Fatties and Friends Kicking Global Butt

Our campaign against shaming and humiliating fat kids has now received media coverage in the US, Canada, England, and Ireland. As I do the interviews one question keeps catching me off-guard.  Everyone keeps asking “This campaign is in Atlanta, Georgia and you live in Austin, Texas – why do you care?”

It never occurred to me to care WHERE the oppression was happening.  And I’m not the only one, we got donations from all over the US, Canada, Ireland, England, Australia and Korea.

I think that the “why do you care if it’s not happening to you” question is indicative of the attitude that puts up fat kid shaming billboards to begin with.  The idea apparently being that if you’re not being directly hurt, who cares who is?

I’m really glad that the reporters got me thinking about this – now that I have, I’m even more proud of us.  We created a massive, multi-pronged,  global response to a social injustice.  In doing so we are sending a strong message that we are a global community, we are fed up, and we’re not going to take it anymore.  Come after one of us – deal with all of us.  That’s how change happens – each of us sure that all of us deserve better and ready to fight oppression wherever it happens and however we are able.   If you’re messing with fatties anywhere, you better be ready to deal with fatties and our allies everywhere.  It makes me really proud to be part of this community and it makes me confident that there will be real change in my lifetime.  We rock, that’s all I have to say today. (Except for:  Shout out to my new friends from the University of Florida, thanks for all of your fantastic questions tonight!)

This blog is supported by its readers rather than corporate ads.  If you feel that you get value out of the blog, can afford it, and want to support my work and activism, please consider a paid subscription or a one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free.   Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 4:27 am  Comments (11)  

11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ugh! Don’t you hate the “if it’s not your direct problem, why do you care?” mentality? I get that all the time when I speak out against homophobia – “You’re not gay are you? No? Then why do you care? It’s doesn’t effect you.” I don’t even know how to answer it because it just seems like the obvious thing to do to me – (does that make sense)?

    Anywho, as a former fat kid who was picked on pretty much daily from preschool until freshman year when I developed an eating disorder, I really think it’s amazing what ya’ll are doing. Seriously. I sometimes feel robbed because I really feel I never got a childhood, ya know? From 3 to graduation day I was insulted, first for being fat, then for being ill by strangers or people I barely knew, but also by my family and friends.

    I hope we start to pull back on all this shaming and just let kids be innocent and carefree for the short time they have to be children. It’s such an important part of who you grow up to be.

  2. Ragen, who’s been interviewing you? I’d be fascinated to know which media outlets have picked up on this. If there are any links to your interviews, please post them, but even if not, I’d really like to know who is hearing about this.

    • I concure, it would be great to read or catch video/audio of some of the press if possible! I’m a bit of a promo ho, I’d be happy to splash my social nets w/links.

  3. “This campaign is in Atlanta, Georgia and you live in Austin, Texas – why do you care?”

    Can’t work out the logic behind this one, it doesn’t even feel like a question, though that is its form.

  4. This entry reminds me of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his response to a similar question. When asked why he was in Birmingham, Alabama, protesting segregation when he resided all the way in Atlanta, Georgia, he wrote, “I am in Birmingham because injustice is here . . . . Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    It seems your naysayers, as well as your determination to oppose them, is not unprecedented. Please continue to fight the good fight.

  5. Why care?! Are the people interviewing you daft!? That’s like asking why we care when a disaster happens in another part of the world! We care because we’re damn good people and we hate to see others suffer. I think the bilboards (HAES, not Georga’s) are brilliant and it’s nice to see a group of people dedicated to making a public stand against this fat hate bullshit.

  6. Brilliant! The BBC is the ‘British’ Broadcasting Corporation, so even better as there has been coverage in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as just England.

    • Thanks Lisa,

      I actually wasn’t thinking about BBC, I heard that we got coverage in a couple of small papers in England. Thanks for reminding me!

      ~Ragen

  7. I’ve sent donations and support to people whose lives have been devastated by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes all over the globe. I’ve sent money to support women trying to escape abusive husbands in the Middle East. I’ve given money to cancer charities even though I’ve never had cancer… and I did it before I knew anyone who had had it, too. I’ve donated time, money, and effort to groups helping children with cerebral palsy and their families. No, I don’t have it and neither does anyone in my family. I have never spent a nanosecond in Georgia, but the instant an avenue was presented to me whereby I could help spread truth and positive body image to the kids being daily and cruelly subjected to those hideous billboards, you bet your sweet bippy I sent money!

    I don’t do these things because they directly affect me. I do them because there are people fucking suffering in the world and with a ridiculously tiny effort on my part, I can help relieve some of that suffering.

    What the hell is so difficult to understand about that?

    The stupid. It burns.

  8. I want someone to be left to speak for me…

    —-

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Martin Niemöller

    • Amen. We need to have empathy for our fellow human–and animal.


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