Empowering Fat

So I have received quite a few comments and messages of concern around my usage of the word fat over terms like plus size, voluptuous, fluffy, etc.  I wanted to take the time to talk about the reclamation of the word fat and how we can use it to feel empowered instead of victimized.

Let me start by saying that I certainly understand why people might be off put by the word fat. For many of us, that word has been hurled at us violently from family members, strangers, doctors, and from moving cars. It has been used to attack in expected situations like family dinners and doctor visits, and it has surprised as we walked down the street minding our own business. It has been followed by snorting pig noises, moos, and commonly derogatory terms as in fat bitch, slut, fuck, asshole, and so on. I get why fat can be a pretty damn hurtful word for people of size. So, why do I use it?

I feel like when we continue to allow it to be a four letter word, we continue to give it the power to hurt not just ourselves but other fat people. When we use terms like voluptuous or fluffy over fat, it perpetuates the idea that there is something shameful or wrong about being fat. It’s something we have to cover up, hide, and stuff into a pair of Spanx pronto. I have no shame about fat, I want to stick that word on a pedestal in a bikini with a neon sign that says “Hey there sexy pants!” Too far? But you get the idea.

I use the word fat to rob it of its negative power. I’m a fat woman, but I am also quite tall. I am 5’9”.  I have never described myself as tall and had someone rush quickly to me and be like “Oh no! You’re not tall, you’re just vertically advanced.”

I don’t need someone to make excuses for my size, or qualify my size. I don’t want to be told “Oh you’re not fat, you’re pleasantly plump, rotund, fluffy, or a meat and potatoes kind of gal”. And I especially don’t want to be called hefty. Kind people, I am not a trash bag. I am fat, tall, pale, red haired, and freckled, and each of those descriptive words should merit the exact same reaction.  And it’s for this reason that I loudly and proudly use the word fat, because nobody should be afraid of that word or of that idea. 

Advertisements

If only you could rearrange the letters in obesity to spell obsession.

Every once and a while when I am surfing the glorious interwebs I come across an article that is not so much appalling as just completely and totally laughably entertaining.  This article is one of those things.

http://www.examiner.com/x-41615-Philadelphia-Diets-Examiner~y2010m3d23-Has-daVincis-Last-Supper-Uncoded-Americas-Obesity-Epidemic

These people legitimately spent money to study different versions of the Last Supper over the last thousand years to see if the serving sizes on the table got bigger?! the best part of reading the article was how scientific and serious they tried to make themselves sound:

“Using the size of the diners’ heads as a basis for comparison, the Wansinks used computers to compare the sizes of the plates in front of the apostles, the food servings on those plates and the bread on the table. Assuming that heads did not increase in size during the second millennium after the birth of Christ, the researchers used this method to gauge how much serving sizes increased.”

I ‘m sorry I just had to share this because I found it so very entertaining!

DEEPLY SORRY

I just want to apologize to my readers and to anyone who has been trying to contact me. I moved and also went through a sort of very personal crisis that I don’t feel at liberty to discuss, but I am back now after a very long time and I hope to resume writing my blog on a regular basis and discussing all that is fat in the media ASAP!

So here is an update on me really quick! I was recently accepted into graduate school which I am very very very excited about! I am working on getting a graduate assistantship to pay for my tuition. I have also just recently started seeing someone and he is probably reading this right now so I should only say flattering things =) . I am also thinking of adding a page just for personal pictures and things so that you guys can keep up with my life just because I seem to be getting a lot of requests for that. So hopefully that will be up soon!

NOW fat in the media!

I wanted to address this article because I LOVE Gabourney Sidibe. I thought that she did a fantastic job in the film “Precious” and I have noticed that a lot of people in Hollywood have felt very comfortable discussing her weight from Jaime (sp?) Foxx to Howard Stern. The whole article can be found at the link below, but as always I am just going to hit on the key points.

http://www.usmagazine.com/healthylifestyle/news/gabourey-sidibes-mom-slams-howard-stern-for-fat-jab-get-a-life-2010163

Let me start with my instantaneous childish reaction

Howard Stern “called the Oscar nominee, 26, the “most enormous fat black chick I’ve ever seen… She should have gotten the Best Actress award because she’s never going to have another shot. What movie is she gonna be in?””

First of all, if someone could give Howard Stern, with from what I can tell not one redeeming quality a job, then I am pretty sure that Gabourney will be okay out there. Secondly, why does Howard Stern always feel like he has the right to degrade women and talk about their bodies. UGH the man drives me insane!

But HERE is the kicker to add insult to injury

“weight loss company AcaiSupply.com publicly offered her a one-year supply of their product to “reach your goal of someday winning an Oscar… by being active, fit, and most of all, healthy!”

When I read this I was so appalled I could hardly even think straight! Can you imagine. As if being thin would make her a better actress! This is just as insulting as if a plastic surgeon publicly offered Pelelope Cruz a nose job to improve her chances of winning an Oscar. It is an insult not just to Gabourney but to women in general. As if their worth and skill lies souly in the width of their thighs.

This all brings me to my final point. Amidst all of this garbage Gabourney still carries herself with poise and grace! She says:

“It’s something I’ve had to work at. My first diet started when I was six years old,” she said. “I’ve never been a small girl. One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body.”

I say bravo to loving yourself in the face of an industry that openly mocks you and treats you as less than! SHE ROCKS MY SOCKS!!!!

