I was being interviewed for a podcast yesterday, talking about being a fat athlete, and the host asked me to define fat as it applies to me. I said “I’m fat. I’m not ‘I ate big burrito for lunch’ fat, or ‘Hollywood’ fat. I’m 5’4 and 300 pounds, I’m everybody’s definition of fat.”
Faith is fat. Not the average, or just slightly bigger than, size usually called “fat” in media. Not the curvy best friend or the athletically stout team member. This is a fat beyond that, a fat that means someone has to shop in special stores and can’t ride roller coasters and spends a lot of time trying to convince their doctors they really aren’t interested in weight loss surgery.
Fat like me.
Fat like Faith.
Positive representation of people who are fat by any definition is thin on the ground (see what I did there?) But positive representation of people who are fat like me, like Amy, like Faith is almost non-existent, what with the mythical threat of promoting obesity and the baseless hand-wringing about healthy role-models.
Of course there’s no shortage of that in the reactions, as the usual suspects lose their shit in comment sections all over the web, somehow wanting us to believe that a single example of a fat person as happy, successful and not miserable and self-loathing will start a rash of people desperately attempting to become fat so that maybe, just maybe, they can be the second. Because what would happen to our sizeist culture, and its diet-and-beauty-industry-fueled obsession with becoming thin, if our media was actually representative of the diversity of body sizes that exist? Everybody freak out!
Whatever, let them lose it in the comments section, we’ve got the whole comic book!
I love that Faith gives us a comic book hero who is fat, and I love how visual it is. As Amy talked about in her piece, because of the comic book format Faith’s size cannot be denied, or imagined away, as it might be in other written formats. I love it because it gives fat people a hero who looks like us. I love it because it gives other people a hero who looks like us. Certainly there will be conversations to have about everything from her wardrobe to her plot lines, but for now I’ll take a moment to bask in the awesomeness that is a fabulous fat comic book hero.
Speaking of podcasts, I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on the fabulous Summer Innanen’s Fearless Rebelle Radio and it was a total blast. You can check it out here!
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Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!
I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com