NotBlueAtAll

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

Let’s Talk About Fat Hate

February17

It seems we’re talking about it even when we’re trying not to, so let’s address it directly, shall we? (TW for mentions of weight loss)

I know, I know, just existing is seen as a big fucking deal when you have a fat body sometimes, I get it! Believe me, I GET IT! And it is especially difficult when the hate spewing or diet talk is coming from those you love and trust and damn, dude, it’s HARD! I know that I want to be informed and come across as such but then in the moment, well, sometimes I don’t have the words. And you know what? That’s okay, too! A sound of dismayed frustration is a perfectly acceptable response to someone’s fat hate/diet talk (to me they feel similar at times). Realize that when you speak up/out against what would be the publicly accepted norm that you are troubling those waters.Picture the ripples and just go with it! Rock that boat! =0)

While often we must deal with the misinformed or misguided, often people say the things they do due to their own experience of pain and outrage about their own weight. Your very existence reminds them of this and so they might feel compelled to say something hateful because you represent the thing that should not be in themselves. When you meet this rage or what have you with compassion and empathy? Well, in my experience, this just throws them off track completely. Random person, “I wanted to tell you about how I lost XX lbs…” Me, “Oh! That’s sweet of you to think of me. I appreciate the thought. It’s okay though, I’m perfectly happy with my body. How are you feeling today?” Usually does the trick, honestly! It’s like reverse concern trolling! Ha!

OOH! Reverse concern trolling? Yep! It can be done! I would warn that each situation may need to be handled differently, but hey the more facts and figures you have the better you will sound. I personally recommend this book & site for help in this. I wish every person could read “Health At Every Size” by Linda Bacon PHD. It rocked my socks and it will yours as well. You can start with the health over weight argument. Or how toxins stored in your fat cells can be released into your bloodstream and can make you quite sick when losing weight. Of course the 95-98% failure rate of dieting. Appeal to their self-interest!

Remember that deep down the person (hopefully) is just hoping for good things to happen for you. To them this may seem like weight loss is the good thing, but if their argument is overall health and not appearance, then they are trying at least. And you can help them by referring them to web sites or books or if you’ve memorized some handy stats, do offer those, too. While listening to Marilyn Wann on the Body Love Revolution tele-summit recently, I was impressed with her comparison of health care to a life raft. How can you exclude a very specific group of people from being saved? You can’t, it’s wrong…Next!

Be the conscientious objector! You don’t have to start yelling or calling anyone names, just object mindfully and remain calm (especially with family, damn they do know how to push your buttons). Explain what you think is the underlying problem or voice your own beliefs on the subject and/or move on and change the subject. Or, you know what? Walk the hell out! One caller from that same tele-summit with Ms.Wann said that he left the dinner table with his family when they started in on the diet talk saying, “I would much rather be listening to an awesome fat activist.” and he just left! That is so rad! But do get up and leave and don’t just be dramatic for no reason or you’ll end up like that sketch on SNL where Kristen Wiig’s character keeps getting up and flicking her dinner napkin until they beg her to come back to the table (about eleventy times). Ha-ha! (Sorry, tried to find a clip, but no dice.)

There is also power in being the equivalent to the Boogey Man! I mean, in this moral panic sort of environment, why not capitalize on this way of thinking and just scare the shit out of people? Ha-ha!

How do you deal with fat haters? What would you like to see in the face of this hate? Share your victory story against fat hate or make one up! We’ll never know. Ha!

Thanks,
<3
S

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posted under Bullshit, fat, Fat Acceptance
6 Comments to

“Let’s Talk About Fat Hate”

  1. On February 17th, 2011 at 10:45 pm Lauren Says:

    Well, I have never stood up for my fatness in to anyone yet, but let me share my favorite story in reveling in the fat boogy man roll!

    It was fourth grade, and was just starting to bud and gain weight. It was the start of the worst of the bullying about my weight, most of it coming from the boys in my class. One day at recess, I had enough. A friend and I were out in the big field at the school where there weren’t a lot of yard dutys around, and some boys came up to heckle us. For some reason, this time we decided not to just take it and strike back. We ran towards them and took the leader of the group down. My friend then held him down while I ‘steam rolled’ him, rolling back and forth over him using my full weight. His friends ran off, and he was properly disgraced after wards. After that, I knew for a fact that I was stronger than any of those boys, and so did they, so when they started to heckle me again, all I had to do was make a move toward them and they would run off.

    I am worried about concern trolls because I have several in my family. I am actually planing on printing out Linda’s scientific article and bringing it with me as reference, to both a family situation which might get sticky, or to a doctor’s appointment.

  2. On February 18th, 2011 at 8:58 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Ha-ha! I used to “steamroll” my little brother, for fun though, not to be mean or fight. Too funny! Yes! I love when girls stand up to the boy bullies and win every damned time! When the boys picked on me and my friends in grades K-3, we’d chase them and sing “Going to the Chapel of Love” and they would run like lightening. We’d always catch ’em. Some of the girls would even kiss them until they would start crying. I was never so cruel. Or maybe I really wanted them to like me. Ha!
    I think if you go into the family situation informed and calm that you can make a difference and be more confident standing up for yourself. But you also have to accept that some may never get it. Some will never see you beyond your fatness. It’s a harsh and sad truth, but that’s what it is. You know I’m here for support whenever you need me. I am in awe of you! <3

  3. On February 18th, 2011 at 1:50 am Kath Says:

    It’s funny, I was just saying today, after some frustration with dealing with concern trolls and body policers on the Triple J Hack facebook page, that no matter what you say or how you say it, if a fat person objects, disagrees or calls out fat hatred, they’re labelled as “bitter” or “angry” or “emotional”. They’re told to “argue sensibly” or “make sense”.

    The thing is, what they really want is for the uppity fatties to just shut up and go away.

    Well, that ain’t gonna happen. And more fatties are going to be bold enough to speak up with time. Every time one of us speaks up, others gain confidence.

  4. On February 18th, 2011 at 8:55 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yeah, fuck all of that nonsense! Funny how it’s the person being oppressed that is being told to shut up (more oppression, nice). It’s why I am so grateful for the newest generation of fats who are quickly becoming more accepting of themselves and not caving to the pressures of society. Together we can fight the good fat fight and shine a light on the truth! Thanks, Kath! You do so much and we all look up to you! <3

  5. On February 18th, 2011 at 2:17 am Erika Says:

    I kind of just gently offer some scientific literature on why fat hate isn’t “justified” (as if it were even if the demonic claims were true? but you have to reach the hate at the ground level with your bare hands I suppose…) I’m lucky though, my father is a giant. No one bothered me about how I am (tall, fat). Maybe it was the family resemblance that my mother’s family saw. Maybe my dad just scared them. lol. Doesn’t matter.

  6. On February 18th, 2011 at 8:53 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh yes, the power of the taller fats! I had a friend growing up who was taller than the rest of us gals and a bit heavier. Nobody fucked with her man, nobody! When I was getting my ass kicked daily in the 7th grade, she wouldn’t fight or anything, but I would just make sure she was nearby! The other girls would back off if they saw her around.
    We went through thick and thin (literally) together. I miss her so. One of the last times we hung out together she had lost a bunch of weight, through illegal drug use. She complained that she couldn’t sleep because her bones hurt from not having the usual padding. It broke my heart. Still does. I hope that she finds her way to sobriety. I keep trying to find her myself. We were/are BFFs of the truest form. Joined at the hip. Drugs wreck everything, I guess.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

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