The fat's in the fire 

Q: You had to know letters would pour in from women pissed off at your blatantly fat-phobic, sexist response to the man who thought “girl love handles” created by low-rise jeans were “revolting.” You agreed with him “100 percent,” and said that women “should get the obesity epidemic under control” if we want to “flounce around in belly-and-backside-exposing pants.”

Where the holy fuck do you (or any skinny white boy) get off saying what women are or are not allowed to wear? Face the facts, King Savage: Fat women are fucking sexy. Here’s some more news, Dan, for you and all your fat-hating, sexist buddies: Women’s bodies belong to women and women only. Fuck you and your fascist beauty standards. Why the fuck should we care what you think? Contrary to popular belief, not every woman wants to bow down and worship at the temple of your penis. —Fuck All Totalitarianism

A: As much as it might pain you, FAT, you need to go back and reread BWYR’s letter and my response. He didn’t say that only fat women looked bad in low-rise jeans. He pointed out that only a “select few” women look good in low-rise jeans and begged “women who are overweight, tubby, fat, or just not properly proportioned to STOP wearing jeans that show off or create rolls!” Once more, for emphasis: Most women don’t have the kind of bodies that look good in low-rise jeans, fat or not.

In my response to BWYR, I stated that I agreed with him 100 percent — low-rise jeans are a visual blight. They look terrible on most people, particularly obese people. But pointing out that something isn’t flattering isn’t the same thing as saying that the person wearing the unflattering garment is unattractive or has to worship at the temple of my penis. God forbid. Women can, of course, wear whatever the hell they want. It’s a free country. But that “free country” shit goes both ways, FAT. BWYR and I are free to think that low-rise jeans look terrible on most people and say so in public.

Finally, I didn’t say that women have to get the obesity epidemic under control, FAT, I said that “we” do, all of us, male and female.


Q: In anticipation of a GLH backlash, I’m writing from the ranks of the non-low-rise-wearing masses to thank you for the sound fashion advice. There’s nothing misogynistic in telling it like it is. I’ve never found being a big girl a significant hurdle to getting dates, getting laid, or getting engaged, actually, to a hot, smart fella. It’s simply been a matter of working what I’ve got, rather than working what I’ve got too much of, or trying to work what I wish I had. Your advice is analogous to telling a friend she’s got spinach stuck between her otherwise perfectly lovely teeth. —Fan in Portland

A: Thanks for sharing, FIP.


Q: Take a silly, tossed-off response to a letter about “girl love handles,” mix in not one but two mentions of the obesity epidemic, and publish. The result? Thousands of women all over the country developing eating disorders, bulimia, and anorexia, all because they don’t fit some arbitrary standard of beauty. Nice job, Dan. —The Harm U Do

A: Take a hike, THUD.

It’s an article of faith that we can’t talk about how much crap we’re eating — or how awful we look in low-rise jeans — without inducing eating disorders in millions of silly and suggestible young women. But in his brilliant book Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World, Greg Critser blows this bullshit argument out of the water. “[Does] fat awareness somehow [cause] eating disorders? … The data — and the experience of physicians, health workers, and others in the field — consistently indicate otherwise,” he writes. Our obsession with anorexia, Critser goes on, not only covers up America’s true eating disorder (we eat too much and we’re too fat!), but it also hamstrings efforts to combat obesity, a condition that kills almost as many people every year as smoking does. Eating disorders, by way of comparison, lead to only a handful of deaths every year. If you’re truly concerned about the health and well-being of young women, THUD, worry more about the skyrocketing rates of obesity-related diseases in young people — like type 2 diabetes — and less about the imaginary link between anorexia and my low opinion of low-rise jeans. Jeez!


Q: FAT!SO? says fuck you!

It saddens me to know that you continue to cling to your fat-hating prejudice. The same attempts were made to stuff queers back in the closet, just as you are now attempting to stuff proud, fat rebels (and our low-rise jeans) back in our closet. Fuck you! You’re not required to like us or look at us or fuck us, but you are required to stay the hell out of the way of our liberation! My health is not in danger from my weight. (I eat right, exercise, and enjoy excellent health as a happy fat chick, no thanks to you or the fat-hating medical establishment!) However, your health may be endangered if you persist in promoting weight-based prejudice. (Really, all that stress every time you step on the scale … it can’t be good for you!)

Flabulously! —Marilyn Wann (

A: There’s a difference between hating fat people, Marilyn, and thinking fat folks don’t look so hot in low-rise jeans. (And there’s nothing “fat-hating” about being realistic about the health consequences of obesity! Please!) And frankly, I don’t see what’s so freaking “rebellious,” you fat rebel you, about wearing ill-fitting pants. And who decided low-rise jeans were fashionable anyway? The same fashionistas who set the beauty standards that are such a torment to fat people everywhere. It must please these evildoers to no end to see fat women all over the world squeezing into pants that look awful on them. A true fat rebel would ignore the low-rise dictates of the fashionistas and wear pants that flattered her larger body, leaving the low-rise pants for cigarette-smoking, chardonnay-swilling, solid-food-avoiding fashion victims out there.


Q: Please tell BWYR that he doesn’t know what the fuck he is talking about. I love women with a gut and love seeing their bare midriffs! Seeing a bit of gut hanging out of a low-rise jean makes me very hot! —Loves Soft Rolls

A: And what if seeing naked, cute, skinny guys bent over at the waist with their wrists tied to their ankles made me very hot? (Strictly a hypothetical, Mom, I swear.) Should the fact that I find this sight arousing compel others to have to view it too? Or should I be respectful of others and go to gay SM parties and/or Iraqi prisons administered by the U.S. armed forces if I want to see shit like that?


Q: If you are going to tell women that low-rise jeans only look good on a handful of people, then please also tell men that only a handful look good with no shirt at all! I would much rather be subjected to GLH than beer-gutted, love-handled, hairy-backed men all summer. —Heather

A: At the risk of inducing anorexia in millions of young men, I have to say that I agree with you 100 percent, Heather. Beer-gutted, love-handled, hairy-backed men shouldn’t go shirtless in summer. Or any other season.

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