NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Body Love Revolutions & Fat Hate: We Just Wanna Live Our Lives!

February9

Were you on the call last night? What call? The BodyLoveRevolution.com Telesummit! That’s what call! Last night’s guest was none other than Marilyn Wann! Can I just say now that I loved every moment?! It felt an awful lot like listening in on some secret fat-rebel meeting or something. Like I was peeping the fat secrets! I was inspired, of course. I am not sure anyone wouldn’t be listening in. I took all kinds of notes, but I think I need to let some of them simmer a bit to fully plot what I want to do with them. If you haven’t been on any of the telesumit calls (last night’s was the third), go register now and you can listen to past recordings, too!

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Fat Hate: We Just Wanna Live Our Lives!

Something struck me last night when the topic of fat hate and it’s various results and consequences came up; all any of us want (dare I say anyone in the world?) is to live our lives! That’s it! Just live and let live, right? So why do people feel the need to interfere, intercept or downright intervene?! It’s silly, really. What good thing as come from hating a specific group or person? Anything positive at all? I can’t think of anything.

When I was five (or four, can’t remember) my first self-chosen record (this being vinyl, not cassette or as yet invented CD), it was Cyndi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual.” And of course the big hit off that record was “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!” It was everywhere, it was 1983 and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was the next one I got (though the entire family enjoyed it). Something about Cyndi struck a chord with me and hasn’t let up since. I begged my dad to let me do my hair like hers: shaved on one side with wild ratted-up colors on the other! I was FIVE! He said no. No debate, just no. Ha-ha!

The message in her songs and especially her big single was simply that girls (people) want to be left to do as they will. Not in spite of or despite other people or opinions, but to just be and do as they like. Isn’t that what freedom is all about? While listening to Golda & Marilyn last night I was suddenly reminded of that feeling I got, laying on the living room floor, reading the lyrics on the jacket while Cyndi blasted through the speakers of the family turn table. The feeling of joyous rebellion! The feeling of finally knowing what I wanted! The feeling you get when you identify with someone else’s thoughts/beliefs/opinions/ect. I wanted to be free to do what I wanted with my hair and my life. Profound for a five year old, perhaps, but I do see now how this shaped my life.

As fats, we don’t always get to live quite as freely as we’d like. Sure, we can walk down the street and not care what anyone thinks. But then someone drives by and yells some hate at us. I’m making no comparisons here, but replace the word fat with something else and it will come across as far more violent and scary a thing to experience. And it can often feel like you are being physically attacked. In a way, we are, we all are! There’s no proper or helpful response to this, either. There is no recourse or a mode of action that would prevent it from happening ever again. We choose to walk anyway. We choose to go about our lives as we please. All the while hoping that one fine day the hate will stop, and we’ll be free of that, too.

It seems a daunting thing to consider when you just want some fresh air or to walk the dog, for fuck’s sake! But it is a reality that we deal with. I hate to think about the fatty that cannot bring themselves to go out and enjoy such a simple thing due to the fear of being attacked for simply looking a certain way. But it is a reality. And sadly, it is one that there is no easy solution for. You can let the absurdity of that hateful moment roll off your back, it may hurt too much to do so, but we grow stronger over time or we find a less populated route to walk in. And some of us simply go about our lives knowing this will happen, and ready or not it will at some point, and either don’t care or somehow find a way to relish in the stupidity of such shallowness and hate.

I don’t have an antidote or solution for such things, but I do still walk the dog in my neighborhood. I am still fat in public and I don’t care who knows about it. Let’s face it, my size cannot and should not (in my opinion) be hidden. I live a life out loud, so to speak, and would rather enjoy what I can while I can than hide from the world that would rather have me disappear all together anyway. Why live on someone else’s terms? Why hide? It’s not easy, sure, but wouldn’t it be better to at least try to live in your own terms even if that bubble gets popped from time to time? For me it is. And it is easier when you’re not alone.

