So, here it is. Here is me not being diplomatic or tactful.

There is no such thing as too fat for fat positivity.

I don’t care how fat you are. I don’t care about your health (well, I mean, I CARE but it isn’t criterion for whether or not you deserve fat acceptance). Fat positivity, fat acceptance, fat activism is for YOU.

By the same token! I don’t care how thin you are! I don’t care about your health (with the same caveat as above). Body acceptance, size acceptance, whatever you choose to call it, IS FOR YOU.

There is no magic number, no arbitrary point at which someone becomes TOO FAT ZOMG and it obviously MUST be AFFECTING YOUR HEALTH. There is no point at which you deserve the derision of strangers because of your body. There is no point at which a person can look at you and just automatically KNOW things about you (unless they are genuine, documented psychics, because, hey, I allow for all possibilities) and your lifestyle based on how fat or thin or whatever you are.

If you are sitting in your chair or doing whatever you do when you read this blog and you think there is a point at which people are just TOO FAT, you need to do a little self-evaluation on why you think that. Why are you placing limits on human dignity? Why are you imposing your individual health responses and reasoning on others when you cannot know them and their own health responses?

I could say more but, apparently, I haven’t actually abandoned tact all together.


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22 Comments

  1. Sarah TX
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU. Jesus F. Begley, I get sick of hearing pseudo-fatpos folks say, “Well, I’m OK with women who are 30-40 lbs overweight, but if you weigh 300 pounds, THAT’S JUST NOT HEALTHY!” I want to smack my head against the desk.

  2. Bree
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Yep, it seems that 300 is the number where fat becomes all things unholy and deadly. I call it “demonically obese,” because a lot of people react to those who are 300 lbs and up (myself included) like we should be getting an exorcism, or we are confined to our beds and can’t move. Sorry to burst their bubble, but I get around just fine.

  3. Posted November 3, 2008 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what has been the foundation for what I’ve been writing. Thank you :D

  4. Posted November 3, 2008 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    You win an internetz today. Thank you.

  5. Posted November 3, 2008 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    (Loves you like whoa for this.)

    Look at the pretty, sparkly truth!

  6. Posted November 3, 2008 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    WORD.

  7. Posted November 3, 2008 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow, just finished reading all the comments on your mod post at Fats. Head slightly explode-y. I feel more comfortable posting here than there because of the shit storm going on, so I’ll say THANK YOU for being an amazing mod and devoting so much time to standing your ground over there and defending the community.

  8. Jenn
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    You win. Thank you.

  9. Karen
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Something that’s been nagging at me…. definitely, you can’t be too fat for FA, and no one can tell you what your health is like except you (and sometimes, your doctor, but half the time, not even her/him). Not all fat people are unhealthy, not all thin people are healthy, yadda yadda yadda. But does it even make sense that there’s a point at which I feel like my fat make me unhealthy? Obviously, that point would vary for individual people, and it’s not my job to police it for them. But I feel like it’s affected my health sometimes, giving me more joint pain, or affecting my tendency towards sleep apnea (and other times, I convince myself that it’s my eating habits, and yet other times, I get all lost in the eating + fat + body insecurity mess). But I can’t even tell if that’s real, or if it’s what I assume must be real after years of hearing that fat = unhealthy. I know right now, I’m scared because my (fat) dad had surgery over the summer and my (maybe-fat-but-haven’t-seen-him-years) cousin was just diagnosed with diabetes at 26. So, I’m reacting. Probably. I think?

    Why is this so hard to sort out?

  10. Posted November 3, 2008 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Wonderfully and simply put. I love it. It all boils down to not putting limits on when human dignity, not putting caveats on basic respect. Awesome post made of internetz win :)

  11. Posted November 3, 2008 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, half a sentence left hanging there… I mean “not putting limits on when human dignity is deserved”

  12. Kay
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I

    love

    you.

  13. lilacsigil
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m quite shocked and disappointed at this coming from people who claim they are in FA, especially as the corollary to “this fat = doom!” is “this thin = immortal” which is pretty obviously untrue. Some mornings, I can’t tie my shoelaces and it turns out that people think my life is not worth living! Sure, it’s because of my positional vertigo, not my fat, but losing 50 pounds would surely help… NOT.

