It’s a very long post and there are swears, but I found Jes Baker’s post 6 things that I understand about the fat acceptance movement very interesting. She’s countering an article written by Carolyn Hall, 6 things I don’t understand about the fat acceptance movement. It’s interesting to see how two people from opposite sides argue their perspective.
Because I am so susceptible to suggestion, I’m wary of bandwagons. Well I try to be. Often I’ll discover I’m happily sitting atop one without realising how I clambered aboard, but the whole fat acceptance movement thing is one I’m trying to be careful around, and do reading on, and not just agree with everything that is said. I think I prefer the similar but more inclusive language of ‘body love movement’, because, as Baker says:
IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s critical to realize before we even begin, that ignorance of, deflecting of, or outright refusal to believe in fat acceptance affects us all. This body love movement is inclusive; it’s about acceptance for everyone (not limited to, but including fat bodies.)
All bodies- large, small, and everything in between pay dearly for the negativity in which fat bodies are perceived. Why? Because as long as we demonize a body shape (any body shape) there will always be a fearful comparison. And the fearful comparison will inevitably breed all forms of hatred; both internally and externally. We will never be able to embrace our bodies as a diverse society as long as negative body messages exist. So yeah, we’re going to be talking about the “social deviants” of the body world, but this discussion is applicable to us all.
Baker’s blog led me to the Kickstarter for a film called Fattitude: a body positive documentary, which I also found very interesting, particularly Lindsey Averill’s post on why she is making the doco. The vitriol and aggression aimed at her and others are quite staggering (I’ve also been reading on internet aggression towards women in gaming, women in comics…women in general lately and it’s so depressing, to put it mildly. But that’s a topic for another time).
Here’s the trailer:
I always found the ridiculing of teenage Monica on Friends very troubling (maybe if I had issues with OCD I’d find their ridiculing of that troubling too. Hmmoo.).
I first heard the concept of ‘health at any size’ about a year ago. I haven’t done heaps of reading on it, so I’ve just downloaded Linda Bacon’s book, Health at every size (also mmm bacon…bet she’s never heard that one before). I’ll probably blog more about it as I read it.
But since I decided, about a year ago, to stop worrying about my weight or what I ate and actively worked on not using negatively loaded language about myself or talking about diets or “feeling fat”, I have felt a lot better. I’m not obsessed with food. I look in the mirror and I like my reflection. Sometimes I still struggle with it – most often if I’m getting dressed up to go out somewhere and think people will be comparing me to other people who are thin and, so, presumably fabulous (how messed up is that?!). But on the whole the amount of brainspace it takes up has shrunk considerably, and I’m glad about that.
And you know what? In that time I haven’t put on vast amounts of weight; I haven’t even gone up a jeans size. I put on a little bit and then just evened out. This is what I look like and you know, I think I’m happy with that!