I Am Fat

And honey, that ain’t an insult.

Watch the brilliance of Joy Nash in A Fat Rant and Fat Rant 3: Staircase Wit1. (I found Fat Rant 2 to be too problematic with its portrayals of various compulsive disorders to recommend it, but I adore both of the other two.) I’ll wait.

***

Done? Good. Take a moment to compose yourself from the swoon. (It took me all afternoon. I’m still on a high.)

***

It’s — finally — warm and dry here in Portland. Shorts and tank weather. And I, fat pale flabby stretchmarked unshaven woman, am loving it. I’m sitting here now in a new sleeveless shirt-dress my mom got me, loving the fit and the feel and the color and the girly skirtedness of it, enjoying the breeze on my arms, smiling whenever I catch a glimpse of my shoulder “beauty mark” (aka mole), which has been hiding all the long rainy season.

Sexism doesn’t affect all women the same way. In mainstream US culture, a conventionally pretty woman — of the right age and right race and right coloring and right height and right proportion and right shape and right weight and right features and right symmetry — is told she must bare herself to public gaze (perfectly coiffed, in stylish and “flattering” clothing), that the public (meaning men) might consume her beauty. But the rest of us? Must never be seen. Certainly if we dare to go out in public, we must never wear that which is deemed unsuitable for our status as hideously unattractive, lest we permanently shrivel the phalluses of any men casting their eye our way, or cause the sparky explosion of nearby electronics, or wilt crops, or whatever else it is the sight of pale flabby arms like mine is supposed to do.

These are some damn strong arms, apparently. I think I’m flattered.

The point is, while some women are fighting for the right to not have to do girl-drag, some of us are working hard to have our right to do that very thing accepted.

There’s a lot of privilege in the look-good-while-fat movement, to be sure. (Any time dressing well is seen as an obligation, there’s a problem.) And given the culture which, as Joy Nash points out, barely thinks we should be allowed to wear clothes, looking good as a fat woman usually takes either money or sewing skills and time, all of which reflect various privileges.

I? Would not be sitting here in this lovely shirt (dress, if I don’t bend over or if it’s a good underwear day), with two more lovely new shirts hanging in my closet2, if it were not for the indulgence and bank card of my visiting mom.

But I have that privilege, and I get to — sometimes — shop at the fat boutiques, where I’m in the smaller or middle of the size range, where if they don’t have something in my size it’s because it’s sold out, where I don’t have to choose between tents and polyester frocks that will fall apart before I get it home which is what’s offered in my size in the shops I could afford to frequent.

I am fat. My unapologetic existence is subversive. Daring to go out in public, in revealing clothes — unskirted bathing suits and short little sun dresses and cut off shorts? Revolutionary.

Will you join me? Whatever your body size or shape, whether conventionally pretty or subversively beautiful or happily plain, be. Wear what you like. Be as you like. Dress up, dress down. Shave, or trim, or wave in the breeze. No apologies. No put-downs. No backing down.

Revolutionary.

  1. Transcript for Fat Rant 3 available here. I have yet to locate one for the original, although it is also available with German subtitles
  2. Ok, sitting in a bag on my coffee table, but by the time you read this, they’ll be in my closet! I swear!
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34 Responses to I Am Fat

  1. *raises hand* Another unequivocally fat, sleeveless top wearing person here :-)

  2. Another crop wilting fat girl, unabashedly going even *strapless* this summer, because I like it, and it makes ME feel good, and I think it’s comfortable and aesthetically pleasing to me. I’ve even gotten my fat-shorts back out of storage and am daring to show more than just my ankles. That’s right. These are my arms. These are my thighs. I’ve earned this extra mass because this is one of the ways growing a life changed my body, and nourishing tmy offspring has changed it too- and that is beautiful and worthy of being able to wear whatever suits me.
    And I’m grateful for this post because I was about to use my sewing skills to make a dress which covered my upper arms more “flatteringly” when I really just want to do something strappy. Strappy- here I come. Upper arm girth and all.

