Fat Jokes are ok again, if you are bad

A small thing, but why did the OP find it appropriate to comment on the chubbiness of Rittenhouse’s cheeks? Whether it was simple fatphobic mocking of his appearance, or more insidious fatphobic rhetorical linking of chubbiness to moral depravity, either way it’s completely inappropriate.

I think the image the OP is trying to conjure is one of youthfulness and innocence, like a boy who hasn’t quite reached a mature-looking physical frame, or perhaps even the Greco-Roman depiction of a cherub that represents godliness. It’s supposed to be an ironic imagery that conservatives often trot out at trials of young white men who have ruined the lives of others, but often have the mercy of the court lest they themselves have their lives ruined by a guilty verdict.

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Dude shot and killed two people… FFS.

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…with a gun he shouldn’t have had in a place where he had no business being.

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Kenan Thompson Reaction GIF by Saturday Night Live

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His cheeks are chubby. His hair is brown. His skin is white.
His soul is stained.
But I think you might be reading more into a mere description of physical characteristics than Mark intended. I interpreted it, like @knoxblox , more as a reference to the description of youth. And inferred innocence.

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It’s a phrase used in colloquial US English to describe a child-like face. FWIW it’s often seen as a positive/cute trait and used to describe babies and dolls. You would rarely see it used to describe an overweight person if they are being morally disparaged because it wouldn’t convey contempt effectively. Our collective body dysmorphias have weird resonances for sure though. And basically any body description can be part of that so :woman_shrugging:

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Yes, basically a less highfalutin way of saying “cherubic”. Me, I’d call him a homicidal White Power Cabbage Patch Kid.

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See Also:

Brock Turner, the rapist.

Ethan Couch, the “affluenza” teen. (His mom aided and abetted his criminal attempts to evade the law also. Go figure. :man_shrugging: )

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In that case, the word “cherubic” literally exists, and actually connotes the things you describe.

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Exactly. He’s an absolute piece of shit, so why describe him in fatphobic terms that catch innocent folks in the crossfire and damn them by association with him, FFS?

Would it be okay if they called him limp-wristed, swarthy, hook-nosed, buxom, or other epithets that do more harm to other folks than to the person being labelled?

@TornPaperNapkin

38 year speaker of colloquial American English here, and I’ve never heard “chubby” use to connote “childlike” and not “fat.” I’ve heard it used to describe babies and children, obviously, but exclusively when commenting (not necessarily disparagingly) on their fatness.

Anyway, this piece of shit’s chubbiness has zero relation to his being a piece of shit, and is irrelevant. Bringing up irrelevant physical markers when describing criminal pieces of shit is 1.) bad writing and 2.) pretty much exclusively a tool used to oppress groups of folks by associating them with moral depravity.

I’m not really a fan of the word chubby either, but do you really believe that saying that his cheeks are chubby is the same as calling him fat?

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baby mask

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He’s not being described in “fatphobic” terms…

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TBF, the first thing that comes to mind in my case is baby fat, but I luv baby fat.

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Congratulations on your purchase of a thesaurus.

I don’t really care whether people refer to Rittenhouse as chubby-cheeked, boyish, baby-faced or cherubic. I doubt his victims do either.

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Who it was legally okay to call looters or rioters or anything but victims, but god forbid someone should comment on Rittenhouse’s face.

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Imma just going to use the phrase “fat-faced fascist fuck”

he deserves no better.

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Fat Jokes are ‘ok’ again, if you’re bad a dick.

FTFY

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Congratulations on your purchase of a thesaurus.

It’s a pretty common word. Most of us wouldn’t need a thesaurus to pull up that word.

I don’t really care whether people refer to Rittenhouse as chubby-cheeked, boyish, baby-faced or cherubic. I doubt his victims do either.

I care about minimizing harm to folks. And I care about the language we use. This isn’t about being nice to Rittenhouse or to his victims, it’s about not perpetuating further harm to other folks, in this case fat folks.

To put it in terms even a proudly apathetic person who doesn’t care about other people might understand, if the OP had described Rittenhouse as a “Brainspore-looking motherfucker,” you might not appreciate them making the association.

When such thoughtless associations are made with broader groups of people, especially already maligned people, the potential for harm likewise broadens. When the local news never bothers to mention the race of white criminals, but invariably and unnecessarily mentions the race of Black criminals, it reinforces cultural associations of Blackness with criminality. Likewise, unnecessarily harping on the chubbiness of Rittenhouse (or Trump, or whoever), is both cruel to individual non-fascist fat people, and perpetuates shitty cultural ideas linking fatness to immorality, lack of self-control, etc.

As with all things, intention matters less than impact.