Everyday I get hundreds of heartbreaking e-mails from people who are doing their best to deal with fatphobes in their lives – whether it’s family, friends, coworkers, people who have chosen to be combatants in the “War on Obesity”, or the sad people who decide to be internet trolls. If you’re dealing with this, I want to encourage you to ask yourself this question – could these people do what you do?
If they had to face people like them would they be able to put up with it and keep going like you do? I think people forget that every single thing fat people do – including just getting out of bed and leaving the house – is done under the crushing weight of stigma and oppression that is based the bodies that everyone can clearly see. That makes leaving the house an act of bravery, and liking ourselves a revolutionary act. Especially when everyone from the First Lady to major media outlets are encouraging people to think badly of us and treat us poorly. And yet we keep getting out of bed, leaving the house, living our lives, following our dreams.
And more and more of us are claiming our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of our happiness in the bodies we have now, and that takes serious guts. More guts than I imagine the people who leave me hate mail and can’t even find the courage to sign their real names could muster.
So keep on keeping on fatties (and keep on keeping on allies of fatties). While you are reminding yourself that fatphobia is deplorable, and the way we are being treated (by people who are everything from misguided to mistreating us in a desperate bid to deal with their own self-hatred) isn’t right, and that we will end this prejudice in time (and in the meantime, doing whatever it takes to keep yourself ok,) maybe you can also take heart in the fact that our haters couldn’t do what we do everyday.
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