Her Big Fat-Shamed Wedding

Mzznaki Tetteh, who lives in Accra, Ghana, recently got engaged to her boyfriend Kojo Amoah. She posted fabulous engagement photos, as many brides do, to her Instagram account.  But unlike many brides, she had to deal with strangers who showed up to fat-shame her, claiming reasons from being concerned about how she’ll look in her wedding dress, to being concerned about her partner, to the ubiquitous “just concerned about her health.”

We’ll talk about how these things are bullshit in a second, but right now I want to be clear that even if these people aren’t just pathetic internet trolls (though obviously they probably are,) and even if they actually have strongly held personal beliefs that the things they are typing are true, and even if they think that despite the fact that she is a nurse she needs health advice from strangers on the internet with no qualifications, how on earth would they think that it would be appropriate to bring these things up IN RESPONSE TO HER ENGAGEMENT PICTURES. Seriously, what the fuck?

That said, let’s be clear that this is totally bullshit. Not allowing fat people a moment’s happiness or peace is not, and never will be, a path to supporting our “health” and well being. These people seem to think that the fact that they view fat people as nothing but a “before” picture justifies their abhorrent behavior. But they are wrong.  We aren’t under any obligation to think of ourselves as “before” pictures.  And we don’t owe anyone their idea of an “after picture,” and they have no right to demand it of us, it is not their place. We may not be able to immediately stop pathetic trolls from trolling, but we can all be clear that their actions lack any legitimacy.

This also sheds light on another issue that I want to bring up, which is the misinformation that gets repeated quite bit that suggests that Black women, either in the US or in other cultures, have some cultural protection from sizeism and fat phobia. As Sesali B.point out in her excellent piece “STOP EXCLUDING BLACK WOMEN FROM FAT ACCEPTANCE MOVEMENTS” which I highly recommend you read in its entirety:

It is oft cited and mentioned that studies show that Black women have higher self-esteem and body image. However, high self esteem does not equal less fat-shaming, fatphobia, or other violence against fat Black women. For one, even if it were true that Black communities were more accepting of their fat women (which it isn’t), Black women don’t live in a cultural vacuum where they only engage and are affected by other Black people!

Her response was just as perfect as her pictures:

Still confident…your rubbish comments ain’t ruining my happiness…thanks to all for the compliments and best wishes…am honored

Just in case it’s not crystal clear: When a fat woman posts her engagement pictures, your options for response should be to say “congratulations” or to keep quiet – including and especially if you are nothing but a stranger on the internet.

Congratulations to Mzznaki Tetteh and Kojo Amoah!

 

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This year we have a truly kick ass line up of speakers, and there’s only one day left to take advantage of our Rush Registration – if you register before 12:01am on June 24th you’ll get the best rate for a Platinum Pass, and special bonuses. (If you’re a Dances With Fat member, check your e-mail for your member deal.)

Click Here to Register!

This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016

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If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

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!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Published in: on June 21, 2016 at 11:00 am  Comments (17)  

17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. She’s beautiful! How dare anybody intrude on her beautiful celebration to shame her! There’s no “concern” that is acceptable to post in this situation (or any situation – keep your opinions and fake concern to yourself). Clearly her fiancee is happy with her or he wouldn’t have gotten engaged to her. I swear we are falling apart as a society.

    • PS, Look at her jumping! I CANNOT jump. Doesn’t happen. I come like an inch off the ground if I try and practically knock myself out with my boobs at the same time. There’s also like a 50% chance I’ll sprain my ankle on the way down. Hannah Doesn’t jump.

    • The only concern I can think of that might be acceptable to post on an engagement announcement is concern that some jerks will spoil the wedding.

      Because that happens frequently enough, regardless of size.

      But even if you have warning to give, you don’t give them those warnings as comments on engagement pictures. More like: “Congrats! Hey, as you’re planning your wedding, I highly recommend reading XXX site. You’ll get all sorts of wonderful tips there. And they have lots of interesting stories, too.” Then let them read the stories about the horrible things guests and relatives and “friends” have done to ruin other people’s weddings.

      That’s as far as you are allowed to go with “concern” as a reply to an engagement announcement, in my opinion.

  2. Thanks for showing those beautiful engagement photos. What a lovely couple!

  3. Incredibly beautiful and FUN photos! I just LOVE them!!! F*ck those people who said ANYTHING negative about her and her photos. F*ck the f*ck right f*cking off.

    Beautiful, happy couple! I wish them the best!!! The f*cking best!!😉

    PS: Sorry for all the cursing. I got a little heated.

  4. Only a miserable person would look at pictures of happy people (regardless of what those people look like) and not feel some of that joy. I say this to my friend time and time again when he rails about jerky people, misery loves company. Some people get off on trying to take others down. It’s one of humanity’s worst features. This is a beautiful couple and I’m and super happy for them.

