This Is Me In A Fatphobic World

Actual SizeAt the Oscars, Keala Settle performed the song This Is Me from The Greatest Showman. I hadn’t heard the song before and it hit me right in the feels.

Size-based oppression is structural, institutional oppression. Sadly, we are often told that the only option is to change ourselves – whatever the cost, whatever the risk, whatever the harm.

We are told that we should spend our time, energy, and money trying to force our bodies into someone else’s ideal with diets, dangerous drugs, even surgeries. I recently spoke with someone who was at a seminar on weight loss surgery where one of the “benefits” mentioned was more right swipes on Tinder. Our bullies aren’t even expected to engage in basic human decency, while we are expected to risk our lives so that they find us more pleasing to look at.

Size-based oppression is not in our heads and it’s not something that we can just overcome with body love, confidence, and a can-do attitude. We need social and structural changes to put an end to size-based oppression.

In the meantime, fatphobia isn’t our fault, but it becomes our problem. We each have to make our own decisions about how we interact with a world that shames, stigmatizes, bullies, and oppresses us. To me, Fat Acceptance is the first necessary step. In order to fight for our humanity, we must claim and own our humanity for ourselves.

It happens when we say I am a fat person, not a thin person covered in fat, and I am worthy, right now, in this body. I will wield my beautiful fat body like a weapon – I will love it, I will care for it, I will give it my full-throated support, and I will viciously defend my body against anyone who seeks to classify it as anything but amazing. I will not apologize, I will not back down. This is me.

 

That was the workshop version, for the Oscars version you can go here.

Lyrics:
I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that’s what we’ve become (yeah, that’s what we’ve become)
I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh
This is me

and I know that I deserve your love
(Oh-oh-oh-oh) ’cause there’s nothing I’m not worthy of
(Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh)

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
This is brave, this is proof
This is who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come (look out ’cause here I come)
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on)
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I’m gonna send a flood
Gonna drown them out
Oh
This is me

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12 thoughts on “This Is Me In A Fatphobic World

  1. Oh my gosh. I had not heard this song before. I haven’t seen the movie yet so I had no idea what the music was like. I’m so glad you didn’t post the Oscar version. I know it would have been beautiful but I needed to see Keala grow out of her nerves into her strength and see Hugh Jackman crying right along with her.

    I deal with anxiety and depression every single day. Sometimes being fat and dealing with the shame I get from people – mostly from family, my parents – adds a significant amount of darkness to my depression and anxiety.

    This song….this song is an anthem. It’s an anthem for us fat folks, for people dealing with mental illness, for anyone who is different than. Thank you so much for posting it. I’m creating a I Kick Ass playlist and this is the first song on that play list. Thank you!

  2. Very, watched it and wondered, my god they are singing truth at the belly of the beast, Hollywood has been handing out judgements and sentences for people “not like them” for decades now. They are hand in glove with advertising that says: buy this/change you. It will be a sea change if Hollywood embraces not diversity, but reality… Money will fight it, you don’t get rich telling people they are perfect the way they are. Fight back!

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. I had never heard of this song before and that was a great performance!

  4. Oh thank you for this… have not seen the film or the Oscars so this was totally new to me. I’m so glad she came out from behind the music stand! Such presence and power, and what an amazing song! I am sitting at my desk at work, able to listen since no one else is here right now. I am in tears and grinning at the same time.

  5. More right swipes on Tinder?! Yuck. I don’t use Tinder so I guess I don’t have to worry about that! Fantastic performance and BEAUTIFUL song. Absolutely incredible.

  6. Oh my – I just watched this. I have tears in my eyes and the hairs stood up on my arms. Ragen, you are a big part of why I am who I am today. Every morning you are my touchstone. I am worthy simply because I exist. Worthy of love, friendship, a fulfilling job, worthy to live and be seen

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