  3. I only disagree with one point in this post: You my lovely are NOT hideously unattractive!! Far from it!!
    Otherwise I really love this post and the videos you linked. Being able to embrace body style/shape/changes and realize that the size of my belly and thighs do not define my worth!

  4. Prudence_Dear

    So, despite my inner trepidations, I started writing a response to this post about an hour and a half ago… and realized mid-way through that it was no longer just a reply but a post all of its own so I’ve posted it on my oft-inactive livejournal page and hope it’s okay that I link to it at the end (let me know if it’s not okay to link and I won’t in the future!)

    *Disclaimer: thinking analytically about the topic of fat and weight is relatively new to me so if I’ve been insensitive or fatist here, please feel free to challenge me but remember I’m a newb and be gentle :) *

    I really struggled with this post, and others you’ve done on the topic of fat, because I really struggle with the issue itself. With most of your other posts, I know where I stand on the issue being discussed and what I’m reading opens my eyes to new ideas perspectives or ways to think and talk about things from my own position. Around fat and weight, however, I’m still somewhat conflicted. Reading your stuff has added to the conflict, in a good way, and given me the opportunity to reflect more deeply on how I feel and how I have been influenced by what is around me.

    My main source of conflict is around health and weight and while I want to embrace the anti-fat movement, I’ve had trouble letting go of the idea that “you can be beautiful at any size but fat people are making ‘poor’ choices that will eventually kill them”.

    After all this thought, however, I’ve realized that regardless of the medical issues that current (kyriarchically based?) research says about weight, it is still none of our business and we should just butt out and stop thinking that fatness somehow gives us the right to judge and comment and intrude on other people’s lives in a way we would never dream of doing with regard to other issues. I’ve also come to think that the oppressive nature of fat comments and judgments holds particularly offensive elements of all sorts of isms that take it out of the realm of concern for others and into one of crappy behaviour all around.

    I’m still struggling with some of this stuff and am excited to think and read and reflect on it more. I would love to hear any comments people have about my reaction here or over on my page (if that’s okay).

    My longer response:
    http://chapeskie.livejournal.com/3358.html

    • Prudence_Dear — thank you for this comment. I kept putting off responding because I wanted to do it justice (paralyzing perfectionism is the term), but I’d rather give you something than nothing.

      First: Everyone is gonna die. I promise. Even if we engage in risky behaviors, we are only increasing our risk of dying slightly (usually) earlier. Fat, even if all that weight-loss-industry-funded research is right, is not a death sentence any more than merely being alive is.

      Next, you’re absolutely right: it is none of anyone else’s business, and “concern” for our “health” is a disguise (sometimes intentionally, sometimes “well-meant”) for bigotry and oppression.

      From something you said in your full post (and you are always welcome to link!): even if we agree that carrying “excess” (and think about what that says about the “standard”, please) weight is dangerous, there is no evidence that we can reliably, permanently, make a fat person into a thin one. And there’s lots and lots of evidence that trying to (with dieting, weight loss drugs and surgeries, extreme exercise, and so on) is actually damaging to our health. And? It makes us fatter.

      (And someone is going to pop in with “But I managed to lose weight!” Really? More than 30% of your body weight? And you’ve kept it off for more then five years? Congrats, you’re a statistical fluke. Nothing wrong with that. There are always outliers. Just don’t expect the other 95%+ of the population to do it.)

