Sorry it’s been quiet on the blog front my lovelies, I’ve been sideswiped with a cold that went down into a chest infection this past week and a bit. Damn bug raged through the office a couple of weeks ago and I assumed I was spared the infection… but it got me after all. Thankfully I’m starting to see some improvement at last, hopefully this means I can get all the ideas that have been burbling around my head this past week or so (I’ve read so much, no energy to do anything else while coughing until I saw stars) together and start some discussions here.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the haters and trolls and general disbelievers we fat activists get. Mostly spurred on by a concerted attack on one young woman on Tumblr that I could see was deeply upsetting her, simply because a group of people think they have the right to bully and belittle someone simply because she is fat and doesn’t meet some arbitrary standard of attractiveness.
I get my fair share of trolls, haters and general disbelievers and troublemakers, both here and on my other social media accounts (Twitter, Tumblr, Formspring etc). Once upon a time they used to bother me, but nowadays, I mostly pity them. Or find them funny. Mostly because they have this inflated sense of their power over me by thinking that by posting something hateful on my Tumblr, or trolling this blog, they can shut me up and chase me off the internet. It’s pretty hilarious that someone would see such importance in themselves.
Of course, it has the opposite effect to the one they intended – it makes me more argumentative, more obnoxious and a whole lot more outspoken.
It’s very timely then that Ragen over at Dances with Fat would write her recent post “The Trouble with Proving It“. Ragen highlights that every time some narrow-mind bellows “Prove it!” at her, and she does, over and over and over, they are still disbelieving of her reality. No matter how much evidence she shares, it’s never going to be enough for these people.
I’m often called to do the same thing (for different reasons) and I have seen many other fat activists attempting to prove their own existence and realities over and over and over again.
Reading Ragen’s post reminded me of something very important. I am not doing this fat activism to “convert” other people, to answer the haters criticism or to shout down the trolls. Those things are not important. I, and all other fat activists, and fat people and fat allies have no need to DO anything. We are in debt to no-one.
What we need is to simply BE.
Simply being ourselves is a radical act in this fat-phobic culture we have found ourselves in. Being alive, being happy, being active, being confident, being self-loving, being outspoken, being fashionable, being talented, being funny, being awesome… no matter what you as a fat person are being, simply being you is AMAZING.
For those of us who choose to spend time online sharing our lives, our thoughts, our opinions, our fashion, our images, the important part of that is being visible, being audible, being tangible. In a world where fat people are silenced, discredited and openly loathed, being visible as a happy, confident fat person is a powerful message to send out into the world.
As I said to Ragen on her post, if it hadn’t been for my stumbling into the fatosphere, I probably wouldn’t be here today. The people who took up fat activism before me and went public with it, being all the amazing things they are, really rescued me in a dark time of self-loathing and shame. Just by being visible, they showed me that there was an alternative for me, that I didn’t have to spend my life buying into the fat-phobic lies that our culture perpetuates. They showed me that I can be happy, have fun, live my life to the full and most importantly, that I, and all other human beings, have value and deserve respect.
That’s why I’m here, and why I do what I do. I want to give that back to the world. I want to show other people who are in the dark, frightening place that I once was, that it doesn’t have to be that way. And that they too are awesome, radical beings, without DOING anything. To simply live ones life happy and full is the most radical act you can possibly engage in.
And best of all… it really pisses the haters off.
“That’s the best revenge of all: happiness. Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good fucking life.”