tl;dr Version: Skip ahead and take the Big Beautiful You pledge with me.
‘Splain, Lucy Version: Fat is natural, and is not something we should hate ourselves and each other over. It’s not always healthy, but it’s not always unhealthy, either, and frankly, anyone trying to convince you otherwise is trying to sell you something.
Boring Version: Okay, I’m back. I needed a nap, but my wife accidentally played a clip from Whoopi Goldberg’s the View, where the coffee klatch were discussing an article in Marie Claire where some woman went off about her issues with fat people. This is a touchy issue with me because I happen to be clinically obese. I didnt’ choose to be this way, but I’ve had a lot of strikes against me, including a bad back that makes exericising extremely unpleasant.
Back in the summer, I started a project called The Art of Words, which was/is to be an interactive graphic novel featuring an overweight-but-beautiful woman trying to sort out a mystery in an alternate world that has no concept of good and evil.
The project is on hold for now, because my scheme to get the development funded by Kickstarter or some other similar program fell through when I learned that Kickstarter isn’t available to Canadians, and the otehr programs either weren’t as prestigious, weren’t as attractive to the crowdsourcing community, or weren’t up and running yet.
Now, for anyone who knows me well these days, they will know that I have something of a pronounced preference for women who are on the fleshy side. I loves me some generous curves, yo. I’m married to a big beautiful woman, and some of our closest, dearest and hawtest friends are likewise bigger girls. So my attitude towards fat prejudice (what else do you call it?) is, get the hell over it.
Some of us aren’t built to be skinny. We have a genetic propensity to being large. Many of us are still quite able-bodied, fast and flexible, and can rpobably work you under the table. Is that so fucking hard to grasp? Have you really had too much of the health nazi koolaid that we were all forced to drink back in the 80s, when they started telling us that not only was fat not sexy, it was lethal.
News flash, Sporty Spice: lots of things are lethal, and meanwhile, some of you have metabolisms that won’t allow you to gain significant levels of fat, even if you could use the weight to bulk up your flimsy immune systems, while others who do have weight issues are so uptight about it that they’d gladly turn on their fellow fat people if it meant they’d be accepted into skinny society on the technicality that they’re working the pounds off like a good fat person.
I know Western Society has been banging on this skinny person aesthetic for the better part of the last hundred years, but really, when did it suddenly become socially acceptable not only to be prejudiced towards fat people but to be a downright asshole about it? Was that the 80s, too? Damn. And here I’ve been enjoying my 80s nostalgia kick without shame for months now. Ah well, they were the best of times, they were the worst of times, and may you be blessed/cursed to live in interesting times.
So, when I started the Art of Words project, I also took a pledge to a project I called Big Beautiful You, which was that the next creative endeavour I undertook would be to glorify an overweight person for who they are. I’m still serious about that pledge, though I’ve had to postpone the production of my project until I’m a little mroe financially secure.
What I want to do is, I want to ask you, whoever you are, to join me in this pledge: that you too will do something, create something, write something, say some to someone about how big people are not evil or defective or hateful or disgusting. You can be attracted to one body type more than another, and believe you me, it goes either way for skinny people as much as for fat ones.
The pledge is simple: I will dedicate my next creative endeavour to spreading the message that big people are beautiful, too.
Take the pledge with me, and then tell me about what you’re going to do. Come back and update me on how your project is coming along, or how your presentation went. And for goodness’ sake, please share the pledg ewith others. The objec there is to get as many people as possible to change their minds about body image, and to realise that it isn’t all about the BMI and the Fat = Bad movement that has been strangling us for generations.
There are more important things in life to be upset about than that you saw a big person eating or kissing or walking and it somehow confused or revolted you. You may never truly understand how it is to live with obesity until it’s you, and if you buy into the fat shame philosophy, you’ll hate yourself the same way that fat phobes hate you. And really, life’s much too short to live like that.
It’s well and truly past time we changed our way of thinking. People can and do lose weight, and it can be a health issue for them to do so, but regardless, it shouldn’t be a subject for derision and open hatred. Fat people are real people, just like you and the people you love.
Think about that fat person you’ve been helpfully suggesting can get better if they just watch their diet and exercise more. Can you remember them telling you why it’s not so easy for them? Did you think to yourself that they were just making excuses to avoid hard work? Have you ever met a fat person who worked out at the gym and ate like a bird and still couldn’t shed the pounds fast enough for the world at large? Whether they’re doing it for health reasons or because they have a terrible case of fat shame, you can’t deny that they’re trying, except that they’re still fat, so obviously they aren’t trying hard enough. You see how that works?
That’s the world you force fat people to live in, and really, it’s down to your own fat shame; your own terror of becoming fat and being dismissed as lazy and useless. We’ve all been conditioned from cradle to grave to believe it, and when you get down to it, it’s all a big con job, because skinny people get sick and die because of their weight and dieting habits too.
We all need to learn what our bodies need, at the time our body needs it, and learn to do what we can to make ourselves feel better. If that means gaining a few pounds, why should we live in shame because of it? Because some asshole ‘doctor’ selling a meal program or exercise equipment convinced us we needed to feel shame at our bodies?
Isn’t that what authorities have been doing to us all along, giving us artificial reasons to think of ourselves as less adequate, and therefore subject ot their rule? Isn’t that what bullies do to every kid smaller than them in the school yard?
Okay, I’ve ranted quite long enough. Thank you for reading. Remember, spread the word. This post is Creative Commons to share with everyone.