      Fat/size acceptance isn’t about saying “if you ever lose weight for any reason you’re a bigot”. That’d be ridiculous. Fat acceptance is saying that everyone, even you before you lost weight, is deserving of dignity and respect. Everyone is a person, and deserves to be treated as such — deserves to have clothing that fits and feels good, deserves to walk though life without risking insult or injury for how they look or who they are, deserves to not have their diet or activity level stereotyped at a glance, deserves to not have their health or longevity a matter of public scrutiny or presumed to be known based on bigotry and bad science. That’s all size acceptance is. It’s this:

      …we have a long way to go in regards to size and the myriad of intersecting prejudices and oppressive forces and the very fact that I am so torn about all this just pisses me off because I KNOW that my internal conflict is the fault of the external forces and that without them, I would be a happier and healthier person regardless of my weight or size because I wouldn’t be doubting myself, wouldn’t be judging myself, no matter what I do, eat or weigh.”

      HAES (Health At Every Size) says that we can, if we choose to, maximize our health regardless of our size (and says that size and health have almost nothing to do with each other). It encourages us all to move, to have a healthy relationship with food (which doesn’t mean only eating tiny proportions of “health food”, but of feeding ourselves with love and for nourishment, body and soul), to make the most of the body that we have. Fat acceptance says whether or not we do, we are still people worthy of dignity.

      And I think you can agree with that.

      • Prudence_Dear

        Now I’ve struggled with a response because I was overthinking it :)

        I agree with everything you wrote in your reply and I think maybe I wasn’t clear enough about my position, or perhaps that I’m not able to see what I’m really saying – regardless, on a cognitive level I do believe in the principles of fat acceptance, I’m just having trouble reconciling that belief with the more reflexive attitudes, judgements and thoughts that pop into my head.

        I firmly believe that health and self-respect/love/worth are more important than dress sizes and socially prescribed ideals but when the rubber meets the road, I’m caught up in a mess of cultural expectations, morals and judgements. This type of confusion, I think, lies at the heart of a lot of bigotry, oppressive behaviour and cultural reinforcement; I think most people in our society would say that they are against racism and sexism (I don’t think we’re totally there for fatism or homophobia yet…) and yet wouldn’t necessarily be able (willing?) to identify the inherent/covert elements of oppression in their own acts, the acts of others, or within dominant societal structures. We can point to the abstract and say we disagree but when it comes to the ways in which we are used to behaving, it can be a lot harder to flesh out where the oppressive forces have managed to sneak in.

        And this is where I get personally stuck. I agree that we shouldn’t judge people based on their weight and yet, I can’t seem to stop those thoughts from popping into my head. I am able to recognize them, however, and am starting to automatically correct them which is a start, I suppose.

        The issue of my own weight-loss is another matter that is so wrapped up with a lot of other issues I’m going to have to do some serious work to figure it out. Again, I agree on the abstract level that losing weight isn’t necessarily a bigoted act but when I’m really honest about why I did it, a sizeable part of it was about my appearance and that’s something I’m not really comfortable with; I say it was about health but when people tell me how good I look now that I’ve lost weight I believe them (and the inherent statement that I didn’t look as good before) and that makes me angry – at myself and at them and at the whole damn issue. And what’s worse is that even though I’ve lost weight, when I look in the mirror the first things I notice are still my “muffin tops” and floppy upper arms! I wouldn’t say I’m someone with serious self-esteem or body image issues but I’ve always been “overweight” (according to “them”) and have always dreamed of being “thin and pretty” (because, in the deepest instinctual part of my brain those two things are still inseparable – uhg!).

        Right now I’m in what they call “the maintenance stage” (despite the fact that I’m not a size 2 model- I drew the line of weight loss at what I felt was a “normal” size but it was hard to let go of the “skinny” dream – again, that’s another whole post right there) but gods-damn, how I’ve come to hate that term! I’m not in “a stage” and my body not some thing that needs to be separated from my self and my life in order to be maintained – I’m a human being living my life! Yes, I’m still trying to find a happy medium where I feel healthy and good about my eating and my relationship with food but I’ve come to think that if that’s ever going to happen, maybe I have to stop listening to the scale and external forces, maybe I need to tune them out, turn them down, in order to hear the voice of my own body… and maybe that’s the issue I’ve been having all along… It’s not about loving myself despite the “flaws” or seeing the beauty in spite of “the weight”, it’s about seeing the beauty and loving the reality for all it is.

