Khloé Kardashian has a new show called “Revenge Body.” The premise is “Let’s make our haters our biggest motivators” and to that end people who have been bullied are given a team of trainers and “beauty experts” to help them go to drastic measures to look like people they assume their bullies would not have bullied which, for Khloé, passes for “revenge.”
While people are allowed to do whatever they want with their bodies for whatever their reasons, this, to me, is no kind of revenge. This is spending a ton of time, energy, and money to give the bullies exactly what they wanted, and then asking for their approval. It’s like saying “give the bullies your lunch money, that’ll show ’em!”
We don’t owe our bullies anything, least of all manipulation of our body size, eyebrow waxing, or uncomfortable shoes – however “fashionable” they might be. Oppression takes a lot of different forms, and oppression against people who are believed to be able to move out of an oppressed group often leads to people feeling vindicated in their suggestion that the best way to solve social stigma is for stigmatized people to change ourselves.
As a queer woman I’ve been told that if I don’t like being the victim of homophobia I should date a dude. As a fat woman I’ve been told that if I don’t like being the victim of fatphobia I should become thin. In both cases it doesn’t actually matter if it’s possible to change myself, because the cure for social stigma is ending social stigma – not for stigmatized people to try to squeeze ourselves in a mold someone else created for us.
I will not try to manipulate my body size for some kind of twisted victim-blaming concept of “revenge.” I will wield my beautiful fat body like a weapon. I will love it, I will care for it, I will move it, I will show it in public, I will viciously defend my body against anyone who seeks to classify it as anything but amazing. The problem here isn’t how we look, it’s that people bully us for how we look. I don’t care about revenge, but I do demand social change.
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