I do find my version of rebellion to be a joyful experience. Whether this means going strapless in public or having some pretty deep discussions about body politics with my cafe’s customers, I find a way to get joy from that. When a customer said that she’d rather have the terrible chemicals in a sugar-free syrup (I refuse to offer such things in my shop) regardless of the consequences (and there are many) than to ingest the calories? Well, I had no response for her. I smiled and let her be. In my heart I knew I had tried to reach her with the truth and some people will simply never accept anything other than their own beliefs. Just as I have given eggplant oh so many chances to taste better and be more palatable (oh so many attempts you have no idea), in the end I do simply hate it. Nothing personal against the eggplant, it’s a pretty thing really, but it’s just not going to happen for me.

It’s not that easy when you’re dealing with actual people. To be told to your face that you are unacceptable and nothing will sway or change this person’s opinion because they choose to hold onto this hateful belief of their? Well, it sucks and it’s bullshit but you have to find a way to deal with it to remain an active person in modern society. We all have our own ways of doing that, but I always feel that in that moment, all of my fat acceptance community friends are sitting on my shoulders cheering me on! Is that so strange? To know in my heart that I have the support of so many amazing people? I don’t think it is, because I’m sitting on your shoulders, cheering you on, too! Every day! I’m right there, “You can do it!”

Thank you for that. <3

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11 Comments to

“Body Love Revolutions & Fat Hate: We Just Wanna Live Our Lives!”

  1. On February 9th, 2011 at 6:19 pm Lillian Says:

    I love eggplants. They’re so versatile. There must be hundreds of delicious ways to prepare it. As for the rest of your argument, I agree. I wasted too many years allowing strangers screaming out of cars to limit my life. I’m going to dress in sexy clothes, dye my hair, take the bus, etc.

  2. On February 10th, 2011 at 8:21 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I have tried possibly 20 different ways to prepare eggplant. I spent a few years as a vegetarian and love to cook. You can imagine a veg cookbook is full of eggplant recipes. I kept trying and trying and no dice. What can I say?! Ha!
    As for the rest of your comment, Rock on!

  3. On February 9th, 2011 at 11:02 pm Kath Says:

    This is why I see Fat Acceptance, and any other social justice movement, simply as basic, fundamental human rights. The right to pass through one’s life in peace, without discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, or censure.

    It’s a simple concept, but I am always boggled at just how many people don’t get it.

  4. On February 10th, 2011 at 8:21 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes! How is it that so many people don’t even see what they do as oppression?! It’s bananas.

  5. On February 10th, 2011 at 8:30 am Patsy Nevins Says:

    Great post & it speaks to my heart. I believe that the essence of FA is that it is a human right movement, & we are ALL human beings & should have the right to live our lives as we see fit, be who we are, & not have to hide or apologize for who & what we are. Our culture has become overrun by nannies, people/institutions/politicians/whoever who feel it is their right…oh, hell, their RESPONSIBILITY…to tell others how to live, how to eat, how to move, what size to be, how to dress, whom to love, & always, always, for ‘our own good’. I am a very independent person…independent as a hog on ice, as my father used to say…61 years old, & NO ONE gets to say how I live, dress, or anything else. I just bought a new bright purple ‘puffer’ winter jacket on sale from Torrid, & it fits perfectly, is warm, cute, & I love it, but someone in my life felt duty-bound to tell me that I look ‘terrible’ in it, that I need to wear my other winter jacket, because it ‘covers you, covers your ass, & you look at least HALF-decent in it’, because, of course, fat people cannot look more than ‘half-decent’ & that only if we are covered, apparently, from head to toe.

    I also have on order some khaki cargo-pocketed ‘adventure pants’, perfect for visiting the jungle or the pyramids, styled exactly as I want them, the first time in 61 years of loving these pants that I found exactly what I want that is in my size, & I fully intend to enjoy those too, with no apologies to anyone who thinks I am either ‘too fat’ or ‘too old’ to wear what I like. I found them at a place called Simply Bee, British fashion being sold from Florida, & listed in US sizes. The website is http://www.simplybe.com & they have some neat clothes. Anyway, this old lady is living as she pleases rocking the clothes she chooses, whether or not anyone else approves.

