This morning I reached a boiling point. I saw some more posts on Tumblr and Twitter talking about the subject of dieting fatties demanding to be included/acknowledged by several fat activists. I opened my inbox and there were several asks in my Tumblr account demanding I do the same. I deleted several comments from this earlier post because they just kept going on and on and on about how I personally had to “be inclusive” of people who are dieting, or are “not that fat”, as if every single person must have my direct and personal validation or “the movement” is ruined.
I don’t speak for any “movement”. I speak for me and my fight for fat liberation. Yes, I am proud of the community that has formed around fat activism and I love feeling part of that community, but it doesn’t define me, nor do I speak for it. We are not a monolith, we are a group of people who find connections with each other. Sometimes we have the same aims, but we don’t connect with one another for whatever reason, and that’s ok too.
But back to the topic at hand – this constant demand that people who are dieting, or engaging in some form of weight loss, or those who are “not that fat” are acknowledged. It’s exhausting and it’s bullshit.
I’m sick of it. I’m sick of everyone tiptoeing around the subject. I understand why people do, and I’m not asking anyone to be as bolshy as I am in saying it, but it is a constant derailment of the actual core aims of fat activism (whatever way you identify it). So I had one of my now famous Twitter rants, which this evening has grown into this piece below.
I hope this is enough to make it clear, but let me make it VERY clear that I am not opening up the floor for a discussion of why we should be validating people who are dieting/trying to lose weight/”not that fat”. Any attempts to do so will be removed, and if you want to call that silencing, censorship, exclusionary, bullying, too hardline, or whatever else you can think of that tells me I am doing it wrong, then you’re doing EXACTLY what I’m fed up with. I’m not here to create a warm fuzzy club for all, I’m here to radically push the agenda on how fat people are treated, and one of those radical shifts I need to see is that we have to stop feeling that people who are dieting/engaging in weight loss or are “not that fat” need some kind of cookie or permission slip.
So without any further ado….
Dear People Who Are Dieting/Trying to Lose Weight,
Shut the fuck up.
Stop trying to force everyone to give you a medal.
You have the whole damn world, you DON’T get/need fat activism to validate you.
Stop trying to establish that you’re “one of the good fatties” on the backs of the rest of us because you’re “doing it for your health”. This is not a competition. There are no prizes given out for who does it better, or who is “healthier”, or who lives longer.
You are not superior/harder working/healthier/better than those of us who don’t diet. The same goes for those who say “I’m not really that fat, but I hate my body too, where is MY space?!” Stop demanding those of us who you have privilege over validate you. Stop using people to prove to yourself “at least I’m not that fat/unhealthy/gross/lazy”.
Do whatever the fuck you like with your own body/life, but stop forcing fat activists/acceptance/positivity/liberation to validate you.
Whatever way people identify it, fat activism is not some exclusive club for you to demand your “right to be a member”, nor is it for you to demand “acknowledgement” from.
Fat liberation is about learning to find your own value and being free from needing anyone else to validate you. If you want to feel like you’re changing something in your life, that’s what you need to find, not demand that the rest of us acknowledge you as if we’re admitting you to some kind of clique. It is NOT a club/clique. It is walking away from the need for others to validate you, to approve of you, and finding your own self worth and being your own validation. It’s about learning what really matters, where you want to improve yourself and where you need to push back against societal pressure to conform to arbitrary standards. It’s by measuring yourself against YOURSELF, and your own standards and core beliefs, not other people or their standards and beliefs.
Stop demanding other people validate you and start learning that the only validation worth anything comes from within yourself. If you’re happy dieting and buying into the weight loss schtick – then you don’t need the rest of us to validate you, to acknowledge you.
We’ve got better things to do than constantly appease your “But I must be acknowledged!!” bullshit.
Like fighting for the rights of fat people to live in this world without being bullied, vilified, demeaned, or treated like pests to be eradicated.
And to my fellow fat activists who are constantly plagued by comments, asks and emails and the like of this nature (as I am myself), my suggestion is that every time we get these messages we hit the delete button. These people get far too much of our time and attention. They have derailed the conversation long enough.