One of the ways that size-based oppression is created is by sizeists setting up an endless series of hoops for fat people to jump through in order to feel worthy. This typically takes the form of vague things we “need” to do, with ever-changing definitions, and at the end of this rainbow they tell us we’ll find a pot of decent treatment.
Do we “take care of ourselves,” are we “living our healthiest life,” are we trying to manipulate our body size, are we self-deprecating, are we cruel to other fat people, are we at least eating salads in public, are we buying into and perpetuating the good fatty/bad fatty dichotomy, are we willing to risk our lives on dangerous drugs, stomach amputation surgeries, and contraptions to not be fat? They add intersectional oppression – ableism, ageism, healthism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and more, but always with the promise that if we just do all the “right” things, we’ll finally get to be treated with basic human respect.
Except that it’s a set-up, a no-win situation. Because the true goal isn’t to create a process by which fat people can “prove” our worthiness (which would still be total crap, the only qualification to be treated with basic human respect should be a pulse.) No, the goal is to create a system where fat people can never be thought of as worthy – and are never supposed to be allowed to think of ourselves as worthy, as good, as good enough. And that’s total bullshit.
I’m here to tell you: no matter what you eat, no matter what you wear, no matter how you look, no matter if you work out, no matter your current health, no matter your current dis/ability, no matter what size you are, no matter why you think you are that size, no matter if you can or can’t change your size, no matter if you do or don’t want to change your size…
You Are Worthy.
You Are Worthy Right Now.
You Are Worthy No Matter What.
Anyone who is trying to tell you anything else is peddling hateful bigoted BS. They can sell all they want, but we don’t have to buy. You are worthy, right now, no matter what.
RUSH REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE!
Y’all I am so excited about this year’s speakers and topics! And, if you register before 12:01am on June 24th you’ll get the best rate for a Platinum Pass, and special bonuses. (If you’re a Dances With Fat member, check your e-mail for your member deal.)
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5 thoughts on “How To Be A Worthy Fat Person”
Sizeists will always just find another hoop for one to jump through, a new reason why they still want your lunch money. There is no human being, living or dead, who will 100% meet their conceptions of “acceptable”. I think their image of acceptable starts with a supermodel or the handsomest Hollywood hunk. Said model or hunk must have the body of an Olympic athlete. But only *certain* Olympic athletes in only *some* Olympic sports. The weightlifters are right out, for example, because OMG! LOOK AT THEM!! DEATHFATZ!!! AIEEEEE! Then from there, the image in their minds is photoshopped and retouched into unreality. Acceptable to them exists only in media images and the occasional video game. And their own fantasies, of course.
And if the supermodel is photographed at a different angle they’re suddenly “scary skinny!”. Or the image hasn’t been manipulated enough and it suddenly becomes obvious that they’re human beings with hair and skin folds and we can’t have that.
“..the only qualification to be treated with basic human respect should be a pulse”
The pulseless dead are treated with more respect than fatties.
This is a relatable post because I have been chastised by others about who is going to pay my medical bills “when I get sick” in the future.
My grandpa and step-dad are two people who espouse this notion. I was visiting my grandparents at their request a few years ago when he randomly blurted out, “Who is going to pay your hospital bills down the road?” or something along those lines. My grandma brushed it off by saying that he was trying to make conversation with me.
Look, Grandpa, I totally get that eating unhealthy foods and not getting regular exercise can very well cause one to have poor health, but it’s still none of your business.
I am a quiet, timid person who also has Asperger’s, so defending myself can be difficult — heck, it can be difficult for ANY fat person!
I do not work, eat all of the “bad” foods on a consistent basis and am sedentary. I am also fat — very, very fat, so telling someone that I don’t owe them health, and it’s not an obligation can be hard for them to swallow…and me to defend.
I agree with Ragen, though. Part of living in a civilized society is not letting people die because they cannot afford their medical care and you don’t agree with their lifestyle choices.
You pay for things with which you don’t necessarily agree — if you don’t like it, move somewhere else.
I do not smoke, rarely drink and have no kids but, if I were working, part of my paycheck would go towards people who choose to do these things — and that is OK.
One way to interpet the “my tax dollars” argument is that we don’t have the right to be here, and are not worthy just as we are as thinking, feeling human beings.
OMG I had to deal with this attitude from parents growing up – not about fat, well not just about fat, and it all it does is crush your soul.
It’s taken me decades to feel okay with myself, and I STILL struggle with it.
I wouldn’t tell my parents when I went back to school because I didn’t want to be asked about grades and then when I told them whatever it was, asked why I didn’t get a 4.0, like has happened previously.
The fact that they would also tell me I was very smart didn’t make me feel better. I just felt ‘not good enough.’
I grew up wishing to be accepted just the way I was. I’ve mostly let that go, but I am still incredibly sad about it. Of course, part of letting go meant removing/reducing contact with family.
Here I am waffling about my personal demons, but this really touched a chord. I never figured out how to explain to my parents how badly they made me feel by telling me I always needed to be a little bit ‘better’. When I did say something, I was ‘overreacting’ and they were just trying to be ‘helpful’. I just learned to talk about the weather a lot.
FYI my GPA is 3.7 at a community college studying Network Administration, taking 20 credits for three quarters and battling what I think is sleep apnea. The fact that I still have trouble appreciating my achievement shows how much damage they did, even if it was unintentional.