Acceptance Through Salad

10 01 2011

I feel strongly that women (and all size activists, really) should stick together, because unity will take us further than anything else in this world.  I say this because I am about to critique a blog entry I found in the Notes from the Fatosphere blog feed.  Everything I say is said with respect, as there are points I simply must raise.  Some of them have just been overlooked by the author, whereas some I feel are overlooked by the Fatosphere as a whole.  I can be overly idealistic when it comes to acceptance, too, I think, so take that grain of salt as you read.

While catching up on the Fatosphere blog feed this morning, I found an entry from over at Big Liberty called “We Do Not Revel In Fat.”  I am on the Fat Liberation blog feed.  I love this blog feed.  I love that it was started by fat libertarians, of which I am one (a fat libertarian, not a founder of the blog feed).  I don’t think I even asked to be on it, I just…showed up one day, and I am honored someone wanted to put my crap on a feed.  ANYWAY, back to this entry…

Upon reading “We Do Not Revel In Fat,” I felt a sense of unease creeping over my brain.  I could not figure out why, initially, but after turning it over a few times, it came to me: I feel that it separates the “Good Fatty” from the “Bad Fatty.”  For those readers who are familiar with SA blogging, these terms most likely need no explanation.  For those of you who clicked this from my Facebook (thanks!), I’ll briefly explain.  The “Good Fatty” is the fat person who is fat in spite of their active lifestyle and food pyramid-following ways.  The “Bad Fatty” is the one who, as Glenn Beck put it, “let their thighs grow into the couch.”  Man, did that little clip piss me off– that’s another can of worms, though.  It seems to me that the “I’ll be a Good Fatty!” mentality is a stop that many SA’ers make on their travels to body and/or fat acceptance.  I don’t dispute that many fat people fall more into the “Good Fatty” category than the “Bad Fatty.”  That is not my point here, though.

“We Do Not Revel In Fat” makes a series of blanket statements about the habits, diets and mental states of people who are…fat.  The author makes the assumption that all (via blanket statement) fat people or SA’ers do not choose to be fat, do not choose foods high in refined sugar, do not have food addictions, what have you.  I have issue with this.  There are people who choose to be fat.  There are people who eat a diet high in refined sugar, and in some cases, actually shun healthier foods.  There are fat people with food addictions.  On a less healthy and functional level, there are fat people who reject thinner people.  Why am I saying all this?  Because I think part of Size Acceptance means including these people.

To me, Size Acceptance is people getting respect and equal treatment regardless of weight and whatever personal choices that person may or may not make regarding their weight.  I feel like that last part is sometimes forgotten by SA bloggers.  Concepts like feederism, or people who wilfully eat unhealthy foods I have seen oft chastised by SA bloggers.  I have news for you, Size Acceptance: society sees a fat person eating a salad and a fat person drinking gravy from a can as the same exact thing, and will discriminate against them equally.  Well, the fat person eating the salad might get a bundle of sympathy clucks from other people, but the pity, disgust and discrimination will still be present.

Do I agree with it when I see a fat woman write a lesser-fat woman’s experience off because she can buy clothing off the rack?  Absolutely not.  As I stated in my first paragraph, I have a strong belief in unity bringing strength.  I guess my point is, ultimately, that going to the gym or playing video games for 14 hours straight does not make it any more or less okay to be fat, so we should we separate the two?  In every group, there will always be those who smash stereotypes as well as those who perpetuate them.  We should not villify those who perpetuate stereotypes– that will detract energy from what we all actually want, which I thought was acceptance and respect.

As for me?  I’m probably like most people, I fall somewhere between “Good” and “Bad” on the fatty scale.  I really don’t spend too much time worrying about it.


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5 responses

10 01 2011
bigliberty

You misunderstood my post. I’ve long argued for the inclusion of “bad fatties” in FA — see my other post, “Bad Fatty Revolutionary.”

I was framing the general understanding of the thrust of FA by those who are explicitly anti-FA. This is *their* understanding. This wasn’t about disincluding “bad fatties,” as it were — it was about busting myths. In the “we do not revel” is the suggestion that there is no “we.” There is no generalization.

I think the way to understand this post is to turn it completely around and make all those into positive, rather than negative statements. I.e., “we do” instead of “we do not.” It turns into the anti-FA argument, which is essentially a way to dehumanize us, to turn us into a group of traits. I challenged that group of traits by throwing it back at them — and illustrating how ridiculous it sounds to be so characterized.

10 01 2011
Etooz

Ah, yes, okay. I had not read enough of your blog to glean all that. Sorry to have lumped you in with some others. I do still see blogs with the sentiments I talked about– and I respect that they may not be as far along as others. I still have my own struggles. There are times I feel threatened by thin women. I truly wish that wasn’t the case.

Thank you for being understanding. :) “Bad Fatty Revolutionary” is wonderful and I will probably post a follow-up tomorrow and link to that entry.

10 01 2011
bigliberty

Oh no, of course! :) I perhaps should have made my noted disclaimer at the bottom of the piece more detailed…I’ve been in FA long enough to know that my more satirical stuff can be misconstrued.

And yes, I’m with you on the pro-good-fatty blogs. I always think, “So since I’m fat I should be hyper-focused on what I’m eating and how much I’m exercising?” Just, no. The point of FA is that I shouldn’t have to change my behavior at all if I’m fat, thin, inbetweenie, and so on.

And btw, it also tears me up when Beck argues for autonomy on the one hand and then promulgates wrong-headed assumptions concerning fat on the other. But hey, at least he’s not saying that fat people should be regulated out of existence, unlike some of the anti-fat progressives out there!

10 01 2011
bigliberty

By the way, have you considered joining Big Fat Blog’s forums? In my opinion they tend to be more open to the libertarian viewpoint than most of the Marxist-Progressive FA blogs out there.

http://www.bigfatblog.com/

I post there fairly frequently.

10 01 2011
Etooz

Ooh, no, I haven’t joined their forums. I’ve kind of fallen off the forum bandwagon lately, for lack of decent places to flap ma’ jaw.

Thanks for the suggestion!

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