Monday, March 14, 2011

Announcements and pls don't flounce.

Before I get to the meat of this post an announcement or two.

First my second ever non fiction publication is up. My essay 'Cracked' is up right now at Junk. Go read it, come back and tell me what you think.

Second announcement is that my non fiction self published collection is going to be a go. So I'm going to make a chip in thing. I'll make a whole post with some more details later this week.

Over on tumblr there's been discussion in fat circles about weight loss and what FA does and doesn't say about it.

After seeing many people flounce from FA because they've talked about weightloss or a blogger has expressed the wish not to have weightloss/diet talk on their blogs and whatnot.

Here's the thing.

Before you flounce think about this.

Most of the time when people request or declare their blog or space a no diet talk zone, or a no talk of purposeful weight loss talk zone it has nothing to do with you and has to do with them. If it is say my litterbox, I can decide what kind of pee I want in it.

For a lot of fat people especially those just finding FA, there are no other spaces in their lives where they can exist without diet talk or talk about weight loss.

You have think out side of your own personal bubble here.

If a person spends 90% of their time in meatspace listening to everyone tell them about X diet, or how many pounds they lost etc, why is it so detrimental to you for them to say this is my blog/space and this is what I don't want to talk about.

If you want a space to talk about both FA and weightloss, make your own blog.

Just like any other space on the web that you yourself did not create, the rules are not there to single you out and make you feel excluded.

If you take the rules at say my blog (I don't really have that many) as a personal slight against you and your ass, frankly that's on you.

If you need to look at it like this.

Let's say that you and I are friends and all of a sudden all you can talk about is how awesome your left shoe is. Your language starts to be peppered with equating the awesomeness of your left show with all things morally awesome.

Maybe I am not into that.

Maybe I don't believe that your moral awesomeness comes from how awesome your left shoe is. If I ask you nicely as a friend to maybe dial it back because I'm not comfortable having that conversation, is that unreasonable? Am I calling you a dickhead? No.

Part of being involved in fat acceptance is absolutely understanding that what is okay for you and your body, and okay for you to discuss may not be okay for me and my body or for me to discuss.

Aside from FA already being hard, if you want to engage you can't just say WELL IMMA DO WHAT I WANNA DO YOU MEANYHEADS.

That method typically does not make anyone want to hear out what you might have to say.

Next thing.

Yes sometimes in FA people will be disappointed when another fatty engages in diet talk or proselytizing. FA is made up of human beings and human beings no matter how smart and awesome they are feel things and sometimes one of those things is disappointment.

A very important thing.

One of the most basic and central and dare I say far reaching tenants of FA is that you regardless of what you decide to do with your own ass have bodily autonomy.

This means that yes, even if I think it sucks you can go on a diet. You can go do Jenny Craig or if you start exercising or decide to eat in a way that makes you feel fancy. You can do whatever the hell you want to.

Sometimes other people may feel like, oh well there goes another one. I will also dare say that a lot of the time the disappointment isn't personal it's sad. I know I get sad when I see people buying into diet industry bullshit.

And yes, I say that the diet industry is bullshit. It is built on a model of self loathing and encouraging people to aspire to a single idea of health, goodness and beauty rather than encouraging people to do things so that they feel healthy and good in their own skin.

Also can we be real?

I have never once seen someone say something like, "okay my diabetes is out of control and I need to change my diet and hope to get some relief" be met with actual personal attacks.

Also if you're upset that someone doesn't want to talk about weightloss with you, perhaps consider the language you're using.

If as I used in my silly analogy above you start preaching or being moralistic, most FA oriented folks are not gonna wana hear it. If you decide that you know the One True Way* of drinking Unicorn Pee and you want to tell all the fatties that they too can join you in your Unicorn Pee drinking, yeah they are probably not going to want to hear it.

If a blogger/space owner has an awful history with dieting they probably don't want to hear it.

My wordy windy point here is that before you get all twisted in the drawers area and flounce from FA, maybe take a step back and understand that not every space is for every one. Not everyone wants to even think or talk about accidental weightloss or purposeful weightloss. Some of us are seriously triggered but such talk, some of us are really hurt by it whether that's your intent or not.

Tomorrow, I think I'd like to talk about and offer some suggestions on how to broach the subject and not alienate your FA homies.

Homo Out.


Anonymous said...

"maybe take a step back and understand that not every space is for every one."

You know I think that's such an important point, and I haven't been able to articulate this myself very well! I think people need to have the dignity of their opinions and have a right to disagree. That being said, some spaces are not right for everyone and I think it's perfectly legitimate to have different spaces, for different purposes and respect those boundaries. I woulnd't dream of going into a pro-dieting forum or go on a pro-dieting blog and espouse FA - it's not apropriate.

I think it's perfectly o.k. to have different opinions, but the key word here is DIFFERENT. I don't know if people realize that FA peeps are really proposing an actual alternative, like, something radically different. When many of us say "no diet talk" its an actual attempt at creating a truly alternative space - this is hard for people to get I guess. To disagree with that does not mean you are a "horrible" person it means you have a different opinion.

Anonymous said...

You have verbalised exactly how I feel about this debate.

Thanks! Well said!

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