It has happened again, I’ve been inspired to blog by another fabulous Fat Acceptance writer. There are some amazing writers out there, and they just get me thinking and writing so effectively.
In particular, this post by the lovely Jessica of Tangled Up In Lace, who as well as providing a great blog, has one of the most fabulous Tumblr’s in existence. I reblog more of her stuff on Tumblr than anyone else.
Anyway, back to the post of Jessica’s that has inspired this post. Jessica shares an experience in her post of being duped into attending an event by being given sketchy and misleading information. She and her friend turned up to what they were led to believe was a fat positive pinup modelling shoot, but turned out to be an event to promote a porn website and BBW (big, beautiful woman) nightclub. She goes on to give her thoughts about fat admiration and the BBW concept, which then segues into thoughts on feederism.
I get quite angry when I find people using Fat Acceptance and Fat Admiration/BBW as interchangeable concepts. Please understand, I don’t have any issues with fat admiration, or the BBW culture per se, but I don’t believe it is right to equate the two as being Fat Acceptance.
To me, Fat Acceptance is a social justice movement. It’s about ending prejudice and bigotry, about pride, respect, dignity and inclusion. To have that broken down to a mere vehicle for sexual attraction diminishes the importance of what FA activists and advocates are doing to a mere “Hey I’m hot too.” Yes, fat admiration and the BBW culture is often a very effective way to raise ones self esteem, and strong self esteem is at the very core of FA, but to break it down to merely promoting fat being sexy undermines the power of being included and respected in society as the fat people we are.
It’s great to feel beautiful and sexy. But to have that as the primary identifier of who you are, and to be considered attractive and sexy just for your fatness and not because of anything else about you removes any depth or complexity to you as a person.
In my mind, to reduce a person to mere fatness for sexual pleasure is no different to reducing a person to mere fatness with the aim of curing or eradicating obesity. It makes fat people “other” than the human beings that they are.
And yet, I would say a significant portion of the visitors to Fat Acceptance blogs are fat admirers/BBW fans. How do I know this? Let’s start with the most prominent search terms used to navigate into this blog alone. They’re all about fat body parts, and most of them are about “hot/sexy” fat body parts. Again, it’s lovely to be admired, but it’s incredibly frustrating to be seen as just a bunch of fat body parts sought out for sexual gratification.
I also see it in a less sexual form, where fat women are celebrated for being gorgeous and glamorous by other women, and attention being paid merely to how they look, without any consequence to the rest of them. Their intellect, their humour, their kindness, their outspokenness, their passion, their eloquence and so on. The very focus is on how the fat women look, rather than who they actually are.
It isn’t helped that when we finally get a voice in mainstream media, that very mainstream media focuses on how we look as opposed to what we think, what we need and want, and who we really are.
Not only does this diminish those beautiful, glamorous, gorgeous women to their external appearance, but it sends the message that women are only valuable for their looks, and that those who are not considered beautiful, or glamorous, or gorgeous have less worth, that they don’t have a place in Fat Acceptance and society in general.
All of us are worth far more than that. Fat Acceptance is worth far more than that.