Well… how do I follow on from that last post? It is the most viewed, most commented on and most widely shared post I’ve written in the history of Fat Heffalump. I’m both gobsmacked and thrilled.
Firstly, let me welcome all of the new readers who have come along thanks to that post. Just a little bit of housekeeping – there is a comments policy, probably a good idea to go take a look at it, just so we’re all clear. It’s there to protect you as much as it is to protect me. But I am thrilled to see so many new faces popping up here, and for those of you lurking, please feel safe to comment and say hello.
I think I’m going to give you a few resources today, because I know quite a few of the new folks who have popped up here since my last post are new to fat acceptance (also known as size or body acceptance, because it really does encompass all body sizes – I simply focus on fat acceptance because I am fat myself.) I would also like to invite the more seasoned Fat Heffalump readers to leave their favourite resources (and their own blogs in fact) in the comments for our new readers too.
Where shall we start? I guess the basic premise of fat acceptance is that all bodies, be they fat, thin or in between, deserve to be able to live their lives with dignity and respect, and without being singled out as “abnormal”. Even the “unhealthy” ones, I use quotation marks because really, health is totally subjective and can’t really be measured by anyone but the individual themselves. To share a lovely quote I saw on Hanne Blank’s post about “real” women today, from the fabulous Mr. Glenn Marla:
There is no wrong way to have a body.
That’s what it boils down to at it’s very core. Of course there are a lot of other complex subjects within that, and fat acceptance does intersect with all other social justice movements. That’s a really important thing to understand – that when we talk about our own rights, and the marginalisation of ourselves as people with fat bodies, that it intersects with all other marginalised people and their rights. Marianne from The Rotund has a very good post about intersectionality that also explains why we don’t go down the road of saying “Fat hatred is the last acceptable prejudice.” Cos you know, it’s not.
There is a lot of work around basic human rights, and taking it up in one place does benefit all, so long as you acknowledge and work with that intersectionality. As well as benefiting oneself, it benefits the world.
For me personally, the reason that fat acceptance is so important to me is about self esteem. I come from a place where I had absolutely no self esteem. I thought I was the most worthless human being on the planet simply because I was fat. Then I found fat acceptance, and a world opened right up for me. I started to believe that I was worthy of simple things, like adequate medical care and help for my depression and non-existent self esteem. I started to believe that I had a right to live my life happy and abundant, and without being discriminated against or vilified for my body. I began to believe that I was worth taking care of myself. From there, I’ve grown so much and my life has opened up in so many ways.
I really do believe, that with strong self esteem, a person’s world is always made better, no matter their circumstances. It’s such a difficult thing to cultivate, but the benefits of it are incredible.
So I want to give back where I benefited from. I want to help other people find strong sense of self esteem, to find their confidence and point them in the direction of all the amazing things I found through fat acceptance.
And what resources did I find that brought me to the world of fat acceptance?
Well, I think the first was the very Awesome Frances of Hey Fat Chick!/Corpulent. Hey Fat Chick! was so revolutionary to me, to see bodies that looked like mine portrayed as beautiful and happy and strong. There was the aforementioned Marianne Kirby with her blog The Rotund and the book she co-wrote with Kate Harding, Screw Inner Beauty (known as Lessons from the Fatosphere in other parts of the world). There was the most wonderful Marilyn Wann and her book Fat! So?
Some of my current favourites that regularly get me thinking, blow my world open and inspire me are Lesley Kinzel from Two Whole Cakes, Ragen Chastain from Dances with Fat, Sarah from Not Blue at All and Elizabeth Tamny from The Extender.
Another aspect of fat acceptance you might like to get into is fatshion. That’s fat fashion! My lovely friends Nicole of A Well Rounded Venture and Anna of Bargain Fatshionista are a good place to start. But others I love are Cupcakes Clothing, Pocket Rocket Fashion and we can’t forget the fabulous Bloomie of 30 Dresses in 30 Days.
This is just a small selection of the amazing work that is being done out there by some really incredible people. But it will get you started and I’m sure bring you some amazing information, ideas and perspectives.
Again, welcome to all of the new people who have popped up as readers here at Fat Heffalump recently, and if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.