Negative experience = because of your fat
Positive experience = in spite of your fat
Also: this is a fab post, but don’t read the comments. I cried.
Marianne, I follow a lot of your stuff and I’ve read your book, but I don’t think I understand why the “love your body” rhetoric is problematic. If you have the time and inclination, could you please elaborate?
I definitely can!
There’s a lot of good intention behind the “love your body” rhetoric. It’s very much coming from a place where people want to feel good about themselves and to help other people feel good about themselves, too.
But it homogenizes bodily experience and feeling - basically it dictates the One True Way people are “supposed” to feel about their bodies. And that skeeves me. Because there are lots of reasons people have complicated relationships with their bodies - from trans identity to disability to body dysmorphia in general and so on.
I don’t think the goal of fat acceptance is for everyone to be super double rainbow in love with their bodies - I think the goal is for EVERY body to be treated with dignity and respect. And, yeah, that CAN go hand in hand with loving your body, but it doesn’t have to. Whether I love my body or not, my doctor better provide me with competent medical care that goes beyond “you’re fat”, you know?
“Love your body” also often accompanies the idea that we are required to love the way we look. That perpetuates the idea that, really, we are still reduced to our aesthetics.
Our bodies are so much. And our relationships are so complex. I hate to see those relationships forcibly reduced and dictated to us.
(Making this rebloggable by request.)
Recently a commenter here raised the question of why a picture of a fat person just *being* becomes about that person being fat rather than what is going on in the photo. I think that is actually a really succinct illustration of why visual representation of fat people on the Internet is actually so vital — because the more you see us, the more we get to see ourselves and realize that, yeah, it’s just a body.
Honestly, visibility is a vital strategy for helping normalize any oppressed group. (And, boy howdy, women of color get some trolls.) (As do people with disabilities. And trans people. And the list goes on, especially if you’re a person with intersecting identities.)
Honestly, visibility is a vital strategy for helping normalize any oppressed group. (And, boy howdy, women of color get some trolls.) (As do people with disabilities. And trans people. And the list goes on, especially if you’re a person with intersecting identities.)” —