I’ve had a few conversations lately with various folks regarding the feeling of “not fitting in” to the fatosphere. It seems that this is a common feeling for several fatties out there, and thus their hesitance to jump on in.
For me, fat acceptance is not a club. It’s not about fitting in to a group or movement. It’s not about being part of some kind of clique, though I do see a LOT of cliques forming, some of them more poisonous than cliques out there in the thinosphere (I just made that up, maybe it could be notfatosphere).
I believe fat acceptance is about two things.
1) Acceptance of myself. For who I am, how I am, what I am. Finding good self esteem and confidence to be who I am, and to live a full positive life. To live my life to the fullest as I am.
2) Acceptance of others, by others. For me to accept others as they are and leave them to be as they are for one, but most importantly, for others to accept me as I am, and leave ME to be as I am. That means accepting that I am fat, without prejudice or discrimination and that I and other fat people are under no obligation to stop being fat, and that we are not lesser beings for being fat.
That’s what it boils down to at the very core of what I believe fat acceptance to be.
That doesn’t mean that you’re never out to improve yourself, challenge yourself or expand your horizons. It means that you accept yourself right here, right now and any changes, improvements, or challenges you make are made for you, not anyone else. There is always something we can improve about ourselves, but we have to be doing it for ourselves, not because other people say we should. Because positive striving to improve yourself is part of living a full life. I will talk about this more in another post I think.
Fat acceptance is not about joining or being anything to fit in with others. I don’t feel the need to be a fat fashion plate, just to enjoy the clothes and accessories that I like. I don’t feel the need to be BBW and become sexualised as a fat woman, just to feel beautiful as I am.
However, that doesn’t mean that these things don’t interest me in elements. I like fat fashion, without having to be a fatshionista. I find images sexy fat women empowering and good for my self esteem, without having to join their ranks in the BBW communities.
I understand that Kate Harding is seen as the goddess of all things Fatosphere, and that to many fatties, criticism of Shapely Prose or the contributors is seen as the ultimate betrayal of fatz. I disagree with this – while I find elements of Shapely Prose and it’s contributors highly useful, articulate and sometimes inspirational, I don’t feel the need to take on board everything that is said there. It’s opinion and opinion will always differ. Don’t let that stop any of you visiting Shapely Prose either – I am sure everyone will find something of use that they can take on board.
That goes for all the other fatosphere communities and contributors out there – get out and read as much as you can, find what resonates with you, share it and don’t worry about the stuff that doesn’t sit right with you. It’s ok, there is no compulsory reading or community for fat acceptance.
But here’s the thing. Your life is your life. You need to live it to it’s full. Find what helps you live your life to the full and expand upon it. If something doesn’t contribute positively to you being able to live your life to it’s fullest and best, then you are under no obligation to continue with that activity, community or school of thought.
If I in any way help you live your life to the fullest with this little blog, then I am deeply honoured.