1. Doing Activism is Scary and Risky
While it’s true that in civil rights activism many people will have to take risks and some people will risk everything, that doesn’t mean that all activism is scary or risky. You could make some HAES/Size Acceptance book marks and go to a bookstore and put them in books, or put them in magazines at the store (an idea I stole from awesome activists in LA). You could put sticky notes with positive messages and website for resources on bathroom stalls. You could post fat activism things to your Facebook or Twitter. You could tell an activist who you respect how much you appreciate their work. You could support a fat activism project. You could post a body positive comment in a thread of negative comments – not because you’ll change the authors mind, but because someone reading the comments might see it and be helped and supported in their body positive journey (you could join the Rolls Not Trolls community on Facebook if you’re interested in getting support to do this – message me on Facebook if you want to join)
You could do some work to love your own body more. You could decide to stop saying negative things about other people’s bodies (of all sizes).
2. Activism is pointless because those who are against us have so much more money than we do.
The truth about this is that a whole lot of money they have is ours – in addition to the government using our tax dollars to fight a war to eradicate everyone who looks like us, we are also directly funding our oppressors. When we buy their products we give money to the people who are profit-driven to keep us down and keep reinforcing stereotypes about fat people and conflating weight and health. I made a decision a while ago that I wouldn’t consume any product that was sold with a diet/weight loss message. No diet soda, no gum that advertises weight loss, nothing. I will absolutely not fund the war against me. You don’t have to do that but do realize that a lot of the War on Obesity runs on our time, energy and money – not fueling the machine that oppresses us is activism in and of itself. Fat activists are part of a long line of activists who are are winning against the odds.
3. One person can’t make a difference
In fact, one person is the only thing that can make a difference. A massive boycott only works because each individual refused to buy the product. A big project only works because of each individual who donated money, posted, facebooked, tweeted, and e-mailed people about it. A protest march helps to galvanize a community because each individual got up and got themselves to the march. If every person waits for 100 people to go first then nothing happens. Nobody can do everything but everyone can do something.
I’m often asked what I think is the most important thing for the Fat Activism Movement and my answer is always that it’s more people doing activism at whatever level works for them. Nobody has to be an activist but if you’re moved to make the world a little better by participating in activism – whether it’s fat activism or something else – I hope you do it.
If you want some support, I welcome you to attend the Fat Activism Conference. Three days, 40 speakers, 30 workshops, teleconference style so that you can listen on the phone or computer from wherever you are, recorded so you can listen live or on your own time, only $39 with a pay-what-you-can option to make it accessible to as many people as possible. Check it out!
Update: Remember when I told you that a screenwriter had created a script about my life as a fat dancer? Well that movie is now in development! You can go to the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/danceswithfatthemovie and like it if you are so inclined which will get you info as it breaks and help us build momentum!
Like this blog? Consider supporting my work with a donation or by becoming a member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you. I get paid for some of my speaking and writing (and do both on a sliding scale to keep it affordable), but a lot of the work I do (like answering hundreds of request for help and support every day) isn’t paid so member support makes it possible (THANK YOU to my members, I couldn’t do this without you and I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support!) Click here for details
Here’s more cool stuff:
My Book: Fat: The Owner’s Manual The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details
Dance Classes: Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details