More than a decade after claiming Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to combat childhood obesity was the “nanny state” in overdrive, Fox News now has nothing but praise for the former first lady’s campaign.
Why? Because they can now use it to bash a sex therapist who believes a “white supremacist hierarchy” is behind society’s beauty standards that revolve around thinness.
During Friday’s broadcast of Fox News’ midday roundtable show Outnumbered, the panel largely mocked “FatCon,” an upcoming Philadelphia conference celebrating obesity and body positivity. The “fat-friendly” two-day event will feature discussions about fatphobia, fashion, and social media influencers, while also featuring fitness classes and clothing swaps.
The conference will be capped off with a speech from “The Fat Sex Therapist” Sonalee Rashatwar, described as a “superfat queer bisexual non-binary therapist” who specializes in “treating sexual trauma, diet trauma, racial or immigrant trauma” while “offering fat positive sexual healthcare.”
Calling the idea of a fat-positive conference “offensive,” the Fox hosts also claimed that booking Rashatwar was nothing more than a ploy by the conference organizers to draw “attention” to the event.
“They’re trying to create their own idea of what beauty is. And the best way to get attention is to drop ‘white supremacy,’ drop ‘racism,’ drop those words and you get attention to the cause,” anchor Harris Faulkner declared, adding: “We don’t want to normalize this condition—people fight with this their whole lives, they lean on the healthcare system because they are dealing with this disorder. They don’t see themselves honestly and they want the world to be with them, if you will. So they divide us on the issue by using words like white supremacy.”
Fox News contributor and Outkick host Tomi Lahren, who once demanded that Michelle Obama “sit down” and be quiet, not only invoked the former first lady’s push to get children to eat healthier and exercise more but she applauded the effort.
“We’ve got two things in pop culture: we’ve got the glorification of extreme thinness and then the glorification of obesity,” Lahren said. “And we don’t have a middle ground where it’s like, you don’t have to be stick thin, but you probably shouldn’t be overweight to the point where it impacts your health. We don’t have that happy medium represented. That’s a big part of the problem.”
“But talking about this whole white supremacy angle, I can’t help but think about Michelle Obama who pioneered, in her time in the White House, health and fitness,” she continued. “That was her directive, that is what she put forth, and that was her mission. So to now call health and fitness a tool of white supremacy, I think we’re forgetting that Michelle Obama tried to usher that in, and to her credit, that was a great platform to have.”
She concluded: “So enough of this white supremacy, enough of this ‘it has to be political,’ let’s just teach young people and all people that there is a happy medium, let’s represent that and explain why that’s important instead of the two extremes on either side.”
While Lahren commended Obama on Friday over her “great platform,” the conservative cable giant she works for railed against the “Let’s Move” campaign when it was launched in 2010.
Then-Fox News star Glenn Beck, for instance, fear-mongered that the initiative would eventually result in Americans being imprisoned for eating french fries. The conspiratorial host also suggested that Obama’s attempt to make children healthier would “become a little forceful” and eventually “nudge” America towards “global government.”
Primetime host Sean Hannity, for his part, said Obama was “taking the nanny state to a new level” by “tell[ing] us what to eat” before warning viewers that they’d soon be fined for using salt. Additionally, the network’s digital site ran a headline that blared the “First lady targets freedom fries.”