I’ve had a couple interesting interactions with people who are fans of the blog and believe in size acceptance and who are also thin. In the first instance the person had an opportunity to see first hand how I am treated by dissenters. In the second the person related to me their realization that “When I read horrible internet comments about fat people on the internet I can just think ‘wow, these commenters are out of control’ but fat people might think ‘oh my god this is about me.’ That must be awful.”
I think it’s important to remember that we aren’t speaking in theory about fat stigma, shame, bullying and oppression – they are ubiquitous and they are happening now, in real time, to fat people.
The way to learn about this is to ask fat people about their experiences, and then believe them – consider fat people the best witnesses to their own experiences. We can each only speak from our own experiences and they are definitely varied, but I do believe that, though it may be enlightening to the individual doing it, we don’t need anyone to dress up in a fat suit to explain what it’s like to be fat. We just need to listen to fat people. Too often people, especially those who profit from selling “weight loss,” succeed at replacing fat people’s witness to our own experience with their completely fabricated ideas of everything from what it’s like to be fat, to how we feel, what we do, and how we think. The idea seems to be that our body size is proof that we are somehow not competent to speak about our experiences.
For example, when I point out that I am a combatant in a war waged upon me by the government because I don’t look the way they think I should, people try to tell me that the war isn’t against me -it’s against my fat. The problem, I’m told, isn’t that the government has a stated goal of eradicating everyone who looks like me, the problem is that I won’t join the party. I should not consider myself fat, they tell me, I’m should consider myself a thin woman covered in fat and go to war against the body I live in everyday.
In what I consider to be a horrifying example, the America Psychological Association recently put together a panel to discuss the guidelines for the treatment of obesity. The many, and massive issues with treating a body size as a psychological issue are the subject for another blog – for today’s purposes I’d like to point out that this panel doesn’t have a single person from the fat community.
There is a phrase I first heard used by members of the disability community: “Nothing about us without us.” I absolutely think that should become a battle cry for the fat side in the war on obesity.
Podcast: So sorry, the service that I use for podcasts is doing a big change-over. I’ll be back with the podcasts as soon as I can.
Holiday Sale – January or Bust!
I do Size Acceptance activism full time, and part of how I support myself is book and DVD sales. 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. Click here to check it out.
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!