I was running and he was riding his bike. We were coming up on a narrow passage between a light post and a bus stop. I stopped and motioned for him to come through. Instead he stopped, blocking my path, and started talking. I took off one of my headphones, and this happened:
Him: Do me a favor, don’t lose too much weight.
Me: Well I’m not interested in losing weight at all, but it’s not really any of your business.
Him (getting frustrated): It was actually a compliment.
Me (not willing to offer bonus points for mansplaining our interaction to me): No, it was an attempt to suggest that I should form my body based on your preferences.
Him: You know what, fuck you, have a good night.
Me: Back at you sir.
One of the side effects of this ridiculously horrific “war on obesity” is the totally bullshit message that a fat body is a sign that someone should be told that their body is wrong, and given anyone and everyone’s advice on what we should, or shouldn’t, be doing to “fix” that.
So when fat people go out in public, people often confuse us for public property presented for their judgments and comments. If we aren’t exercising they tell us what we should be, if we are exercising, they say that we’re doing it wrong (or they just moo from their car, or throw eggs,) if we’re eating a salad they congratulate us, if we are’t eating a salad they chide us as if our food is any of their damn business.
In our culture there is also a deeply mistaken notion that all women should care about whether men find us attractive, as expressed by men telling us that we should lose weight (but not too much,) gain weight (but not too much,) smile, dress sexier, dress less sexy etc. Plenty of the hatemail I get is just some dude saying “I’d never fuck you.” (To which my response is – You are so very right about that.)
The fact that a body is fat doesn’t make it public property, or open for public comment. If a fat person wants to hear your thoughts about their body, clothes, fitness, or food, just assume that you’ll be among the very first to know. And until you know, it would be just peachy keen if you would keep your judgments, preferences,or advice to yourself.
THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE:
TOOLS FOR THE REVOLUTION!
This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers talking about everything from “Re-Imagining Fashion from an Inclusive Framework” to “Activism for the Introverted and Anxious” to “Building Fat Patient Power While Accessing Healthcare” and more. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. We also offer a pay what you can afford option to make the conference accessible to everyone. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016
Like this blog? Here’s more cool stuff:
Check out the Body Confidence Blog Carnival! Eleven days of awesomeness
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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