  14. Posted November 3, 2008 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely! I had to bite my tongue about this very subject (well, I didn’t have to, but I decided to for the sake of a quiet meal) while having breakfast with friends the other day. My boyfriend and I were out with a set of our “couple friends,” and the subject turned to body image, food, and all that entails. I talked a bit about my struggles with disordered eating and the weight I’ve gained since recovering, and how FA has helped me deal with-even love-the weight gain that would once have been a catastrophic event for me. (I’m 5′ 3″ and my weight is up to around 175 and climbing, but damn, I’m healthy!) The woman we were with kept talking about how much she loved watching “The Biggest Loser,” and I voiced my displeasure about the show. Her response was along these lines…”well, YOUR kind of fat is fine, but these people weigh, like, 400 pounds! That can’t be healthy! They NEED to lose weight! Obesity! Crisis!” I just get sick of these “good fattie” and “bad fattie” ideas. Ugh.

    PS-I’ve been reading here for a while, but this is my first comment, and I just want to say how fantastic you are!

  15. raven
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    hell yeah! i get very angry (and i just don’t get it) when folks that are supposed to be fat accepting or into haes start spouting that kinda fat hate! and it’s especially disheartening to find it in what you thought was a safe space.

  16. Miriam Heddy
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    So someone’s being stupid on the internet!

    What prompted this, other than the bog-standard nonsense that pops up everywhere. Did this come up on a comm I somehow missed reading on the ‘sphere?

  17. Posted November 4, 2008 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    @Karen
    I think it’s hard to sort out because it’s extremely difficult to shut out all the fat hating voices. And to have fat be a neutral thing. For instance, I don’t really know if fatness is a risk in surgery, or if people just say that because OMG FAT IS GROSS or they think fat=unhealthy.

    I also think mental trauma/damage has made it difficult for people to do things like eat veggies without hearing a chorus of fat hating voices.

    For me, I explicitly think about how I’m eating a huge salad because I like the taste of the veggies, because I think I”ll feel more energized with more greens, because I want to get more fresh food into me, etc. And that I’m explicitly not eating this to become smaller or restrict my eating.

    I also think about how diabetes strikes people of all sizes, and that surgery presents risks to people of all sizes.

  18. emmy
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this. I actually really needed to read this today. I’ve been having some issues with my health, ones that popular perception might lead one to believe are related to size, though my doctor assures me they are not, really. And I’ve been in a bad brain space. This made me feel a bit better. Thank you.

  19. Posted November 6, 2008 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Wow! Absolutely, there is no size at which a person “deserves” to be discriminated against. There is no size which should even equate “health” since it is such a subjective and multivariate thing.

    Being a HAES advocate and fat activist, it’s appalling to run up against this.

  20. Posted November 9, 2008 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Karen,

    I think part of what’s behind the back and forth between FA and weight concern is the need to improve your sense of well-being.

    FA can only do so much; that’s no small thing of course, but what I mean is, where do you go from here? How do you want to feel better and how would you try and go about it if weight wasn’t an issue?

    It’s when I asked myself these questions that I started looking at things like the Alexander Principle; I couldn’t afford to pay for it, but I read about it and applied what I could. Yoga to start to release some physical and mental tension.
    The thing about yoga is it is very much a mental discipline; it’s not about how impressively you can stretch, it gets your mind more in synch with your body, moving it without judgement, which includes making it a competition, with yourself or anyone else.

    One of the things that people lose sight of is that the obesity crisis mentality has stopped so many fat people from making progress with our sense of well-being; it’s not in the intrests of selling it for fat people to feel good about ourselves it is essentially amoral.

  21. Posted November 9, 2008 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    While I totally agree that no one *deserves* to be hated because of their size, and it’s nobody’s business but their own,

    I am curious…

    Is it true that there are people out there who are not just fat, but up in the 800 pound range that can still be healthy? Really? I’m still skeptical.

  22. JupiterPluvius
    Posted November 10, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Almira, I don’t know. You don’t know, either. Only the 800-pound person and their doctors know what the state of their health is. That’s why it’s none of our business.

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