Wednesday, 28 July 2010

If only Fat People Knew they were Fat, they'd Do Something to Stop it.

Today I find myself mildly irked by this article over at the Telegraph urging us to "tell people they are fat". As if fat people don’t already know they’re fat.

GPs and other health professionals should tell people they are fat rather than obese, a health minister said today.

While I agree with a number of other people in the fatosphere that the word fat is preferable to the word obese, in this case they’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. The fatosphere prefers the word fat because is de-medicalises fat bodies, and does something to pervert fat people as being seen as “the other”. Instead of being “the obese” we become fat people. And at least then we are people.

But no, this particular health minister thinks we should be calling people fat to motivate them to lose weight.

Stressing she was speaking in a personal capacity, she told the BBC: ''If I look in the mirror and think I am obese I think I am less worried than if I think I am fat.''

Now I’m all for the use of the word fat to replace to word obese, but if that’s supposed to motivate me to get thin then they are very much barking up the wrong tree. I’m far enough into my fat acceptance that most of the time the word fat doesn’t bother me. It’s simply a descriptor. Other times it becomes a source of pride.

This minister wants to make out that fat bodies are still wrong and should be changed, made more normal. I’m all for using the word fat, but please let’s use it for the right reasons.

Contrary to what this woman seems to think, people who are actually fat know they are fat. All this “guideline” or whatever it is she seems to be issuing is going to achieve is increasing the anxiety levels of people classified “overweight” or “obese” by the BMI but don’t look it. In other words this is designed to punish people who are otherwise normal but are classified as “other” by a piece of faulty statistics.

Admittedly what this woman has said is on a personal level. What worried me is that people with these kinds of opinions are in our government, and potentially have the power to turn their personal opinions and prejudices into law.

This is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Reality Check

While on my daily rounds of the Fatosphere, I stumbled upon this post over at Round Shape.

The language we use to describe ourselves, especially when it comes to weight and age is very leading. We say "I am xxlbs" and "I am xx years old". It's almost as if there's a silent "currently" between the word am and the number we give. As if we can change whatever number to something more acceptable. Because people are always striving to weight less, look thinner, look and act younger. I swear that many people would actually become younger if it were physically possible.

So, in the style April D does in her post, I'm going to give myself a reality check. This is the real me. The real physical me. The whole, undiluted truth. This is me:

I have lived 21 years.

I wear a size 20-24.

My butt, my hips and my tummy are all large parts of my body.

I have a chicken pox scar on my forehead.

I have a scar on my lip from where I was punched.

I have cellulite on my hips.

I have stretch marks on my tummy and thighs.

I have permanent black heads on my nose.

I still get spots, and not just on my face.

I have crappy mousy brown hair, when I'm not dyeing it silly colours.

I have four tattoos, on various parts of my body.

I have seven piercings in my ears.

I have stretched piercings in my earlobes.

I look just how I'm meant to look; just how I want to look.

I am alive and I am happy.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

It IS Possible to be Fat and Happy

Reading around the fatosphere, particularly in blog archives, I’ve found a frankly infuriating response to fat acceptance by fat haters. In particular fat haters and shamers seem to attack the idea that a person can be fat and happy. Even when a person states that they are fat and happy with it, they get shot down. These people tell them they can’t be telling the truth, they must be wrong about how they feel. As if fat people need more casers of being told they are wrong, that they’re lying, that they really can’t know how they feel, that they much be wrong because their statement just doesn’t make sense.

Now, I’m not quite ready to make the claim that I’m fat and happy. I’m fat and okay. I’m fat and doing not bad considering. I’m fat and while I still have issues and problems none of them are related to my weight or me being fat. I guess the short hand for that might be fat and happy. At the very least I understand how it is possible to be fat and happy.

So this is to you, fat haters and shamers. This is to everyone who believes you have to be thin to be happy. This is to everyone who ahs ever accused a fat person of lying, especially if you’ve accused someone of lying about being fat and happy. This is exactly how a person can be fat and happy.

It is possible to be fat and happy when you have a boyfriend (or girlfriend/other half/partner/whatever) who loves you for who you are and not your dress size. It is possible to be fat and happy when someone loves your body, exactly how it is. It is possible to be fat and happy when they actively love the curves your fat gives you, and would actually be a little disappointed if weight loss resulted in curve loss.

It is possible to be fat and happy when you have a group of friends who honestly don’t give a shit about social norms. It’s easy to be fat and happy when you have a group of friends who think you’re awesome as it. It’s easy when you have a largely supportive family, and a mother who came to the same conclusions as Fat Acceptance years before you did.

It’s easy to be fat and happy when you refuse to read women’s magazines.

It’s easy when you refuse to conform to any ideal whatsoever.

In short, it’s easy to be fat and happy if you’re determined to be so. And it’s easy when you know how.

And no, I’m sure as hell not lying, and I bloody well know how I feel, thank you very much.