I do not know what the deal is with people who feel the need to make unsolicited comments/suggestions etc. to fat people about how they think we should live our lives but in the past few days my readers have told me about everything from people making food suggestions to people praying over them to pray the fat away. Seriously. I wanted to write an open letter in case any of these people read this blog or in case such a thing would be helpful to some of my readers, and because I’m just irritated about this.
Dear Possibly Well-Meaning but Completely Misguided Person,
I’m not sure what led you to make your unsolicited comments to me about my health/weight/size/ etc. It’s not something that I would ever do and so I just don’t have any concept of how you could think it was ok. Let me assure you that it is not. I am not interested in your opinions or suggestions about me, my body, or my health, and the way you know that is that I didn’t ask for them. If I ever want your opinions or suggestions about me, my body, or my health, you may rest assured that you will be among the very first people to know.
There is no discussion to be had about who is right or wrong here. Not only can’t you tell anything about my health or behaviors by looking at me, those things are not a barometer for my worthiness and are absolutely not any of your business. I do not accept your authority when it comes to me or my body. l don’t owe you (either personally or as a member of society) anything when it comes to my body- I don’t owe you a certain body size, I don’t owe you any behaviors, I don’t owe you your, or anybody else’s, definition of health or healthy behaviors.
As I elaborated on in this post, the only thing that is required in order to have the right to demand basic human respect is a pulse. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not size, ability, or health dependent, nor are they dependent on looking or acting the way that someone wants you to look or act. In that sentence “someone” refers to you, oh person who makes unsolicited comments.
Let me state this as clearly as possible: I am not a poor sad fat girl waiting for someone to come along and give me the words of wisdom/encouragement/shame that change my life. I love my life, and I loved it just a little more before you started giving suggestions about it and I’ll love it that much more once you stop, so how about we speed that process along. You are not the fatty whisperer. Back off.
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I do size acceptance activism full time. A lot what I do, like answering over 5,000 e-mails from readers each month, giving talks to groups who can’t afford to pay, and running projects like the Georgia Billboard Campaign etc. is unpaid, so I created a membership program so that people who read the blog and feel they get value out of it and/or want to support the work I do can become members for ten bucks a month To make that even cooler, I’ve now added a component called “DancesWithFat Deals” which are special deals to my members from size positive merchants. Once you are a member I send out an e-mail once a month with the various deals and how to redeem them – your contact info always stays completely private.
The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is always completely free. If you’re curious or uncomfortable about any of this, you might want to check out this post. Thanks for reading! ~Ragen