  5. These are American studies about American women, and American blacks, right?

    Not being a black woman, I couldn’t say for sure, but if fat black women, in general, have higher self esteem than fat white women, or fat women of any other race, my hypothesis is that fat black women have more practice (being more oppressed, in general) in telling themselves that they have worth, despite being told they are worthless.

    I imagine ante-bellum American slaves got lots of practice in telling themselves they had more worth than their masters gave them credit for. Yet, they had to keep it to themselves, because if they let on, they’d be considered “uppity,” and be beaten or otherwise punished.

    Thus, a culture of quiet self esteem, in general, would emerge. The inner circle of friends and family would tell each other that the world is lying, when it puts them down. And that belief, that he world is lying, in general, when it puts one down, would tend to make it easier to withstand both general and personal insults.

    It’s just a theory, of course. And I have no idea how to test it.

    As for this couple – they are BOTH gorgeous. Happy and in love people tend to be gorgeous, in my mind. But I have to say, I’m chuffed that she’s with a man who is conventionally attractive. Such a man would be expected to be with a thin, conventionally attractive woman, and he loves HER. This makes them both even more wonderful, in my book.

    There are people out there, who will look down on a thin man for dating a fat woman, and even more so when he looks like a straight-sized male model. I’ll bet that a lot of the trolls were angry because they were thin men who didn’t have girlfriends, at all, let alone someone as beautiful as she, and so were very angry about it. Add in the thin women, perhaps conventionally beautiful, who didn’t have a boyfriend, and they’re angry that she got HIM, and, yeah, lots and lots of jealousy to go around.

    People – love is not a zero sum game. If you’re jealous of another couple, just remember, they are only two out of how many billions of people on this earth? Your odds of finding a partner have not gone down that much, just because two other people have paired off. Taking one of the competition off the market evens it out.

    Either be happy for them, or ignore them.

    • I think you are right. Otherwise, why was there an underground railroad? Why was there such international anti-slavery and equal rights movements in the 1700s-1800s? Black people have been telling themselves for longer than white people that they have worth.

      I think with the Estates system in pre-Revolutionary France (which was a holdover from the Middle Ages) of “everyone has their place and it’s determined at birth” still holds sway today. That is why we see such hand wringing concerning poor, fat, Jewish, gay, women, etc. and how they are stepping outside their bounds.

      • Oh, keeping fat people in their place – yeah.

        Fat women, in particular, are told not to think about conventionally attractive me. They’re out of our league. I should have put that in quotes.

        Fat white men are allowed to have thin wives, even on TV, but that’s only if they are very funny or very rich. Otherwise, “beautiful women” are “out of their league,” too. Then you get the geek/nerd culture (I consider myself at least marginally part of it, even though I am a woman, and I don’t know the plot of every comic book ever written), and how rare it is for one of these men, regardless of appearance, to be ALLOWED to date a “hot” woman.

        Society, in general, wants the stability of people remaining in their established sphere. Social mobility may be talked up, but it’s pressed down, as much as possible. The rich don’t want to share. They want to stay the one percent. Because if everyone is well off, they aren’t special, anymore.

    • As a fat black woman, fat shaming is extremely common I mean extremely common towards fat black women. Considering that African American people are discriminated against in society for looking different period (our hair, features, etc), the fat shaming black women experience in every culture is no different than anywhere else. I don’t know who or what did the studies about us being more confident because most of us are not. There was an article about eating disorders among minority women way back in 2001 and how it was on the rise. There’s no telling what the percentages are now considering black women have a new face of fatphobia in Michelle Obama in which many black women idolize her. The waist training trend, the thigh gap trend all of this is extremely popular within black culture.

      That’s probably why there’s so little black women, within fat posi spaces, because of the belief that we’re confident or our culture accepts fat women which they don’t. I run a page for plus size black women and so many black women younger and older send me comments about how they hate the way they look. Fatphobia within black cultures is rarely talked about because of the belief that we’re confident. I really hope things can change.

      • Thanks! I, too, wonder about that study. It could have been just an aberration, or too small sample size.

      • One thing is certain: The topic needs and deserves more study.

  6. Thank you for the strong article and the beautiful photos! Mzzaki bears a strong resemblance to my wife in her younger years (and yes, after 30 years and 5 children, she is still gorgeous to me – and others). Congratulations to them both!

  7. “Health” is just a pretense for being an a**, because it means you make yourself and others believe you’re a good and caring person, so you don’t have to admit that you’re insecure, judgemental and maybe even envious because you wish you had even half of the self-confidence of this glorious lady!!!

  8. My response to these photos is that they sure look happy!

  9. Whatever happened to ‘if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?’

    • That disappeared with the invention of the internet comment section


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