First, I just need to express how delighted I am when people have a polite – even caring – dialogue when they’re not already on the same exact page. These types of conversations can easily end up a little controversial, sometimes to the point of rude and intentionally hurtful comments. Not this one. These ladies were so honest and so respectful! Lori was open about how she wasn’t sure what she felt about her own fat-acceptance. Ragen was passionately staunch on why she felt it’s always ok to be fat. And it was all done with love. Strangers – different viewpoints on a very personal topic – love. What an inspiration!
Now, on to the question at hand. Ragen makes the point that fat bigotry is not okay. How could I not ask myself what I believe? My gut instantly said “bigotry is not ok, but I don’t want to be fat and I’m honestly uncomfortable with super huge people who need 2 seats on an airplane.” Is that because of loving concern for their health? Is it because of the societal economic impact of their weight? Is it because I’ve learned to see beauty as only as society tells me to? And here’s what Regan has to say to all that:
Let’s begin with the bottom line: It doesn’t matter how fat someone is, or why they are that fat, or what the outcomes of being that fat may or may not be. They deserve to be treated with respect and it is completely ok for them to be that size. Yes, even if they weigh 2000 pounds. Yes even if you think their weight is “their fault.” Yes, even if you would never ever want to be that fat. Yes, even if you can’t understand how they live. Yes, even if they have problems that can be correlated with being fat. Yes, even if they have problems that can be causally related to being fat. Yes, even if studies show that they cost society more. Yes, even if they actually cost society more. It is totally, completely 100% ok for someone to be fat. Nobody needs anyone’s encouragement, justification or permission to live in their body. Period. This is true whether or not people are able to achieve permanent weight loss – it is a matter of civil rights.
Wow. Strong words. Who am I to decide if someone should choose to live in their body with happiness? Don’t I wish everyone happiness – period? I do! I need to not project my own issues onto others and assume they are unhappy or even assume they’d be happier another way!
Here’s another section that struck me:
People get to prioritize their own health. That means that they are allowed to drink like fish, jump out of helicopters wearing skis, be on the show Jackass, take stressful jobs, not get enough sleep, eat what they choose, be sedentary, etc. at whatever weight they happen to be.
Holy crap is that ever true. I have a friend who drives a motorcycle. I think that’s engaging purposely in a highly dangerous activity yet I fully support his right to do so. I, myself, have made many life choices that were knowingly and purposefully high-risk according to some people and am not sorry for those choices. How dare I not offer the same courtesy to a fat person?
I want to also highlight a comment from a reader on Regan’s post. Nanasha said:
So love who you are, lumps and hollows and funny moles and all. Because it’s the most radical act of activism to denounce that fear and step into the world with a righteous acceptance of all that you are.
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I feel like I’m starting to achieve some level of acceptance of who I am. Now I need to make that not just acceptance, but righteous acceptance for me and for everyone!