        Whew, I feel like I just let go of a lifetime worth of baggage! (maybe I should start paying you for the therapy ;)

        Thank you ever so much for pushing me to think deeper and look harder. I’ve had a feeling there was something here I needed to attend to but until your post I had managed to skirt the issue and turn a blind eye to the work I needed to do. You gave me that gentle nudge out of my safe space and, even more importantly, offered me a safe place to explore the issue and for that I am incredibly grateful.

        I’ve still got some way to go but I’ll get there eventually and in the meantime, I’m going to embrace the beauty that is my body and go buy a two-piece bathing suit to wear with pride for the first time in my life! (and show off my hairy-never-been-shaved-legs in the process :)

  5. I’m a pale, fat, unshaven woman over here, too. I’ve always worn tank tops, because I love them so much. This year I’ve finally gotten over the rest of my worries, and the public gets to see my fat, hairy legs in skirts, too, because I also love little hippie skirts. It’s way more fun to be exactly who I want to be.

  6. I started a fat post last week, but didn’t publish it. I’m fat. Most of my weight centers in my stomach. And every day I get to do the “No I’m not pregnant, just fat” song and dance. *sigh*

  7. Arwyn, thanks so much for the link to my post. I wanna raise my arms in solidarity and show off my unshaven pits too!

  8. I am fat. I am proud. I am beautiful.

    That used to be SO HARD to write, to say, to claim for myself. Time and a LOT of effort went into reclaiming my body as my own and good, in whatever state it might be. Not to say that I still don’t have struggles with this – I do, and I probably always will. It started when I was small, thanks to a meddling doctor telling me that I was fat – when I was most certainly NOT, not that it would have mattered either way – and it followed me through years of starving, over-exercising, gaining weight, dieting, struggling, and allowing myself to stay in abusive relationships because I thought that I didn’t deserve better.

    One day… it just shattered in my head, this replaying reel of self-abuse and self-hatred. I could either continue to hate myself and eventually make myself so sick that I could even die – or I could change the tape out to one of self-love and healthy, happy thoughts about the things I liked about Xiane.

    Like I said, it’s never easy. But I’ve never been happier.

    Thank you for writing this, Arwen. You are indeed beautiful!

    • Xiane — I was lucky, because by the time I was twelve (probably earlier), I had been introduced to size acceptance, so I missed (happily!) a lot of the struggles and cycles that so many go through. But I still have the tapes, and they still show up in rotation. The difference now is that I know them for what they are, and I have other, more loving scripts I can work to replace them with.

      There was a study that made the rounds through the fatosphere a while ago that suggested that at least part of why fat people might have poorer health is the stress of self- and outside-hatred that we live with every day. There were lots of comments along the lines of “well WE coulda told you THAT!”

  9. MistsOfSpring

    Another fat, pale, inconsistently shaven woman here! I wear shorts and t-shirts, sleeveless blouses and I even go out in *gasp* a bathingsuit! My body exists for living, not for the general public’s viewing pleasure. Besides, we all come in so many different shapes and sizes…isn’t variety beautiful?

  10. Fantastic post. I have struggled for a long time with the whole “dressing to be seen” thing (as opposed to dressing inside my home where I will not be seen). I have spent far too long getting ready to go to the corner shop for milk. I’ve obsessed over being able to change at the end of a work day before going out to something of the evening. I’ve not worn things that are beautifully comfortable because they’re not “dressed” to be seen.

    And let’s not get started on the hairy legs and pits.

    Posts like this help me reconcile public me with private me. I want them to be the same person when it comes to being relaxed about myself.

