Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bitch please no.

I am warning you.

If you are a Lady Gaga Fan, have easily hurt feelings or are a super fan of Bitch, Jezebel or Feministing you may want to skip me today.

So first let me say if LG has been suffering from eating disorders that's awful but that's not what I'm talking about here today.

I am so beyond tired of thin white women trying to take over Body Acceptance and turn it into a Thin Pretty White Lady thing.

First of all we all are aware that the Thin White Woman is the beauty ideal. Any fashion aside, LG does in fact fit that ideal.

Don't argue with me about it because you know it's true. Whether or not you like her aesthetic or her music if you put her in some jeans and a tshirt she fits in just fine.

Second of all, let me say directly.

Fuck you Bitch Media.

Fuck you Jezebel.

Fuck everyone who is suddenly on the accept yourself boat.

Why do I say that?

The message when people like LG and the ensuing media coverage come out as the faces of bodily acceptance is that Thin and White and Pretty is all that is good and right in the world. Look if you want to at Lady Gaga in her bra and panties. She is ever so "fat", it must be terrible existing in a body that you know is held up as a standard of what a "good" body is.

Terrible right?

My problem is that not one of these people is actually fat and when actual fat people say the same fucking things we are excoriated, bullied, hated and told to die.

Think I'm kidding?

Go read the comments on the interview I did at the Root.  That isn't even to mention having people who didn't comment there come here and tell me to enjoy my diabetes and early death.

Thin white lady posts pictures of herself in apparent misery because of some weight gain and people lose their minds trying to cry tears for her struggle.

Joyous fat people post pictures of themselves doing ANYTHING and not only giving the same messages but LIVING them and what do we get?

Look at what some people have to say in the FatKini thing on XOjane.

If those of us who are fat even dare to post pictures of ourselves shit happens.

I have nothing to say to people who after those of us actually living in bodies that are actively threatened on the daily, bodies that aren't even safe from the so called health industry. Bodies that are abused and hated and held up as the vision of everything wrong in the universe- all of us have been saying these things for fucking years.

The FIRST time I ever talked or wrote about was 15 years ago. I have been (as well as many other fat people) have been saying the SAME goddamn thing for decades now and yet, skinny white starlets have some bad body image and suddenly it's necessary to love your bodies right?

No fuck you.

I feel the same way when people suddenly seem to understand in FA circles that there is a lot of serious racism happening, that is constantly happening and after POC like me have blogged and talked and emailed and begged and PLEADED, suddenly another White person says Hey this is racist and suddenly it all makes sense.

Fuck that too.

This is why I have honestly gotten kind of tired of fat blogging.

I recognize that I am not a nice White lady, I know that to the majority of White people in FA my voice ain't shit.

Please don't take that as a statement that I"m not blogging or that I want pity it is a statement of fact.

When added in with the LG flavor of body acceptance (Thin and White is Right) all I can say is fuck you.

I do sincerely hope that if Lady Gaga has eating disorders that she is able to get treatment for them because no one should have to live with those if they don't want to.

That said, I need for her and every other Thin White Lady having a bad body image day to shut the actual fuck up because they are not saying anything new nor are they the ones in real danger.

That's all.

I can't with that bullshit today.

Homo Out.


Anonymous said...

Great post, thank you.

rebecca said...

You are excellent and your blog is excellent.

Anonymous said...

No one with body image issues deserves to be silenced. Your "shut up" mentality isn't helpful or productive. I'm not trying to discount privilege, I'd just like to know what you hope to accomplish by promoting the idea that if you are white and thin and have body image issues of any kind, you don't have the right to vocalize that?

Shannon Barber said...

Anon #2 you clearly have missed my point. If you can't understand my frustration at the Thin White Ideal being the face of what I a fat Black woman have been working on for a large part of my adulthood, yes you missed my point and this blog is probably not for you.

Further I have the absolute right to voice my anger and frustration, in case you missed me saying:

I have nothing to say to people who after those of us actually living in bodies that are actively threatened on the daily, bodies that aren't even safe from the so called health industry. Bodies that are abused and hated and held up as the vision of everything wrong in the universe- all of us have been saying these things for fucking years.

