Jezebel republished an essay by Tasha Fierce at Red Vinyl Shoes called “As Fat As I Wanna Be,” articulating the idea that if you eat junk food, and are lazy, and don’t exercise, and are fat, you still don’t deserve to be shamed and concern trolled and vilified for your fatness. The Jezebel post is here:
When someone is fat shamed, the person doing the shaming often justifies it as them being concerned for the fat person’s health. Of course we know that’s bullshit. Fatphobia has nothing to do with health, if someone was really concerned they wouldn’t harp on it to the detriment of fat people’s self esteem. And a ton of fat people can attest that they eat healthily and exercise. I however, cannot. So is the health argument justified in my case? Well, no, because fat also has nothing to do with health. It’s the food I eat that’s the issue. It’s the fact that I eat when I’m definitely not physically hungry. It’s my lack of exercise.
I shouldn’t be expected to prove that oh well I’m trying really hard not to be fat but OMG I’m still fat so leave me alone! If I’m fat by design then so fucking what, I’m “choosing to be fat”. Of course I would still be fat if I ate well, didn’t overeat and exercised, though I might be less fat. But guess what, I don’t really give a shit right now. I am the stereotypical lazy fat person, and I have a right to be that if I damn well please. I’m not repping for the entire FA movement. I’m not trying to set an example. And really, if it’s unacceptable to be a non-HAES fat then how can we say we’re accepting fat? We’re only accepting it if you make sure to do everything right but are still fat? We say fat isn’t a choice. Is it wrong if it is? I’ve gained roughly 10 pounds or so (I’m guessing by the way my clothes fit) since my surgery simply because I’ve chosen to not follow the rules. But that’s my choice and I am sure as shit not going to be shamed by either HAES enthusiasts or bigoted fatphobes.
In response to the comments at Jezebel, Tasha has posted a followup that’s also worth reading:
I’m sorry if you feel like my wanton gluttony is making your fat friends look bad because they exercise and eat right and here I am, blowing it for them, being the stereotype they try so hard not to be. My point was that, again, FAT PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO OUTLINE THE WAYS THEY’RE TRYING TO NOT BE FAT, OR THE MEASURES THEY TAKE TO COUNTER THE ILLEGITIMATE CLAIMS THAT FAT = UNHEALTHY.
Right after I read this, we got a comment that I considered unapproving. But instead I think it fits right into this conversation, because it outlines helpfully outlines exactly what kind of fat people we’re allowed to be.
MY support is with those overweight people who will not quit and whose attitude shines with optimism and a desire to become healthy people-inside and out. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION!!!
That’s right–as Kirstie Alley and Carnie Wilson have shown us time and time again, we’re allowed to be overweight as long as we “never quit” trying, publicly and vocally, to be thinner. As long as we stay on the merry-go-round of dieting, and publicize how well we eat and how much we exercise. And it’s the best first line of defense against a lot of people–it shuts people up. Yeah I’m fat, but… (but I exercise four days a week, but I’m a vegan, but I never eat fast food, but I take a dance class, but but…)
What if the real answer is: yeah, I’m fat. And so what?
Posted by mo pie