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Author Topic: Degrees of fatness
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Just ran into this today, and while the boards have actually been really light on fat-talk lately, this issue has certainly come up here before, and not just when someone who is a size 6 is talking about being fat.

So, thought some of you might appreciate it, whether because you are a larger person or because the perspective of someone who is is needed:

quote:
I absolutely love you all and have no problem with you identifying as fat (as you are fat and it’s hella awesome) but please, for the love of all that is holy, stop acting as if your size 12/14/16 body has the same mental, physical, spatial, and societal issues as my size 32 does. You don’t understand. And it’s fine that you don’t understand! It doesn’t make you a bad person! As long as you treat me with respect and dignity and get that this world is fucked up in varying ways, I still think you’re awesome!

You not being able to understand or feel what it’s like to live in a 300/400/500 pound body doesn’t reflect on you as a person. But you not taking into consideration that someone in a 300/400/500 pound body has different issues and difficulties than you…well that kinda does make you a bad person. Because you’re not stepping outside of yourself long enough to examine how different degrees of otherness exist and work.

We’re all fighting our own battles. And while our battles are both on the field of Living as Fat…you have more ammunition than I do. In this society, in this world, you have advantages that I don’t. Your degree of fatness is more accepted by society than mine is. And, again, I stress that it doesn’t make you a bad person or a fatphobic person or a bad fatty. It just means you have privileges that I don’t.

The whole thing here.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Wow, I read this and felt really upset. Though I am always conscious of my weight, I certainly get angry when anyone - even those close to me - refer to someone as "fat" or "heavy," especially when they're women. I get really uncomfortable and offended.

In one of my Criminology courses, I read a book called "Stigma" by Erving Goffman. A "stigma" in this case could be something physical - a "deformity," or a scar, or something - or something more personal, like not being a virgin. There was an entire section on "Managing the Stigma" - how people cover up what they feel - and what they think others would feel - to be a "stigma", something that separates them from "normal" society.

Reading that book, reading this, and just being sensitive to these kinds of things, I just wish that people could look more on the inside of someone instead of just at their physical nature. Someone's weight, disability, scars, height, eyes, face, ears - anything - is theirs and I truly believe that society should respect them for who they are. They, too, are individuals; with hopes and dreams and the desire to be loved and to love others. Just because they are of a different weight or have something "different" about them to us, doesn't make them a bad person, or any different from anyone else.

Thank you for posting this thread! This post wasn't meant to be rude, offensive, or anything like that... I am just extremely passionate about treating others they way you yourself would want to be treated.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I totally hear you. [Smile]

Just a little reminder though, that in the fat acceptance community, "fat" isn't a bad word. The issue isn't about calling people fat, or calling oneself fat, but about affixing negative things to the word fat or to fatness, rather than, say, using the word "fat" the same way most people use a word like "blonde" or "blue."

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Wow, I never knew that. But thank you for pointing that out to me!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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-worried-
Neophyte
Member # 95567

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quote:
Originally posted by copper86:
Reading that book, reading this, and just being sensitive to these kinds of things, I just wish that people could look more on the inside of someone instead of just at their physical nature. Someone's weight, disability, scars, height, eyes, face, ears - anything - is theirs and I truly believe that society should respect them for who they are. They, too, are individuals; with hopes and dreams and the desire to be loved and to love others. Just because they are of a different weight or have something "different" about them to us, doesn't make them a bad person, or any different from anyone else.

Thank you for posting this thread! This post wasn't meant to be rude, offensive, or anything like that... I am just extremely passionate about treating others they way you yourself would want to be treated.

That was really beautiful! Recently I've been coming to terms with some of the ways my thinking is possibly disrespectful to people with "different" bodies, and I've really been making an effort to be more respectful and positive toward people of all body types and configurations. I will remember your words whenever I need inspiration. [Smile]

In regards to the OP - That was an excellent tumblr post, it's true that people often forget about the privileges they may have when advocating different types of body acceptance. It's something that I often have to keep in mind, as a size-positive person who isn't of size. Quite a few people have assumed that I'm only size-positive because I'm attracted to bigger bodies, or that I should just keep my opinion quiet because it's not my "battle to fight" so to speak.

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