  11. I’m finally there with you, after a long time of being embarrassed of my body. I bought two sexy bathing suits and have been rocking them without shame for months now. I often forget to shave, too. Oh, well! I refuse to not enjoy the beach with my family or the park or anywhere else because I’m not thin enough. Right after I had my son I saw a woman at the beach who was a thick girl, rocking a bikini, stretch marks and flab showing and I thought, “I love that she loves her body, but I could never do that!” But now I can. And I do!

  12. Wow. I never realized just how “fatist” I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fat, but I wasn’t always. A pregnancy can do that to you. And I’ve been miserable, angry, and depressed ever since I purchased my first pair of pants that were larger than a size 8. Now I’m probably a 16, not that I know because I’ve been trying to do everything in my power to at least squeeze my butt into a 10 (with awful, sometimes painful results). I know I’m fat and I hate it. I hate myself for being fat.
    What I didn’t know was how rude I was, even if just in my head, towards other fat people. I typically pride myself on being nice to everyone and being tolerant, but apparently I have real issues with fat. I’m sure these feelings are making my journey towards self acceptance even harder.
    Thank you for sharing this video, I needed the swift kick in the arse it gave.

    • Flowerchild — Oh, I think if I could fulfill ten wishes for society, one of them would be to ignore the numbers. Or even get rid of the numbers all together. Why do we care what size is on the label if it fits well?? No one but us sees the number, and no one but us feels the discomfort from trying to wear something that isn’t good enough for us.

      As for the rest, I wish I could give you a hug. I’m glad I was able to share the video with you.

  13. I am only now, at 34 years old, finally figuring out what I like. I am wearing clothes that make me smile. I am choosing them based on me and not some current ‘fashion’. It’s somewhat ironic, as my body was certainly more conventionally attractive 2 kids and 10 years ago. But that’s not the point. I am me, and I deserve to like what I wear.

  14. I am fat. I am super-sized. Every time I’ve lost substantial amounts of weight (and I have), I’ve gained them all back, with friends! Several (about 20!) years ago I decided to dress as becomingly as I could. I spend money on clothes I enjoy. I cherish a compliment someone gave me: “I love the way you play with your clothes.” I am me, and I like being me. And I like shopping for clothes with my fabulous daughter!

  15. I am a brown fat unshaven female-bodied person. The interesting part for me is that I have finally reached a place of accepting my fat, and found that my own happiness and lack of care to socially-accepted ideas of my fat have led to me being attractive to many people. I still struggle with the shaving thing, but I am more comfortable this way! :)

  16. I just bought two sleeveless tops.

    Screw people who have said I’m not allowed to wear them, even if that person is me.

    I will be comfortable and chic this summer, and fat.

    And, um, half-shaven, because I’m very lazy about it but not yet committed to un-. ;)

  17. I practice modest dressing, so there’s never much of my body exposed. But, as a fat person, I’m finding liberating in allowing myself to go out in public in ‘unattractive’ clothes. I’m tired of putting up with the discomfort of belts rather than elastic waists, dressy shoes with socks rather than casual slipons, and shirts that bind me near the middle rather than lightweight poncho-type tops. I’m tired of feeling like I can’t go out in super-casual or too ‘matronly’ clothing because, as a fat woman, I expect to be socially penalized for it in ways thin women are not. Screw that — I’m loving the comfort of wide-legged ‘mom’ jeans, men’s spacious t-shirts, and a crazy-uncool sun-shielding hat when I go out nowadays.

    • Vidya — Absolutely! I want to explode this idea that we have to dress for others at all, whether up or down, modestly or immodestly. It’s fine to be frumpy if that’s what we want; it’s fine to wear straps and skin tight clothing, if that’s what we like. We shouldn’t be limited because society says that women are supposed to be on display, or fat people aren’t supposed to be attractive.

  18. Oh, I LOVE YOU! I have been aware of the fat acceptance movement for a while now and agree with it all, but it’s hard to remember sometimes when it seems like everyone around you is thin and carries assumptions about why you’re different and don’t approve of you being different. Word like yours help so much.

