Do you accept your size? Or are you in a constant battle to change it? Usually this battle involves becoming small, or losing weight. There is a saying in America that you can never be too rich or too thin. This shows our culture’s values and what it places importance on.
I am fat. I own it. I give permission to any person to call me fat. I do not see fat as a dirty word. I view fat as a neutral descriptor of bodies, like being blonde, brown-eyed or tall. In our culture, fat is a 4-letter world. To call someone fat is to commit a forbidden action. I respect any person of size that does not want to be called fat. I get it. But I hope there is the same level of respect for people that want to be called fat. It is important to me because it is a political act. Identifying as fat is political, and really challenges the hegemonic model of how fatness is conceptualized.
The essence for me of the size acceptance movement is fat pride. Being proud of being fat is a revolutionary act, precisely because we live in such a virulently fathobic culture. Size acceptance builds acceptance of people at any size. This can be the skinny all the way to the supersized. What would it mean if we all stopped dieting and learned to love our bodies as they are? It is a utopian dream at this point. The multi-billion dollar diet industry, body-shaming ands body-snarking on social media and the plethora of oppressive advertisements work around the clock to make people afraid of their size.
“The movement has been criticized, with Cathy Young, writing for the Boston Globe, claiming that “the fat acceptance movement is hazardous to our health” and Barbara Kay, writing for the National Post, stating that “fat-acceptance is not the answer to obesity.”
Shame on these two writers/critics. Fatphobia is hazardous to our health, not the fat/size acceptance movement. People who being up “health” are almost never actually concerned with health. They are using “health” as a thin veneer to cover anti-fat bias. Whenever people bring up the issue of “health” I have to roll my eyes. It is a classic derail. Fatness is a social justce issue, but opponents want to cause it to constantly be seen as a medical problem only. Saying the “Fat acceptance movement” is not the answer to “obesity” is instructive because the author using the word obesity. Obesity refers to the medicalization of fatness. We can therefore imply that Kay does not view fatphobia as a cultural problem but as an individual problem that needs to be solved by medical means. We need to look at fatness at the macro level, not the micro level.
The size acceptance movement functions to expose fatphobic and weightist forms of discrimination in our society as a whole. They particularly work to expose fatphobia in employment, education and the medical establishment They are a desperately needed movement in our culture but generally receive very little attention. I hope people reading this will consider size acceptance and joining in body positive campaigns and organizations. Every body is a good body and size acceptance is bravely pushing for this ideal in our culture.