  6. On February 10th, 2011 at 8:54 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I love that! I would love to see you in your puffy purple jacket! Just thinking about it has me all smiles! =0)
    Good for you for doing what you want. I hate that people think that there is some sort of age restriction in fashion. What a downer! ha-ha!
    Thank you for reading, commenting and most importantly, for being YOU! <3

  7. On February 10th, 2011 at 5:21 pm Lauren Says:

    I was there! Loved the talk, though I missed some of the questions posited by listener due to sound quality/being in a noisy cafe at the time. My favorite part was the talk about the falbmobs, or the fatmobs, doing the hokey-pokey in public. That could so be a thing!

    As for coats, I prefer long dark trench coats. I admit, it’s a kind of body armor. No one is willing to fuck with the fat in the trench. She must be some kind of butch dyke who would fuck you up if you look at her funny, I imagine them thinking. I have never been heckled on the street while wearing a trench. But while it is protective, it is also restrictive. It puts off ‘don’t come near me’ vibes, which is bad when I want to be friendly. It is very dour, not in a cool goth kind of way, but in a buisness man kind of way. I also think that the dark color kind of makes me invisible, which should be impossible since there is so much of me, but because people are afraid, they avoid, making me not existent in their world. I’m left on the outside looking in.

    I want to follow Hank’s advice and indulge my inner beauty queen, to advertise myself, to dare people into taking a second look. But I am scared of loosing the protection of the invisible fat, to have people challenge me for just doing my thing. It makes me think of “the fat body (in)visible” by Margitte Kristjansson (http://vimeo.com/17785299). Those women are so brave to challenge the assumptions of thin culture by daring to be fat and fabulous. But then I take a step back and realize, they shouldn’t have to be brave to do that, they should be able to live their lives as they choose without ridicule. It makes me sympathize with those who are to scared to leave the house. Not everyone has the reserves to go through that everyday.

  8. On February 11th, 2011 at 9:46 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Dude! The hokey pokey & fat flash mob talk was in response to MY question! Woo! Ha-ha! I am so glad that you were on the call. It was so fab! And to hear Ms. Wann talk is such a treat!
    I hear what you’re saying about your trench coat situation. And you do look like a badass fatass in it, btw! (In a great way I might add!) I guess only you can know when you’re ready to walk without armor and be the truest you in this world that you can be. It takes guts, but you can do it and you will when you’re ready. And you’ll actually find that people aren’t as hateful as it can seem. I’ve gone sleeveless in a very popular mall! I thought I’d get nothing but laughs or jeers or worse! What actually happened was fantastic. I locked eyes with a fellow sleeveless fatty and we both smiled. I felt like I was all a-glow after that moment. And I refuse to look back!

  9. On February 11th, 2011 at 3:34 am Christine Says:

    “but someone in my life felt duty-bound to tell me that I look ‘terrible’ in it, that I need to wear my other winter jacket, because it ‘covers you, covers your ass, & you look at least HALF-decent in it’, because, of course, fat people cannot look more than ‘half-decent’ & that only if we are covered, apparently, from head to toe”

    Time to crack out the ‘I love sex’ T shirts I reckon. Possibly accompanied by some loud punk.

  10. On February 11th, 2011 at 9:40 am Not Blue at All Says:

    The more punk the merrier! <3

  11. On February 21st, 2011 at 11:21 am NotBlueAtAll » Blog Archive » Hi, I’m NotBlueAtAll… Says:

    […] myself, I’m NotBlueAtAll. Welcome to my blog. This here blog-a-ma-thing is all about Fat Acceptance! I often post about my own abuse survival, many topics of the TMI variety and sometimes fat […]

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