  19. quazydellasue

    I was raised by a beautiful mom who repeatedly told me that she could not show her arms or legs in the summer, despite the 100-degree Washington, D.C. heat, because they were “too big and flabby.” They didn’t look big to me – they looked like my mama. I didn’t get it, and I didn’t believe her when she then told me that my body was perfect and I should feel good about it. Mixed messages.

    For years and years I was locked in a battle with my body. And I’ve never been fat – that’s just not in my genes, and I think people do not understand how much of this is about genes and how BODIES ARE JUST DIFFERENT, PERIOD – but I’ve rarely ever been the “ideal.” And I’ve cried over my body in dressing rooms, in bed at night, when getting dressed for a night out. I spent hours with friends pointing out our perceived flaws.

    Then I read “Fat is a Feminist Issue” and it opened my eyes. And I’ve gotten older and maybe a little wiser and now I just like my body, however it is. And it changes. It’s a lot bigger when I have a small baby, it’s a lot smaller when I have an older baby who’s nursing a lot. But neither state evokes an emotional reaction – they’re both just body. My body, which is healthy and alive.

    There’s nothing that pains me more than a female friend complaining about her weight. And there’s nothing that makes me happier than a woman embracing her body and enjoying it and wearing it proudly. So thanks for a joyous post! May it be a freeing and beautiful summer for us all!

  20. Pingback: A Day in Pictures, and a Call to Photographic Action « Raising My Boychick

  21. I have to say this ost is an interesting ne for me. I’ll likely get a lot of flack – I’m used to it – not happy with it, but hey I’ve come to accept that most people just don’t like the way I look.

    I’m 5’8″ and 120 lbs – in other words about a size 2 – most clotes fit me, though in my opinion some styles just shouldn’t exist. But hey that’s another topic entirely. I hear many women complain about their size and shape. Many of those same women will whine about others comments, and say I’m so lucky to not have to put up with that. Then withouttaking a breath those same women will tell me I look sickly, I shouldn’t eat hte foods I choose to eat b/c I need to put on more weight. If I choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator, they taake i as a personal insult and will tell me I’m damaging my body and that I should see a Dr b/c I’m most likely anorexic (or if they know me well enough to see me eat, they figure I must be bulimic) and that I exercise too much.

    Despite my size I am not the healthiest person – trust me If I wore a bikini there would be no sign of muscle anywhere, and after a few babies my best features are my arms (lugging two 30+lbs kids and all their parephenalia has it’s advantages).

    My point is that you want to love your skin, love your size whatever it is, and you want skinny people like me to let you do that. Great. Sounds wonderful, but I would really appreciate it if people would allow me to be happy in my skin too, would stop blaming me for their own internal feelings of inadequacy.

    Oh and before you jump down my throat about having no idea about what it’s like – The AVERAGE size in my family is 300lbs I wore size 13 in high school. I didn’t feel overly large then, just as I don’t feel overly small now. I was me. That’s all there is to it.

    Please love yourself no matter what your size, but also allow others, no matter what their size the same opportunity.

    • Sarah — is there anything in this post to make you think I would judge you or your size?

      I am aware that some fat-acceptance language, especially that promoted by mainstream media (like “real women have curves” — how I loathe that phrase!), can be really offensive to women who are thin. But what I promote is size-acceptance. “Will you join me? Whatever your body size or shape, whether conventionally pretty or subversively beautiful or happily plain, be.” Which means it is as unacceptable to tell someone to “eat a sandwich!” as it is to say “put down the burger!” Body policing, of whatever sort, is not OK.

      Thin women have size privilege (as you say, “most clothes fit me”, to name just one small example), but that doesn’t mean they do not suffer from body policing, or have any less right to be free of it.

      So yes, please be happy in your skin and love yourself and your size!

