This post was inspired by the amazing Naomi Finklestein, an anti-diet coach at Redefining Wellness, She recently found herself in the position that plenty of us have found ourselves in – being at an event where you are the only fat person or the obviously fattest person in the room, and the speaker is a fatphobe. Naomi started a discussion in the group about how people choose to deal with this.
There were lots of great suggestions about making it an activism opportunity and educating the speaker, and of course that’s always an option in these situations, but there’s something that I think is important to remember when we find ourselves dealing with someone who is perpetuating weight stigma (and thereby harming us,) and that’s this:
However you decide to handle this is completely valid. You are not obligated to do any activism or education. You are not obligated to center the feelings or education of people who are buying into and perpetuating your oppression, you are not obligated to give them the benefit of the doubt. You are allowed to choose to do whatever it takes to make this as easy on yourself as possible given the situation.
This should never have happened, you should never be in this situation. You are not, and will never be, the problem in this situation. The problem is 100% fatphobes and their choice to perpetuate diet culture and fatphobia, and others choosing to buy into it and perpetuate it themselves. You can choose how you want to deal with this and then change your mind – day to day (or minute to minute) You are amazing and valuable and wonderful and worthy. Fuck diet culture, fuck fatphobia, fuck fatphobia’s minions.
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