King of Nothing

Nothing to proveSo there’s this song I love called “King of Anything” by Sarah Bareilles.

The video is posted below but the lyrics that pertain to this blog are as follows:

You’ve got opinions, man
We’re all entitled to ‘em, but I never asked
So let me thank you for your time, and try not to waste anymore of mine
And get out of here fast

I hate to break it to you babe, but I’m not drowning
There’s no one here to save

Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?

I think it’s important to remember that in typical relationships it’s usually within our ability to set boundaries for who talks to us about what subject and when.

Different areas of my life have very different boundaries:

When I give a talk or do a panel, I tell people that they can ask me anything and I’m serious about that.  It’s my goal to give people an opportunity to ask a question without being scared of hurting my feelings.  99.9% of the time people are intending to be respectful and the rest of the time I’m confident in my ability bring someone’s jackassery into sharp relief, while looking calm, logical and reasonable.

Outside of those talks, I have very different boundaries.  There seems to be a pervasive myth that since I “let myself get fat”, I must need someone to help me.  The truth is that Health at Every Size is my well researched decision, my body size is a reflection of many things within and outside of my control, but is not a barometer by which you can judge my health, intelligence or decision making ability.  I’m happy, and if I needed saving please rest assured that I would be yelling for help.

I actually enjoy discussing health, weight, health at every size etc., and I’m perfectly happy to have discussions about these issues even with people who have different opinions.  However, I’m unwilling to argue about my personal health choices, especially to someone who isn’t backing up their divergent opinion with some serious facts.

Comments on this blog are another really interesting area for me.  When I started out I thought that it was important to post all the comments that weren’t overt spam because I didn’t want to censor people, and I wanted to show the kind of violent, reflexive reaction you can get when you question the status quo or dare to suggest that fat people are human and should be treated as such. Plus I’ll admit answering those people is often entertaining for me.  At some point I realized that people are allowed to be jerks, but I’m not obligated to give them a forum to do that. I’ve decided that I don’t have an obligation to give someone an audience on this blog just because they managed to get their comment submitted correctly.

The same thing applies in my life – it doesn’t matter to me what someone’s intentions are, I decide who talks to me, about what, and how.  This idea that a fat body is suddenly a public body up for discussion and debate is bullshit.  The idea that a fat body is indication that we need advice is bullshit.  The idea fat people should have to listen to anyone who considers themselves well meaning is bullshit.

So this song goes out to everyone whose sense of self-importance is so exaggerated that they actually think should be obligated to care what they think.

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Published in: on June 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm  Comments (13)  

13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the near-daily dose of clear-headedness you deliver to my inbox. It applies to more than just body size. Your no-bullshit way of cutting right to the rational heart of things helps keep me focused and sane. You’re one of my heroes!

    • I SO AGREE! Just when I’m about drink the OMGDEATHFAT Kool Aid-one of your posts shows up in my inbox!! These posts help me put the Kool Aid down. THANK YOU!!!!

  2. I love that song — it applies to so many aspects of my life. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m Queen of Me and ain’t nobody allowed to usurp me.

    So there.

  4. I’ve always loved that song but never realized how perfect the lyrics are for those of us who are fat and/or practice HAES. Thanks for this great post and all you do, Ragen. You are an inspiration!

  5. Lately I have been considering the comeback that my fat body is much more likely to be an indicator of economic disadvantage than anything else and just ask for money. Do you think that will work? Teehee

    • Love it. My favorite comeback – at 5’7″ and very close to 300 lbs – is to look puzzled and ask if they really think that I’m overweight, as if perhaps I just hadn’t noticed. It’s so unexpected that it usually stops people right in their tracks. On good days, it makes them start stuttering.

  6. So much energy is directed towards controlling, suppressing and/or keeping others down for whatever reason. Imagine what the world could do with all that energy redirected into something positive that would benefit us all. Sometimes when I think about it, my mind reels.

    • Then we’d have the flying cars The Jetsons claimed we would have by now!

  7. Thank you so much for keeping the trolls off of here. For me, letting them in would be the equivalent to letting people dump their trash into a pool. Who would want to go swimming?

  8. The assumptions people make are pretty strange – I’m fat, so I need someone to help me, or save me, or whatever. No, I need you to respect me, or STFU! It’s that simple.

    • Well put!

  9. Related to a previous post: the right to celebrate victories.

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