That is the absolute crux of my problem with the cheerleading of Thin and White Body Acceptance. If you don't believe that I have the right to be angry about that, this blog is probably not for you.

I didn't even go into how this type of thing exemplifies White Women especially pretty thin White women as the only saveable or humanized women.

With that I say yes, YES Thin White Women do in fact need to shut up and listen to what the rest of us have been saying for years or at least not taking up the cheer and acting like they just came up with something brand new.

If that's not cool to you, feel free to find another blog to read.

maggiemunkee said...

my manpanion alerted me to the "controversy" around LG's weight gain. he thought i'd be interested. but um, good try honey, but no, i really don't give a fuck.

my first thought was that it's very likely weight gain as a result of steroids (she has said there is a family history of lupus, and hadn't confirmed whether or not she has it -- and you know, she doesn't have to share her medical history if she doesn't want to).

that said, it's bullshit. and your post is spot on.

thin white women, and white people in general, really need to think about shutting up. (self included. time to get ready for pt.)

Stef said...

I'm a superfat white queer person. This really hit home:

"My problem is that not one of these people is actually fat and when actual fat people say the same fucking things we are excoriated, bullied, hated and told to die."

Yes. Adding a few pounds or "BMI points" to the notion of what is an acceptable body doesn't change anything about society and doesn't make fat people safe.

☯ZERO STYLE☯ said...

thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU FOR THIS. like, so much. get all the help you need gaga, but stop fucking hijacking fat activism in the process, and take about one thousand seats.

Marina said...

I linked to this post in my blog. Since this is a blogger account, it won't get the trackback, so I thought I'd come and let you know.

I have a different opinion, namely that everybody is welcome in body acceptance and just because I've been treated poorly for being fat doesn't give me the right to turn around and levy the same treatment against someone who's skinny. Even if I might want to.

Shannon Barber said...

Marina you like the other anon really missed my entire point. There is a follow up entry after this one.

My problem is erasure and the constant dominance of the Thin White Woman voice. If you're not to the point of understanding that point in intersectionality that's fine but honestly mine may not be the blog for you.

Below is the link to the follow up post. I honestly don't know how much clearer I can be about why I have an issue with someone like Lady Gaga being the voice of body acceptance.

Lara said...

a most excellent explanation of what is wrong with this Lady Gaga "Body Revolution" thing.

thank you!

also, I noticed, not only is she thin and white she is publishing pics of herself in some poses which really look like mainstream porn

and I fail to see how that is supposed to help women?!?!

so you've articulated this nicely

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. It really needed to be said.
I wish you all the best.

Fat Fox said...

Thank you for writing this beautifully articulate post! I have shared it on my facebook page, and hope to write a trackback as well (note: the trackback will be nothing more than me shutting the hell up and saying: THIS! GO FUCKING READ IT!).

The Lady Gaga kerfuffle got me all wound up since it was hardly a few months back that she was snarking about how "pop stars don't eat".

I had thought about this in terms of fat & class-ism, but the race aspect escaped me until I read your article.

I knew I was angry with the way this whole thing has been handled in the media, and online. I'm pretty positive that their whole "love the body" campaign doesn't include "icky" fat people like me who weigh around 360lbs @ 5'9.

Thank you for sticking your neck out and speaking up.

Pumpkin said...

Thanks for this article! I would find the whole lady gaga thing funny if it weren't so sad and at times rage-inducing. Sort of like the Jennifer Love Hewitt flap a while ago. Then 'body acceptance' becomes hip for about half a second, but it isn't even true body acceptance it turns into defending thin, white starlets who gain 5 pounds. And it gives the starlets more time to pose in their underwear to prove that they are 'still sexy' or more accurately, 'still fit our society's ridiculous beauty standards'. Then they get a pat on the head, and people feel good for defending/crying for them, meanwhile actual body acceptance goes no further.

Anonymous said...

This post is fucking awesome and so are you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I am so fucking sick of things right now, that I feel like I am in a state where I just can't talk to white, skinny non-queer people. I just have to tell people around me that I can't talk to them right now because they won't get it - they are either white queers or skinny queers (I have veeery few straight friends left) and I need to be around non-fucking-white people, hard thing to do when I live in Sweden!

Subscribe To My Podcast