with shame, you try to fence me in.
you cannot build a wall high enough.
you cannot contain my power.
the wall is coming down.
Shoutout to fat people in love with other fat people!
Love, appreciation, + all the warm fuzzies. Your relationships inspire me. Lottsa love tumbling around for couples where one person’s fat and another’s thin. They’re awesome. SO ARE YOU.
Q:How do you come the conclusion that people who dislike fat people are racist etc?
You’re talking about research by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. I shared a couple of their findings. The exact wording matters: people who describe themselves as disliking fat people are more likely than people who describe themselves as fat positive to agree with racist beliefs, and agree that poor people are to blame for being poor. But there’s no guarantee this will be true of anyone we pick out of a crowd.
The reason this is true is there’s a "just world" bias. Lots of people want to believe that we live in a world where everybody gets what they deserve. Believe that and the world feels safe. Because if you follow the rules, you can prevent bad things from happening to you, right? Trouble is, the world doesn’t work that way. Here are examples of beliefs that tend to go with the “just world” view…
- believing racist stereotypes, because that means people of color deserve the treatment they get
- believing the playing field is level, and anybody can get rich if they try hard enough, so poor people deserve to be poor
- believing rape victims are responsible for their rapes, because they could have been more careful (less scary to believe this than to believe rape could happen to you)
- believing health and body size are always related, and within our control, so fat people deserve the treatment they get (how scary to face uncertain health and stigma if they aren’t)
It’s scary to let go a belief in a just world. But it’s empowering. Because there’s self-fulfilling complacency in that safe view—believing in a just world is believing that “whatever is, deserves to be.”
We can say, “No, that’s not true!” We can face the fragile, uncertain human condition—and challenge the status quo. Nobody’s in this alone. We jump into the future together. Courage changes the world.
People who dislike fat people are more likely to be racist, and to blame poor people for being poor. We all learn messages from culture—stereotypes, fears, hatreds. But you aren’t racist! And you see that it’s hard for poor people to get ahead. Maybe you can give people of diverse body shapes a fresh look. We’re just people. Consider the company you want to keep.
"I’d rather die than be like you": when I weighed 300 lbs, anorexia almost killed me
When I weighed 300 lbs, anorexia almost killed me.
For years, I managed anxiety and depression by binge-eating. By the time I found better ways to cope, I’d created a new obstacle. Then I became so desperate, facing isolation and size discrimination, that I finally “succeeded” at anorexia. Anorexia is a miracle some fat girls dream about. It’s dieting as fast as you can.
That’s a fucked-up, body-hating lie.
I found out how many grams of protein a day the brain needed to run, and decided to eat just that much. Then I stopped being hungry, and didn’t even bother. I drank water and chewed gum all day.
I figured I’d lose weight or die. Either was preferable to my current life. That was depression talking, but it was also discrimination. I couldn’t go to a gym, because I didn’t fit the equipment. I couldn’t walk down the street, because strangers grabbed my clothing and catcalled. I couldn’t go to theaters or restaurants, because I didn’t fit in seats. Embarrassed, I turned down social invitations. People stopped inviting me. Anorexia was half suicide attempt.
The first time I lost consciousness was in the bathroom. It was just for a moment. I fell, and caught myself awkwardly on the ledge of the tub, injuring a tendon. A golf-ball sized bump formed on the back of my hand. The doctor said wait and see. It might never go away, but surgery could impair use of my hand. It took a year to heal.
I confided to another doctor that I’d stopped eating. He explained that it didn’t matter that I was drinking lots of water, because my body couldn’t hold fluids without a balance of electrolytes, like salt and potassium. If I wouldn’t eat, he recommended low-calorie Gatorade. My brother—also a doctor—told me I was an idiot. Of course I’d passed out. He also told me I was disgusting, and no man wanted to be around a fat woman like me.
I spent a couple more weeks not eating. Then one night I was driving, and started to black out. The streets were empty, fortunately, and I was a block from home. I made it to the doorway of my apartment.
My peripheral vision was black, fuzzing and creeping, fighting to wash over everything. I fought back, propping myself in the doorway to place my key in the lock. I left the door open and dialed my mom. She lived half an hour away.
I kept no food at home, so I poured salt from the shaker into my hand, and licked it.
I was terrified, and I didn’t want to die.
My mom arrived with a bag of fast food in each hand. I was on the floor.
The next day, blood tests at the hospital showed my electrolytes were still out of whack, but nearing the normal range.
A few years earlier, I went to a support group for girls with eating disorders. It was seven thin women with anorexia and bulimia… and me. They tried to be nice, but that group was not the least supportive. Those girls would rather kill themselves than be me.
Still, the group was a million times more supportive than when I let the thoughts in my own head. That’s anorexia. “I’d rather die than be me.”
Nobody deserves the “I’d rather die than…” spot in our culture. That is a spot of raw hatred swimming across our collective vision. I saw it clearly when I blacked out and almost died.
It’s never okay to say I’d rather lose $1,000 than gain 20 lbs or I’d rather lose a limb than be obese. It’s like saying, I’d rather my son be dead than gay. Why do we say this stuff? Partly—maybe mostly—because other people say it. The stakes for gaining a few pounds or being gay would be lower if there weren’t so much prejudice.
Discrimination fuels discrimination.
But here’s the thing: in your lifetime, you’re likely to gain that 20 lbs. I don’t see you escaping by sacrificing a limb.