      • I certainly have never encountered “size privilege” when purchasing clothes – I am 6 foot 1 and weigh 126 pounds. I cannot find clothes to fit me properly. You see skinny models on the runway but the shops don’t stock runway model clothes unless you are wealthy which I am not – plus they’re rather impractical and not very attractive clothes.
        I’m sorry that I’m not familiar with the American sizing system for clothes; in England, I am a size 8. If you’re a size 8 then you’re automatically assumed to be not very tall. Jeans that fit my waist are sailing halfway up my calves – I have a 24 inch waist and a 36 inch inside leg. If I get a pair long enough then they’ll fall down. Clothing manufacturers have different ideals of what a size 8 would entail, so if you’re a ‘tall’ size 8 then they decide that you’re somehow chunkier, it’s more like a size 12. Dresses and skirts are also awkward. A knee-length skirt will become a mini, a mini will not cover my backside, this is on the assumption that they’ve even got the width correct – again, if I actually want a knee-length skirt then I’ll have to choose from the limited “tall” section and of course, this makes me somehow fatter so the skirt or dress will fit badly.
        So no, I don’t think I do have size privilege by having a skinny frame and I also get grief, like the poster above, for my weight and my obvious ‘eating disorder’ that I don’t even have. Total strangers think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask me if I have an eating disorder or shout “put some *expletive* weight on” as I’m walking down the street. We’re just the same. We get the exact same insults but from the other end of the scale. I don’t think that’s a privilege to any of us.

        • Allow me to respond, as a fellow thin woman. I am aware of the difficulties in buying clothes that you describe. I’ve had the same problems: nothing is ever made small enough for me, or in a shape that fits me. Seriously, I do not like necklines that dip lower than my nipples!
          I have been called numerous names with every expletive in the book because of my size. I have had health professionals criticise me for being “too thin”, and blame all of my problems on my weight (from depression to low iron to asthma!) I have felt the pain of being told I am somehow not a “real woman”.

          But!

          I can snack on copious amounts of chocolate in the break room without getting hushed comments about “no wonder she’s so big!”
          I am not perceived to have no heigene or poor heigene because of my weight.
          I am not considered “lucky” to be raped because “fat women can’t get sex”.
          I am not looked apon in horror at the prospect of people sitting next to me on a plane or bus because of my weight.
          I am not blamed for all manner of societal ills, from healthcare costs to global warming.
          I am not told day after day after day that life would be better, healthier, nicer if I was thinner.
          If I have acronym pain condition, my doctor will take it seriously, and not just tell me to lose weight.

          All these are aspects of thin privilege, which, yes, are very real. Yes, your pain is real and should be acknowledged. No, your pain is not “less than”. Yes, all women are told to conform to unrealistic body image standards, and no one is “good enough”; this pitting of woman against woman is horrible. But you are privileged, just as I am, and it is important for us to own that.

  22. WONDERFUL post! I’m a thick chick who loves floaty skirts and sarongs, tanks and halters and I don’t give a rat’s bootay what anyone thinks! I’ve been dressing this way about 15 years. It’s HOT HOT HOT in south Arkansas (where I live) and I’ll be double damned if I’m going to sweat to please the eye of others. I set my own style and I’m sexy as all get out. I show off my belly, thighs, arms……and I look GOOOD!

    You’re gorgeous, darling, and don’t you forget it!

  23. Great post! As someone who has only over the last year discovered the wonderful world of HAES, I thank you and all the bloggers out there who are so body positive.

    This is my first summer in nearly 30 years where I am dressing to suit the weather and MYSELF, and oh boy! is it ever wonderful! I was under the misguided notion that my fatness needed to be hidden, needed to be “fixed”; and never put together my feminist side with accepting MYSELF as-is. When I heard the “click” of those two pieces falling together, I rethought my entire outlook on how I viewed others, and myself, from a feminist + FA perspective. And now – cute skirts, short-shorts, tank tops and a whole new confidence. (and a lot more comfort during this hot, humid summer!)

  24. This is beautifully written and inspiring!!!

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