Today a fat girl, for the first time in her life, is posting a full body shot of herself online. She is no longer afraid of the judgment of others. Today a fat guy is taking his shirt off in front of others and letting go of the shame that has brought in the past. And for every one of them, there are thousands who live in fear and shame. Thousands who silently go about their daily lives hating every moment that they are in their bodies.
It is for those thousands who dare not speak up for themselves that I share so much of myself on this blog. It is for them and yes, my former self, that I actively love and live in my body today. It is because I have seem my own life improved so dramatically by accepting myself and getting involved in the Fat Liberation/Acceptance/Pride community. It is because equality for all is what I believe in and strive for. I used to be just like them. I used to hate myself and my body.
For every proud fatty or fat activist there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of fat people who will harm themselves and shorten their lives simply by complying with what society dictates. They are lead to believe, we’re all lead to believe, that it’s all in the name of health when that couldn’t be further from the truth! It is pure, plain and simple stigmatization. Every generation has a dedicated group to target, bully and vilify. With this great technological age of faux-social enlightenment, we’re so lucky to have only fat people as the chosen scape goat for all of society’s ills. NOT!
That is what it’s all about though, it’s like there always has to be some group to take the blame for all of the wrongs in the world. When race and class are too politically incorrect to target anymore (though they still totally are targeted constantly), and so much of what society accepts comes directly from the corporations who profit from the hate they fuel, is it any wonder how we ended up here? When we place so much trust and power into anything who deems profit of greater importance than life itself?
So we know how we got here. We know the harm it’s caused. We may never know the true number of lives lost to such an offensively made up cause. But we can choose to stop perpetuating the lies and the stigma. We can choose to set people straight when they spit out marketing slogans as so-called “health” concerns. We can stay strong and support one another and hold our heads up high. We can choose to live the best lives we can and to keep each other from repeating destructive patterns.
We can encourage children and teens to love themselves as they are and to ignore the pressure to conform. That to me is what it’s all about. Conformity has always been an odd concept to me. Since I discovered The Ramones in the first grade, I struggled with wanting to fit in and wanting to fight against it. I have long held onto punk rock philosophies and conforming just doesn’t work. So why do we all fall victim to its lure?
Instead I have colored outside of the lines of life’s typical boundaries. I have done the things fat girls should “never” do. I have worn dresses and form-fitting fashions and felt fabulous doing so. I have danced with the hottest men and pulled off the most positive event I’ve ever attended. I have taken control over my own life and while it’s been a wild ride, I would rather ride out the speed bumps than take the “easy” and more miserable option.
I won’t settle! I won’t back down! I will keep going! And so can you!