As fun as it is to continue fighting in the comments, I thought I’d write a post about this issue instead, because I think it raises a few interesting points.
I never really used to post body shots of myself on the internet. I didn’t even realize I had this moratorium on it until I started looking for a full-body picture to post in the Fatshionista Flickr pool and found that I didn’t have any in my Flickr account! So when I went to post the infamous photo and realized that it wasn’t the most flattering one I’d ever taken, I had a moment where I almost cropped myself to look less fat.
Of course, then I realized that was the most ridiculous thing I could possibly do in this context. I go to an exhibit celebrating the female body, celebrating women who wore their fat proudly, who didn’t even have on any outfits at all, much less unflattering ones… and I want to crop out my own body. What a hypocrite, right?
So I posted it, with that title as a joking shorthand. And to be clear, I didn’t mean “I think I look fat in this picture” as in “I don’t think I’m actually fat but I look fat in this photo so please tell me I am not fat because fat is bad.” I meant it wasn’t the most flattering photo of me. (I guess I was using fat as a slight pejorative, but it was jokingly. I’m working on it. As Weetabix might say, I’m going to a camp.) Anyway, I meant to hint at almost cropping myself out of it, or not posting it. And let’s get real, here: in that photo, I could use a better bra. I could look “better” in that photo. But the point was, so what? What’s the worst that could happen? I posted it.
Anyway, some people told me I looked cute and whatnot, and then someone turned up to assure me I am fat in kind of a negative tone, and then some people responded to her, and then she came back to make sure I know that I am fat, and that she did not mean “fat” in a good way. (What is that about, the need to inform fat people that they are fat? It’s so weird.) But please note how her entire argument is predicated on the fact that when people tell me I look “lovely” or “fantastic,” they are secretly saying “you’re not fat.” The equation that fat = unlovely, unfantastic, unawesome… well, that’s clearly a logical fallacy, but that’s Melanie’s flawed reasoning, not mine. Hopefully not yours.
Anyway, I’ve been posting lots of full-body shots of myself since the whole Fatshionista experience, and it turns out it’s not so terrible! (Maybe one of these days I will find one where I’m wearing something other than jeans and a T-shirt.) And I think I’m less afraid of “what people will say” about me, because as it turns out, the things they say don’t really matter all that much! Because I believe I am a cute fat chick. I believe that Beth Ditto is sexy and awesome. I believe that my body is really none of Dan England’s or Melanie’s or MeMe Roth’s business. Beliefs like that make it easier to roll my eyes at the comments of people who think they’re going to wound and insult me, who think fat is a bad word, or a shot through the heart.
Posted by mo pie