I’m hoping to write a longer post about this soon, but there’s been a great discussion happening on the internet about fat acceptance.
It started when a blogger for Thought Catalog wrote “6 Things I Don’t Understand About Fat Acceptance.”
In summary the post was….awful. It was fat shaming (America accepts fat people! Actually, no, because discrimination.), dismissive of health at every size (yes, you CAN be HEALTHY and FAT), and drags in a WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN element. Just, ew.
To be clear to anyone whose new to this blog, fat acceptance saved my life. I don’t mean that hyperbolically. If it wasn’t for the movement, the great writers who are apart of it, I never would have come to learn to love my body and even care about myself enough to care about my health. People that are fat care about their health. For me, that resulted in weight loss, but that doesn’t happen for everyone and it doesn’t mean that it should. Fat acceptance gave me self worth, self esteem, and got me to see my own value. I’m not sure where I would be if I hadn’t discovered Lesley Kinzel and (RIP) Fatshionista.
Anyway, many fat acceptance bloggers wrote wonderful responses, and I wanted to share them here:
From Marianne Kirby at xoJane (formerly, The Rotunda). Because xoJane, all caps:
An important takeaway (emphasis added):
“Here’s the deal: Hall’s article is about her own lack of fundamental understanding. But it’s also about her discomfort with a tool (that’d be fat acceptance) lots of fat people use to feel good about themselves — or even to just not hate themselves 24/7, which is — honestly and tragically — a very real challenge for many fat folks. She doesn’t understand it because she can’t conceive of fat people who don’t hate themselves. And she probably wishes we’d stop with the self-esteem and get back to loathing ourselves for our own good.”
From Jess at The Militant Baker (my new favorite blog):
An important takeaway:
“The author obviously confuses ‘profits from’ and ‘takes advantage of’ with ‘accepting of’. US companies make tremendous amounts of money by both creating a ‘problem’ and then attempting to sell us a solution. Weight loss and dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry. If we were ‘accepting’ of fat there would not be nonstop efforts to sell us things to ‘fix’ fatness. Additionally, I am not sure how one can propose that while people are bullied, tormented, shamed and ridiculed throughout our society as a result of weight, that somehow that is “acceptance’.” –Sonya Renee, Founder of The Body is Not an Apology
From Tony at The Anti-Jared:
An important takeaway:
Actually, you can be healthy at any size. I was 417 pounds when I was healthy. Sounds silly, right? Well, it was day two of my diet in 2008. I felt like I did not want to die. I felt successful that I ACTUALLY lost weight. I was happy to finally breathe. And yes, I was healthy.
Look at marathons. Do all the people look the same? Or the gym? Do you only see obese people in hospitals? All sizes of people get diabetes, cancer and other horrible diseases. There are many people who are larger than others that eat well. They take care of a body they might not have for a long time. Maybe they are not your size, but they can be healthy.
For me, fat acceptance is important because I know women who are a lot smaller than me and hate their body. Fat acceptance is important so I don’t feel like shit when I go try on clothes. Fat acceptance is for everyone. It’s a movement about love, and when something starts with love, only good things can come from it.