EDIT: It has been pointed out that, in my anger over an act that was indeed atrocious, I made some horrible mistakes. These include not recognizing my privilege as a white woman talking about People of Color, the language I used to describe them, and my suggestion that getting police involved is a positive thing when, because of systemic racism, that could well be a death sentence for the People of Color involved. I’m leaving the blog post below as written below so as not to try to erase my mistakes, with my sincere apologies, and with the promise to do better in the future.
Kelly Lynn was just trying to do some shopping when she ran into some of the scum of the Earth, and now she’s fighting back. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know how I feel about anyone who participates in things like “People of Walmart” (in which people take pictures and video of people without their consent, with this express intent of making fun of them on the internet.)
Anyone who participates in this – whether it’s by taking the pictures, looking at them online, or sharing them around, is being an asshole. Period. There is no excuse, there is no justification, and no I won’t “agree to disagree” because if you think this is ok, then you’re just wrong. Luckily there’s a cure, and that’s to stop participating in things like this.
Here is the story in Kelly’s own words from her Facebook page:
Even when I asked him to stop he didn’t stop. Even when people were staring and asking him why he was doing this he didn’t stop. He filmed me and took photos of me so loud and unafraid of how that might make me feel. What if this wasn’t me?! What if this was someone with out confidence or with out the love I have? When I said I was going to take their picture they posed. This is not a selfie, they knew exactly what they were doing. Hence why they were trying to cover their faces. It’s disheartening that people would rather ignore or deny what is happening instead of trying to stop it. Please share this. 5/15/16 11:15pm Stow Ohio Walmart.
Update- Many people have asked me to explain what’s happening here for those who don’t get it or understand. – I am fat. I’ve always been fat. I was raised to believe that I was just as wonderful and beautiful as the next person so most of my life I have had a confidence that actually shock people. I’m not sure which is worse the fact people hate me and want me to die bc I’m fat and happy or the people who congratulate me for loving myself even though I’m the most disgusting thing they know, fat. Through the years I’ve tried my very best to use my voice for good. Bring support to anyone I can. Not just fat people either. What do I identify most in the world with? Being a fat woman. People may see this as a bad thing but I don’t. I see it as something that’s a part of me not all of me. I feel pretty, I feel beautiful and I feel sexy. I’m not ashamed to feel this way. Whatever my health is, it has no baring on my worth. It’s not anyone’s business what I look like or my health. It’s mine. They don’t get to treat me like a circus animal just bc it’s not what they understand. I’m a person. First and foremost a person. Every single time I leave the house and venture out into public I am scrutinized for my body. As if my body is not my own. I can’t even take my nieces and nephew to the movies or to the park without someone yelling at me, taking my photo or even stopping their car next to me to tell me how fat and gross I am. This happens almost every single day. Sometimes it’s hard to even leave the house, but I push myself bc for every terrible person there is someone who comes up to me and tell me how cute I am or how much the like my outfit and style. I get so many emails from men and woman who tell me how much I helped them become confident. It makes every bad experience worth it. Changing one mind, one person makes all of it worth it. Am I mad at these people? Sure a little but not as much as I am sad for them. Sad that they live a life where there find this sort of treatment ok. They’re not just doing it bc they think it’s funny how fat I am, they’re doing it bc they fear me. They fear the idea that I could live my life and love myself despite being so fat. The thing they never want to be because it could be them on the other side of the camera being made fun of instead of me.
If they only knew me. If they only knew that being truly happy you would never feel the need to make fun of or tear someone else down for their own insecurities.
People wonder how it’s possible people get so fat they are bed bound or need to be cut out of their house. This. This is why. If you’ve never been in a situation like this then you have no idea but they weight of people’s hate piled on top of you is heavier than any fat could ever be. You fear leaving your house, you fear going out, you fear that plane ride, you fear eating in public, you fear living your life might offend someone and they could hurt you. Hurt you for existing and sometimes for some people it’s easier to just stay home. So judging someone for being too fat is bullshit. It’s not your business for one and you don’t know how they got there. It doesn’t even matter how they did. But you can be kind and nice and treat fat people with respect. Yes fat. It’s not a bad word.
It’s ok to be mad, but it’s more important for this to show people how fat people are treated in hopes it will break that cycle.
Until it stops I will share all my experience, the good and the bad.
I’m not ashamed to be me and I won’t let someone rule my feelings and thoughts about myself. I won’t let them take my power.
Rock the hell on Kelly, thanks for being a shining example of how to fight back against sizeism, and how to be clear that the problem isn’t fat people, it’s the people who shame, stigmatize, bully, and oppress fat people. Here is the picture that Kelly took of the scum who were taking pictures and video of her in Stow, Ohio. The police are now involved and hopefully they will be caught. If you see them, feel free to tell them that Ragen said “Fuck you.”
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
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!
I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com