You’re strong enough to be you, whoever you are now, and whoever you become. You’re strong enough not to joke that you couldn’t live otherwise. You could live with the discrimination. Lots of us do. But if you stop repeating the message that “I’d rather be dead than…” your life will easier. So will mine. The lives of millions of twelve-year-olds who are scared and hating their bodies will be easier.
I thought I’d rather die than be fat. I was wrong.
Every child’s life is worth living. Tell them.
—Anna Kinder, Big Happy Beauty
Fat people develop eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, just like skinny people. Please notice the signs and offer them help.
If you’re using pics of fat people as motivation to lose weight, you’re sending yourself messages of hate. “I’m fat. Fat is gross. I hate myself.”
Try this: Love who you are right now. That person in the mirror deserves your respect. Anything you do, anybody you become, she’ll be the person who gets you there. If you lose weight, remember her. If you don’t lose weight, good news! You love that girl.
I run faster and lift more when I set down all that hate.
What it would it feel like to love yourself right now?
—Anna Kinder, BigHappyBeauty.com
Love is big and strong
To the body-positive chubby girls who don’t want to be fat girls, and the fat girls surrounded by them (I’ve been both)
If you’re not as fat as me, it’s too easy to start loving people your size… and stop there.
Our culture has a rough, sliding scale: the smaller you are, the more acceptable. We internalize prejudice toward fat people—and carry it into body positive work.
As smaller fatties and thin women embrace body positivity, I’m one of the larger women pushed to the side. I’m not wild about the terms SSBBW or Death Fat. I call us Superfat, AND I’M PICTURING CAPES.
I was a chubby girl. I felt huge. Some people told me I was. Other people look at pictures and say, “She’s not even fat!” But I experienced years of fat shaming. That’s why I blog a range of fat bodies at Big Happy Beauty. We all experience body policing, though larger sizes carry fewer privileges. As I grew, I experienced more harassment. At my high weight, I was denied access to public spaces, jobs, and health care.
The bigger you are, the more armor it takes to walk through this world and keep loving it. Like I said, we’re super.
The body positive movement is being divided and conquered by internalized fat hate. We’re carving ourselves into fake subcategories. What does fake “body positivity” sound like? It sounds like a thousand blogs declaring “I support healthy bodies” and “healthy body types.”
TIME OUT. Supporting “healthy” bodies is ableist. Good luck living a life of 100% health 100% of the time! If you succeed, it will be luck, not moral superiority.
But what are phrases that limit body positivity to “healthy” bodies really about? They’re code for “I support chubby girls but not superfats.” Because superfat = unhealthy. Guys, you can’t tell someone’s health from their appearance. Look at the websites Fat Can Dance and Fat Chicks Who Love to Exercise.
Superfat badasses who climb mountains and do splits—not me, I couch-surf—can also be photographed at rest. We all have times when we’re sitting around being gorgeous and someone says, “Get the camera!” You could show those pics (I look excellent couch-surfing), and nobody would, like, die. It would actually be body positive.
There’s another way to do “body positive” wrong—or, if not wrong, then incompletely. It’s taking inclusive, loving terms and applying them in a way that excludes already-oppressed people. Some celebrate “curvy” and “”thick” women but only show hourglass shapes. Others say, “I like big women, just not too big,” or “I’m doing body positive weight loss,” and only show smaller fats.
It’s easy to leave people out without meaning harm. For example, my instinct is to reblog girls who look like me. They help me feel better about myself because I readily identify with them. But I’m contributing to a conversation, so I make sure I don’t blog straight white girls exclusively. The awesome bonus is that stretching who I blog stretches who I identify with.
Nobody has to reblog me, or be sexually attracted to me. But if you blog body positive, please notice if you only show certain body types, and think about the messages you send to yourself and your readers.
A bunch of my followers have “body positive” weight loss blogs. They don’t reblog superfats with mean comments… they just don’t reblog superfats. Many only reblog small fats with hourglass figures. Just catalog models and pinups, girls with professional makeup. The message I get is: they don’t want to look like me. That’d be awful.
Fat ≠ unhealthy, but sometimes people need to lose weight. You know your health best, like I know mine. Do I think some of you are trying to have your cake and eat it, too? Yes. Feels like there’s a mix of body love and fat hate. It stings, but you’re welcome here.
Your position in a fat-hating world will change if you lose weight. I hope you won’t lose body positivity. Body positivity is just love, you guys. Love is big and strong.
Love who you are right now. That person in the mirror deserves your appreciation and respect. Anything you do, anybody you become, she’ll be the person who gets you there. It’s not the fantasy Barbie in your head. It’s you. If you change, remember her. If you don’t change, good news! You love that girl.
Internalized fat hate is the enemy within the body positive movement. I won’t be divided. My younger, smaller fat self is beautiful. My older, bigger fat self is beautiful. And so are you. We’re in this together.
—Anna Kinder, BigHappyBeauty.com
Bless you, Corporate Greed
My ISP capped my bandwidth. I was 5-stage grieving until it hit me: now, every moment with Netflix is precious. Passing out to the “I, Roommate” ep of Futurama for an 88th night? NO TIME! Sweet #87, you were the last… FINALLY, MOTIVATION TO WATCH that artsy crap I love/hate, and the three Oscar nominees Netflix actually streams. EVERY MINUTE COUNTS.
It’s like the clouds parted and Beyoncé sang “Halo.”
English isn’t my first language so i reread every sentence six times.
After posting it I realize it sounds terrible. every. fucking. time.
I do that, and English is my first language.