean, how much more ridiculously extreme can you get?

And just on that BMI thing?

Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts? 27.3 – overweight
Batista, current WWE champion? 33.5 – obese
Beatrice Faumuina, New Zealand Olympian? 36.5 – obese
Stacey Jones, Warriors halfback? 28.0 – overweight
Dan Carter, All Black and underwear model? 28.7 – overweight

Definitely people who should be paying higher health insurance premiums.


  1. A-mazed

    Great stuff, I like the way your mind works. this is troll 101 for sure, she is ugly not to mention arrogant so maybe we should be able to shoot her…oh the irony!

  2. Kell

    Especially galling is that there were, in fact, fat people in Concentration camps, including people who died of starvation. (Malnutrition can cause death even in people who still have fat on their bodies.) Anyone who’s seen pictures of the dead (pray first, and afterward) will not that many of the women, especially, are not obviously emmaciated.

    A review of Ancel Key’s study of the mechanics of starvation (as an adjunct to humanitarian efforts after WWII would be appropriate, too.

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