I thought I understood the body-positive movement, but based on the sheer amount of articles and blogs I’ve read in the past week, I can now safely state that I don’t get it.
First and foremost: I know there is no way in hell anyone qualifies as the spokesperson for any particular body type, because all of our interpretations of body-related verbiage are different. My fat isn’t going to mirror your fat. My thin is entirely different than yours. And, obviously, nobody can even begin to agree on what ‘normal’ means anymore.
Then, there are the intensifiers. Let’s take an already vague word and somehow make it more confusing. Too. Very. Enough. Almost. So. Obviously, if you don’t know what fat looks like to me, it’s not going to become any clearer if I stick the word “very” in front of it.
It feels stupid to have to defend opinion pieces, but I’m really over reading remarks about how an author who refers to herself as fat is being rebuked by other people who feel like she’s misrepresenting the fat community, because she isn’t fat enough.
And then, there are the folks that admit that OK, it’s cool if she describes herself at fat, but she’s also pretty, and somehow that diminishes her credibility as a fat person.
Oh, and let us not forget that if you are a fat person, you should be authentically fat. If you happened to become fat as a result of physical or mental illness, medication, unhealthy relationships, etc. then your fat doesn’t count. Well, maybe it counts, but only if you keep those reasons a secret.
And finally, don’t you dare suggest that you would rather be anything other than a fat person at some point in the future. You wear your fatness (or thinness) as a badge of honor. Losing or gaining weight is for pussies.
I know that I’m not the first person to throw this out there, but honestly, quit being so damn judgy, Internet. And by internet, I mean people. And by people, I mean ALL OF YOU.
Not really. But maybe.
Yes, we live in a world where body stereotypes exist, I get it. And change takes time. And this entire discussion could apply to any number of stigmas that are out there. Admire the writing and the courage. Applaud the willingness to speak about a topic that does create waves. I suppose I need to listen to my own advice and just be grateful there is discussion happening.
Thanks, Sara Benincasa, for getting people talking. You’re appreciated, and I’m cool with however you describe yourself.