Being Fat (Positive)

12 Apr

Let’s get this out there, for those of you who don’t know, I’m a plus-sized lady. In other words? I’m fat. I’ve come to terms with it a long time ago. And while I’d love to say that I love myself, exactly the way I am, that’s not always true.

In fact, there are days I hate myself. I have felt hopeless, helpless, and worse. However, none of this really has to do with my weight.

Our society has given us many reasons to hate ourselves and being overweight is just one of them. And as many reasons we give ourselves to hate each other, and ourselves, we also create communities to speak out against these same issues.

For the past few years I’ve seen more and more members of the ever growing “Fat Positive” movement. Described on Wikipedia as Fat acceptance, they say that it is

Activism concerning the societal acceptance of fat people [and] generally can be described as attempting to alter societal, internal, and medical attitudes.

In short, the movement’s goal has long been to address the idea that “Fat is bad,” on all fronts. Because there are people who are overweight who are healthy and who are still marginalized as “bad” people.

While I have to admit, I’m not always 100% fat positive,  this commentary proves quickly that it is similar to many other things we’ve heard/seen before. It might as well be called, “those racist things you say that you didn’t realize were racist until someone else pointed it out,” except for fat folks.

A friend today posted a link to the blog, Red No. 3, that is collecting hashtags of things that fat people are told. Just as Malcolm X once asked black people who told them they were bad because they looked a certain way, this blog/these hashtags are looking to red flag certain behaviors.

What’s disconcerting and confusing to me is that I still can’t help but agree with some at first glance that, as a logical human being, I know I shouldn’t.

There are real reasons that people shouldn’t be overweight. But, in another area that also really matters, in how we treat people, there are just as many reasons that it shouldn’t matter.

How many of you have told a fat girl she has a really pretty face? And then didn’t understand why she wasn’t too overly flattered.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be realistic about the issues that are associated with weight. However, I think that being negative and shaming people doesn’t help the problem.


7 Responses to “Being Fat (Positive)”

  1. anonymus April 13, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    sigh i guess i’ve been called most of those things unfrtunally by my own mother, i guess that proves that most of us have hatefull parnets, but at least i have a boyfriend who’s BIGGER then me and he’s CUTE too (giggle)

    • redshana April 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

      It’s true that this kind of behavior is often something that we don’t choose to perform as much as it is instilled in us. However, you can always choose to act differently in the future. And I’m sure your boyfriend appreciates that you appreciate him 🙂

  2. anonymus April 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    well my boyfriend;’s BIGGER then me and through i’ve never asked him about it i’m fairly certan he’s had the same issues as well, through the stuff linked at #stufffatpeoplearetold

    • redshana April 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

      Absolutely! Fat positive thinking is not something only for women, people constantly underestimate how many men are emotionally affected by being negatively judged, and that’s sexist.

  3. anonymus April 14, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    and i love his tummy so big it’s almost like a pillow (smiles)

  4. Riki April 15, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    I admit, I, too, am not always the best at being fat positive, either. I’ve been fat since I was 7 and learned how to medicate with food when my mom and dad split up. I’m learning how to balance my life, but I’ll always be a plus-sized girl, and I shouldn’t be ashamed for being who I am.
    I think if one more person says I have such a pretty face and that they bet I would be SO MUCH more beautiful if I just lost some weight (and this includes family members)… well, I’ll just lose it. I think most people really do think they are paying you a compliment, but no thanks to that. Or, “You’d get so much more attention if you lost some weight.” Thankfully, my response to that is, “I already get too much attention as it is. My fat is my shield, thanks.”
    My point being- I would never go up to someone that is underweight and say “You’d be so much prettier if you would just eat a burger,” or someone that is missing an arm and say, “You know, you can get a prosthetic arm and you would get so much more attention.” Why do people think they can come up to me and comment on my being fat?
    People, let’s just all be nice to each other. Geez!
    Love you, Shana! You are B-E-A-UTIFUL!


  1. Fat? Positive! « Fat Sexy Femme: Mademoiselle Kitty - April 12, 2011

    […] a short update today to tell you that over at The Red Speech Balloon there is an awesome blog entry about being fat positive.  Go read it.  Subscribe.  Do something.  It’s worth […]

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