Recently I’ve written about the government funding discrimination against fat people from spending over $200,000 to get an estimate of a measurement (an exact measurement of which can be obtained with a scale and tape measure), to helping employers discriminate against fat employees, to spending billions on the “obesity epidemic” when it could be solved for free today.
In each of those blogs I did my best to rationally explain why these things were terrible, and discriminatory based on logic, math, research, and the belief that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable – not size, health, or healthy habit contingent.
Because we’re all steeped in fatphobic culture, fat people – even those of us who are Size Acceptance Activists – can get overwhelmed by the amount of fatphobia that exists (and the amount that is perpetuated by the government) and think that maybe it’s us. If that happens to you I suggest a little mantra that has helped me a lot:
It’s not me, this is some fucked up bullshit.
Feel free to edit it to work for you (It’s not me gosh darn it, this is bull hockey…) but rest assured that if you’re noticing that fat people are facing a tremendous amount of stigma, bullying and discrimination – much of it paid for by our own tax dollars – and you are thinking “holy shit, that’s totally fucked up bullshit” (or, you know, “wow, that’s messed up”) then please know that you are not wrong, it is not you, and it is not ok.
Sometimes when we think about activism and social change we think about petitions and speeches and rallies – whole movements with big activities and lots of people. The truth is that social change starts with each of us saying “that’s not ok,” and then “I won’t allow that to go unchallenged” and everything else – all the petitions and protests, all the rallies and rabble rousing – comes from that place. Never forget that in our fatphobic society refusing to hate ourselves is an act of revolution, and every time we see size-based discrimination and say “No.” Whether it’s with a blog post, a petition, to a friend, or just in our own heads, we are engaging in activism.
This is going to be a long, difficult, painful fight, but we are going to win, and we make progress every time we notice the fucked up bullshit and every time we say “No.”
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