I have been receiving a lot of e-mails lately talking about nonsense that is appearing in spaces that are specifically labeled as Size Acceptance/Fat Friendly/Health at Every Size so I thought I would clarify things – at least from my perspective and as I moderate it in my spaces. As far as I’m concerned, the following are not, and never will be appropriate in Size Acceptance/Health at Every Size/Fat Friendly spaces.
A Diet By Any Other Name Would Still Be Bullshit
This category is for anything that suggests that people should (or are likely to successfully,) manipulate their bodies by any method. I don’t care if it’s through eating, exercise, lifestyle change, organ amputation, meditation, self-compassion, or eating 100 calorie bags of magic weight loss beans. If it’s about weight loss, it’s not Size Acceptance or Health at Every Size (HAES).
OOOOh scary b-O-gey man
The “O” here stand for “Obesity Epi-Panic.” This category is for anything that suggests that fat people should be eradicated, eliminated, fixed, or feared. That message is stigmatizing, and oppressive, and needs to get the hell up out of here. If an article contains this kind of crap (ie: people need access to healthcare because OH MY GOD FAT IS COMING FOR YOU!!!) then let me gently suggest that you at least point out that it’s a problem and, preferably, find an article that contains the positive message without the stigma. And if you want to up your game, you can write a note to the author to suggest that they make their point without a side of fat shaming.
Only You Can Prevent Fat People – Or, You Know, Not.
There has always been a diversity of body sizes. There always will be. There will always be fat people. Discussions of how we can prevent fat people from existing are a waste of time that perpetuates stigma and oppression and draws resources away from creating a world that is the most conducive to everyone’s health (like, for example, a world without shame, stigma, bullying, oppression or poverty in which everyone, of every size, has access to excellent, compassionate, evidence-based healthcare for a start.)
Side by Side by Side
Anything that suggests that bodies are better or worse based on their size or a change in size (whether it’s a comparison of the same body, or different bodies) is sizeist bullshit. No. Just no.
Think that spandex isn’t for anyone who wants to wear it? Have a problem with fat women in bodycon dresses? Think some people deserve to be accommodated by not others? Judge fat people who use scooters? Ever spent time on one of those “People of Walmart” type sites? Ever used the phrase “but at some point you’re just too fat…” That’s not Size Acceptance, it’s the opposite. Those who want to act like this will find a community of pathetic trolls excited to accept them on reddit.
We live in a sizeist world, driven by diet culture – it’s ubiquitous. We can’t force people to opt out of this, but we absolutely deserve to have spaces that are free from these types of shame, stigma, bullying, and oppression.
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7 thoughts on “Things That Are Not Size Acceptance”
I had Sepsis, and was life threateningly ill. One consequence was that my body shape changed, and many people thought it was BAD CHANGE. I had nearly died, but was alive and recovering well. But some people were unpleasant around the fact I had gained weight. What did they want – would they rather I had died than got thin!
I’m super glad you didn’t die. Sepsis is no joke. Fuck those other people.
Considering that it has happened more than once that some fool will attend a funeral, look at the corpse in the casket, and say, “But she looks so good, now that she’s lost the weight.”
Yeah, she lost the weight by being so sick she DIED! Dead people, as a rule, do not “look so good.” If you think a dead person looks “so good,” then I think you might want to see someone about that necrophilia.
But as a living fat person, if I tell this to the person who thinks some dead (or sick to the point of dying) person “looks so good,” now, somehow *I* become the target of abuse, because I’m too fat, which means I’m too stupid to live, and I don’t understand about the universal standard of beauty, and yada yada yada.
Personally, I’m glad you survived, and don’t give a hoot how your body size changed in the process. You’re alive!!! Huzzah!
And those people are tools.
I still have occasional issues with my weight and shape, but overall I feel so much better about myself since I started avoiding all the judgement stuff.
Also, I enjoy being with other people so much more when I’m not having those stupid, pointless, negative thoughts about their appearance.
Yeah, a little nonjudgmental kindness goes a long way, does’t it?
I like to apply this quick test: does it perpetuate the injustices and/or misinformation size acceptance was founded to fight? If the answer is “yes,” it is not size acceptance.
Lady owned it!