Say Something Sunday – Stop Lying About Us Edition

Say Something Sunday
It’s “Say Something Sunday,” a day dedicated, at least on this blog, to personal Size Diversity activism. I’ve got some suggestions below and/or of course you can do your own thing and feel free to leave a comment about it.  If you have ideas of things to do for Say Something Sunday I’d also love for you to share those.

I did the math and if everyone who views the blog each week did one piece of Size Diversity Activism a week, it would add up to over 1.5 million body positive messages put out into the world this year.  Multiply that times the number of people who might see each of those messages and things start to increase exponentially. To be very clear, nobody is obligated to do activism so if this doesn’t appeal to you that’s totally cool, I’ll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled blog post!

The theme this week is Coming Out (aka – Stop Lying About Us!). Earlier this week I blogged about the importance of “coming out” as fat and happy  because a lot of fat hate (whether it’s for sport or profit or from people who are honestly deluded into thinking that they are doing the right thing) starts with people stereotyping fat people, and replacing our actual experiences with their made-up stories about our experiences. When they do that, and we say nothing, our actual experiences, stories, lives, and desires get overshadowed by the stories that other people tell about us (again – often for massive profit.)  It’s important for people to know that there are fat people who aren’t miserable because of our body size (despite people working very hard to make that a reality.)

It’s important for people to know that there are fat people who don’t believe that we’re just a little bit of mental and physical abuse away from being happy (I’m looking at you Biggest Loser).  So this week/s theme is all about speaking up so that it’s much more difficult for people to speak for us.  Here are some ideas:

  • Tell your family, friends, Facebook etc. that you are a happy fat person, not interested in losing weight or perpetuating a culture where people are judged by their appearance, and that includes their size.  Talk about your Size Acceptance and/or HAES practice, talk about how you wish the world would embrace and respect all bodies.  Talk about how, though the world is trying to make you suffer and struggle because you are fat, and that you may be suffering from the effects of the stigma, bullying, and oppression that come from a sizeist culture, you are not suffering from or struggling with your weight.
  • Post comments on social media when you see fat people being stereotypes as miserable, or hating our bodies.
  • When you see “War on Obesity” articles, explain that you don’t consider the suggestion that you and everyone who looks like you  should be eradicated from the Earth to be an appropriate public health message.  Explain that the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are not size, health, or healthy habit dependent (by any definition of “health” or “healthy habits”) and that fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies and it doesn’t matter why we’re fat, what being fat means, or if we could become thin.

Come out, come out wherever you are.  This isn’t just about speaking out against the industries that profit from the call for our eradication. It’s about the fact that there are fat people who hate their bodies because they literally don’t know that there is another option.  There are fat people dieting because they don’t believe there is any other way to try to support their health.  This is about letting other fat people who read what we write  know that they have options besides a life of self-loathing on the diet roller coaster.  They have the option to love and appreciate the bodies that they have now, they don’t have to participate in and perpetuate their own oppression, that there are fat and happy people who don’t go to weekly weigh-ins, that there are fat people who are standing up to fatphobia and sizeism and that they can join us.

If you want to do more of this kind of thing, consider joining the Rolls Not Trolls group on Facebook, it’s a group created for the specific purpose of putting body positive things in body negative spaces on the internet and supporting each other while we do that.  It’s a secret group so if you want to join just message me on facebook (I’m Ragen Chastain)

Have a great Say Something Sunday!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? Become 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.  Click here for details

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Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

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4 thoughts on “Say Something Sunday – Stop Lying About Us Edition

  1. I actually wasn’t planning on this today, but I sort of got backed into it. A young guy I really like on another board is down on himself for eating ice cream and “feeling fat.” I quoted one of your columns to him. Though I obviously didn’t berate him for feeling bad, I also avoided reassuring him that he wasn’t fat, as some others there felt obligated to do.

    This board isn’t a diet/fitness board, but it has a support thread for dieters which I avoid. I did politely ask that people use that thread if they want to voice unhappiness with how their own bodies look. If anything, I’m sadder to see people half my age down on themselves than I could ever be with my own “excess” pounds.

  2. On Facebook….one of the memes that comes around fairly often is that people should not be judged on their race or gender or ethnicity or sexual preferences. I add “Or their size or shape.” Seems to have gone down quite well. People agree by “liking” my comment.

  3. Sigh. I wish I could smack my step-dad upside his thick, ignorant head. I mostly ignore his comments, though, because I know it’s his issue.

    He just said (not directly to me but I overhead), when referring to my little brother, “You see those overweight people out in public, I don’t want him to end up like that.”

    Chastising his eating habits for the day, he said that my brother will “ballon up” and “it will catch up to you.”

    He lacks critical thinking skills and my social anxiety would make debating in this context difficult at best. I could tell him that he needs to learn the difference between correlation and causation, but doubt that would sink in, eh?

    I can only laugh at loud right now because he can’t think for himself. He said earlier that he needs to go tanning before he wears shorts because his legs are apparently too white.

    Ignorance, bigotry and prejudice are very old friends.

  4. It took me this long, but I posted today’s column (4/21/15) on my FaceBook page, quoting a large part of it. Ragen, I read your blog every morning and put on your words like holy armor as I go out to face my day. I rarely comment, but you are so important to my life and mental health. I am looking forward to seeing you at the bellydance convention in Michigan this summer.

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