Aidy Bryant Puts the Problem Where it Belongs

ShamelessBefore we get to the post, please take a moment to sign and share (or re-share) the petition for Esquire UK to pull the piece in which an author calls his 4-year-old child a “chubby fucker” and a “fat little bastard” and then says that he would kill all fat people. We’re starting to get some good traction and the media is starting to bite at the story! Another huge help would be Tweeting the celebrities who Giles Coren used in his article to fat-shame his 4-year-old son and asking them to speak out.

They are:
@JKCorden, @onebiggins, @Adele, @PaulHollywood, @THERussellGrant, and @HackneyAbbott

Sample Tweet (you can either send one big Tweet or send one for each person:)

I hope @JKCorden, @onebiggins, @Adele, @PaulHollywood, @THERussellGrant & @HackneyAbbott tell @EsquireUK to stop letting Giles Coren use them to body-shame a 4-year-old boy. Sign the petition #GilesCoren

Now for today’s post:

We live in a world that is chock full ‘o fatphobia. Some of it is at the hands of random people – the person who screams a slur at you from the car, the busybody at the grocery store who comments on the contents of your cart, or the group of teenagers who moo at you in the mall. Sadly the opportunities that people take to mistreat fat people seem to be frequent and varied. Other fatphobia is systemic and institutionalized – it’s healthcare facilities that don’t have chairs, beds, or even blood pressure cuffs for fat patients, staffed by doctors who can see past their own size bias It’s clothing stores that advertise that they make clothes for “all shapes and sizes” but definitely don’t. It’s airplanes that don’t have seats that accommodate fat people and try to make that fat people’s problem. Sadly, they are often successful, and that’s a bigger problem.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “fat is the last acceptable prejudice.” Well, that’s crap. There is a ton of prejudice — racism (including at the hands of the police), xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, misogyny, ageism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and plenty of other oppressions are far too common to suggest that they aren’t acceptable. What may be more common with sizeism (though it can happen with all types of oppression) is internalization.

This happens when fat people become convinced by fatphobia that fatphobia is correct and our bodies are the problem — that we deserve derision, that we don’t deserve a seat on an airplane or competent, evidence-based medical care. Too often, even if they haven’t actually internalized oppression, fat people who are in the public eye will toe the fatphobia line rather than risk the pushback that they can receive by fighting back against fatphobia.

That’s why Aidy Bryant’s recent interview with The Cut is so refreshing! Aidy is crystal clear that the problem isn’t fat bodies, but rather fatphobia. Starting with her decision to move away from the pursuit of thinness:

She recalls the moment that she stopped focusing on trying to be skinny as “a switch flipping.” “I finally was like, what if I put all of that energy into just trying to like myself and focus on the things I actually want to do as opposed to this thing that’s like a made-up concept? And I’m not kidding, my entire life changed after I did that.

Within two years, I was hired by Second City; two years later I was hired by SNL,” says Bryant. “I stopped letting it be an all-day, everyday thing that defined everything that I did,” she says, snapping her fingers. “And it worked.”

And she got clear fast on the total unfairness that it the world of plus size fashion:

Click here to read the rest of this piece!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Sign and share the petition to tell Esquire UK to pull the article and the column written by Giles Coren – who used his column on fatherhood to fat-shame his four year old son, and then say he would kill and burn all fat people.

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

12 thoughts on “Aidy Bryant Puts the Problem Where it Belongs

    1. Because 24 carat gold is as pure as you can get?

      Because there are 24 hours in a day?

      Because if you add 2 and 4 together, you get 6 and that sounds like sex, and sex sells?

      I’m gonna go with the last one. Sex sells is an old staple of merchandizing, after all.

  1. “I didn’t try to get on SNL to be a body-positivity activist, but apparently just being there makes you one.”

    I feel this so much. I just don’t get how someone’s *existence* can be considered inherently political or how existing where you can see me means I’m “forcing my politics down your throat,” but apparently a fat person can’t even read the weather without some asshole getting vocally “offended” that they showed up to work (and by extension life). The fat person *can’t* opt out of the confrontation the asshole sought them out to start, but they will inevitably be saddled with all the blame the confrontation happened, because they exist and somehow culture got so messed up that is considered “controversial.”

  2. I am getting more confident at handling fat phobia, and here in UK, the Giles Coren article is a good way to do that, because he is a Brit., and most people are aware of the article. As for stopping at size 24, that isn’t really very large. I am a fit fattie, I exercise and I have biceps. I am due a small op, and I went for the pre-op and they didnt have a BP cuff for me – despite the fact the rest of the place was really size friendly – very very wide chairs available, toilet cubicles wide, large gowns etc. and they do a lot of bariatric surgery.

  3. Leaving this here because I think y’all will get it: A while back I posted about quitting sugar because it’s a known inflammatory substance and I have chronic pain. Then the entire family got sick and I ended up following old patterns about what I could eat quickly in between crises, which of course meant increased sugar intake, but that’s over and I’m off the sugar again. Actually I’ve found that just a spoonful or so of sugar, total, per day doesn’t set off my joints, so I can enjoy storebought bread without worrying about whether they added more sugar than the yeast needed for growth and have a bit of 78 percent chocolate when I feel a craving. And I gotta tell you guys, I feel SO MUCH BETTER. My daily pain level was keeping me from doing so many things and now it’s down to where it hasn’t been in years, my energy level is up, and I even have fewer zits. And I was able to do what I needed to do to get through being sick, then start over, without going into a dieter’s shame spiral!

    This is probably the only place I visit regularly where people won’t start congratulating me for attempting weight loss. I have no idea what I weigh or weighed. Manipulating my body size isn’t the point.

    So there it is. If anybody reading this has chronic pain due to inflamed soft tissue, consider cutting sweeteners and sweetened things out of your diet. I mean all -ose and -dextrin products, sugars, syrups, honey, fruit juice that’s sweet enough to drink plain, alcohols, and anything containing them except for things like sandwich bread, where the yeast eats the sugar, and very dark chocolate or other foods whose ability to help you feel better outweighs the sugar content. Don’t do any diet-y stuff like limiting portion size or deciding which foods are “good” and which “bad.” Eat whatever–just not sugar. Sugar isn’t bad, but it may be bad for you. You’ll know within a week whether abstaining from sugar helps.

    Drawbacks so far include temporary constipation, because sugar makes people poop (and was used for that purpose by European physicians back when sugar was a rarity), and the annoyance of having to check labels because it turns out that some companies put sugar in the weirdest places, like cans of plain kidney beans (?!).

  4. I’m pretty cynical whenever I hear about a celebrity espousing pro-size-acceptance views. It always seems like in the end, they get back on the weight-control hamster wheel for the sake of their careers. Carrie Fisher, beloved though she was, being a prime example.

    1. The saddest part of it is, to me, how many of said celebrities- and how many non-famous people, as well- go on to die from complications of those extreme weight loss measures, only for their deaths to get chalked up to “obesity” and used to coerce more fat people into the weight loss industry grinder that killed them. Not even the tobacco industry used the people it killed as platforms to sell more cigarettes.

      1. It’s amazing, isn’t it? But if you try and counter that, you’re likely the “bad guy” who’s tarnishing the memory of a beloved entertainer or something.

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