I’ve read your blog and you are so immensely talented but so very, very angry. You preach like you are at peace with your size but to post blog entry after blog entry that are so filled with anger towards anyone (be they medical or man on the street) that contradicts that being heavy is healthy or a natural state for some, indicates that you are not happy, not at peace with yourself.
Thank you for the kind words. I don’t know about immensely talented but I am definitely very, very angry – I am, in fact, pissed. And not just at those who insist that body size and health are the same thing. Even if health and body size were the same thing it would still not excuse the way that fat people are treated by everyone from the government to strangers that we meet, and I would still be very, very angry. That doesn’t mean that I’m not happy – I’m happy about a great many things, and I’m perfectly capable of holding happiness for some things and anger for others at the same time.
To suggest that my anger with the way I’m treated indicates that I am “not at peace with myself” makes it seem to me that we should stop the logic train because we’ve had a passenger fall off. I’m at peace with myself – I’m at war with a large part of the world, and not of my choosing. Perhaps you’ve heard of the “war on obesity?” That war is against me, and my body. That war tries to convince people (including me) that I, and everyone who looks like me, should be eradicated based on the shaky assumption that it will save society money (as if it’s ok to suggest that a group should be eradicated in order to save society some money.)
Not only am I at peace with myself, I’m at peace with myself despite the fact that I’m being given the message that the way I look is proof that I’m a bad person who deserves shame, stigma and oppression. It is that peace that makes me want to fight for my body and my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which includes the right to exist in a fat body without having the government wage war on me for how I look. It’s my love for my own body that drives the anger.
Let’s try this – Imagine that you have a best friend, and every single day that best friend is bullied, shamed, stigmatized. If you become angry about the way your friend is treated, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a good relationship with your friend, it means that you are justifiably angry at their mistreatment.
I spend a lot of time smiling politely and asking people if they wouldn’t mind not oppressing me. I don’t begrudge that and I don’t apologize for it – it’s effective, it gives people the benefit of the doubt (that perhaps they weren’t aware of the consequences of their actions,) and it’s reasonably pleasant. That doesn’t mean that I’m not angry at a society that condones the behavior and the social constructs that support the behavior. That anger is because I love my body, because I’m at peace with myself and I’d like some peace with the outside world.
To try to characterized the anger of people who are oppressed as a sign of deficiency in their relationships with themselves is dangerously dis-empowering – it suggests that to prove that we are happy with ourselves we must not speak out against our mistreatment (not to mention the serious issues with having some obligation to prove anything to anyone about how we feel about ourselves in the first place.) That’s flat out wrong – it’s way out of line, and, perhaps not surprisingly, it makes me very, very angry.
Online Workshop to help you deal at the doctors office! This is an online workshop designed give you the skills to communicate effectively with your healthcare provider and becoming your own medical advocate to help you get evidence-based, Health at Every Size based healthcare. Get all the details here! Registration deadline is October 11.
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If my selling things on the blog makes you uncomfortable, you might want to check out this post. Thanks for reading! ~Ragen