I think that a lot of fat activism, or at least my particular style of fat activism, is about simply showing up and refusing to leave, even if people are confused about what we’re doing there.
When fat people do things that challenge people’s preconceived notions of what we are supposed to do, or how we are supposed to act – like being happy with our bodies, wearing certain clothes, participating in fitness etc, we’re not asking people for their approval. We are living the lives we want to live and also giving people an opportunity to examine their own prejudices and bigotry and make better choices moving forward. We’re doing them a courtesy.
When fat people refuse to be judged based on our bodies, our health, or how other people think we should look or act, we aren’t begging for acceptance. We are saying “I set the terms and boundaries by which we interact and in the unlikely event that I want your opinion on my body or choices you’ll be among the very first people to know.”
When fat people refuse to bow to the pressure of the war on obesity to attempt weight loss (even if anyone could show that it is possible) we aren’t begging for mercy. We are saying that we have the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as everyone else and that includes the right to live in our fat bodies without the government waging war on us for how we look, so how about you back the hell off.
When fat people refuse to be hidden or dismissed by society we aren’t begging for recognition, we are demanding respect.
When it comes to respecting size diversity the world is seriously fucked up. It’s not our fault but it becomes our problem and I think it’s important to remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with us, and that the way fat people are treated is completely, utterly, unjustifiably wrong. It’s not us, it’s for damn sure them. We each get to choose how we deal with that and all of those choices are valid. I plan to keep showing up and refusing to leave.
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6 thoughts on “Show Up and Refuse to Leave”
This is a very inspiring post. Thank you 🙂
One of those posts that makes you wish you could hit “like” ten more times
I love the idea of activism as showing up and refusing to leave. What a great way to think of it. Thank you!
To paraphrase the late, great Leslie Gore: It’s my planet and I’ll stay if I want to.”
Ragen, I just discovered your blog today and I want to let you know that you are an inspiration to us all!
You have no idea how much your stuff, especially your ironfat blog, has motivated me. I’ve always wanted to do a 5k, but people gave me a hard time about it. They always thought that because I was fat that it meant I couldn’t be good at running! They never even saw me run before, how would they know if I was any good or not! Ugh!
After reading your blog, I am motivated to start training again and I even registered for a 5k in the spring that my university is holding. I’ll be running and putting the time in to represent fatties everywhere!
This is a great blog! Personally I don’t need motivation since my dogs provide that but if I did, you would do the job! I like to be active but don’t feel that it should be equated with weight loss. My husband and I chase the dogs in the back yard and consider it cardio. Can anyone honestly say it isn’t?