I got over 300 e-mails/Facebook messages etc. about a project called “I’m learning to apologize for my metabolism” It exists on Kickstarter and the gist is that a woman is trying to raise $20,000 to fund a book that will be a “Collection of images of women standing up against a society that protects fat culture while bastardizing thin and athletic women.” Many of the messages I received asked if it was a joke. I looked into it and from what I can find it’s not a joke, and it’s not funny as far as I’m concerned.
My first thought was that maybe she lives in another country where the standard of beauty is different. Nope, she lives in Las Vegas and she believes that “Its undeniable that when we stand a skinny, athletic or even average sized female next to a larger (even if less healthy, overweight or obese) female, that unless we live outside of this stigma, we as Americans will assume that the heavier person is funnier, smarter, nicer, and less sexually promiscuous, all because she is not as thin or physically fit than the girl next to her.”
I think that she has a right to feel this way and I’m not going to try to say that I know better than her what her personal experience is, but I do think “undeniable” is the wrong word to use. I know that thin bashing does exist and I have written several times about why thin bashing is unjustifiable.
I do have problems with this project, not the least of which include the use of the following euphemisms for thin:
- Likes to run
- Eats healthy
- Take care of your body
- Be in better shape
She says “The premise of the book is not to bash or assault any single body type, quite the opposite.”
This I’m having trouble believing. See, I think that if you’re not trying to bash or assault a body type you scrupulously avoid using phrases like “I’m sorry if the butt I work for isn’t as good as the one you ate for.” I think you avoid making sweeping assumptions like, for example, that only people with one body type are athletic, fit, like to run, eat healthy, take care of themselves etc. But that’s just my opinion.
I can’t say enough that a culture of body hate hurts people of every size. I also can’t say enough that I seriously doubt that the road to high self-esteem and size acceptance is paved with blatant hypocrisy. So even if it’s absolutely true that “Americans will assume that the heavier person is funnier, smarter, nicer, and less sexually promiscuous” the solution to that is probably not to encourage people to assume that the heavier person is less fit, doesn’t eat healthy, and doesn’t take care of themselves. If assumptions based on body size are bad, and I agree that they are, then they are bad for people of all sizes. We can end body bashing and size discrimination, but we can’t do it by doing exactly to other bodies what we don’t want done to ours.
We can simply stop body bashing, body snarking, and making assumptions based on body size. No more “she needs to eat a sandwich” no more “fat pig”, no more “Real women have curves,” no more “Lazy fatty”, no more “she can’t be healthy at that weight, ” no more “she looks anorexic,” no more making ourselves feel better by saying something negative about someone else’s body. No more. If we truly want to end body bashing, we have to stop body bashing.
If you are reading this, then you can make the choice, right now, to stop participating in all body bashing. But will you? The choice is yours.
Holiday Sale – January or Bust!
I do Size Acceptance activism full time, and at this time of year I get the most requests for help and support, and the least paid talks, book signings, business consulting etc. So I’m having a January or Bust Sale. You’ll get 20% off whatever you buy plus an upgrade from media mail to priority shipping in the US. Support my work, get cool stuff, win-win.
Become a Member (not on sale, but still pretty cool!)
I created a membership program so that people who read the blog and feel they get value out of it and want to support the work I do can become members for ten bucks a month Members are the first to know about new projects, get to see things before they are released, get “Member 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. Join Now!