Sunday, March 30, 2014

Small fatties, Acceptable Fatties and more.

On small fats, former fatties and things.

Regardless of where and when, there is always a point where the tide of NO MORE SMALLER/ACCEPTABLE FATS starts happening.

It happened at Fatshionista and the Inbetweenies community was semi born.

I've seen it on tumblr in the last I dunno two weeks.

Some folks have asked me about it.

So some of you will not like what I have to say and that is okay.

For me personally my actual body has been varying sizes.

I have been super underweight thin.

I have been supposedly "healthy".

I have been chunky. (Me right now I suppose)

I have been about the US average.

I have been kinda fatter than the US average.

And at my higher weight I was what is now considered "small fat" (around a size 18-20).

As I have said before, fatness is not a purely physical state. Fatness is cultural, fatness is contextual. It is not one thing or another, it is many things that intersect to create an experience living in a body.

See here.

So here is the problem with some of what I've seen lately.

Being that I come from the perspective of someone who has been up and down the spectrum of fatness, and treated as a former fatty, as an almost not fatty anymore there is some degree of misinterpreatation of what people who look to be smaller fats can/should contribute.

So let's start with the inbetweenie thing.

Just as when it was coined, right now I really hate that term.

I am not inbetween shit.

I am not a before and after.

I am in fact, regardless of what your feelings might say about my current ass size, a fat person.

Regardless of how you look at and process the size of my body I am still treated as a fat person.

I am still trolled. I am still treated like a shit filled bucket of obesity by healthcare professionals. I still have some issues finding clothing to a degree.

Now again, we have to understand that these experiences of mine, yes even with some small degree of thin privilege are still the experiences of a fat person.

My perspective is that of someone who in terms of the microcosm of the culture immediately around me is treated as a fat person. If we are to believe what some people on the street have said to me, I am on the very brink of dropping dead from THE OBESITY.

My perspective and lived experience is different than that of someone who is significantly fatter than I am.

Some of our experiences may parallel, they may intersect but they will be different because no two fat people live the precise same experience and that is okay.

It is more than okay it is great.

What a lot of people do is look at a picture and decide that the person they are looking at isn't that fat. Then there's the question of why does this person think they are fat, they aren't fat this is my space.

Personally I feel like that is unwise.

When you just see someone, an outfit picture or whatever or the size clothing they wear, that does not speak the totality of their experience.

Given the rising numbers of people who are entirely done with fat shaming, there are going to be more people who ID as fat even yes, if they are small fats because likely they have experienced life as a fat person.

That matters.

It also matters that the size on a label doesn't totally tell you what is going on.

I'll use myself as an example.

When I was about a size 20, I had clothing from a regular big box store that was labeled a size M. On one hand this is a demonstration of a degree of thin privilege. On the other it shows you that clothing sizes are ridiculous.

What it did not tell anyone was how I was treated by people and society at large.

That is the distinction I'm talking about here.

I don't think that excluding smaller fat people from general fat spaces is great.

That said, not every space is for every one.

If there are DeathFat people talking about where to buy pants, unless I have something substantive to say (as in, hey DeathFatties X store has these pants up to a size 30) I don't need to interject in the conversation nor do I need to feel left out.

If the conversation is about fatness in general, that is the space to speak up.

What bothers me the most is the idea that if someone does not look appropriately fat, that they have nothing of substance to say. I feel like that glosses over the intersections of fat life.

It bothers me when people use the phrase Acceptable Fats to only mean smaller fats when in fact the acceptably fat especially in fat circles tend to be very attractive White women of any size. Especially if they have an hourglass shape or rock a pin up style or other very identifiable style.

That is just short sighted to me.

If you are uncomfortable posting an ootd because people who appear to be not fat enough to be really fat in your eyes, that is something you need to work out for yourself.

I believe that is a big turning point in FA and on a personal level a big step beyond You Go Girl type body politics.

That is the point to start really digging into the vast array of fat experiences and understanding that an experience or life different than your own is okay. It is vitally important to the politics of fat acceptance to understand that while Fat Acceptance Voices need to be first and foremost fat people, that those fat people are not all going to be X amount of pounds.

This is the point where a person needs to decide if they want to take their Fat Acceptance further than YES I'M BEAUTIFUL TOO.

Let's get it straight that there is nothing wrong necessarily with YES I AM PRETTY or YOU GO GIRL level body politics. That is a necessary part and something that does need to be represented.

For me, this is just not what sustains me.

I need more beyond looking good.

For me personally my adventures in Fat Acceptance have been less about LOOK I AM PRETTY TOO, to no you cannot treat me this way simply because I am fat.

Another issue I want to address is weight loss.

There are people in FA and readers I have heard from who disapprove of my weight loss.

I don't care.

Here's the thing, bodies change. Sometimes it is on purpose, sometimes as with me shit just happened.

That has not changed my views on Fat Acceptance. It has not altered the validity of a word I say here.

If you cannot look past the size of my ass, I think that is something you need to look at for yourself. Being that my tune has not really changed, did you only take me seriously because our asses were similar?

If so, my brand of FA is just not for you.

Whether someone is fat right now, really fucking fat, super fat, not that fat or whatever it is to a degree all the same to me.

Regardless of the how of fatness in your life, whether it is fatness based on the culture you live in, the culture of your family/friends, because you are really just super fat or whatever you need FA too.

You are welcome too.

Let me say that again.

You are welcome.

This is important stuff for you to know.

Even those of you who aren't fat at all and never have been fat in any context, it is important for you too because it can change how you treat people and how you interact with the world and that is important.

So there it is.

Homo Out.


Courtney Cadaver said...

I used to feel that smaller fats shouldn't be allowed in fat spaces because when it comes to sizes 12/14/16 I think people of those sizes experience thin privilege in a way that a larger/death fat can't relate to.

You are entirely right though, it's about much more than physically "being" fat. If someone identifies as fat, let them and welcome them into fat spaces. Fat acceptance and body love is for everyone, not just size 8 white women in Dove campaigns.

Anonymous said...

100% Yes.

Spot on.


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