It Doesn’t Take a Scientist

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Today/2009/06/19/9850071-sun.html

The above link will take you to one of the most ridiculous news articles I believe I have ever read in my life. The article is titled Study Ties Childhood Obesity to Low Selft-Esteem. Then the article makes it seem as though this is a cause and effect situation. Being fat gives you low self-esteem. Like fat is some self-esteem infiltrating disease that looms in your system waiting to pounce and make you feel bad about yourself. Chief analyst Julie Bernier had this to say, “”Up to now in the literature, there has been a lot of emphasis on the fact body weight problems could lead to a lot of chronic disease and now, it’s a complement to see that it even puts you more at risk for low self-esteem, which in turn would put you at risk for mental health problems.”

Now, it is hard for me to imagine how anyone could possibly question why young people have low self-esteem when they are fat. Could it be because everyone keeps pointing out that they are fat as if they had some obnoxious rash covering their whole body? Could it be that in Western culture we still find it totally acceptable to belittle and mock fat people in film, television, cartoons, magazines and news papers? Could it be that mothers sometimes tell their daughters that they will never get a boyfriend if they don’t lose 50lbs? Or how about the fact that in most school parents and teachers do nothing as half of the class picks on the fat kid?! This study was a waste of money and further proof that people will go to great links to prove that obesity is sick and wrong instead of just admitting that they can’t be happy with themselves. How about instead of using articles like this to promote more attacks on the fat community they start educating young people on the true facts of obesity and then maybe they would start to understand and accept each other?!

Big Bodies In Motion

Okay, so you might have noticed that the official name of my blog is BigBodiesinMotion. I cam eup with this idea based on the stereotype that many people have of the fat community. Many people think that fat people sit on their butts eating bon bons and watching soaps all day. I know this stereotype is false, and I would like the opportunity to prove it. SO, I am going to be dedicating a page on this blog to Big Bodies in Motion. Here is the catch. I want all of you to email your pictures of examples of being fat and active to bigbodiesinmotion@yahoo.com! I will upload the pics as long as they are not vulgar or offensive! So let me see how you all love to be active!

This is Why the Size Acceptance Movement is Necessary

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/19517549/detail.html

When I read this article, my heartbroke for this woman and her family. Teresa Smith was a 48 year old woman with a husband and a thirteen year old son, she also happened to weigh 750 lbs. When she passed away in May, she was dragged from her apartment on her matress by a tow truck, and covered with a dirty rug. She was then tossed like an animal onto the back of a flat bed truck. All of this occured in spite of the fact that the fire department had equipment capable of transorting patients up to 1000 lbs. 

Because of her size, this woman was treated as sub human, and even in passing our culture tried to rob her of her dignity. As I continue on this path of Size Acceptance, along with all of you, I hope that we can remember Teresa Smith and know that we have a lot to fight for.

Yay for Women Speaking UP

http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/vardalos-fires-off-at-fat-ist-hollywood_1106525

Yay for Nia Vardalos for speaking her mind and not letting people talk down to her for being who she is. Above you’ll find the link to this article calling Hollywood out for it’s sexist double standards, but I wanted to include a little bit of what Nia had to say below.

“I thought I was attractive when I shot My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Studio executives and movie reviewers let me know I had a confidence in my looks that was not shared by them. In other words, they labelled me with words like, overweight, unattractive, unappealing. Hey, just say fat. I love the word fat. I used it in the title. It’s actually not a naughty word.
“I have sat through many a movie like Sideways, where nobody blinks an eye when Paul Giamatti gets together with gorgeous Virginia Madsen, and Knocked Up. I mean the visual of Seth Rogen on top of Katherine Heigl made me put the popcorn down and reach for my purse… because I knew the film was about to stop and Ashton Kutcher would now jump out and go, ‘Aha, you’ve been punked.’ I waited, but no Ashton.
“Socially, the issue of men’s weight is simply not a big deal. Let’s face it, Russell Crowe is fat and no one ever talks about it. Alec Baldwin just orders his suits a size bigger and we continue to swoon.
“Meanwhile, I get hit with this awkward question about my weightloss daily and I have answered it in press interviews, at the grocery store, at the newspaper stand. Why? Because I see their (people) anxious, open faces needing the secret, the new pill, the cure, anything: ‘Just please share the secret’. So I hesitantly answer and I am always met with the same response: the glaze-eye, slack-jawed face.
“They don’t want to hear the truth – I had a blood sugar problem, so my doctor ordered me to lose weight. It was really hard but I did it through diet and exercise, and it took a year.”

In conclusion GO NIA!

Documentary on FAT

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/takeonestep/fat/video-ch_01_vid.html?tos=vid&filetype=wmv&bandwidth=_hi

Okay, I heard a little buzz about this video in the fatosphere and so I thought that I should check it out.

I must say that I am always hesitant when I see a film being made about fat because of the usual stereotypes. I sort of expected to see people going through endless drivethrus and complaining that nobody likes them because of their size. I was actually pleasantly surprised. They discussed the issue of size objectively and even presented some of the more controversial medical information regarding the “Obesity Epidemic”. Most of all I liked that this documentary showed both sides of the story and for once was not just a masked way of yelling GO ONE A DIET FATTIES. I really suggest that everyone give this film a chance and spread it around. A lot of people could really learn from it.