Size Acceptance means accepting people of ALL SIZES. Fat acceptance does not exist without thin acceptance, without bodies-of-every-size acceptance. A sure way to absolutely enrage me is to claim to be for size acceptance and then say something nasty about thin people. It’s stupid and hypocritical beyond all human reason. When I see shirts that say things like “fight anorexia, eat a skinny bitch” it makes me want to scream, very loudly. I’ve talked about this twice before, in the posts “Things I’ve Heard About Thin Women” and “The Road to Self-Esteem is Probably Not Paved with Hyposcrisy” but I’m saying it again.
Why? Because I just heard of Lizzie Velasquez and already she is one of my heroes. I’ve been watching some videos of her speaking and our lives have a lot of parallels. When she walks into a room people make assumptions about her eating and exercise habits. They make assumptions about her health. They judge her. The same thing happens to me.
There are some differences between us as well. I’m 5’4 and 280lbs. Because of the current OMIGODDEATHFATISCOMINGFORYOU media blitz, I’m just one of the hundreds of thousands of obese people walking around. Everyone thinks that they know how to fix it.
Lizzie is 21 years old and weighs about 61 pounds. She has such a rare disease that she is only 1 of 3 people in the world who have it. There is no diagnosis. Nobody knows how to fix it.
With all of of our similarities and regardless of our differences, we have one major thing in common: Nobody has the right to judge us or our health by looking at us.
One of the things that breaks my heart is that people who look like me, and would throw a fit at the treatment that I receive, are judging Lizzie and other thin women, and feel somehow justified in doing so. They are calling them names, making assumptions about their health and their eating habits, and basically doing to thin women every single thing that they don’t want done to them.
Thank you Lizzie for being brave, for being an inspiration, for living your life out loud and refusing to bend to pressure or break under judgment. Please accept my apology for anyone in the fat acceptance community who has ever judged you, made assumptions about you, or put you down in an immature bid to feel better about themselves- we can do better. You deserve better. We all do. Thank you for helping make sure that we get it.
You can check out Lizzie’s website at http://www.aboutlizzie.com/
If you want to hear an interview with her, a fabulous woman and friend of mine named Abigail Mahnke has a radio show called Inner Views. I’ve been a guest on her show and she is a fantastic interviewer. She will be interviewing Lizzie next Wednesday. You can find Abigail’s website here: http://www.innerviewslive.com
In the meantime, today might be a dandy day to do a little internal check about judgments that you might be making about other people based only on what you see and not on what you know.