written by a fat person.
- You are beautiful. Not always and not to everyone, but we are all beautiful and deserving of love.
- You do not have justify your body to anyone. Not to your family, your friends, your doctor, your partners. It is your body. No one else’s.
- You are allowed to take up space. Use the world around you to your advantage. Be present in the world in as much space as you need to feel comfortable and safe.
- You are more than your body. You have emotional, spiritual, and mental worth. People might see your body first, but everything else about you matters just as much.
- You are allowed to change your body if you want to. You can gain or lose weight if it is your choice to do so. No one should shame you for either choice. You are also allowed to keep your body exactly the way it is right now, in this moment.
- You are allowed to be angry over fatphobia. You do not have to sit quietly and let those around you make you feel bad for your size. You can be angry, resentful, hurt, sad. You can speak out against fatphobia. You can reject diet and weight loss talk if you do not want to hear it.
- You can use the word fat. If you feel fat, you can use the word fat. You can reclaim it as a positive. You can use fat as a descriptor. No one can tell you that you are too small to use it. If it is part of who you are, do what’s best for you.
- You can love other fat people. You can make fat and fat ally communities. You can surround yourself with positive forces. You can make fat love. You can fat love yourself.
- You can wear what you want. Crop tops and short shorts. Mumus. Tutus and ties. It is up to you. Don’t let societal pressures like ‘flattering’ dictate your outfits.
- You can be fat. That is good. That is ok. That is a celebration.
Like it or not, fat people are at war. I’m not hyperbolizing or dramatizing. If you don’t believe me, Google “War on obesity”. Tonight HBO premiered its new documentary series “The Weight of a Nation”. On the premiere page it says “Obesity in America has reached a catastrophic level. Almost every aspect of our lives is threatened. The first step toward ending the damage is learning how to fight back.”
I spend a lot of my time politely asking people to please stop oppressing me. I don’t apologize for that, nor do I begrudge it – it’s proven to be a very effective way to create change and I think that people deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt and the support they need to shift their thinking, and it’s a reasonably pleasant form of activism. I will continue to do it.
But I also have to acknowledge that there is a war being waged against me because of how I look, by people who have been given every opportunity to know better. In concert with HBO’s documentary, I received a Tweet letting me know that Kaiser Permanente is launching the “most aggressive anti-obesity campaign in history.”
They know that there are healthy fat people and unhealthy thin people. They know that not a shred of research shows that any method of weight loss works in the long term. They know that research shows us that we could vastly increase health by providing access to healthy foods, safe movement options, and affordable/free evidence based health care. Nobody is obligated to be healthy or thin; however, I wonder how many people would make different choices if they knew they just need 30 minutes of moderate movement 5 days a week? If they knew that people who choose simple healthy habits have very similar health outcomes regardless of weight. What would people choose if they knew they could abandon the goal of weight loss completely and they could still pursue health. America could be a successful role model for giving people access to health, but instead they are choosing to be a failed role model for thinness - waging war on people based on their appearance for tremendous profit and actively blaming the casualties of the war for the war’s massive failures.
Let’s be clear - they are pathologizing a body size. It doesn’t matter if they say that we need to seek solutions environmentally instead of at the individual level, or if they say that we should have “compassion” for fat people – they are still telling people that is is not ok to exist in fat bodies and that they should see fat bodies as a threat to America. There are tons of thin people who eat unhealthy foods and are sedentary (which is completely their right), but as far as the government is concerned, as long as you are thin you’re part of the “solution,” feel free to do whatever you want. They want people to look at me (and you, if you’re fat) and think “She is part of a catastrophe. She is threatening almost every aspect of our lives. The first step toward ending the damage is learning how to fight back against her.”
I say that if they want a war, I will damn well give them one."
It’s not a goddamn coincidence that fat women receive more harassment about their weight than fat men, yo.
I repeat: it’s never about health. It’s never about health. IT’S NEVER ABOUT HEALTH.
It’s about how sexually available you are, because everyone knows if you’re not fuckable, you’re totally worthless.
Ms. Queenly (via everysmilealie)
why shouldn’t all the roles be open to her? why can’t she star in any ordinary movie where the character’s age is close enough to her own? why are fat bodies only allowed when fat is a main theme?
i cried at a party once because a friend whom i admired was complimenting me and told me that i was juliet. i have struggled long and hard thinking of the limitations my body gives me when it comes to roles in theatre… but it’s not my body, it’s the industry that limits me. who’s to say juliet wasn’t fat?
I was thinking after I wrote the quote was that people are in such a hurry to have roles where a fat character’s weight isn’t part of main plot that they are overlooking the fact that roles where size/weight are part of the plot (in the ways we want to see them) haven’t happened yet in any break-through kinds of ways (that I know of, as a fat, Black woman having been a chubby child).
Having these roles is a cathartic and necessary to political expression and body movements. I think that many mainstream roles by default are created intentionally to exclude fat women/people from consideration which is why new roles need to be created, even as the nature of the media itself marginalizes fat bodies.
There should be roles with size/weight in mind and portrayed in ways many of us can get behind through fat characters, as well as breaking apart the idea that only thin women can play traditional and mainstream roles, like Juliet. Both are necessary. ~Ms. Queenly (via everysmilealie)
And I was thinking after I wrote my comments that although I do think it’s important to acknowledge that universal human experiences are universal, and that way more types of people should be represented experiencing these universals, it is also important to acknowledge that there are some experiences that are specific to certain people (in this case fat people) and it is just as important to see those specific experiences more widely recognized and explored (in this case in film). I think we completely agree - I want more stories expressly about fat people even though I don’t want fats relegated only to stories revolving around this one (important) facet of their experiences.