The following video (with text below) was inspired by this video.
“I did not realize until today that October is anti bullying month. After watching a video of Jennifer Livingston of WKBT online calling out a bully, for attempting to fat shame her, I was inspired. I love that she was able to say exactly what many fat people want to say, but in front of a camera on television. Many would say that she is brave to do so. The fact the her bully chose the form of email to attack and fully admitted to not watching her show only points to the fact that bullies do not know the individuals they choose to attack. It seems that they simply choose someone whose appearance bothers them in some way. It is personal to them, it feels like an offense to their way of life somehow.
By simply existing in a fat body we are subjected to constant criticism, threats and worse. The fact that much of this bullying can come from those we know and often love or care about makes this that much harder to push back against, but push back we must. I feel we are at a breaking point right now. I feel as though the time is now for us to start speaking up and out in our daily lives against the more passive bullies, too. That lady at the grocery store, your co-worker, neighbor, whomever.
When someone makes a comment about your body,
ask them why they believe it is their place in the world to do so.
Ask them why YOU have to fit into THEIR ideal body size or shape.
Ask them why YOUR body is so important to THEM?
Ask them if they would like people to comment on their body unsolicited.
Ask them if they know what it feels like to be judged and stereotyped and shamed based solely on their body size.
Ask them to stop making such comments to you and to everyone.
Ask them to respect your right to live your life on your terms.
Ask them if they realize that what they are doing is actually bullying.
Ask them if they realize that they are perpetuating stigma and oppression.
I realize not everyone can do this. I understand that we all live in different circumstances. If you are not able, that is okay. If you are, then please do. I just think that if we call people out on their poor behaviors, and this is poor behavior even if it is currently socially accepted, perhaps one by one they will reconsider. Maybe they might look at things, bodies, themselves, the world differently. I can hope for that, anyway. I believe that if I say these things, and look them in the eyes and speak from my heart, that they will feel how important this is. They might possibly get suddenly that what they have been told is okay is actually wrong and oppressive.
I don’t think the majority of people in modern society understand this. We stay silent in order to not draw more attention, attacks and vitriol towards us and our bodies. But staying silent has not helped us. I would even say that it has made things worse by allowing people to believe it is okay. I understand that it is not easy. But living in a fat body and being told by everyone and the media that we are worthless is worse. We are NOT worthless! We are incredible people. We are strong and we are many.
If we can tell people who choose to place their shaming spotlight on us that they are bullies and that we won’t listen to their hate speech a moment longer, perhaps we can change our society. Each time we speak up is like a pebble on a lake and the ripples will soon dance across the surface and sparkle in the sun. I want that. I want all people to feel safe in their own skin. It breaks my heart that everyday a fat person wakes up wanting to die because of how society makes them feel that way. That is not okay!
Because this isn’t about money. This isn’t about health. This isn’t about tax dollars or global warming. This is about the right to happiness and a life of your own choosing. This is body autonomy. This is what I believe in. And I believe in you and me. I believe we can start a revolution, one by one and together.