I have had about enough of fat bodies being used to represent everything from greed to laziness to a supposed health crisis. Pictures of headless fatties – who were typically not compensated or asked for their permission – litter the internet accompanying articles about rising healthcare costs (even though the CBO’s independent report showed that we’re not the issue), representing over-consumption of fast-food, even though there is no proof that fat people eat any more fast food than people of other sizes. Our bodies are freely used for whatever the negative metaphor, comparison, or representation of the day is. As if we have no feelings about seeing people who look like us constantly used to represent everything bad in the world, as if those feelings aren’t important.
People don’t take care of things that they don’t think are worthy of care, and so I consider the use of headless fatty pictures – which are designed to show fat bodies as shameful and bad – to be detrimental to public health.
Our bodies are not yours to photograph and throw all over the internet as a metaphor for anything. We are PEOPLE, these are our BODIES, and EVERY BODY deserves respect.
Of course we each get to choose how to deal with our oppression and nobody is under any obligation to do it as I’m suggesting. I propose a little bit of simple at-home activism. Every time you see a picture of a headless fatty on the internet representing something negative, leave a comment like “No More Headless Fatties – Every Body Deserves Respect!” If you want to take it one step further send an e-mail to the source of the story – tell them your personal story, send them this blog whatever, but let’s teach people that this behavior isn’t ok. Also, I’ve found that this kind of activism can reframe this issue for me – now instead of feeling angry or hurt or ashamed when I see a headless fatty picture, I can look at it as a chance to educate and stand up for myself.
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